Dec. 8, 2011
SAN DIEGO - Cal and Texas head football coaches Jeff Tedford and Mack Brown were in San Diego on Wednesday attending activities for the 2011 Bridgepoint Holiday Bowl to be played between their two teams at Qualcomm Stadium on Wednesday, Dec. 28. The game will be televised live nationally by ESPN and kick off at 5 p.m. PT.
Here's what Tedford and Brown had to say during a press conference at the San Diego Marriott Hotel Marquis & Marina.
CAL HEAD COACH JEFF TEDFORD
"It is a great honor to be here at the Bridgepoint Holiday Bowl. Our players are very excited and we're extremely honored to represent the Pac-12 conference in such a great bowl game against such a great opponent as Texas. I've known Mack Brown for a long time and he's done a great job there and just really excited to play against a great football team with such great tradition. I know our players are very, very excited about the opportunity to play another game. Felt like our team really finished strong this year. We started off a little bit slow, but really, really caught on towards the end of the season. Won three of the last four with the only loss to Stanford, so I know our players are very excited about the opportunity to come to San Diego. The red coats and the Holiday Bowl always do a tremendous job putting on a first-class bowl game. Our fans are extremely excited about it. I can tell you that our phones have been buzzing. We've been here a couple times and had great experiences here and look forward to another one."
On Cal's local San Diego-area players Mustafa Jalil and Stefan McClure
"Yeah, both young men, great young men. Both played as true freshman. Mustafa Jalil played defensive line for us and got a lot of playing time through the season and really contributed very well for us, gave us quality minutes. Stefan McClure the same thing, played corner. Unfortunately Stephan hurt his knee the last game and he's going to have surgery, so he won't be playing in the Holiday Bowl. I know he's very disappointed about that, but true, two great young men from this area. I know they will be excited to come back home and be a part of this game."
On whether he and Mack Brown patched things up after what happened in 2004, with a lot of the things that went on where Texas got the Rose Bowl bid and Cal went to the Holiday Bowl.
"I don't think it was ever between Coach Brown and me. You know it was a situation afterwards I remember seeing him at the Nike trip after that and you know it just kind of was `hey it happened' and you know I don't think it was anybody's fault or anything like that. It was very unfortunate. It's one of the toughest things I've ever had to do in my coaching career was announce to our team that we weren't going to the Rose Bowl. It stunned our football team; it stunned our program and our fans. But that was a long time ago and Mack and I have had numerous occasions to hang out. At the Nike trip and visit and I have a great deal of respect for Mack."
On what the difference in the Cal team was late in the season
"I think it really had a lot to do with the maturation, growth and development of our quarterback [Zach Maynard]. He is a first-year player in our program. We also felt like we started the season with a tough schedule at Washington, and then USC and at Oregon, so we started out with a tough schedule. I think as he continues to progress and get used to the speed of the game and what we are trying to do on offense. I really felt like if you took the last half of the season and you took the UCLA game out of it he completed close to 69% of his passes with about 159 passing efficiency. He played really, really well and didn't turn the football over. I think that was the key for him to manage the game, and we got our run game going a little bit Isi Sofele, another 1,000 yard-rusher for us. So I think the growth and development of the tailback and quarterback position really helped us to finish the year strong."
TEXAS HEAD COACH MACK BROWN
"We are equally excited to be here. Our redshirt seniors were here when they were redshirted as freshman in `07 to play against Arizona State, so when we heard where we were coming ... um, it was some excitement in the room because our older guys could tell the younger guys about the red coats and about the hospitality and about the hotel and the place and the water and the game. The game historically has been very good and then when we heard who we were playing that was fun for us, as well. I've got great respect for Jeff and what he does, what he stands for as a coach and a man and Donna, their family. Sally and I have gotten to know them really well and also what he's done with his program. And my wife is a Cal graduate, so we got a little problem there at home right now that we are trying to work through. We are not separated, but we are having some discussions about who she's going to pull for. Our President Bill Powers is a Cal graduate, so we've got a lot of Cal influence in our house, but we respect the university. What a great institution. Jeff does it as good as anybody. He does it within the rules and had a string of success that is very, very impressive. So we are excited about being back here. It will be our fifth game. We got beat by Oregon with a young offensive coordinator named Jeff Tedford in 2000 with a throwback to the quarterback best I remember that looked really good and now that quarterback is doing some things for Longhorn network, which really makes me mad when I have to see him all the time. He always just has that smirk that he knows that I remember the game. And then some people ask about the BCS in 04, well the BCS got us back in `08, so Jeff may be mad about `04, we're mad about '08 and I am sure Oklahoma State is mad today, so that's just part of the BCS. I wish we'd change some of that stuff up too, but when you go to a bowl game and you are going to spend a week with the other team, you like to have other people you like, you like to have people that you respect, you like to have people that run their program right and you know that your kids will get along really well with their kids. We'll have a fun week and a great week and it should be a great game. They finished so strong, we didn't finish as well. We need to pick it back up and do better. Just watching, we got to see a lot of the Pac-12 games now because it's later, when we get home after our games we get to see them play and I've been very, very impressed with everything I see. They've gotten much better throughout the year to have to play on the road all the time because they are fixing up their stadium. It's a difficult thing anyway and they've always been really good on offense and now that we're one of the top defenses in the country, so it will be a great challenge for us, but a lot of fun.
On Texas' quarterback situation
"We didn't play well the other day at times against Baylor and we haven't met since then, so we'll, um, they're actually going to have a little practice in the morning, a Captain's practice just so they can go out with finals going on and try to get started a little bit and we'll meet Friday for the first time. We've been up and down at that position, we've got two young ones we are trying to develop and that will be one of our question marks for the next couple of weeks is who do we start and how do they play. Most of the year, we play both of them and that will probably be what we'll do for the game.
On reporters asking about his job status at Texas
"But you are forced to, I know it's a tough job with these editors, I understand, what a tough job."
On Brown being rumored to be leaving, maybe resigning, maybe being forced out at Texas
"I think that our athletic director has more than answered that question. I have more than answered that question and I plan on being at Texas for a long time and they want me to be there for a long time, so we're a real happy family right now, but we'd like to do better."
Holiday Bowl Ticket Information
The only way to reserve seats in the Cal rooting sections is to purchase tickets through the Cal Athletic Ticket Office. Cal's ticket allotment is located on the north side of Qualcomm Stadium, and prices are $60 in the Field, Plaza, Loge and View levels.
All donors at the $100 and above giving level (gifts received 7/1/10 - 6/30/11), as well as all 2011 Cal football season-ticket holders, receive priority for tickets through Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. and can log onto CalBears.com/bowl to request bowl game tickets.
Cal student season-pass holders and student Cal Bear Backers may buy tickets beginning at 9 a.m. Tuesday, while the general student ticket on-sale begins at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
Any remaining tickets will go on sale to the general public starting at 9 a.m. Monday (Dec. 12) through the tickets link at CalBears.com or at the Cal Athletics Ticket Office (800-GO BEARS, 2223 Fulton St.).
Holiday Bowl Travel Packages
Special fan travel packages to the Holiday Bowl are available through GET Travel Sports, the official fan travel partner of Cal Athletics. For more information, visit gettravel.com/cal or call 888-877-4445. The Cal Alumni Association will provide a list of Cal alumni activities in San Diego at alumni.berkeley.edu/athletics.