Oct. 2, 2001
BERKELEY - Below are selected quotes from head coach Tom Holmoe from his weekly football press conference. The Bears have a bye this weekend and host Oregon Oct. 13 at 12:30 p.m.
Will you have your injured receivers back for the next game?
(Derek) Swafford and (Geoff) McArthur are both going to work out today. So, I'd like to hope that with the two weeks, with the bye in between, that we'll have them.
What would that mean to your offense to get those guys back?
I think it will help a lot because those are two guys that have played, and played well. It's not so much that the guys who have played in their absence have not been playing well, but we're thin. We're wearing those guys down a little bit. They have to practice. They have to play. In the course of that time of having two of our guys out, they've gotten a lot of wear and tear on their bodies. It's been good in the respect that Charon (Arnold) has really emerged and has done some good things. But by the same token it will help Charon to be able to have him fresh. That's one thing that should happen.
Are McArthur and Swafford are two of your biggest playmakers?
They are. When you think that Geoff is by far the best on the team after the catch. He's the best running with the ball after the catch. He might not be the fastest, but he does the most with the ball after the catch. And then Swafford is the quickest and most elusive ... he does a very good job of getting open. So, you're adding a different dimension that we haven't had for a couple of weeks.
Who's playing the best out of your defensive linemen right now?
I don't know if I can say any one of them is playing the best, but Tully (Banta-Cain) played a good game last week ... he made a couple of good plays. Lorenzo Alexander, if you were to chart his success in time and performance, he's gone way up. In camp, everyone was saying 'what's the matter with him? Is he all right? Is he going to play? Is he going to redshirt?' Since he's been on the field in these games, he's been way up. The rate of progress is fast.
Is Alexander ready to start?
He could. Right now he's playing very good ball. (Josh) Beckham came back and played pretty well. Josh Gustaveson has played much better. Gustaveson wasn't here for spring ball. He's getting the feel for big-time college football right now. He's improved a little bit each week. (Daniel) Nwangwu is playing with a better sense of stability ... not as many ups and downs. He is much more dependable through the whole course of a game. Tosh (Lupoi) is getting a feel for it. He's never played, he redshirted last year. I wouldn't say that he played a complete game, he didn't play a lot. But the time that he was in there, he started to get a feel for it.
We thought that we would be better up front, and they're starting to play like they're capable of. Have we reached that point? No. But, the first week of the season we had no pass rush. Now, we're getting pressure, we're hitting the quarterback, and they're much smarter in working together on their stunts. So, you're seeing the kind of unity and camaraderie that a d-line has to have. We're finally starting to show a semblance of success.
Did you think the offense looked better against Washington last week?
They're playing better. I think there were fewer mistakes. There was not the feeling of 'oh gosh, here the pressure's on.' It was great to be on the field and feel the excitement. There was no tension. Even on fourth down (on the last series), 'we're going to get it.' They called the play and I thought, 'We're going to get this. We've eaten 'em up on this route and we're going to be okay. We're going to get it.'