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Post Game Quotes
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  09/07/2002

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California Head Coach Jeff Tedford

General comments on the game:
"It was good to go through an experience like that, where the game was close through halftime and even in the third quarter. I thought our players played very hard. The defense did an excellent job of coming up with turnovers - recovering fumbles and forcing fumbles. We could have had a couple of more if we had just fallen on the ball. But I think they all wanted to be like Matt Nixon and they were all trying to score with them (the fumbles). I thought they did a nice job of keeping them (New Mexico State) out of the end zone. The defense stopped them when they had to and did a nice job of coming up with turnovers."

On New Mexico State's trick plays:
"They did some things like that (onside kick and fake punt) last week against South Carolina. They really are aggressive when it comes to those situations. The opening kickoff I was a little bit surprised. I was expecting to see some of it some time down the road, but not so much on an opening kickoff."

On Cal's Defense:
"Anytime your defense swarms to the ball, you're going to create turnovers. Our guys have done a great job of running to the football and trying to strip the ball. And the good thing about it is that we have players in position because they are hustling so they're in position to make the play and get on the fumble."

On Kyle Boller:
"I thought he was fairly sharp. There were a couple of times where he just threw the ball away. He made very good decisions. He ran the huddle and the offense efficiently and he threw the ball well most of the time. He had a couple get away from him, but I think Kyle's only going to get better."

On Tully Banta-Cain:
"He's played great two weeks in a row now. He's really a handful off the edge. He's playing very, very hard and it's really paying off for him because he practices very hard. He's in great shape and I'm happy that his preparation is paying off for him."

On Cal's dropped passes:
"They're not trying to drop balls. It's just something that happens. Anytime something doesn't go well, we always talk about returning to your fundamentals. Geoff (McArthur) had his hands turned the wrong way on that ball. If he would have turned his hands over, it would have hit him right in the numbers. It was a great throw. And he knows that. The good news is that we won today, but we still haven't played our best. We have a lot of work to do and we're going to continue to get better in practice."

California Players

Quarterback Kyle Boller:
"It's nice to be 2-0. I haven't been 2-0 in a long time, probably since high school. Definitely very nice."

"I think this week was a big test for us, to come out and play strong. We started fast again. Our offense capitalized on some turnovers. It's great to go into the locker room again after another victory."

"You always want to have the big plays. The big plays will happen, you want them to happen. There probably weren't as many this week as last week."

Wide Receiver LaShaun Ward:
(Getting the ball back after dropping it on the third down) "That was a confidence booster. Coach depends on me. As a core, he counts on all us to make the plays. When I dropped it, I dove and tried to make a play for it. But we came back on the fourth down and went right back at it. I looked at him on the sidelines and he said just shake it off and let's go get the next one. I knew it was crucial. We have to stick to the fundamentals."

"I believe in the system. I believe in Coach Tedford and he believes in us. We all have total confidence in each other. He calls the shots and we go out there and execute them. If you execute you can make things happen."

"We try to take one game at a time. Every opponent that we face brings something different to the table. This was a good win. It's good to be 2-0 after four to five years. This is a big up for the team and now we prepare to play Michigan State. If we can win on the road out there that will be something special."

Wide Receiver Geoff McArthur:
Talking about the importance of coming back after dropping a ball "That was probably the best thing that Coach Tedford could have done was call that play because it was with the zone. I was upset with what had happened. I'm not comfortable with dropping the ball. I don't think it's something that a receiver should be comfortable with. But once that happened, it fired me up, and I got the opportunity to make it happen. I think from that point on I was more aggressive with my blocking. I don't like dropping the ball, that's just the bottom line."

"Coach Tedford has a grip on what he's doing, he know how to work with players, and it obviously shows. He doesn't get down on us, he doesn't talk down on us when we drop a ball. He comes to us on the sidelines and tells us 'we'll get another opportunity, don't dwell on it, it's not worth it, we'll have more opportunities'"

"As long as we get the victories (it doesn't matter that I'm not as involved). Coach told us in the beginning before we started the season, our team is like a link, and if one link is loose, then that's when things go wrong, but if everyone keeps it together and stays tight, we'll always hold strong. We have to help each other out."

New Mexico State Head Coach Tony Samuel

General comments on the game:
"They ran the offense we expected them to run. It's a good offense. The defense didn't do anything we didn't expect. We just came out a bit on the nervous side and pressed a bit."

"We had a pretty good feel for what we thought they'd do. I thought we were prepared and pressed a bit early. We have a lot of kids from California and I thought they put too much of a burden on themselves."

On Cal's pressure:
"We got more pressure than we typically do. Part of that was coverage sacks and part was from blitzes. That was a big factor. That and too many big plays on special teams."

On missed scoring chances:
"I counted about three occasions where we were in scoring position and didn't get any points. You don't want to get in those situations and not get at least a field goal."

New Mexico State Players

Quarterback Buck Pierce:
"We came out flat today. That's all there is. We gave up some good field position from the start and we never got it going. We had some big plays here and there but we just couldn't get it rolling. We had too many penalties and mental mistakes. When playing a Pac-10 school like Cal, you just can't make those kind of mistakes. There were three big plays that should have gone in our favor and could've turned the game around. You run about 70 plays in a game and it's usually three or four plays that end up determining the game. We didn't capitalize on that and we know that and we have to deal with it."

"We weren't intimidated at all by Cal. We know we can play with anybody and we're going to play hard against anyone that we play. Once we cut down on the mental mistakes, we're going to be fine. I'm not worried about this team at all. Our offense can score points and without those mental breakdowns, we'll be fine. We just have to get healthy and play smart football."

Wide Receiver P.J. Winston:
"We had a couple of mental breakdowns, but it's hard to beat a team like Cal. We gave their offense too many chances to stay on the field, so it kept our offense from being on the field."

"Cal was exactly what we expected. They are a pretty good football team. It's always easy to practice and prepare for what somebody is going to do but once you get out there on the field it becomes different. You still try to throw the surprises in there, but for the most part it was pretty much everything that we had practiced."

On the first drive of the second half: "It takes the wind out of your sail. You drive all the way down the field and you want to come out and score, because if you score its only a 10 point game. But the penalties killed us and took a lot out of our team."


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