Nov. 22, 2008
CALIFORNIA HEAD COACH Jeff Tedford
General comments: "It (the win) is a great feeling, for the student body and for the alumni. There was a lot said this year about bragging rights. I don't know that bragging rights were ever talked about when we had the axe, but they were talked about a lot this year; I was getting information from fans all week long about their passion to get it back. I understand what this does for the alumni, the student body, and equally important, our seniors, who are going to have a chance to leave here with a lifetime memory of having the axe."
"I'm really happy that all three phases of our team contributed to the victory. I thought Bryan Anger kicked the ball very well today; it really changed field position. Our offense made a lot of big plays. The defense didn't shut down the run game, but they limited the run game. All three phases really made a strong contribution today."
"There's no question we have great respect for Stanford; they're a good football team. Give them a lot of credit. They played hard. But today we executed some things that broke the game open in the third quarter."
On holding Stanford for their first three drives: "It was huge because the game could have gone either way right there. We got down there on the first drive and had to settle for a field goal. They put together three really good drives. I thought our defense did a nice job of stiffening. They caused a fumble, and really came up big on the goal line stand at the end of the half to limit them (Stanford) to three points. I thought our defense did a nice job of the old `bend but not break' thing."
On Cal's offensive line: "I thought the offensive line played well today. Our offensive line has been catching a lot of flack. For the most part, I thought our offensive line did a very nice job of blocking in the run game. Our perimeter guys did a nice job of blocking our receivers. Anytime you get in open space and you're making big plays, your outside guys are doing a good job."
On Jahvid Best: "In pre-game, he looked as good as he has looked in a long time. He looked good early in the week, but he had a setback and had limited practice Wednesday and a little bit on Thursday. But he looked good. I asked him before the game how he felt and he said he felt great. That's the first time he's said that in a long time, so that was music to my ears."
On going to a bowl game: "I know we're going to a bowl game. I have no idea which one; I haven't been keeping track of who's doing what and what's happened. That will unfold. We still have another game to play. We have a week off and then Washington is coming to town. That will be an emotional game for them so I'm sure they are going to come in here highly motivated. Our vision is not going to be on the big picture; it's going to be on one more game we have this season."
Kevin Riley, QB
On slow start: "I was trying to force some things in there. The guy wasn't really open and I was trying to throw jump balls. [I made] bad decisions, which is very uncharacteristic of me. We just got it going and got on a roll in the second half."
On Javhid Best's performance: "He just made plays. That's what everybody for the season knew was going to happen. He's done it all year and today he made a lot of big plays. [He] broke some tackles, ran, used his feet like he always does. He helped out with the final score today definitely. "
Eddie Young, LB
On interception: "I wasn't trying to take the ball. I broke [on the ball] and it came to me. I made a play on it, got it , and tried to get some extra yardage."
On regaining Axe: "It felt bad [losing last year]. We had that taste in our mouth all year. Coming back today, we just had to get [that taste] out of our mouths. We had to get the Axe back where it belongs."
Worrell Williams, LB
On facing Toby Gerhart: "He's a big load. Our coach [Kenwick] Thompson gave us this saying `Keep Chopping the Wood' and he'll stop running that hard. Sure enough, by the end of the game, he wasn't running as hard as he was at the beginning of the game. He got a touchdown run late, but for the most part he wasn't running with much power."
On game two weeks from now against Washington: "There [will be] no letdown against Washington. They'll have to come to our house [and] we're tough to beat in our own home."
STANFORD HEAD COACH JIM HARBAUGH
General Comments: "First and foremost for Stanford football, we have to be able to finish drives, we have to be able to finish games and we have to be able to finish seasons. We didn't do that today."
"My hat is off to Cal. I thought they did a heck of a job and they deserved to win. They beat us in all phases of today's game."
"There were way too many things to overcome today that were self-inflicted. That being said, Cal did a helluva job."
On Stanford's senior class: "I really appreciate our seniors for what they have contributed to Stanford University these last two years. They have provided great leadership and really turned the culture around and got it going in the direction of something really good."
"There's going to be a strong leadership void that's going to need to be replaced. I have a lot of affection for these seniors. I really love these guys."
"I really feel like our seniors got us on the right track."
On the second half: "We felt like we could have had 10 more points at least but we weren't able to get in the endzone. There were a lot of things where we were just shooting ourselves in the foot."
"It got to a point in the third quarter where we just came unraveled. We couldn't protect anymore, and that was against a four-man rush. It was nothing exotic. There were too many things that we shouldn't have been doing."
"Cal got on a roll with their trick plays that were all working one right after the other. They definitely got some momentum going and that ended up being the ball game."
On the Big Game: "It's a great rivalry. It's the kind of game that is played for the love of the game by two tremendous academic institutions. But like any game, there's going to be a winner and a loser and with that comes bragging rights."
Tavita Pritchard, QB
General Comments: "We really hurt ourselves today, in both halves. We moved the ball at will in the first half, just didn't make plays when we needed to in the red-zone. We just beat ourselves today, too many opportunities we missed. Maybe guys pressing too hard, our guys really wanted it, to beat Cal, have the axe at Stanford and go bowling. We just got over anxious a little and pressed too hard. We made mistakes we usually don't make. And that was the difference."
On throwing an interception on the first play of the second half: "It just sailed on me a little bit. That was big turning the ball over on the first play out of the half. That just can't happen; you have to play well out of halftime, especially when you get the ball. That's on me."
On the season as a whole: "There are things to take away from it. There are positives to take away from it, but ultimately we didn't meet our goals as a team. It's just back to work. We have another year and another off-season. We will come back hungrier than ever. We need to finish games, we had too many times this year when things were within our grasp and we just didn't finish. We need to make plays when the opportunity is there. We have to take advantage of them and finish."
On being stopped at the one-yard line on the final possession of the first half: "That was big, it's about finishing games, finishing drives when we are down there. We didn't get in there, we missed opportunities."
Alex Fletcher, C
General Comments: "It was obviously a tough loss, we went down the first half and just couldn't put the ball in. We can't give it to them like that. We turned the ball over, and got penalties; it's tough, you can't do that against a good team. We were making plays, we made the mistakes we haven't made in the past three games, we were putting ourselves in second and long and third and long. We got down, which puts us in a position where we can't do what we do best, and that's run the ball."
On Stanford's future: "Coach Harbaugh really said that to go forward as a program we need to finish, and he is absolutely right. All the seniors are so thankful that coach came in, we tried our hardest to get into a bowl, but our best wasn't good enough. I am just really thankful that coach Harbaugh came in and gave us the program we have. This is going to be a great program. Maybe we will look at these years in 2007 and 2008 as a building block."
Pat Maynor, LB
On the importance of playing in the Big Game: "I missed practice on Tuesday; I had a really good rehab. I wasn't going to miss the game for anything."
On the passing of his grandfather, Jim Maynor, this week: "It was tough, he was truly an inspiration to me. He was out here visiting, he was a fan of Stanford football. He was out here for the USC game, and on the way back to the airport he unfortunately had a heart attack. It was a very emotional week; my grandfather passing coupled with this being my last game as a Stanford Cardinal. I just wanted to play for him, I feel we played hard."
On Cal's trick plays: "I don't think we were anticipating as many trick plays as they did. We thought they were just going to run the zone at us, the stretch, and the tosses. Hook and ladder in the red zone, I don't think anybody can expect that one. They ran a lot of good reverses. They have good athletes and they were tough to stop."