Sept. 5, 2006
BERKELEY - The California football team will open its 2006 home schedule on Saturday afternoon, hosting the University of Minnesota at 4 p.m. at Memorial Stadium. The Golden Bears are looking to rebound from Saturday's season-opening loss at Tennessee. This weekend's home opener will be broadcast live nationally on TBS. The Golden Bears held their second press conference of the 2006 season on Tuesday in the Hall of Fame room at the historic Memorial Stadium. Head coach Jeff Tedford and numerous players attended to speak with the press.
On the quarterback situation:
"There's no change, we're going the same way. Sometimes when he [Nate Longshore] had protection there were some dropped balls. Other times, when he had guys open, he's getting hit as he's throwing. I thought he handled the whole situation very well. That's a very tough place to play, in your first go around like that, with the speed of the game, the noise and everything. There is a learning curve there of course, but I felt like he did some good things and I'm looking forward to seeing him this week, going back out there and getting another shot at it. That's about as tough of a test as you're going to get."
On defensive back Syd'Quan Thompson:
"He was understandably a little bit down, but I tried to pick him up because he's going to be a great player. Because he is so quick and he is so fast, he got there right on time when the ball was there and opted to make a play. Somebody who's not there as quick, they're just there to make a tackle. He got the position where, `hey I'm going to go make a play here,' and the big receiver spun out of some things and made some big plays on us obviously. But Syd's going to be fine; Syd's a very good player."
On the tackling:
"There were really only three situations with the tackling. Two of them were out on the corner. The other one was a big pile of people where everybody thought they were down and you don't hear a whistle and then the guy bounces out. For the most part, I thought our guys tackled pretty well. I was very impressed with Thomas DeCoud's game, coming up from the safety position. He tackled excellently. There are just three cases, but the problem was, those three went for touchdowns."
On how the team felt after the game:
"Understandably disappointed. There were a lot of expectations and a lot of hype on the game, but our guys understand it's a long season. It's about getting one at a time. That was the big message now, one play at a time, one game at a time and everything else will take care of itself. There was no quit in anybody, people played hard. It was just a game of big plays. They made big plays and we didn't make any. That was the difference of the game. One thing we got out of that game is we've got to always play snap to whistle, because you never know what can happen."
On playing Minnesota:
"Minnesota's a good football team. They're very physical up front on offense. Traditionally, they run the ball great. They can really put it on you running the football, and they play-action pass well. Their two backs had over 100 yards last week. They're going to grind on you. It's going to be key to stop the run game. They run the ball with their schemes as well as anybody. Their offensive line is very well coached. They do an excellent job with them. Defensively, they're more of a zone team, hard-nosed players. Very good outside linebacker, No. 48 [Mario Reese], he can really run and cover some ground. All around, they're a very good football team. They're a bowl team every year, and it's going to be a great test for us."
On how to rebound from the dropped passes:
"Just get back out there and catch balls. They all have good hands. It's just a matter of getting out there and regaining your confidence. It's not something you want to harp on because there's going to be dropped balls from time to time. The guys have a lot of confidence, they'll go back out there and practice hard and overcome that."
On the positives against Tennessee:
"I thought our special teams played very well. I thought our punter punted the ball great, a lot of hang time. Effort was not an issue, our defense played very hard. It [the loss] was not by any means because guys weren't playing hard or doing what they're supposed to do. Offensively, I was a little bit upset at a couple mental breakdowns that could have made things a little better, but again, it wasn't so much lack of effort on people's part."