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Cal-USC Postgame Quotes
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  10/30/1999

Oct. 30, 1999

Recap
Final Stats
Postgame Notes

BERKELEY - Postgame quotes from players and coaches following Cal's 17-7 win over USC Saturday.

Cal head coach Tom Holmoe:

General comments on the game

"Obviously we're thrilled with the effort our team gave today, to come out when a lot of people want to know 'How's it going to be? How's it going to work?' They worked extremely hard in practice. I was very proud of them, that they would have the mentality to come out and play hard after such a tough loss. That was a battle. There was 29 seconds left and still my heart was beating like crazy."

On Deltha O'Neal

"Deltha took over as usual. I can't say enough about him. He's just so spectacular out there, and I don't know what we would do without him.He's been terrific. He's not the solo star, but he's awfully bright."

Deltha playing on offense

"It just is too hard. He is using every ounce of reservoir in his tank. Just to see him come off the field playing defense every snap, kick return, punt return - to try to get him in the offense it is too difficult. We are going to grow on the offense without him."

On Marcus Fields and the running game

"He's been out a couple weeks and we just had to go with him. We knew that Joe (Igber) was OK to play a little bit, and we gave him a couple of shots. He (Igber) wanted to go in the game. He wasn't feeling quite great, so we lowered his reps. Marcus stepped up big time. He gave us tough, tough yards. He had the big ones when they counted, and I'm very proud of the way he performed."

On kicking off in the beginning of both halves

"This is something that can't happen. I guess I'm to blame. Obviously I didn't say kick off both halves. This should never happen. This should never happen."

Cal players:

TAILBACK MARCUS FIELDS

"I knew we were kind of slim in the backfield right now, and I just tried to do whatever I could to help the team win."

"We're just coming together a lot more. Everyone is just picking it up a lot. The offensive line is doing a great job. Everyone is just doing great."

On playing both tailback and wide receiver:

"I'm used to it. In practice I get reps in both spots, so if in the game I need to go in at a different spot, I'm pretty used to it."

CORNERBACK ATARI CALLEN

"I think our defense played very well. We gave up one big play, but besides that, we played very well."

On the offense:

"The offense came through when they needed to get the first down. They're getting better every week."

"I think its every defense's job to give their offense good field position, no matter what. I think for us more so because our offense is so young. It's going to be tough for them to get the long drive. I think the shorter we make the field for the offense, the better chance they have to score."

On Deltha O'Neal

"He has a knack for getting interceptions and scoring. Everyone he gets, it seems like he scores".

USC head coach Paul Hackett:

General comments on the game

"We went up against a great defense. I knew we would have trouble moving the ball. I felt that if we didn't turn the ball over, we would be there down to the end."

"This is a good football team. We just have to find a way to win one game."

"On offense, the positive thing was that in the third quarter there was real electricity that we haven't felt in a long time. We couldn't maintain that, and part of that was due to Cal's defense. Their defense found a way to score. Their defense found a way and ours didn't."

"It doesn't matter how one side of the ball does. You have to play consistently on both sides of the ball. What we can't do is play great on offense and play great on defense - not since Hawaii."

"We told our team going in the three things we needed to do were control number 8 (Deltha O'Neal) on returns, confuse their offense, and don't turn the ball over. We couldn't do that."

"We couldn't capture that magical energy we had in the third quarter. We just couldn't sustain that. We tried to run the ball and they stacked it up against us. Then we thought we opened them up a little, but they're just a tough defense to run against."

"I think this is obviously a difficult time, but we have four games left. It's too bad we've got ourselves in such a hole. I thought at the beginning of the season, we'd be able to win three of these next four."

On changing starting quarterbacks

"I think it's John's (Fox) turn. He deserves a chance. Nothing against Mike (Van Raaphorst), but we've lost four in a row. We need to change it up somehow. He's (Fox) a strong arm. I think he generated real excitement in the third quarter. I thought he turned the tide, but it didn't. We have to keep searching to find a way to win."

"We've got to take a look at it (changing starters) for next week. Mike's played hard, but we've got to find a way to get over the hump. We got a spark, but unfortunately it was only temporary."

On Cal's offense

"(Kyle) Boller showed a lot of poise. Number 4 (Marcus) Fields showed a lot of poise. Their offensive line help up well."

USC players:

TB CHAD MORTON

On the game in general:

"I thought we had a chance at coming back because we were doing some good things, but we just couldn't get it done."

QB JOHN FOX

On his personal performance:

"I might have rushed a couple of things. I know I didn't make the best decisions with the ball, and that's what hurt me and hurt the team."

On the California defense:

"They were awesome. Their defensive line was great. They brought a lot of pressure and stuck with it. There were times when the game would flip-flop, but they just kept the heat on, and I think they did a great job."

TB SULTAN McCULLOUGH

On his fumble:

"That fumble really cost us. We could have gotten some points there. I was really glad when Kareem (Kelly) caught that touchdown because I was really feeling down, but I kept my head up high. When I get into traffic, I've got to cover up with two hands, and I didn't, so I have to go back and work on that. When I fumbled, everything just went down the drain."

On the California defense:

"I didn't see what was so great about them. They were good, but it's all about us, not them. We always beat ourselves. All those teams we lost to, it was us."

On the game's turning point for USC:

"Everybody makes mistakes. You can't pinpoint it because we made a lot of good plays and we made a lot of bad plays. But putting the ball on the ground, the fumbles and turnovers, were a big part. The fumble was a big part, and that was my fault, and I need to get better."

TE ANTOINE HARRIS

On the USC offense:

"We can move the ball. We've been putting up stats the whole season. It's just about putting the ball back into the endzone and scoring points and making sure our defense stays fresh. Our defense is doing really well right now, so our offense just needs to come out and score some points."

On coming out for the second half:

"Coach Hackett felt that the second half was our half, and we came out fired and moved the ball and scored. Things were going well, and then once again bad luck struck us, and we just stalled again."

On the California defense:

"Hats off to all of them. They are a really good defense. They are up there for a reason. They produce, they make plays, and you have to give them their due. They are an all-around great defense. Everybody plays their role and everyone makes great plays."

On Sekou Sanyika:

"I've been looking at him for three years. Every year I know going against him is going to be a great battle. I know he's going to come out every play prepared. He's a great athlete, and I just wish him the best of luck in the next level."


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