Cal-UCLA postgame quotes
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  10/25/2008

Oct. 25, 2008

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On Cal's Defense: "Our defense played very well. I thought they limited big plays and they came up with turnovers. Anytime the defense can come up with turnovers like that and put them in the end zone, it's icing on the cake. I think they played very well. They put pressure on the passer. Their (UCLA's) run was really nonexistent. They (Cal's defense) did a great job of stopping the run. It was an all round very good effort by the defense in all phases."

On the Defense's ability to bounce back after the Arizona loss: "Everyone had that feeling of bouncing back, not just the defense but the whole team. As far as weapons, UCLA and Arizona are two different teams. But I still felt our defense and Coach Gregory and his staff did a nice job putting the players in a position to be successful."

On UCLA's fake punt: "They (UCLA) had a long way to go for the fake. Thankfully, they came up a yard short and it was a perfect opportunity for us. They were very aggressive in the run game; the safeties were really getting up in there. I felt like that was a great opportunity for the flea flicker. Kevin (Riley) did a great job on that because we had some penetration and he stepped to the side and threw a nice ball to Nyan (Boateng). Nyan had nice concentration to catch the ball and get it in the end zone."

On the decision to start Kevin Riley: "He had a good week at practice. We felt we had some things, like a quarterback draw, that he would do well for us. That's why he got the start."

On Cal's Offense for the first three quarters: "(We were) not very good. We didn't play very well. We had way too many penalties. We must have had 4-5 holding penalties. You can't live like that. If you're making positive plays and then you go backwards because of holding penalties, it really puts you in a tough situation. A couple of times we had back-to-back penalties."

"You have to give UCLA credit. They're very good up front and they were giving our offensive line fits. But it wasn't all on the offensive line; we were called on the edge once for holding. It seemed like those plays were positive plays that got negated because of it (holding). We just can't put ourselves in those positions. We made too many mistakes."


Mike Mohamed, LB On defensive performance: "[We had] a real tough week of practice. Last week, we got run over pretty bad by Arizona. We really focused on trying to settle down and getting back to the defense we had been playing."

On the defense's 15 interceptions so far this year: "One thing we really worked on in the offseason and during the season was getting those turnovers. The games that we win the turnover battle are games we usually win"

Kevin Riley, QB On 4th quarter touchdown pass to Nyan Boateng: "The safeties were way up in run coverage. We knew that if you throw a little play action, a little fake that the safetpies would run up, which happened. [Boateng] got behind them, they didn't catch him and he got into the end zone."

On uncertainty of starting: "It's not the easiest thing. It's something you have to deal with. You can't really worry about it. You just have to go in, play your game, do your best, and try to win."

Marcus Ezeff, On improvement of secondary this season: "You have to tip your hat to Coach [Bob] Gregory and to Coach Tedford for bringing in Al Simmons. I think Coach Simmons is the big difference right now. He's improved our technique and made us more fundamentally sound. He brings a lot of experience and we're starting to feed of that."

On defensive performance: "We knew coming into the game that [UCLA] was going to have a good game plan and they were going to bring it to us. We knew as a defense that we had to come out here and play and reinstate our identity."


General Comments: "Congratulations to Cal. They closed the deal when the game was in question. They played much better than we did when we were in the deciding moments of the game."

"We've got to go back and address the things that are keeping us from being a more consistent football team. It just wasn't our best day in terms of executing on offense."

"We unfortunately started the game with a couple of balls that we should have caught but didn't catch and it put us behind the eight-ball."

On UCLA quarterback Kevin Craft: "Kevin is a guy that has played well a lot of the time. The idea is to evaluate everybody and Kevin will be under evaluation and we'll decide who gives us the best chance to win. From where I stood, it looked like he was making some quick decisions and wasn't giving time for the routes to develop."

On the UCLA running game: "That's been an issue all year long. We just have not been able to generate any running game. Everybody has to raise their hand in terms of who is responsible. We all work at it. We all try. We just aren't able to move people at the point of attack and create air. We'll have to address that in the coming week, but it's also going to be a huge off-season issue because we have to get stronger to the point that we can move people."

"We have not achieved the ability to take the pressure off our quarterback. We have just not been able to do that. There's no one place to point. Rather than make excuses, we've got to continue to work at it and find ways. It puts a lot of pressure on him (QB Kevin Craft) in terms of making plays down the field and it puts a lot of pressure on your protection."

On UCLA's fake punt: "I take responsibility, but that wasn't the idea. It's my fault."

On Cal's defensive line: "It was clear that they were winning some battles at the line of scrimmage."

On UCLA's defense: "I thought the defense played terrific. I thought they kept us in the game. It's just been what they do for us. Other than two big plays, I thought it was a really good job defending Cal and unfortunately we left them on the field too long late in the game. "

Khalil Bell, TB General comments: "We have got to try and run the rock somehow. We (the running backs) are putting to much pressure on our defense, too much pressure on our quarterback and receivers to make plays. I don't know what we have got to do, but we have got to run the rock."

On the cause of UCLA's difficulty running the ball: "It's a combination of a lot of things. We are pretty much sound, we just aren't finishing our reads as running backs. It's not working out for us; things just aren't going our way. I probably had the same amount of rushing yards last week when we won, and there were no complaints in that. Everybody wants to run for a billion yards every year, but that is not the case. We won last week, and even though our running game wasn't what we wanted it to be, it was a great feeling. It's the loss that is frustrating, not the performance."

On the UCLA offense putting pressure on the defense: "We were with them all game, but as an offense, we can't continue to put pressure on our defense. They were on the field all game. I can't even tell you how many three-and-outs we had. We have got to figure out a way to be consistent as an offense. We need to figure out how to put points on the board and stop making three-and-outs and run the rock. We are going to keep putting pressure on our defense. They are a great defense, they were great in the first half, but they were out there all game. They are doing their job. The offense needs to become men; we are college D1 players. We have got to figure out how to win games, until we figure that out it is going to be the same outcome every week."

Brigham Harwell, DT On the defense's perception of turnovers: "Early on with the interception it was tough on our defense. Whenever there is a turnover on offense we don't care. It would help us out, but we are just going to play defense. It was a tough loss today."

On the how offensive struggles affect the defense: "I am going to be totally honest, this comes from my heart, there is no frustration on defense. You can't say `our offense isn't doing well.' We are defense, we do our job by keeping the points down. There some are games where offense does really well and games where defense does really well. It was a tough game on offense. We are going to keep fighting and try to come out after our bye week against Oregon State."

Kevin Craft, QB On the two interceptions for touchdown: "I don't think four picks and two for touchdown is good for any quarterback. Both (interceptions returned for touchdowns) of them went past the receivers. On the first one, the safety was there, and he happened to be right where the ball went past the receiver. On the second one, it was a check down to Khalil (Bell) and I don't know, but the back they had dropped took it the other way."

On Cal's defense: "A couple times we were running the ball, and the corners were running up and making a play. That's an awesome play by the corner. They were making good plays."

On Craft's job security: "Going in every week you assess how you played and you always want to improve. I don't think this week or any week is different. I want to do better every game and I don't think this is any different."