Cal-Tennessee Postgame Quotes

"It was a big win, no question about it. We've been carrying this with us for a year. Our guys played very, very well. They were ready emotionally and physically. I'm just real proud of them." On Tenn
By Cal Athletics on Sat, September 01, 2007

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Sept. 1, 2007

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California head coach Jeff Tedford

On Cal's win:
"It was a big win, no question about it. We've been carrying this with us for a year. Our guys played very, very well. They were ready emotionally and physically. I'm just real proud of them."

On Tennessee punting away from DeSean Jackson:
"That's always the fear when you're tying to kick it away (that it will go off the side of your foot). It's always easier said than done. I thought we had pretty good field position when they did have to punt, which wasn't much. But when they did punt, a couple of them came off the side of his foot."

On the fourth down stop at the Cal goal line:
"It was huge. Our defense stiffened up right there. That was a big set of downs. It was really getting physical down there and I'm really proud of the guys. Our defense was on the field a lot. They showed that they're in great physical condition. The coaches did a nice job of getting people in and out."

On Cal's speed:
"We have good team speed from special teams to our backs to our tight ends. We have excellent speed. It's nice to have playmakers. Everyone got involved in the game. When that can happen, we're pretty hard to catch. We're pretty fortunate."

California Players

Syd'Quan Thompson, DB

On the game being about redemption or revenge:
"It was really about coming out and starting 2007 better than we started last year. This year we wanted to come out and do things a little different."

On the difference between this year and last:
"We started off better. We started off good and just kept rolling."

On the Pac-10 not measuring up to the SEC/other conferences:
"We hear that all the time and it kind of gets under our players' skins. At Cal, we do the whole job in recruiting, trying to recruit the best players, and tonight we got a chance to prove that the Pac-10 can play against any conference."

DeSean Jackson, WR

On the fans at Memorial Stadium:
"This is football at Cal right now. The fans are pumped up and they went crazy out there tonight. Hopefully they keep expecting big wins from us."

Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer

General Comments:
"We did not tackle well. He's really good (Justin Forsett) and No. 4 (Jahvid Best) gives them a dimension that is special because of his speed. There were a number of occasions when we just looked bad. We looked bad trying to tackle those guys. Their front did a good job moving us more than we would have liked, so you have to give them credit."

"It will be a great film study for us. We'll gather things up and get ready for Southern Mississippi and the SEC schedule."

"They (California) have a lot of speed, and in our league we play a lot of teams with speed, but they were definitely made us look not very good sometimes."

"Cal's a very fine football team."

"I don't know if we could have simulated No. 4's (Jahvid Best) quickness in practice quite like he showed and No. 20's (Justin Forsett) toughness, I think that surprised us a little bit."

"I was disappointed with our safeties, to be honest with you, because we had a number of opportunities to stop drives."

On Memorial Stadium:
"It's a good environment. Their fans were really into it. It's a good, tough environment to play in, but it's those eleven on the field that makes it tough."

On WR DeSean Jackson:
"The guy is electrifying, as we saw today. We did a good job on him last year, but today he got away from us."

,b>On QB Erik Ainge:
"I thought he showed a lot of courage in the game."

Tennessee Players

Erik Ainge, QB

On the importance of converting short yardage:
"There were so many third and two's. Down near the end zone, when we had third and two and then third and two and couldn't score in the red zone, it was tough. When you don't covert plays like that, you can't win the games."

On having to outscore California:
"We came in knowing that we were going to have to score some points. Our defense did a great job down the stretch of getting us the ball back. We just weren't able to capitalize when we were finally given the chance. Third and short at the goal line was basically the difference in the game for us."

"We want to win all of our games but this was a non-conference game and in the SEC, it's amazing how fast you can move when you win a couple of games here and there. This might hurt us nationally but what we want is the SEC championship so we're still in the hunt for that."

On attacking the California defense:
"We basically just took what they were giving us. The wide receivers did a great job out there in our first game. Were we perfect? No. But no one is perfect. The thing is, we are now one game better and I am really excited about where we're at right now."

Arian Foster, TB

On the SEC vs. the Pac-10:
"I don't want to get into all of that. That's not what this is all about. I can't take anything away from Cal. They played a great game tonight and they came out victorious and we didn't. They were the better team tonight and it showed."

On the uncharacteristic performance of the defense:
"Football is a funny game. You have good nights and you have bad nights. Our defense had a bad night out there. This is our team. Sometimes, our offense has bad nights. There are times when we can't put points on the board and they help us out. Today, we had a couple of drives where we couldn't score so there's no finger pointing. This is a team effort. We all got a `T' on our helmet."

On having to score 40 or more points to stay with Cal:
"We didn't go into the game like that. We came in with a plan of execution. We never think that we have to do this or that because they're like this or that. We never think like that as a team."


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