Sept. 12, 2000
BERKELEY - Below are selected quotes from head football coach Tom Holmoe from his weekly media luncheon. Cal visits No. 19 Illinois Saturday. The game kicks off at 9 a.m. PT and will be televised on ESPN.
Looking ahead to Illinois:
"We've had some time to look at them. What we've seen has been mainly from last year. We had a chance to see them in their bowl game where they totally dominated Virginia. They've played well so far. They played a good game against Middle Tennessee where they played very well on offense. The defense gave up a lot of yardage but did pretty well as far as keeping them out of the endzone. They pretty much dominated San Diego State in every aspect of the game, and I thought San Diego State would give them a better game. Illinois is strong coming in. I think they're healthy, they're playing at home, and I think they are expecting a lot out of their season. They're talking about a Big Ten championship."
Reviewing the Utah victory:
"It was a good day for some of our new guys, a good day for some of our older guys. Some of our younger guys still have quite a bit to go, they made some mistakes that we can see on the film that could have been costly but really weren't in most situations. I was pleased with the game, especially since it's a win. Looking back on it, we did some silly things in the game, but it was a good effort. We're smarter than we have been in the past. We had a pretty good game plan on offense and defense. Our players feel pretty good about the win and are realistic about how good Illinois is. It's going to be a very tough game, but we're up for it. We think we can find some ways to go in there and get them, and we're doing everything we can to do that."
Recapping some positives from the Utah game:
"I think that our offensive line played fairly well. They had a few physical errors. I thought there would be more mental errors, but there weren't as many as I expected or maybe even thought happened, so that was a positive. I thought our receivers did a good job playing in a rotation and being unselfish. We got good production out of a couple of different guys. We really weren't able to spread it around like that last year at all. The routes were crisper and the guys held on to the ball pretty well."
On DE Andre Carter:
"That was the first game Andre Carter has ever played wire to wire, and that's pretty impressive. That's just another step that he has made. Every year he gets a little bit better. He was tired, but he wasn't totally consumed or exhausted. There were times in the past where he needed to come out, but he never had to come out in that game."
On facing Illinois on the road:
"Illinois is very balanced. They used two running backs, who were both over 100 yards last week, and (QB Kurt) Kittner threw three touchdown passes. That will be a little bit bigger challenge for us. We're eager to see if we've improved any, if we can make up for some of the mistakes that we made last week and just continue to get better."
On Cal's first play against Utah:
"(Phillip) Pipersburg catching our first pass on (Utah DB Andre) Dyson was a big thing. That helped give our offense a big lift and our team and fans a big lift, and that was kind of fun to see. It was reminiscent of Marcus Fields taking the first ball last year for a touchdown."
On QB Kyle Boller's performance against Utah:
"I thought he played very coolly and remained in great control. He missed a couple of things, but he knew it. He came over to the sideline and talked about them. He had a reason for everything he did, and the reasons weren't always great, but he had a reason and that was nice to see. He wasn't just pulling them out of his hat. It was kind of fun to see him be very realistic and really communicate about the things he was doing. That showed confidence. He got hit a few times, too, so it wasn't like he was back there frolicking around. He got nailed a couple of times, but he was able to keep his poise. I like the way Kyle was able to step up into the pocket. It shows that he has confidence in the offensive line. He's got to grow this week a little more."
On getting the team up early in the morning for the 9 a.m. PT kickoff:
"We're getting them up a little earlier in the morning. We're having our meetings in the mornings instead of in the afternoons, and we're practicing a little earlier and trying to get them to bed early. We aren't going to hold their hands, but we are encouraging them to go to bed early and get up early. Our plane leaves at 7 a.m. Friday morning, and that's early, and our game is 11 a.m. Central Time. I don't think it's going to be a difference in the game, but it's worth it. If we can regulate what time they get up, it's worth it. We're happy with it. We haven't had a problem or a reason to do it, it's just that we figure this is a good way to get them up. We're having our meetings at 6:30 in the morning now."