Oct. 9, 2004
Cal Coach Jeff Tedford
"It takes all three phases to win. We gave up field position, made some mistakes, but we are not blaming special teams. We win together and we lose together.
"It was a great game. I'm very proud of our kids. Our defense got put in tough situations and did a great job. Our offense went up and down the field on them and J.J. ran the ball well. We needed to make plays at the end. We got down there too many times without making plays.
(On the last play) "It was a double move, he faked to the flags and went inside. I'm not sure if he slipped or got hooked. The middle of the field was wide open, and I'm not sure what went on from there.
(On Aaron Rodgers) "He is as good as they come. Physically, mentally, he is just a great competitor and leader.
Cal Quarterback Aaron Rodgers
(On the last play) "It looks like he was held. Like he was bumped or held or something. I'm pretty frustrated. We dominated the game. We drove up and down the field all game and our defense was awesome. We just came up short."
Cal Free Safety Ryan Gutierrez
"It was extremely intense. USC came out firing early. We held together and tried to fight back. There were 92,000 fans here and it was deafening. It was a bit of a tug of war. After the interception, we felt we had the momentum....I feel we have a great team and that nine out of 10 times, we'd beat USC."
USC Coach Pete Carroll
"I'm glad to get this game behind us. It was really competitive from the start. It was a really fantastic, incredible showing by their quarterback. As much as we don't like to play this way, it really was a bend-but-don't-break game. They were very efficient and it was also extremely exciting to see the energy of the defense, them wanting to win in those final time outs. I'm very proud of those guys coming through.
"It was a challenging day. Regardless of the sacks and the pressure that we put on, they kept throwing short and kept us off balance enough to avoid the pressure.
(On Dwayne Jarrett) "He looked really good. Going for it on 4th down wasn't so much a great decision as it was a smart football move. To see Dwayne go up and snatch that ball and to that summersault thing was huge. It led to a touchdown, so it was big. And with Steve Smith going down, it was needed that he have a big game.
"We can't look at this as the highlight of the season. This was the biggest game for this week. We've got ASU right around the corner, and they're undefeated, so they are good. But we're disciplined and have to stay disciplined, so we keep it in perspective.
(On the stadium atmosphere) "It was awesome. To see the College GameDay stuff and the Trojan walk-everything was so energetic. This is the atmosphere we love. Let's do it again next week and every week.
USC Defensive Tackle Shaun Cody
(On what he was thinking about that last drive) "The energy of the fans. We were running on empty. We played a lot of defense in that second half. But we knew they wouldn't score. Maybe it's just that Coliseum magic.
(On Rodgers) "We saw him on film and we knew what he could do. He's a really really good quarterback.
(More on the last play) "It came down to winning the game. Our backs were against the wall and we just had to go out and get the 'W'."
This game is the mark of a champion. We pull the close ones out. We know the target is on our back as the No. 1 team, but we have to take care of business. We just credit the coaches."
USC Quarterback Matt Leinart
(On his thoughts during Cal's last drive) "I was pretty nervous. The D had played well all game, but they sucked it up in the end. It's fun. It's what it's all about.
(On this week's practice) "We forgot about last year. Last year was last year. We knew we had to play a great game. We had the energy all week in practice and we knew we just had to come out and get the W.
(On going for it on 4th down) "I was surprised the coaches called it. It was a deep in to Dwayne and he just went up and got it. He's matured so much and progressed so much, he had to step up and make plays in key situations and he did."