October 13, 1998
BERKELEY - Below is the transcript from Cal football coach Tom Holmoe's Tuesday media luncheon on Oct. 13:
On the 32-31 victory over USC in the LA Coliseum:
"We are obviously thrilled with that win. It was kind of a humbling experience to see those guys come back from that deficit and win, especially under the circumstances of the place and the environment. It was great considering that the offense has struggled so much and then busted out. It was something that was very special to be around. I don't want to underestimate the importance of that game. It was huge and we've had a lot of very positive response and feedback from our alumni and friends, and that's kind of fun. But knowing from history, that is not what we are here to do, just to beat USC, and as fun and as rewarding as it was, it just gives us the opportunity now to go on to another game. That sounds like I'm kind of diminishing that, but really, there is nothing else that we can learn from that game. Really, our focus and attention are towards Washington."
On traveling up to play Washington on Saturday:
"I'm glad that we are playing Washington on the road. Considering the situation of playing USC and the way and manner in which we won, it is a great way to bring us back to earth, to know that we have Washington on the road. You put on the film and see just how good they are, and our guys can't really dwell on the past.
On preparing to face the Huskies:
"Our guys are pretty down to earth right now about what is ahead of us. They realize that we have some very difficult games ahead. But they don't want to fall into that same trap that we did last time (1996), and really fumble through the last half of the season. The spirit of the team is good. Now we've got a great game and a great opportunity to go to Washington. A lot has been said about the streak (15 straight losses to UW). I feel confident that our team will go up there with a win in mind because I think beating USC twice isn't something mystical, where maybe two years ago there might have been some of that to our players. Now, I think, it is just the reality that Washington is a very difficult place to play. We haven't had very much success, and the reason is because their players are pretty good. Now we get a chance to go up there and take them on as best as we can. That is what the focus of our attention is on right now. They are a talented team. I think that they have had some changes, just like we do, with a few injuries kind of getting them unsettled, just like us. It will be interesting to see how this game turns."
On USC's big plays during the game:
"There were breakdowns. Certain guys have certain responsibilities for gaps or holes, and guys made bad decisions and went into the wrong hole or got caught up on the wrong side of the hole, and when that happens, that's how you see holes. Our defense is specifically about filling every hole with a man so there is no hole, and that didn't happen on those long break outs where there were enormous holes caused by breakdowns."
On Cal's bottom line approach to Saturday:
"Our guys are trying to concentrate on playing between the lines. The game will be won or lost on how we have prepared and how much work we have put in during the week and then on how we execute. I think that the team knows that we have the potential to be really good every week, but it depends on how we execute on that day, and our execution depends on how we prepare. By taking a business-like approach like that, then the streaks are kind of insignificant."
On Holmoe's "passion" for the game:
"I like emotion. I know that I am not a really emotional guy. Steve (Mariucci) and I are similar in a lot of respects, but very different in others. I have a very great passion for the game, and I love players that play with great passion. But there is a difference between emotion and passion. Emotion is you letting yourself becoming visual. Passion is in your heart. That means that you never loaf, you run down every play, you run out every route to the fullest degree, and you come off the field with a smile because you love to play the game. Emotion to me is showing this, so I like to differentiate those two terms. I use the term passion much more than emotion."
On Cal's question marks:
"It is obviously to us that there are some problems, and I'm not ready to say that we have solved all of those. We played a good game against USC, but we made a ton of mistakes, and we were very lucky. So, I don't think we are out of the woods yet. People are obviously pleased with the way that we played, but it was just one game, and I don't think that you can make more out of it. Yes, we showed some character, and I won't deny that, but we need to show character each week. Defensively, it's been pretty consistent, and offensively we've been inconsistent, and special teams-wise, which really concerns me, we had a poor game. You can't win in this conference unless you're really good in special teams. They are playing with a lot of heart, and they are playing hard, but there is a lot more to character than just that."
On Dameane Douglas' playing style:
"Dameane Douglas is a kid who has a tremendous passion for the game, and it is evident all the time. His desire is fueled by his emotion. I'm going to say emotion now because he wears his emotion on his sleeve. Everybody, for three years now, has been trying to throttle that, and finally I have come to the conclusion that that is not the right thing to do. That's part of his success, and who he is is based on that, and I'm not going to change that. Now, there are limits that he has to fit into that our team puts out there, and he's done that. But I'd be lying to you if I said that I didn't enjoy watching him play, because I do. If he goes out there and tries to be like me, he'd fail."