Oct. 11, 2005
Below are quotes from head coach Jeff Tedford from his weekly press conference Oct. 11. The Golden Bears host Oregon State Saturday, with kickoff set for 12:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium. The game will be televised regionally by ABC and can be heard on the Cal Football Radio Network (Flagship: KGO AM 810, San Francisco).
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How will such a young team deal with the loss after going 5-0?
"I was really happy yesterday with the way we came on the field. I have always been happy with our team the way they come on the field, win or lose, the way they prepare and show up to practice each week. It seemed yesterday that they bounced back pretty well; they are a lot more resilient than the coaches. Even though it is a young group, I think there were a lot of good things in the game and a lot of positives to take from it, a lot to be encouraged about and a lot to improve with. I think they are anxious to get back to practice and play again and get that taste out of their mouth."
After having a big win last year in Corvallis, how different is the OSU team this year compared to last?
"Not a lot, really. They are still pretty stout against the run, they throw the ball for a lot of yards, their quarterback is playing well. and Mike Hass is a guy who, no matter what you do, they always seem to find him. He's a very good player. They are big and physical inside with good linebackers (and) a lot of man-to-man-type coverage. They are not a lot different. They are the same team schematically that they have been in the last few years."
Talk about OSU's senior receiver Mike Hass:
"He runs great routs and has great body control, and I think he is deceptively fast. The body control and his hands are awesome. If the ball is anywhere around him, he is going to go up and make the play. He uses his body very well to shield off defenders. He has a great knack for catching the football."
Discuss the defensive backs making plays:
"Those are things that you have to take calculated risks from time to time. You have to trust your players that they use good instincts and take calculated risks. You don't want them afraid to make a play, and you have to let them play. Then it just comes down to making the plays. They can't be tentative and worry about - I can't do this because I am afraid to make a mistake. They have to play with confidence and play aggressive, and they are going to have to do that for sure against Hass."
Is the environment different now as opposed to when you first got here? Are expectations higher?
"I don't really notice it (but) I'm not oblivious to it. Nothing is going to change this week because there are more expectations than three years ago. We do our best and prepare long hard hours no matter what happens. That hasn't changed, nor will it change. You just do your best to try and get prepared and go win football games."
You don't really want to get into a throwing match with OSU do you?
"No, I don't think you do because they can throw it around, there is no question about it. Part of the reason they have thrown it around so much is because they have gotten behind in some games and they have to throw it a lot to come back. But they are very efficient with what they do. On the flip side of that is they are very good against the run. They maybe give up just a tad over a 100 yards a game rushing the football. We are going to have our work cut out for us to be able to run it."
Is Joe Ayoob's passing game making strides?
"Joe is making great strides. I think he is becoming much more comfortable. I thought the game last week, to begin the game he was a little jittery, but then he settled in nicely and kept his eyes down the field and had good vision and was accurate throwing the football. Again with Joe, each week he is making tremendous progress, with the huddle control, with the speed of the game, his accuracy in throwing the football. I really think he is doing a nice job of improving each week."
How does the coaching staff respond to a loss and do you keep your eyes on the coaches?
"Absolutely, because we are all in this together. The coaches take that very hard because they work extremely hard and they have made a huge investment in what is going on and when things don't work out, we have to support one another. We have to find out what's wrong and we have to fix it. The coaches realize, as well, that we need to bounce back, but there is no question that we keep an eye on the coaches and make sure that we are doing OK. Most of the time, they have to keep their eye on me because I may take it the hardest."
What are the improvements that you are looking to make in order to have a great finish to the season?
"I think we need to play more consistent in different phases of the game. Right now, I would say we have to play more consistent with special teams, but we have to play more consistently as a team in general. We have to eliminate key penalties that from time to time could hurt you. Some of those are controllable and some of those are not. Some are just from hard play, but just to focus and try to play more mistake-free football and come up with plays. There are times where you can make a play and times when you have to come up with plays and that is very important. I think the effort of our football team and the way some of our young guys are maturing, we are pleased about that. How that translates into wins and losses, I don't know. But I do know that they work hard, I do know that we prepare well, and we play very hard. Hopefully if we can continue to do that and not make mistakes, then it translates into wins for us."
Is punting away from a punt returner one of those things in football that is a lot harder than it looks?
"It is. Only in this respect, especially if you are on the right hash mark and you don't want to kick it to the sideline and you are a right footed kicker, you can have a tendency to let the thing get off the side of your foot and not go five yards out of bounds, but go into the fifth row and now it turns into a 20-yard punt or something like that. The one we kicked to the left was fine, it went out of bounds. We could do better there, it's not that difficult, it's not as easy as you may think. It is something that at this level we should be able to master."
When you looked at the tape, did it determine that guys got out of their lanes on the punt returns or did UCLA execute really well?
"On the first one, I thought we could have hustled better. We had one or two guys that got held up a little bit and as they were going down, they probably could have ran a little harder to where they didn't get caught in the wall and they could have beat the wall. Once they got caught in the wall, it was all over. The second one, it was an overreaction to the wall. Now, they were running down and they had their head in the swivel and they were seeing the wall form and they are not going to get caught in the wall, let them get around the edge again, so they start overcompensating and then he (Maurice Drew) hits it right behind him. You can see guys running down the field, he starts in this direction. You see the wall forming, so they are going to veer to not get caught in the wall again and then he hits a crease up the center and there he goes. The one he took for a touchdown was a great play by him. The third one he got his hands on, we did a pretty good job of catching him and tackling him. He got his hands on three of them, and two of them weren't good, those aren't good odds. We can do a better job of executing, there is no question, with our punt, as well as our coverage."
Do you think the offense will be more balanced towards the second half of the season?
"It depends on what's working. When you have been fortunate to run the ball when you're breaking off huge runs, you don't abandon the run game just to have room in your offense. When your runs are making as many yards as your passes, but there has to be some balance and diversity so people don't stack the box to stop your run. I felt like we did an all right job of that last week. Joe threw the ball down the field and DeSean (Jackson) had a nice game."