November 21, 1998
General comments on the game: "I'm very appreciative of the great effort our seniors made. Obviously, there were some things that happened in the game that show that we need a lot more work. There was improvement this season over last year, but not enough. We did not reach our goal of playing in a bowl game."
On the team's reaction: "The guys are disappointed. This happened last year, but under a different set of circumstances. Last year, we were 3-8 going into the game with nothing else to gain other than the pride of winning the Big Game. This year, we had more in the line. Our guys put out a tremendous emotional effort, and it's very difficult to go that far and not finish things off."
On Cal's offensive problems today: "It was very disappointing. We were only able to get 3 points on the board. The bottom line is their defense did a good job against our offense, and that's one of the areas that we need to focus a lot of attention on."
On Cal's final play: "Someone ran a wrong route. It appeared to me that it was going to be completed, but the ball fell incomplete. It appeared we had a little opening there, but it just didn't happen. That's kind of an example of what we were: here's the biggest play of the year for our offense, and it blew up at the end."
On Cal's defense: "10 points is not a lot of points to give up to a Stanford offense. I though they (the defense) played well. I'm proud of the way the defense performed all year. They came to play every game. That's obviously our strength, and it will continue to be our strength until we bring the offense up to par."
"Our defense improved tremendously this year. It was much-maligned last year, and this year they played like champions. A lot of those guys turned their football career around because they made a commitment to follow through in the off-season, and to commit to greatness. We need to make that effort again on defense, and definitely on offense. We need to commit better people to special teams. I think we made improvement, but we are nowhere near what will satisfy us. I expect us fully to be better next year than we were this year."
Cal Player Quotes:
Wide Receiver Joel Young -
On the last offensive play for Cal: "I don't know what happened. Justin was throwing it to Dameanne, but it wasn't complete. I think it was under-thrown."
On the game's outcome: "It sucks. There is really nothing you can say to describe it. There is a feeling a disappointment for all the offensive players, and the whole team. I don't think anybody's to happy right now with the way the offense performed, especially the offensive players."
On what went wrong: "Poor execution, poor play calling, and some players just didn't make plays. We had two different plays called twice in a row on critical drives. The first time the two plays were sacked, and on the second, by the time the second play was run, the defense knew what was going on."
Tailback Marcus Fields -
On using the loss as motivation: "We just couldn't get things going like we needed to. I think all the guys, including myself, who are returning next year are taking this loss as motivation to work harder in the off-season."
Looking ahead to next season: "I feel that, as a team, we improved a lot from last year, and I think we will continue to improve. We all have to work harder to get better. I feel that, going into next season, our guys will be highly prepared."
Strong Safety Marquis Smith -
On moving forward with the team: "People need to make a lot more big plays and it just didn't happen today. I expect a lot of great things from this team next year. I know they will all be working hard this summer. We've got to put this behind us now, even though it is hard, but we still have to put this behind us."
General comments on the game "To say our defense was outstanding probably would be an understatement. They really stepped up big. We finished with the record we wanted. We wanted the Big Game. That's a record in itself."
On stopping Cal on 3rd- and 4th-and-inches late in the game "You just try to guess with them. You try to match up and expect the unexpected. They've been throwing a lot in short yardage situations."
On Deltha O'Neal's long punt return late in the game "I think (punter) Kevin Miller helped out. He kind of appeared from the darkness. That made him (O'Neal) make another cut which allowed help to catch up."
On his undefeated coaching record in the Big Game "It's a great thing. Someday, they may break it."
On Stanford's run defense "The number one thing are the sacks. The sacks take a lot away from the run game. Our guys have been getting better lately. The things on defense that bothered us were the big plays. We were able to eliminate the big plays on the run game and only had a few big plays in the passing game."
On what his young players can take from this season "Being able to find a way to win. It's not enough just to have guys returning. You have to have leadership and maturity to come back with."
On why two high scoring teams didn't score many points "Because it's the Big Game. There's something always different about the Big Game. History says it's unpredictable."
On keeping Cal out of bowl consideration "Now, what loyal Stanford person would take satisfaction out of that?"
On Cal receiver Dameane Douglas "We probably didn't do enough to stop him. He's an outstanding player. I don't think you can truly take away a player of that caliber."
Opponent Player Quotes: Stanford Cardinal
Todd Husak: On Overall Team Improvement: "I think we started to grow as an offense, and defensively we really stepped it up in the last couple of weeks. Whenever you have young players, one of the toughest things to do is put away an opponent, and learn how to win. I think that we struggled with that early on, and in the last couple of weeks we did a good job of it. Hopefully we can continue that into next year."
On Halftime and Second-Half: "We told ourselves that we know we're better than this, and that it's up to us to come out and make things happen and play like we can. We did an alright job of that in the second-half."
On Low Score: "Anytime you can come out with a win, you take some sort of satisfaction. We took some points off of the board with Troy (Walter's) catch, we missed two field goals, and we didn't put in the touchdown from first-and-goal from the two. We had our opportunities, but that was one of the most frustrating things because we didn't get it done."
Donnie Spragan: On Cal Not Running On Fourth Down: "No, I wasn't surprised Cal didn't run. The last four games with short yardage I think they've passed the ball." On Limiting Cal to Three Points: "It's great because we've struggled all season. I wanted the shut-out honestly, but I'll take the win."
Emory Brock: On Catches: "You just catch the ball and run. They were basically the same play, and if it works I guess you try it again. I was surprised to be so open on the third play of the game."
Troy Walters: On Offensive Interference Touchdown Call: "They said I grabbed him. I was outside and the ball was inside, a little short, so I was just trying to fight back and make a play. I don't think (the defender) had an idea where the ball was, so I don't think you can make that call when doesn't make an effort." "I looked at the ref because he wasn't giving me a touchdown signal. Then I saw the flag and the fans started clapping. I was very surprised because I haven't been called for offensive pass interference for a whole year, maybe even my whole career."