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Cal-USC Postgame Quotes
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  11/12/2005

Nov. 12, 2005

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes

CALIFORNIA HEAD COACH Jeff Tedford

On Cal's passing game:
"You can't afford to be one-dimensional against USC. We were not clicking in the passing game (and) turned the football over too many times. I thought the offensive line blocked well for the run game and the backs ran real hard. I thought Marshawn (Lynch) ran hard. But you have got to be able to put together something in the passing game in order to be successful against those guys."

On quarterback Joe Ayoob having an off day and it starting out with an interception:
"That was miscommunication on the route; that route was not the right route. We didn't throw the ball with any confidence - real tentative - and we have to somehow find a way to instill his confidence. We have to work on his fundamentals to get him back to where he feels comfortable throwing the ball."

On Joe Ayoob's confidence today:
"Confidence and fundamentals, they both go hand-in-hand. When you start pressing - that becomes a confidence issue. He's very competitive, very tough. But we need to work harder on fundamentals to hopefully help him get his confidence back."

On a sign from Joe during the week that this would happen:
"No, didn't think so. He had a fairly good week in practice; it was not any different than any other week. You have to give USC a lot of credit, they are very difficult to move the ball on, and they have a lot of great schemes. There were some plays to be made and we didn't make them. The unfortunate thing is that we turned the football over way too many times. When we did get something going it seemed like we turned the football over."

On getting a feel early in the game and having that limit what you can call offensively:
"You try to get in to some sort of rhythm to throw some safe balls. At the end of the first half and beginning of the second, we tried to throw some screens to get the ball out to get some momentum going and get some confidence back. When you are struggling, you don't want to keep winging it down the field."

CALIFORNIA PLAYERS

Steve Levy, QB

"It was very challenging. It was tough to jump in. I just wanted to get an opportunity to do my thing."

On today's game:
"I think we did a great job in practice this week. We just didn't make the plays."

Harrison Smith, CB

"We just did not go out and make the plays. They had so many options with their offense it was hard to stop them; keeping Bush out of the end zone happened with the situations. They were just so deep."

"They are a great team, I'm not going to take anything away from them, and they deserve to be where they are."

Joe Ayoob, QB

"When I have my good games I make the big plays in the beginning and get comfortable. That didn't happen today."

USC HEAD COACH PETE CARROLL

On the Game:
"We had an opportunity to finish the road season and it's been really packed with drama. We've had terrific match-ups and great stadiums and all, and we wanted to finished this thing off right, knowing that this would be a crowd that would get after it and a team that would be jacked-up. I'm really, really proud of getting this thing done. It's marvelous to know that we have two games left and we get to play back home in the coliseum. This was a day in which everybody contributed. It was a well rounded win. The offense did a nice job taking care of the football, and taking care of their opportunities. Defense got the job done all day long. It's the kind of characteristic in which I wish was always there. It made the field short for the offense. It broke all their momentum, and they didn't get the chance to get going today. "

On Joe Ayoob:
"He wasn't the same guy we've seen on film. I don't know if he was banged up or what, but he did struggle, and we were able to take advantage of it.

On Defense:
"I think we played solid football all day. A bunch of new guys out there, it seemed like in some key spots. Thomas got hurt right off the bat so Ray had to jump in and play. Cushing had to play against one of the best rushing defenses in the country. It was a marvelous benefit to us where they can play well. We're playing better D than other teams in the conference. The conference is so darn loaded with offenses, it's a chore on defense just to hold your own. We're making progress, a lot of guys played for us today, and that's always good. "

On the Cal game plan:
"You noticed they ran the ball a ton on first and second down for most or all of the first half to see if they could get into a mode where they could pound it. It didn't happen. We did well on third downs in the first half, and that made the difference."

On a statement game:
"California has been kind of right behind us for awhile, and we talked about putting some separation between us, and we did this game."

USC PLAYERS

Matt Leinart, QB

On the USC defense:
"Our defense came up big today. Ever since Tedford came to Cal they've been a good offense. I'm happy our defense is coming along."

On the margin of victory compared to previous years:
"It was a great win for USC. Cal's been trouble the past couple years."

On Cal's run defense:
They have had good run defense all year. They kept Reggie in check (82 rushing yards)."

On the remaining season:
We feel really good where we are at. I think right now we are going into the end of the season well. We are a second half team, second half of the game and second half of the season."

On Leinart's growth from last season:
The experience and knowledge is beyond last year. I feel quicker. Just the experience and knowledge of the game has made me better."

LenDale White, TB

On Cal's personal fouls in the fourth quarter:
"They were trying to do whatever they could to get somebody out of our game plan."

On the USC defense:
"I think our defense is playing at the top of their game. Our first team defense held them to three points. They deserve credit."

On being guaranteed a share of the Pac-10 title:
"A share of the Pac-10 doesn't mean anything. Our goal is to win the Pac-10 and Rose Bowl."

Keith Rivers, LB

On how the USC linebackers performed:
"Our linebackers did a great job stepping up for injured players. The freshman are stepping up and doing a great job."

On the defense improving throughout the season:
"People are always going to doubt our defense. We stuck it up holding them to ten points:

On stopping the Cal running game:
"You always feel good when you do well. Stopping the run is a big goal. It always is the first priority for the defense."


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