Oct. 19, 1999
BERKELEY - Comments from Cal head football coach Tom Holmoe from his weekly press conference. Saturday's game against Washington starts at 12:30 p.m. in Memorial Stadium and will not be televised.
On the win at UCLA last week:
We are very pleased with the win we had last week. It was something that was very good for the team. We needed that badly after struggling for the past two weeks in a variety of areas. Now we just need to move on. That's the one thing that has been tough for us, in that the last couple of years we've had some big road wins and then not been able to duplicate that effort and come back and play very well in the next week. The focus of attention right now is on all the hubbub over the Pac-10 and where everybody stands in the conference and how tight it is and what bowls people are going to go to. We are not ready to do that yet.
Looking ahead to hosting Washington this week:
We are ready to prepare for this Washington game. They are no farther behind us and no farther ahead of us. The difference is that they come into this game off of a big loss and we come off of a big win, and I don't really know what side you'd rather be on. It's not really that important to me. It's about the attention we have to pay to our team this year and how we get better and prepare for this Washington team. It's a good team. They didn't play very well last week. It's very similar to some of the things that we've done this year in playing a very good game and then coming back really not ready to play. Similar to when we played well against ASU and then came back and played poorly against Washington State. They basically did the same thing this past week.
On the Pac-10 standings to date:
I think there's a lot of psychology going on and a lot of the coaches in the Pac-10 are nervous. You don't really know where you stand. I think there's been a lot of ups and downs with the teams and each one of the coaches has got to be wondering which one of their teams is going to show up on a given week. I think it's going to take a couple of weeks still to really determine who are going to be the teams that will have a race for the finish. I think it's too early right now.
On preparing and focusing on this week's Washington game:
It's going to be a good game. I'm glad we're coming home. That was a long road trip, and to salvage that game made a big difference. There are a lot of things that we need to improve on. Our offense made some plays, but we struggled in certain areas and we will continue to work through this week to put together personnel that will help us to win this game.
On California's defensive unit:
The defense did an outstanding job last week and we are extremely proud of the way they played. We count on them. We need that effort every week. This is a big challenge for them. Washington, despite the fact that they didn't do very well against Arizona State, has carried the ball over 50 times twice this year, so they have the capacity to get a running game going. They are a little banged up in their backfield, but they will try to pound the ball at us a little bit and try to come up with the big plays. So our defense unit is going to have to maintain their style of play, their intensity of play, and production that they have had in the past couple of weeks. And that is something that is not always a given. It is something that is very fragile and we have to work on that on a daily basis to continue to get better.
On the California linebackers:
Right now what we are trying to do at the linebacker position is to make the best of each given week. We take a look at the personnel and the scheme that we are playing, and we take a look at our personnel and see who is going to be best suited. We have the opportunity and ability with Scott Fujita, Jamaal Cherry, Juan Jimenez, J.P. Segura, Keith Miller and Sekou Sanyika to move these linebackers around a little bit. If we play really strong passing teams, there are certain guys who will see a little more time in the lineup. If we play a team that is really trying to control the ball and run the ball hard right at us, then we'll go in another direction. This is something that is beneficial to us right now, that we do have the flexibility to move around a little bit inside. Of course, Sanyika is the key to it, that he can play just about any one of those positions. But I think we're getting some great play out of Keith Miller this year. He was kind of like the third musketeer at the beginning of the season with Sanyika and Matt Beck, but I think that his constant play this year has been very positive for our defense. He's had some good games and played well, and we needed that with Beck not being in there.