Cal-Illinois Post-game Quotes
Sept. 1, 2001
Cal head coach Tom Holmoe
General comments on the game
"That's not exactly what we had in mind for an opening game, but I told our team that I'm not going to let anything deter our team from what we set out to do. If we had to script it, that would be the nightmare script."
"I think the team is obviously disappointed because they would not have expected that to happen, but it did. I look at the team right now and I know these guys, they'll be back. Maybe that was the blow we needed to take to get us even further. This team won't quit, they never have."
"It might sound crazy, but looking at (Cal's) offense out there today and the way they moved the ball at times, the long drives- I haven't seen that for us. (Illinois) is a pretty darn good team, they looked good. How much we made them look good is yet to be determined. When they (Illinois) jumped out ahead and got a lead like that, it took us out of our defensive game plan, our offensive game plan, and our special teams."
On Cal's secondary
"I knew (Kurt) Kittner was a very good quarterback coming in, but we didn't get any heat on him. That's been our trademark, that we've always gotten heat on the quarterback. But today he had a lot of time and our coverage was just not there. It was easy. It wasn't like they were making acrobatic catches, they were just making wide-open catches. Supposedly our secondary was going to be one of our strengths this year and we just played poorly"
On Illinois wide receiver Brandon Lloyd
"He didn't play last year in the game and he was the difference maker. We knew that going in, it wasn't a surprise. But he just dominated those situations."
Cal Player Quotes
Jemeel Powell, Cornerback
"We didn't play the game that we were supposed to play, and they were in the end zone real fast, and they had a couple of turnovers and scored real fast. I don't point fingers, but specifically towards myself, I wasn't playing my game. I was worried about too much."
Atari Callen, Cornerback
"I don't think it was nerves. I think it was more excitement. I was too riled up, trying to make trying to make a play too early, and just trying to do too much other than just going out there and playing my game and having fun."
On the rest of the season:
"This game is over and done. We come back and watch film tomorrow. We have to worry about BYU (now). This game is in the past, and we've got ten more to go. All our goals can still be accomplished."
Kyle Boller, Quarterback
On the Illinois pass rush:
"We knew that they were going to bring it. They are a big, physical football team."
"I don't know if we were overconfident. We didn't come out real pumped up. It seemed to me like we were a little flat, more than overconfident. I think guys might have gotten caught up in saying that we have a new offense, and defense is looking good, and we can go out there and run over this team like they are nothing., when Illinois is a great football team. So some guys might have been overconfident. Illinois straight up came to play. We didn't. That's what it comes down to.
Illinois Coach Ron Turner
General comments on the game
"All we talked about all week was to play hard and play fast, and that's what we did. The first half was even more than we expected. Cal's a very good football team. I still think they'll prove that as the season goes on. We just came out with great focus and preparation. Fortunately, we made some big plays early."
On wide reciever Brandon Lloyd
"Obviously, he's a good football player. He elevates the players around him. It was his first game back from a serious injury, and I thought he really controlled the game."
On QB Kurt Kittner
"He was outstanding right from the start. He hit some big plays early. He's a smart, mature football player."
On Cal's defense
"We knew running the ball was going to be very, very difficult. It always is against these guys. They're a very fast defense overall. We wanted the one-on-one matchups with these guys, and it worked out for us."
Illinois Player Quotes
QB Kurt Kittner
On wide receiver Brandon Lloyd:
"Brandon's definitely a big asset to our team. He knows he's going to get a lot of catches in our offense. He's just a playmaker. You just throw the ball his way and something good is going to happen."
"We got a couple of turnovers and that's a big difference in any game. We know what we can accomplish. We just have to go out there and do it. That is very important. We came out focused and ready to play."
"You can't teach experience. I've been around four years now and I know what to expect. You just have to go out there with confidence because everybody's looking to you."
TB Antonio Harris
On the Cal defense:
"They basically just put eight guys in the box and brought them all. We came out of halftime changing some things up and ran some outside plays."