Aug. 31, 1999
BERKELEY - Below are selected quotes from Cal head football coach Tom Holmoe from his Aug. 31 media luncheon. The Bears kickoff the season Saturday when they host Rutgers at 2:30 p.m. in Memorial Stadum.
On opening the 1999 season at home:
This is what we've been waiting for for a long time. The last time we played was a tough loss (10-3 vs. Stanford). There was a lot to think about, but that time has passed. Sometimes you think the time has passed rather quickly and sometimes it seems like it's taken forever. Now it's time to play again, and I know the players are eager and anticipating this opening game, and it's going to be a big game for us.
On facing Rutgers:
We've had a chance to prepare for Rutgers. Terry Shea and I are very good friends. We coached together for a couple of years, and the one thing I know about Terry is that he'll have his offense prepared. I know that everywhere he's been, he's had a good quarterback, and it's no different this year. Mike McMahon is a guy that fits the bill of every quarterback that Terry's ever developed. If you look through Terry's history, he's been great at developing quarterbacks. We anticipate that McMahon will come out with the offense firing, have a few tricks up their sleeve, and have a balanced and explosive attack. It will be a good match for our defense to see how we've done over the off-season and to see if we can maintain the type of defense that we played last year. I know that Rutgers has had some injuries, especially on the defensive side of the ball. A lot of teams have been struggling with injuries, but not as many as they have. We have a few guys knicked up, but I think we'll be going into this game relatively healthy.
On the kicking duties:
We're going to open up with Jeremy Hershey doing the extra points and field goals. We're still not sure about kickoff. It could still be any one of the three. Mark Jensen did a very good job in camp. Probably Ignacio Brache or Hershey in this first game, and then obviously Nick Harris is the punter.
On the quarterbacks:
I know that it's been something that we've been talking about for awhile, especially since we've seen that both Kyle Boller and Samuel Clemons are capable of orchestrating the offense for us. Last year, I think something that we didn't do a very good job of was developing Clemons to the point where we could get him into the game. It is very apparent this year, because of our numbers, that we need to develop that position continually. I feel good about where we are right now, and I want to continue to feel good about it down the road, but Clemons is the starter and there is no timetable right now other than that we want to get Boller into the first game. It's a home game and a game in which I think the surroundings would be comfortable for him to get in. Clemons is starting this game, and he goes in as the guy we feel should start this game. He gives us the best chance to win this game as a starter. We'll be able to tell a lot from this game by seeing how he does. I just didn't want to get into a position where we're etching in stone the starting quarterback for the season with the lack of playing time that Clemons has had. But he has shown us a lot in spring and summer and right now I think he's going to go out and do a great job. I think that one of the things helping Clemons to be as good as he is comes from knowing that he has some competition.
On the defense:
I am anxious to see how they play. There have been a lot of expectations for them to exceed what they did last year. That's hard. I've been around some teams that have played extremely well one year and found that it's not an automatic thing that they come back the next year and duplicate that effort. I know that Lyle Setencich and the rest of the staff has addressed this. Believe me, Lyle has not let them get content on what they have achieved in the past, and the success of our team really rests in their hands, and they understand that responsibility. It's a great responsibility. The expectations are high.