Player and Coach Quotes from Cal vs. UCLA
October 24, 1998
Cal Head Coach Tom Holmoe on the Cal's loss to No. 2 UCLA
General comments: "We came up short twice and you can't do that against a team like UCLA. They are #2 in the country for a very good reason. Early on, they coughed up the ball a couple of times and we jumped on them and got the lead for the first time in a long time. But they were very cool, calm, and collected and they knew that they had a whole game ahead of them and they worked their way back into it. It was pretty impressive."
"I give credit to the UCLA players and coaches for playing extremely well and not panicking. That is where we are trying to go, so it was a good experience for our guys to see what they (UCLA) were all about. They capitalized on big plays and we didn't, and that's really what it comes down to in the end."
On the goal line quarterback sneak with Sam Clemons: "We wanted to run a quarterback sneak, and we felt that Sam (Clemons) was going to be stronger and able to squirm around a little bit more if he needed to. I didn't think (they would know we were going to run a quarterback sneak) or I wouldn't have run it. It was a short distance, and it was really a matter of pushing them off the ball. There was no reason we should not have gotten that."
On the decision to bring in Josh White: "He has always been a big runner for us, and he is our short yardage guy. It was the consensus in the huddle that we should get Josh in there and get him going. I'm not going to second guess that. He is our short yardage guy and he was cleared to play."
On Sam Clemons: "Out initial plan was to get Sam more repetitions. We think it is important to prepare him. In practice last week, he played a higher percentage of plays. It's not just so much for development in the future but for our team this year; it's best to be able to have a second quarterback. We were going to start with Justin (Vedder), and then we were going to go with Sam, and then we were going to go back to Justin. Sam was doing some things that we wanted to see and that we liked so we stayed with him a little longer than we had intended. But in the long run it was better."
On the decision to punt when it was 4th and 1 on the 50 yard line: "I believe in our defense. There were 11 minutes to go, and our offense had missed a couple of important ones, and I wasn't confident in the play that was going to be called. Punting it was my intuition. Nick (Harris) did a great job all game of pinning them down (on their end of the field). It wasn't that big of a deal for me. I felt that was what I wanted to do- play to our strength. My first thought was that if we don't get this, and they get the ball at mid-field, it could break out backs."
Cal Player Quotes:
"I felt good. I was just a little rusty. I'd been out four weeks."
On his goalline fumble: "I got hit with a helmet on it. It happened so fast, I really can't explain it. It's a play that shouldn't happen and hopefully it won't happen again.
"We felt we had a good shot to win. We just made more mistakes and you can't make mistakes against a team like that."
"When you grow up watching UCLA on TV, they're big time. Then I come out here and play with them, and I can play with them. They're not as big and as mighty as you think they are; they're just another college team."
On coming back from a knee injury: "This week it was kind of weak, but once I got in the game it was fine."
"I'm a little frustrated because we could have beat them, we should have beat them. You can't have the ball inside the five-yard line twice and not score, especially against the number two team in the nation."
"It was a little frustrating, but we just got to keep our heads up."
UCLA Head Coach Bob Toledo on Saturday's game versus Cal:
General comments on the game "I'm really happy for our football team. We're ranked second in the nation and we've continued the longest win streak in the country. I think their defense did a great job and I think our defense did a great job. I think the knockout punch was when Jermaine Lewis threw the halfback option for a touchdown."
"You have to give credit to Cal. They came ready to play. We need to come ready to play every week. I feel like the gunslinger where you have to expect everybody's best effort."
"Our team has great character. We realize that you have to play all four quarters and all 60 minutes. I don't feel lucky. I feel like we're a pretty good football team."
On the pressure of the national championship race "We're not trying not to lose. We're trying to win. I believe in trying to win. There's pressure, sure, but I'd rather have that than the alternative."
On Cal's defensive effort "Our field position was hard. You can't use your whole offense. They really did a great job on defense. They are the best defensive team we've faced this year."
"Their punting game put us in a tough position. We didn't make a lot of mistakes, but we had to keep driving the length of the field."
On UCLA QB Cade McNown "Cade McNown running the football today was huge. He made some big first downs. Cade McNown makes great plays. He did a great job making plays today. He wasn't getting much time. They put a lot of pressure on him."
On Cal LB Sekou Sanyika "He's an excellent player. He puts a lot of pressure on you. He's one of the best outside linebackers in the conference."
UCLA PLAYER QUOTES
Robert Thomas, ILB:
"We all played good defense. It wasn't just me. Everyone plugged their holes. The whole defense was the hero."
On goal stand "We just knew we had to do it, and everyone was playing hard and playing their hearts out. We showed good heart and character on the team and no one ever gave up."
"Cal's a great team. They did the same stuff that we studied. They played really good today."
"It was big, making the big stops. We knew the defense had to do it because the offense was trouble, and the defense just picked it up really well this game."
Jermaine Lewis, TB:
"We've been working on that in practice, and I showed coach I could throw it, so he just gave me a shot, and it worked out. I'm just really happy that Dubravac went out there and grabbed it. I knew his eyes were really big, and I didn't know if he was going to drop it or not. It all worked out. If it didn't work in practice, then we wouldn't have done it in the game."
"They are a great defense right now. It is toughest defense we played so far this season. They are really hard-nosed and really tough out there."
"That's adversity that championship teams have to overcome. We are just fortunate that we overcame it and kept our heads on straight and just kept on rolling after that. We just pounded on the rock until it broke."
Cade McNown, QB:
"It was a tough game. Their defense played us extremely tough, and I'm just excited to get away with a win. We really had to fight out there. We made enough plays to win and I'm really happy about that."
"I caught a seam a couple of times there and was able to scamper for a first down. I am certainly not looking to run, but if it comes down to crucial situations and everyone is covered, then I have to do what I have to do."
"I take shots in every game, and this wasn't much different, but I know the line had a tough job there today. Cal twisted and did some stunts there a couple of times, but it's nothing that we can't see on film and take care of."
"Cal want's to beat us. They may want to knock us off, but it's also about Cal and UCLA; there's some deep seeded rivalry there. I think there was a lot at stake in this game, and we just played it that way."
"Cal's offense hasn't necessarily been the sparkplug of their team this season, but they made some big plays and got our defense into some tough situations, and even though we were put into those situations, we managed to come up at that goal-line stand, and that's always a huge thing for a team to be able to do, conference wise. We feel, especially after today, that we can stop them, so that's a huge thing for the confidence. My hat is off to the defense."
"Their punter did a great job, and then when we did get decent field position, we ended up penalizing ourselves and putting ourselves into bad field positions. Field position was not something we were used to, and it may have showed up on the scoreboard."
"We've had that play in for three years, maybe four, and we've run it three times, and every time we've run it, it's been against Cal. For whatever reason, that's who we've done it to (in conference play - once in Cotton Bowl)."