Postgame Quotes Cal vs. ASU

"It was great for this team to respond and keep answering. It wasn't pretty by any means. When you run into games like this, it is really important for guys to dig down deep and believe in each other.
By Cal Athletics on Sat, October 31, 2009

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Oct. 31, 2009

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California Head Coach Jeff Tedford
On the game-winning drive:
"It was great for this team to respond and keep answering. It wasn't pretty by any means. When you run into games like this, it is really important for guys to dig down deep and believe in each other. That was evident today. They kept battling and never gave up."

On talking to Giorgio Tavecchio after the misses:
"We talked about it after the first one. There is a lot of football left, so hang in there and be ready for the next one."

On the sloppy nature of game:
"There was poor decision-making in there. There was a block in the back, but I need to look at it all. It was uncharacteristic of us to have that many penalties, which put us in a lot of long-yardage situations."

California Quarterback Kevin Riley
On the final drive of the game:
"I just had to get down there and get another chance to get in the red zone and score another touchdown or a field goal. We were not having too much success in the second half, but the drive before that we did some things and I knew we could do it again. It was a great team effort."

ASU Head Coach Dennis Erickson
On the game overall:
"We played hard, came back and went ahead. We got them in some tough situations but they got themselves out of them. Offensively, they made some plays there at the end. It's just hard because our guys played hard the whole game, and unfortunately we let them have a couple of plays there at the end. Offensively, we are what we are and we started moving the football in the second half, running it, and got some things going. But if we had gotten the first down the last time we had the football, it wouldn't even have gotten to that. So it's very disheartening for our football team, players and coaches."

On Cal QB Kevin Riley's performance:
"You have to give Riley credit. They protected him and we couldn't get to him. He went out there and made a couple big plays there at the end. Once a guy gets out of the pocket and those receivers can run around and get open, then you have problems, and that's what happened twice. On that 1st and 25, he scrambles out of the pocket, his guys move around, he's wide open. It's just disheartening because we worked so hard."

On ASU's defense:
"Our run defense was just unbelievable in forcing them to do some things distance-wise. Give their quarterback credit, because he made some plays throwing it. I can't ask for our players to do much more than make those plays there at the end. It's just disheartening as hard as we played. We had a chance to win."

On incorporating the run game more in the second half:
"We started to run it at the end of the game there. We lost all of our receivers. T.J. Simpson couldn't go. Gerell Robinson was hurt, Kerry Taylor wasn't there, so we ended up having to go two tight ends at the end there. But that was OK. We ran the football, made a pretty good package of it. But they scored at the end, and we couldn't quite do it when we had the ball last."

On punting on fourth down and if he thought about going for it at the end:
"I thought about it. But it was a little more than six inches. We couldn't do that. We had been playing so well defensively, so we wanted to get them in there and put the best part of our football team on the field."

On Cameron Marshall playing more:
"We did some things on the goal line with him. You'll see more of him in short yardage situations and some different things also."

ASU Quarterback Danny Sullivan
On the last play of the game:
"I think there was only five seconds left. I just try to find someone where I can step up and get it there. They collapsed it and there it is."

On ASU lining up under center more in this game:
"That was an adjustment we made, especially since we had a couple guys get hurt. T.J. [Simpson] got hurt and Kyle [Williams] was getting banged up, and we had to go to the tight ends and go under center. For a time period there, we were doing a good job with it too. We moved the ball right down the field and got a touchdown. It paid off in that regard, but we did not win the game."

On coming back from down 14 early to taking a lead:
"It was really difficult. We got it to 21-20 with about three and a half minutes left, and we put our defense back on the field. It was tough. We get that first down, and the game was over. It is pretty tough to take. "

ASU Linebacker Mike Nixon
On Cal's game-winning drive:
"With three minutes left, I think they had to go about 70 to 80 yards. As a defense, you obviously want that situation. It's on us to win the game. Despite what happened earlier in the game, there were three minutes left and we needed to lead. I feel like, as a defense, we let this team down tonight."

On what the problems were on that final drive:
"We weren't covering long enough to let the pressure get there, and maybe the pressure wasn't getting there so we had to cover too long. You look at each play, I'm sure each one had its own individual breakdown. It's kind of like a broken record. We can see the film and correct it, but it's just hard right now."

On if he feels he will have to get the team fired up for next week:
"I don't think I'll have to say anything to get up for USC. We all know what they're capable of and what they've done in the past eight to 10 years. I don't think we'll have a problem next week."

ASU Running Back Cameron Marshall
On stepping up his game today:
"[Dimitri] Nance was a little banged up, so I had to step up there a little bit. The whole line was doing a great job blocking, so we were able to get about five yards a pop every time."


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