September 22, 1998
California Head Coach Tom Holmoe
Weekly Football Press Conference
On Cal's 13-12 win over Oklahoma:
"The game down in Norman, Okla., was a fun game for our guys and a very rewarding game for our program. We learned a lot from that and I hope that we carry some lessons from that game throughout the course of the season. In a tough situation with a pretty loud crowd and pressure on us, our guys somehow found a way to win it, and that is something that is very positive for me, as their leader, to see them be able to overcome some tough things. In a nutshell, it was very positive to have a road win under such circumstances."
Looking forward towards Pac-10 competition:
"The important thing now is to put those three games behind us. There was a lot of excitement over Nebraska, and a lot of excitement over winning in Norman, but that is past and lessons were learned, and hopefully well remembered. But now what it is all about is playing in the Pac-10."
On playing Washington State and having the following week off:
"I think that the schedule, with the way it is now, benefits us in that we have a very good team to play, the defending Pac-10 champs, and then we have a bye. It doesn't allow us to look down the road and start counting up wins, or counting up loses. The most important thing is that we win this game, and then we have time to rest. We need that rest because we have had three physical games and this will be the fourth. We have a couple of guys who are nicked up that can go without a game, and then we start in again and finish up without a breather the rest of the Pac-10 schedule."
On Washington State's winning attitude:
"There is a residue from last year that is really impressive, and that is the fact that they were the Pac-10 champs and Rose Bowl participant. This year, they have had some games where they have had to overcome some difficulties, but they are playing with a very good confidence. That is what we are always talking to our players about -- that winning is contagious. The more you win the more you think you are going to win, and the better you play consistently through the weeks, the more confidence you are going to have that you can do it again."
On returning home to open Pac-10 play:
"I'm glad we play Washington State here -- for the first time in what seems like forever. It is good to be home and have this one ready to go because it is our opener and it is a huge game. This game is bigger than Nebraska, bigger than our opener against Houston and bigger than Oklahoma on the road because it counts. The other ones obviously count, but this has everything to do with how we finish in the conference."
On Pac-10 competition over the years:
"To have six different Rose Bowl participants in six years gives everybody in the Pac-10 a shot and a hope. Seeing Washington State play a couple of years ago, they weren't very good. Seeing them play last year, they were really good. That gives everybody hope, and I think our guys understand that."
On WSU Wide Receiver Nian Taylor:
"He is very big, strong and disciplined. He is the Dameane Douglas equivalent. We know how important Dameane is to us, and likewise he is to them. The fortunes of the game will probably fall in his hands."
On Deltha O'Neal's presence on the field:
"Deltha O'Neal has really come on to be almost like our sixth man. It gives us a very important boost when he comes in because when the first or second cornerback comes out, Deltha is able to come in without a drop-off. His role on our team is very important. I can't even over emphasize the role that he has. He is our punt returner, kick-off returner, third corner, nickel and dime defender, gets the tough coverage on the inside receiver when he comes in, and then, when and if we can ever role out the magic weapon, he will play offense. He could go in at anytime. He knows more plays now than he did in the first week. He'll be there."
On QB Justin Vedder:
"I believe that he has yet to play the game that he is capable of playing. He has played effectively in practice, and I think as things come together more and we get a little bit of confidence rolling on offense, he'll play. But he has not come close to playing his type of game."