Tom Holmoe's Weekly Press Conference

Football coach assesses OSU game.

October 27, 1998

BERKELEY - California Head Coach Tom Holmoe

Tuesday Press Conference

October 27, 1998

On looking ahead to Oregon State this Saturday:

"I know everybody thinks their game is the most important, but we've talked about this each week, about how each game that we play seems to take on more significance. Of course playing UCLA last week, the No. 2 team in the country at the time, was huge, but now where we are in the standings and where they (Oregon St.) are in the standings, it kind of lines up as a really important game for both teams."

On scouting Oregon State:

"Watching them play Washington last week was impressive, to see their offense put on the fireworks that they did. This team is a very much improved team. It really is a credit to Mike Riley, his staff and his players that in a short period of time they could retool their offense from an option offense to a passing offense. They're playing hard, and they're playing well, and it is going to be a challenge for us."

Looking at the game from both sides of the ball:

"Defensively, after watching Washington's defense, and then seeing what Oregon State does to them, our defense is in there right now conjuring up ways in which we can try to slow them down. Offensively, we'll be challenged again. They are pretty good on defense, and have been for a number of years. They have a couple of players that are really outstanding. I think one of the better defensive backs in the league is Armon Hatcher. He is a very fine, strong safety for them."

On the Oregon State defense:

"They are very aggressive up front. They come off the corners extremely hard with their defensive ends. Inoke Breckterfield and Jamil Braithwaite are very fast. They start with that pressure. Their linebackers are athletic. I guess you'd look at them like Washington linebackers, very much involved in blitzing and stunting, and they'll be coming at you from all ends. And they have a good group of experienced defensive backs. They are a good, solid defensive team."

On TB Marcus Field:

"Marcus Fields had some very nice runs. He had a lot of chunks of five to seven yards, which is good to see. We opened up some nice holes against UCLA. Offensively, our run game was good in that respect. The passing game was one-dimensional again. We really didn't spread it out the way we'd like, but we were able to move the ball when we needed to except when we got into the red zone. That's the thing that we've been struggling with. Obviously, we've been able to move the ball in the last couple of weeks, but not consistently, and certainly not in the red zone."

On Cal's struggles in the red zone:

"I think it is a matter of confidence and lack of confidence. I don't think that we can get down there and not have some degree of acknowledgment of what has happened in the last couple of weeks. I think it's a matter of breaking through and punching the ball in a couple of times. Once we did it against USC, then we got a couple more in a row. So, they didn't think about it there. When you get stalled right near the goal line, it's a tough thing to get through emotionally, and I think that's kind of piled up a little bit through the last couple of weeks and been hard to get through."

On the Cal running game:

"I don't know if you are ever going to describe us this year of having a power running game, but I do think that we have the capabilities this year to show signs of a good running game. It would be in our plans to be able to step-up our running game. I think we are a couple of players and some depth away from getting where we need to be, but this year we certainly have the capabilities of moving the ball on the ground with execution."

On Oregon State's effort against Washington:

"You want to take about a team getting hot, they were hot. They did some great things. Their receivers made some very fine catches, they put pressure on Washington, and their run game was balanced so it kept Washington off balance, and the quarterback made some nice plays. It was a very well conceived offensive attack that really just got going in the second half. When you open up like that, people have to respect you."