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Sept. 27, 1997

Post-Game Quotes

Cal's Tom Holmoe

On the Game
"We came in against a USC team that played very well. Offensively their quarterback did a very good job.....no mistakes. The big thing was that their big play guys made some nice plays...R.J. Soward is a nice player. Spotting USC that many points early is tough. USC is too good of a team, too well coached to not want to battle back (after starting off 0-2), and they did. Offensively we couldn't string together first downs. Defensively early on we gave up too many big plays. We made too many mistakes to win this game."

On Cal's Defense
"I was proud of our defense in the second half. Offensively USC got the ball in good field position and they didn't get any points. That was a good sign that we held them scoreless in the second half."

On Cal's Running Game
"We wanted to establish the run game, but it's hard to establish the run game when you're down. You have to start fast, come out early and we did not start fast."

On First Down and Goal on USC's 1 yard Line
"That was a big play for USC, they kept us out of the endzone in the first half when we had chances to score. I don't think our offense fell apart, SC just threw some thing at us and Justin Vedder was running for his life a lot of the game."

On USC Defense
"They were blitzing a whole lot and we had a hard time picking it up. Claiborne is a very good player, he was chasing us down frequently."

On The Missed Two Point Conversion
"That was a big play. We could have been down one touchdown and instead we're down two scores."

Positives
"We had a lot of good things happen on special teams."

Cal's Justin Vedder

On the loss:
"I don't like losing much, but in life you lose. It's about how you respond, and how you come back. I'm going to work my butt off, and I hope everyone follows and works their butts off. One loss is one loss."

On USC:
"They gave us a lot of blitzes, and surprised us with a few things. They got after us. We had to come out and attack them. It took us until the second half to get going, and even then we blew some chances."

Cal's John McLaughlin

On Cal's defense:
"We are really close (to being good). Our defense is still really young. (The young guys) got a taste of a loss today, and how you need to play when you're behind. I think for the rest of the season, they will know that as long everyone does their job in practice, we'll be fine."

On the blocked punt:
"I just came free and got the punter. The team reacted really well (to the blocked punt). They responded by putting the ball in the end zone, and they got it done."

Cal's Brian Surgener

On Cal's offensive line:
"Overall, our offensive line is doing a good job. It's a matter of who is going to work harder, and sometimes they (USC) did. But our line did a good job blocking."

Cal's Sekou Sanyika

On the loss:
"We are disappointed because we want to win every game. USC was just better than us. It hurts, especially because it was a loss at home in front of a big crowd. But we can't hang our heads down. We have to come back tomorrow and get ready for the next game."

On USC's offensive line:
"Their offensive line was better than I expected. But it was us too; we didn't come out ready to play in the first half, and we got our butts kicked."

USC's John Robinson

General comments
"I'm happy with the win. We were getting pretty tight being 0-2, and we thought we were a better team than that. I thought we came out of the box pretty good today. We got rid of some of the ghosts today that had been haunting us."

"We can be a lot better football team, and I think we will be. Pac-10 play is difficult, and we'll take every Pac-10 win."

"I think we played good football and winning football. We have a good defensive team. We did some good things today. Cal's a good football team."

"I think to win this conference, you've got to go out each week and win. I think you can take a loss and still win this conference. We just took our loss early. Now we have to go out and win."

On the defense
"Our defense was outstanding. We played very well throughout the day. (Defensive back) Brian Kelly was outstanding. We put him out on Bobby Shaw and he did a great job. And Shaw is a great receiver."

On the offense
"Our offensive line played solid football. They gave us a chance to win."

"Our offense - they were just angry with themselves for the kind of football they'd been playing."

On having a bye week to prepare for Cal
"We needed to just work on our fundamentals. Now we've taken a step forward. Now we need to take a few more and get better. We're not as bad as everybody thought we were last week."

USC's Brian Kelly

"It was frustrating, but it was also good to come here today and get a victory because we needed it pretty bad."

On the last two games:
"They tested our hearts. We went to the Florida State game and fought a tough battle and came out with a loss. We went into the Washington game, and later on turned it on, but still came out with a loss. It was tough for us. We knew what type of team we were. We stayed confident in ourselves, and really just came together today and got a good victory."

"There really wasn't much bickering amongst the team. The offense was struggling a little bit, but we knew that they were going to come together and click it on. Coach Robinson stressed the fact that it was early in the season and we just had to continue to play hard."

"The record is in the past. As far as we were concerned we're equally teams. They were at home and we just had to come in and beat them on the road."

On Shaw:
"He's a receiver. Nothing that we didn't think when we came in here. We knew it was going to be a battle, and I think he knew that too."

On winning the battle with Shaw:
"We won the game. Yes, I won the battle - we won the game. It was a personal challenge because he's a great receiver. I wouldn't have minded bad plays just as long as we would've won the game."

USC's John Fox

"We started off faster. We started off slow the past couple of games."

On winning the game:
"It's very important. It's Coach Robinson's 99th win, and it'll be nice to be able to get that 100th at home, which we plan on doing next Saturday."

On running:
"We always knew we could run the ball. It's definitely a confidence booster. That's our offense, that's what we do. There's nothing really special about what we do. We just started to run the ball."

On long TD pass:
"We practiced it all week. We came back with a play-action and he was open right down the field. A guy with that much speed all you have to do is lay the ball out there. It wasn't that great of a ball, he was just there."

USC's Mike Bastianelli

On 0-2 pressure:
"I don't think that we are over the hump yet. We are still 1-2, but this is a big victory for us because it is our first victory, it's not because we beat Cal. We're stepping in the right direction."

"Everybody starts to develop their own opinion about why the team is losing. You're just tired of hearing it because they don't know what's going on, only the team knows what's going on. We're still 1-2 and by no stretch of the imagination are we back in anything.


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