Oct. 11, 1997

California-Washington Postgame Quotes

Cal Coach Tom Holmoe

On the Game: "I was very proud of the way we came out. We played valiantly and hard. I couldn't have asked for anything better. On Tuesday and Wednesday, practice was great. The team was ready to play."

"We are not that far away. Take away some of the mistakes, and we are close. Close to where we need to be to compete with the big guys in the league."

On the First Half: "We are not yet at the point where we can be champions. At times we play like champions. Are guys are courageous and they play valiantly, but we still are not at the point where we can get the respect by winning games because we are missing big plays. There comes a point in time when players have to be accountable for the mistakes that they make."

On Washington: "Our team knows that they had just played a top ten team and, one that is possibly the best in our league, pretty even for a half. And then, we withstood a couple of tough situations in the second half. I would be remiss if I didn't say that Washington is a good team. That is the sign of a champion, that they come out in the second half and make the plays. That is a good team. That is where we want to be. You have to make the plays.

On the Way Tarik Smith Came Out: "I was very happy with Tarik. He ran hard. He played with passion. I don't care how many yards he had. I just care that he came out and ran hard. He did a good job for the team and he had a great attitude on the sideline."

On the First Fake Punt: "The instructions to the kicker were to make a play to make something happen. The intentions were to kick the ball. We just wanted to make them a little weary, show them a surprise. The communication was not there. The one silver lining, is that our defense held them on that. It was a great thing to be able to get off the field, considering that was a huge part in the game. In hindsight, I have to take responsibility for the communication because it falls on me."

"On the second, we were going to punt the ball, but we were running out of time. If we just punted it, I wouldn't have given my guys a chance to win. We had a shot and could have been in the game. I'll take some heat on that, but I'll stand by that decision. I want to give my guys a chance to win."

On the Opening Drive: "If we could have gotten two touchdowns on our opening drives, it would have been huge. But to come away empty handed, we still drove the ball on them. The bottom line is at half time our guys were not concerned that we came away without points. We were moving the ball on them.

On the Upcoming Washington State Game: "I love to win. I am desperate for a win. I want to win. I'll do what it takes to win. This game versus Washington State takes on new meaning. We'll fight and prepare for this game to win it."

Cal Players

Justin Vedder

On Cal's first two drives: "I don't think it (not scoring) affected us in any way. I think we took it as a positive, not a negative. We drove down and did a good job moving the ball, we just didn't get field goals out of it. We should have scored touchdowns. It was a confidence builder, but it was also frustrating that we didn't move the ball and get a touchdown."

On the Cal team: "We were able to move the ball on them because we are a good team. We are starting to realize that more as players. We became a good team today. If a couple calls hadn't been called and we hadn't made a couple of mental mistakes, the score would not have been 30-3."

Albert Dorsey

On the second half: "We were good defensively in the first half, so I didn't think it (defense) would be a problem for us in the second half. We didn't expect their first score (in the second half); we didn't expect Deltha (O'Neal) to fumble. We should have picked it up a notch, but we didn't."

On Washington: "They're good. Their line is big and mean. (Rashann) Shehee is a great back, and (Brock) Huard is really good. I thought we had a chance of beating them, but things didn't go our way; we didn't execute in the second half the way we should have"

Tarik Smith

On being back: "I feel good. I try not to think about it too much, but it felt good to be out there most of the game, to run hard and get back into the groove of things. I feel healthy. I just need to get my stamina back to where it should be."

Peter Destefano

On his missed tackle: "I was right there and went for the knockdown, and missed. I have to give him some credit; he's a good player. I thought I had position on him and that I was going to bring him down, and he ran right through."

Deltha O'Neal

On the second half kickoff fumble: "I was cutting across the field and saw an opening, but when I switched the ball from my left hand to my right hand, it hit my shoulderpad and came out."

Washington Coach Jim Lambright

On stopping Cal's fake punts and trick plays: "We'd seen it one time before, the fumblerooski. The good thing about that was we were in questionable territory and had our regular defense on the field. We'd seen it before. BYU did it, so we'd prepared for it before."

"The emotional swings you get, especially on fourth down plays, are tremendous."

On the fumbled second half kickoff by Cal: "That's exactly what you'd like to do coming out of halftime. The critical thing is momentum. To get that momentum coming out of the locker room is like a shot."

On improvements made in the second half: "We just went about correcting things that we were doing wrong in the first half. We were unhappy with the running game in the first half. You'd like a balanced attack, especially after watching Cal the week coming into this game."

"If you can take a good team like Cal and give them minimal gains, you'll take that and go away happy."

On the Washington defense: "We're definitely trying to improve our scoring defense. The kids take a lot of pride in keeping the score down below 10. The defense will be very proud of that - we'll put that up on the board."

"The fact that the defense held them to three points is a real accomplishment. That was a big part of the game."

"We were really pleased overall with our defensive schemes. We knew we needed to take away the big plays from Bobby Shaw. We mixed it up enough with zones and man-to-man to keep him from breaking big plays."

On Cal QB Justin Vedder: "What we could see on film is that he improvises so well. I can't compliment him enough on how he can improvise. We got good enough tight coverage that he couldn't dump the ball off."

Washington Players

Derrel Daniels

On fumble recovery: "I came down the field and got blocked from the back. At first I was going to run toward the ball, but then I saw someone about to make the tackle. O'Niel tried to stretch it out, and I guess he was switching hands, and the ball just popped out. After that I just jumped on it."

"It's one of our goals to get the ball out every time, so when then happened one of our goals was accomplished. "

Rashaan Shehee

On first quarter v. third quarter: "We really talk the truth on this team, and the truth is what gets people going after the first quarter. That's the way we should have opened up in the first quarter, we should have came out ready to play."

"We came out ready to play, but Cal had a good game plan and jumped on us early. They were fired up and ready to go."

On tradition: "We always think about the tradition. They haven't beat us in a while and we've had their number. We don't want to be the team that lets it down. We're trying to keep the tradition going."

Jason Chorak

On Shaw: "We all have real good confidence in our corners. We new that if we got to the quarterback they were going to have to throw the ball to Shaw to get yards. But they kind of surprised us with some of their formations they came out with early in the game with the I-backs running to the wide-slot. That is something Arizona State does. The former coaches that came here took some of their game plans from before and used it against us here. We weren't prepared for it until the second or third quarter when we figured things out."

Cameron Cleeland

On 30-3 score: "You've got to give Cal a lot of respect for coming out and playing as hard as they did, and making big plays. But there were a lot of mistakes out there for our team. You have to look and learn from this game. It's nice to get another road win. We've got three big road games, and now one's over and next we've got Arizona."

"The fumble I had was a huge critical era. You don't usually get those kind of things back. It was hard for me to handle. I get the ball very rarely, and when I do I want to make the best effort. Thankfully there was a penalty, and I got a second chance at it and made a play."

On touchdown: "It was a rout over the middle called an option route. I saw the safety drop down and I saw no one ahead of me."

On slow start: "We're not starting very fast at all. We've got to get moving because against a good team they're not going to give us a second chance. You have to learn how to dominate right away."

Nick Lentz

On timing: "As a unit we have to work on our timing. It was off sometimes today really bad. It takes time to get that stuff down, and we've only been working on things for a few weeks. "