Cal-Arizona Postgame Quotes

Hardy Nickerson picked up his first career sack
By Cal Athletics on Sat, November 02, 2013

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California Head Coach Sonny Dykes 

General comments:

“It was just a hard fought, tough football game. It was kind of similar to what I thought it would be like. I thought defensively we did a lot of good things. Ka’Deem Carey got his yards, but he carried the ball a bunch – 32 carries and they were tough yards. He had a couple of easy carries right at the end of the first half, and they got in field goal range. But other than that, I thought we tackled better today than we have. That was a point of emphasis and has been all year. I think they tackle better because they have played more. I thought defensively we did some good things. Offensively, we didn’t make quite enough plays. The two turnovers hurt us. Turning the ball over in the end zone and giving our defense a short field to defend. Our inability to convert short-yardage situations all year has been an issue. We’ve got to get better at that if we are going to beat a good football team, which Arizona is.”

On the team’s feeling after today’s game:

“I think they want to see tangible results. The fact that we played better today against a good team shows them that we are certainly making progress and heading in the right direction. They’ll take something from that. But our goal is to win the ballgame, regardless of who we play. To our players credit, they expect to win and think they can win. It is a real credit to their character for them to play as hard as they are at this point in our season.”

On QB Jared Goff:

“I thought it was streaky. I thought he made some big time throws; the fade route to Kenny (Lawler) at the end. Some of the decisions he made were really good. He missed a couple of open plays; we’ll look at the film and see a couple times how close we were. That is part of the maturation and growth process that a young quarterback goes through. There are going to be moments where he looks really good, and other moments where he doesn’t look great. The interception on the fourth-down, he was trying to make something happen, keep the play alive; I don’t necessarily fault him for that. The other one he was throwing a curl route and tried to force it into a window that wasn’t open; he should have checked it down to a back.”

On CB Cedric Dozier and CB Kameron Jackson:

“I think Cedric is going to be a good player. I’m excited about him. He competes hard, he tackles well, and is one of our more physical corners. He wants to get in there and mix it up. I am really pleased with what I saw out of him. I thought Kam Jackson had one of his best games. He was very physical and much more aggressive. I was really pleased with what I saw; he competed really hard. College football is a funny game. A couple near interceptions went through our hands, and their guys made a couple plays. When you sit down and look at it, a lot of times that is the difference between winning and losing.”

On WR Kenny Lawler:

“Kenny is coming along. I had a good conversation with him in the locker room about how talented he is. His ball skills are pretty special. He can do things catching the football; some of the things he can do as far as making plays on the football are pretty special. He needs to keep working on getting stronger, get a little more mature. When those things happen he has a chance to be pretty special. If he can continue to develop that lets us move Chris Harper around a bit more and get some more speed on the field in different spots. We need Kenny to keep developing. He has showed some flashes of really good things, like we saw today, but at times he is inconsistent.”

California Players

Jared Goff

On Kenny Lawler’s performance:

“Kenny came in and stepped up big for us. He made two really great grabs. That first touchdown he had, he made a great play on that. He stepped up and did a great job.”

On his two interceptions:

“On the first one, I just threw it too far inside. The second one on fourth down, I just tried to make a play and forced the ball.”

On the offensive line:

“This was probably the best game so far. They’re really starting to come together. They did a great job of protection today. Arizona showed different blitzes, and they picked it up and did a good job.”

On the close 33-28 loss:

“It definitely hurt. It was in our grasp and we didn’t really grab it. We need to eliminate the little mistakes. It shows, with the team we have, we can’t make those little mistakes if we’re going to win a game. I can’t throw interceptions. It can’t happen. We had a chance to really reach out, grab it and get a nice win against Arizona and we didn’t take advantage of it.”

On the defense:

“The defense played well enough for us to win. They definitely played well enough for us to win. We didn’t score enough points that we needed to win. That’s what it came down to. I threw two interceptions late. We need to eliminate the little mistakes.”


Kenny Lawler, WR

On his second touchdown:

“It was definitely a catch. It was a real team play for me. I just maneuvered myself in the split second.”

On the close 33-28 loss:

“We played a tough game. We just need to eliminate the little mistakes and we’ll be good.”


Hardy Nickerson, LB

On the defensive progress:

“We made progress today. We played better. We emphasized all week in practice for guys to do their job. In some parts of the game we did that. We have to make more plays in some parts of the game, and we need to get turnovers and big plays.”

On his gameplay:

“Today, I just tried to play as hard as I could and make sure I did my job. I tried to play very hard and enthusiastic today.”

Arizona Head Coach Rich Rodriguez 

General Comments:

“I’m proud of our guys, we knew there was going to be some adversity and that we would have to be resilient. They came out and scored on their opening series and our guys didn’t panic. As I told the team afterwards, it’s not pretty, and a lot of times it’s not pretty how we’re playing right now, but it’s a good road win in the Pac-12 and we’ve got a lot of big games coming up.”

On anticipating a sloppier game:

“I never anticipate a sloppy game, but I did anticipate some adversity. When you’ve got a team that can throw it as well as they do, and they’ve got some explosive receivers. They played us well up front and our offensive line didn’t get much push, so I have to take a look at the film. I thought they constricted some things in the run game, so we had to do some things on the perimeter and adjust a little bit that way. We made just enough plays and we didn’t turn the ball over thankfully. Had we, we would have lost, but we didn’t and made just enough plays to win.”

On waiting for the other team to make mistakes:

“We sent some pressure defensively, we didn’t bring it a lot, but I think Coach (Jeff) Casteel mixed it up a little bit. Jake (Fischer) was out, the one guy that kind of controls everything defensively and so, I think it probably limited some of what we could do defensively, some of our packages. We had two interceptions, which was big and made just enough plays offensively to get us over the hump.”

On the two interceptions:

“They were huge. We didn’t get a lot of pressure on the quarterback when we sent three, but on the one fourth down play, when we went cover zero and Coach Casteel sent them all, I thought that was huge. That got them (Cal) off the field with less than five minutes to go, so he mixed it up just well enough.”

On winning two straight Pac-12 road games:

“For where we are right now, and I’ve said it many times, we’ve got some good players, but we’re not going to overwhelm anybody. We just aren’t there right now and we are going to have to grind. If you look at us physically, we get pushed around a bit because we’re not that big. I was really pleased with our guys and their focus all week and I was pleased with their intensity coming out of the locker room and I think that they’re excited. Any road win is good and we get a chance to come back home with some big games in front of us.”

On B.J. Denker’s performance:

“Their two inside guys are really big and did a really good job I thought. They squeezed their ends quite a bit, which we anticipated, but we didn’t run B.J. (Denker) as much as we did last week because he was banged up. He didn’t do a whole lot in practice this week, he didn’t throw much and we were trying to limit some of B.J.’s runs that might have been there, simply because he was beat up a little bit. He’s a competitive guy, and made some big runs when he had to.”

Arizona Players 

B.J. Denker, QB

On expectations before the game:

“That team is a lot better than 1-7 and they’re definitely better than 1-8. They have some players, especially on the defensive side of the ball. They’re going to be a good team, the end of this year and next year.”

On Cal’s defense:

“The defense really loaded up against Ka’Deem. They didn’t want him to have the ball, so I knew I was going to have to carry it some and take some shots. Yeah, I’m a little banged up, but they geared towards stopping Ka’Deem and I was able to take advantage. Even on plays where I had to hand it to Ka’Deem, I didn’t want to because they were so focused on him.”

On contributions from true freshmen:

“Those guys - Scooby Wright, Nate Phillips, Samajie Grant - are studs. Last year they’re playing high school football, they just got their diplomas, and now they’re playing big time Pac-12 football. That’s a credit to them working hard and to our coaches’ recruiting. It’s not easy to come in as a freshman and do what they’re doing. Samajie had something crazy like 10 catches in the first half. That’s awesome. Scooby set a team record for squats over the summer.”


Ka’Deem Carey, RB

On Cal’s defense:

“Cal did a good job of loading up the box. It seemed like they were really focusing on stopping me, but you come into games expecting that and you adjust. B.J. did a good job of keeping it on some and making some big runs at the end of the game.”

On reaching 100 yards rushing:

“When you’ve been playing a long time you just kind of know. You get a feel for how the game’s going and you can estimate. I don’t know how many yards I ended up with but I knew about when I got to 100. But more importantly, the team got the win and that’s what you play the game for.”

His thoughts about the game early on:

“I thought it was going to be a really good day, but shout out to their coach; they made some adjustments and some changes and they were able to focus on me. They played hard so credit them. The yards weren’t easy.”


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