Cal-USC Postgame Quotes

USC Beats Bears, 62-28
By Cal Athletics on Sat, November 09, 2013

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California Head Coach Sonny Dykes

On the punt team’s performance:

“When you sit down and look at today, we cut it to a 21-14 lead and had some momentum. We finally had some confidence taking the lather off their defensive line a little bit, and a little tired. We did some things offensively to move the football, then gave up 21 points on our punt team. I’ve been doing this a long time and that has always been a strength of ours. Our team last year at Louisiana Tech led the entire nation in net punting. We start three practices every week with our punt team; it is a big deal to us. That was 21 points at a pretty critical point in the ball game when we had some momentum, and felt like we had an opportunity to be in the game.”

On the team’s mood during the game:

“I think our offense played pretty well, and our defense played well in spurts. We really did a good job on first and second down. We got them in some third and longs. They converted some third downs early in the game, and that really hurt us. I thought our kids did a really good job down 21 nothing to rally to cut it to 21-14. I promise you there wasn’t anybody on our sideline at that point that didn’t think we were going to win. That is a hard feeling to have playing USC when you are 1 and 8. That says a lot about our football team and what they believe. If we can get them to continue to believe that, and to work, this will get turned around.”

On Cal’s linebacker situation:

“Hardy Nickerson went down early. He plays middle linebacker and makes all the calls for us. Chad Whitener came in and he is a true freshman. We were down to one MIKE linebacker. We were trying to make contingency plans, we didn’t have another linebacker. We were talking about playing a safety at linebacker or maybe a running back at linebacker. We missed a lot of checks, and rolled the coverage the wrong way several times. We got out of position as a result, and when you get out of position, you are trying to recover, and when you are trying to recover, you are diving at people’s legs and it looks bad. That is what happened at times today.”

On Cal’s youth and future:

“We were forced to play a lot of young players before they were ready to play. There are always some freshmen that are so good you need to find a way to get them on the field. Our guys are good players, but a lot of these young guys have been forced to play because there is nobody else. It is okay; it has been tough this year, but it is going to pay off. They are going to get tougher, and have been game tested. In a weird sort of way, the experience they have gotten this year and the hard luck will help our team respond faster. We are going to get this thing right. I don’t have a doubt in my mind. I feel more strongly about that right now than I did December 5th when I was hired.”

On the relationship between QB Jared Goff and WR Kenny Lawler:

“The more reps they get together the more they get on the same page. Jared can predict what Kenny is going to do based on his body position and movements. Kenny is getting an idea where Jared is going to place the ball based on where the defender is. The only way you build that type of relationship is by time and reps. The more reps those guys get, the tighter their relation gets and the more productive they will be. I think Kenny has scored five touchdowns the past two games, so he has gotten really productive especially in the red-zone.”

California Players

Jared Goff

On playing from behind:

“We try not to look at the scoreboard too much. I mean we’ve spotted teams 21 a couple times this year. It’s actually something we try not to do when we’re on offense. We really don’t look at the scoreboard. When we were against Ohio State we were down 21-0 and scored two quick. So it really didn’t make any difference in our game plan.”

On connection with Kenny Lawler:

“Kenny’s been great. He’s really stepped up big for us. He’s come in and made some great touchdown grabs. I’m pretty confident with him on the goal line, and he’s a great receiver. I’m excited for him to get better and for us to continue to form that bond.”

On offensive improvements over the season:

“Obviously our run game has come a long way, that’s definitely one thing. With guys like Kenny stepping up, I think is another big thing. Seeing them progressing, those guys you didn’t know at the beginning of the year are starting to step forward. I think the O-line is playing as a unit more now compared to earlier in the year. They’re playing so together and on the same page, and we’ve been getting better every week, which is what we’re trying to do.”

Jackson Bouza, WR

Reflecting on emotions from his senior season:

“It’s been hard. There’s nothing easy about it because we feel like we’re so much better than our record shows. I was talking to coach before this, to the outside world and to anyone who isn’t a part of this Cal football family, it doesn’t seem like we’re going anywhere, but inside the locker room and inside our facilities, we can see the change everyday, and I’m proud of that.”

Michael Barton, LB

On the most encouraging aspects of season:

“I can definitely say as a whole defense, and especially as a linebacking unit, we have improved. We are young, that’s the excuse everybody takes for us, but we’re not going to take that as an excuse. We want to preform to the best of our abilities every week, so that’s what we strive for. We’re taking steps forward and that’s what we’re going to continue to do and that’s going to go into next year as well.”

USC Head Coach Ed Orgeron

General Comments:

“Tremendous team win. We felt the whole week that we had a tremendous week of practice, and it goes to show you how close these guys are getting as a unit and family, and focus into the task at hand. We all know what’s coming up next week, but our guys’ focus in on getting better. We got better in all phases of the game this week. We did a tremendous job on special teams. I’ve got to give credit to coach (John) Baxter. This was probably one of the better special team’s performances I’ve seen as a coach. Nelson (Agholor) had a great day and Buck (Javorious Allen) had another great day. It was a tremendous team effort and I’m just glad to see the guys getting better. Our goal is to get better each week during the month of November, and we did that today. We all know we’ve got a tough task ahead next week but we’re ready for the challenge.”

On starting the game with a score:

“I was really just happy to see the guys make plays. We have some explosive athletes on this team and we have some good game plans. It’s just exciting to see some explosive plays out there. That’s part of our football team. That’s what makes us who we are at USC. We have some great athletes on this team who can score at any time.”

On Cal’s fight throughout the game:

“They kept competing toward the very end. We knew it was going to be one of those games. I didn’t know we were going to score 62 points, but we knew they were going to compete because it’s a Pac-12 game. Those guys do a good job even though it’s their first year. They’ve got an offense that can score points and, obviously, we feel that they’re going to get better down the road.”

On team’s health and depth heading into Stanford game:

I feel great about everybody we put out onto the field.  We’re going to strap it up and give it the best that we can no matter who it is.

On how defense played vs. the Cal Offense:

“The first group played pretty well. Obviously, we had a lot of second and third group near the end, and it got kind of frustrating because we didn’t make the plays we should have, but there were a lot of guys who had a chance to play and get better. It gave us some depth on our football team. We won the game, and that’s what we came up here to do. That was our objective and we did it, and we’re happy about that.”

On changes since Orgeron took over program:

“I wanted them to just start believing in each other first. Believe in each other and have fun in practice, and that’s something that leads to winning. You’ve got to have fun in practice and play as a team in order to do that and we feel like we’re doing that. We’ve got some games ahead and we’ll take it one game at a time, but I really believe in this team and these young men. Regardless of who we play, regardless of the circumstances, we’re going to play as a team and fight like hell.”

USC Players 

Nelson Agholor, WR

On his punt returns for touchdowns:

“Coach Baxter just called a return. We usually call some blocks and call some returns. He called a return on that first one, and the guys just gave me a ball I could return. I got under it with some space and got some blocks down the field. A lot of guys put in a lot of effort. That’s how you return, when a lot of guys put in a lot of effort so one guy can run.

The best thing about getting that first return is it gave the rest of those guys confidence that we could block the same way. You return one and everyone wants to return another. That’s a unit type thing; we want to get in the end zone. Punt returns are not done by one person. One guy is not going to juke out 11 people. Those guys blocked well and we were able to make the play.”

On watching Oregon/Stanford and preparing for Stanford:

“It was a great football game. Two teams competing. I always watch as a fan, I’m not watching to see what Stanford’s doing. We’ll worry about Stanford now, they’re the next team, but on Thursday night I was watching and enjoying the game.”

Javorius Allen, RB

On today’s game:

“My offensive line did a great job. They worked their butts off the whole week. I want to give credit to the line and the fullbacks because without them I wouldn’t even be in here. I want to credit the great job they did. We have a great offense and a great game plan and we executed.”

On his last two games:

“I know what I’m capable of. It was just me biding my time and waiting for my chance.” 


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