Sept. 2, 1997
Tom Holmoe Press Conference
Re: Season Opener vs. Houston
"This is the week that our Cal team, and me personally, have been waiting for a long time. Playing the University of Houston down in the Astrodome is going to be a good challenge for us. It is a team that played last week. We had a chance to see the game on television. We didn't play last week, so I guess there is some plusses and minuses about that situation. One, we had a chance to see them play on TV, that could be a positive for us. They haven't seen us play, they may have seen last year's film, but this year, not having played a game, is to our advantage. But they do have the advantage in the fact that they've played a game and have gotten the first-game jitters out and now they're ready for their second game.
"Our team has prepared well for this game. We had a good camp in Turlock. The offseason preparation paid off and we were able to go hard in camp. This past week, we got a chance to rest the kids a little bit and fine tune our preparation as we get ready to play Houston.
"We haven't looked ahead. We have some big games down the road, but really, all our energy and effort has been into this Houston game and going down to Houston for a win.
"Right now we are relatively healthy. We have a few players that are 50-50 for the game. A.J. Knukle, a tight end who we projected to be the starter, hasn't played a down for us but he may come into the game a see some action. James Gibson came back close to 100 percent from the injury he suffered. Initially we thought it might be quite serious on the field but things proved otherwise. He has been in full contact now for a week and will be the starting nose tackle. Brandon Whiting had a bruised knee. He will start the game and we fully expect him to play the entire game. Other than that, most of the guys who were nicked or cut-up in camp are ready to go. So, we come into this game healthy and hopefully emotionally and physically prepared to go down and have a great game against Houston."
Q & A
Q: What is the prognosis for the defense?
Q: How much of a concern is depth on this year's team?
Q: For those who haven't seen Justin Vedder play, is there anyone you could compare him to?
Q: How much will Andre Carter play?
Q: Is the fact that the game will be played on AstroTurf a concern for you?