Oct. 13, 2003
I'd like to start off saying that I feel very fortunate with our win last week, had a rough start with a team that had some new enthusiasm with the leadership there, had a terrific game plan to do some things productively for themselves and cause some issues for us early on in the game. Obviously it was key for us to get a win like that, particularly on the road, being down a halftime and having to come back in the second half to do some things to win the football game shows great signs of what we need to be as a team when your in those types of situations and in an environment that obviously isn't a friendly environment. There was so growth from that standpoint. We were very fortunate to do the right things at the right time for us to come out with that victory and it probably wasn't our best game to date. If you think about it in terms of how we have progressed from week one to week six, we did find ways to do some things we needed to and that is always a good sign when you have the ability to do that. So our kids will learn something from this week particularly in the Pac-10. It has always been said that in each and every week you have to be ready to play and do some things on Saturday to win the game. Its been proven that in any week any team can beat you, particularly in our conference. We found a way to win and we are excited about getting that win and building from that and moving on to our next week, which this week is Cal. With that being said, I'd like to open it up for any questions.
From watching the videotape, why did their offense have so much success against your defense and how will you keep future opponents from succeeding in the same way?
Well I think it was a couple of things that I was reminded of early in the week. Whenever you have a change on a staff, and what happened was offensively their play caller was a different play caller and he had his own ideas about what to do, I knew that there would be some system changes given their situation. And we didn't know exactly what those changes would be until game time and it took a little bit of time to adjust to some of the things they were doing, so I think that is what happened to be honest with you. They had some success in running the football and they ran the ball in some different ways that they hadn't shown before and it took us some time to adjust to those issues and we finally did in the second half and were able to win the football game. But, you know those are part of the process when you play against a team that has a totally different direction in terms of their outlook now. So they are renewed and obviously they played very hard. They did some things to present some issues for us. Like I said we found a way to make up some issues for ourselves and clean things up and make some plays when we needed to and were fortunate to win the game.
How are Matt Ware and Jarrad Page?
Jarrad is still really sore. I would still list him as doubtful again this week. He plays a position, which is the safety, you have to be able to tackle and if you can't tackle it is hard to play. So to me his situation is probably a little better than how it was last week, but we'll see how that ends up by the end of the week. But, I would say it is probably doubtful again. As for Matt Ware, he is just has an ankle sprain. We did our tests, actually we didn't run any tests after the evaluation from the doctor and the swelling was down today from what it was yesterday. They think there is the likelihood that he will get to play this weekend.
Defensively, what does Aaron Rogers and Reggie Robbins bring to the game for Cal?
A one-two punch. They do a nice job offensively with mixings things up. Both quarterbacks have different strengths, but both of them collectively present some issues for any opposing defense. Both of them have ways of beating you, they both can throw the ball pretty well. They are pretty mobile kids as well. They are a good tandem to have. Obviously they are rested and they'll be excited about playing us this weekend and so will we.
The third touchdown, down the middle, whose miscommunication was that?
I think it was just an issue where we didn't get lined up properly. That is what happens in football. That is why you scheme and some guys get beat and some guys don't. It is the same thing that we try to do on our side of the ball and I think that it was some looks that we hadn't seen from them before and they were doing some things formationally that we were adjusting to at the time and obviously they had the right play call at the given time. Again, I'm not going to take anything away from what Arizona did. They had a good game plan against us and we knew that that was going to be the situation that they were going to do some things that we hadn't seen. They were very productive on some of the things that were knew for them. Like I said, we did a better job in the second half we adjusted what we needed to do and we came down with the win. It was a good tough win for us.
How did Kevin Brant play?
Kevin played well for his first start. He didn't miss any coverage calls and he adjusted the back end pretty well. It might be him again and I think that at least getting a game under his belt and if it is him again, he'll feel that much more comfortable with having that experience from last week.
Did you count the number of tackles you missed on film and how do you explain that because this is a team that has tackled well all year?
Obviously that was something of a concern after we looked at the tape, we were in position a lot of the time to make those plays and we just weren't getting the ball carriers down. Sometimes it was an issue where we were over pursuing; we were overrunning the play. I think we just got to be a little more patient and conscious about playing our gaps and staying into our responsibilities defensively and then things will be okay. I think that what our defense is doing now, is that they are playing with a lot of confidence and their playing to run to the football and you know we still got to play, I call that harnessed aggression. You know, still play hard, still play tough, still play the way you need to play, but still within the responsibilities that you are supposed to be playing in. There was some evidence of that this past week.
Complete press conference available by clicking on the audio link at the top of this page.