Oct. 11, 2004
Good afternoon everyone. It is a very big week for us as you know with Cal. They are a very good football team which had an opportunity to win last week against the No. 1 team in the country. They came up a little bit short there, but they are solid in a lot of different areas. They are No. 1 in both offense and defense in the conference. They have a lot of experience back on both sides of the ball. It's going to be a great challenge for our team to go up to their stadium and play. Our team is getting better week by week. We are finding ways to win and this is a week where we need to be in pretty tip-top shape to play against a very good Cal football team. From an injury standpoint, we don't have anything real significant. We think Mike McCloskey will be back this week. We sat him out for last week's game. He will practice this week and see how the week unfolds for him. Justin London played last week. The plan for him was to play some in the game and he did play well give the plays that he had. We are going to anticipate more playing time for him. Those are the two injuries that had any significance from last week. We are pretty close to being full in terms of injuries. It couldn't happen at a better time in the conference race which is this week against Cal. I'd like to take the next moment to take some questions please.
Sometimes when a team loses a big game like Cal did the week before, they come out angry and play with a lot of emotion. Other times they will come out flat. Are you preparing for the angry Cal team this week?
Well we are hoping they are falling flat. But they are a good football team and they are well coached. I mentioned that they have the best defense and offense in the conference right now and they look that way on tape. They are a good football team. I would be that they are probably angry because they had a good opportunity to win that football game last week and they want to get themselves back in the win column right now. It's a great challenge for our program. We have won the last four games and we are excited about the direction we are going in. But we know that this is a very good opponent and the best opponent we have faced so far this year. We are going to need to play a very good football game.
What are your thoughts on being able to disrupt their quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the running back J.J. Arrington?
I don't think you are really going to stop these guys. You want to slow them down. You want to keep them out of the end zone. He is a very solid quarterback and one of the more experienced in our conference. He is going to complete some passes. As far as the running game, they have Arrington and a couple of other backs like Marshawn Lynch. They have done a great job of generating some run offense. They are very balanced on offense. Our job on defense will be to keep them from scoring opportunities. But they are going to do what they do. They do a great job of moving the football.
USC exploited them on special teams. Do you feel that's an area where you can capitalize?
There were a few mistakes on special teams that USC capitalized on, but for the most part they were unforced issues. They are going to address those issues for this week's game and we are going to do what we've done and continue to improve in that area (special teams).
Is this a week where you have to tell the defense that Cal is going to get their yards and to not get to affected by that?
No, that is not what I would like to tell my defense. Our defense will be better prepared. They are going to play hard. We have some experience back with Justin London being a little bit more back in the fold. We will put together a good plan to be effective against this offense. This offense that we are facing is a very good offense. It has a lot of experience and their quarterback is a very good player. I don't think you are going to shut down their quarterback. But what we have to do is shut down the big play capability and play good, solid defense and make they earn everything they get.
If there are any weaknesses in Rodgers, what do you see?
I really don't see any weaknesses. He has tremendous poise. He is very accurate and he has good receivers. He's a solid performer.
For coach Karl Dorrell's complete press conference, please click on the audio link located at the top of the page.