Oct. 29, 2011
UCLA 31, California 14
October 29, 2011
UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel
"First off, I want to congratulate California on a hard fought game. They were a worthy opponent. But tonight was our night. I'm proud of my team amidst a lot of hoopla this week. We buckled down and went to work and put together a plan and executed a plan that had to be done well to have a chance tonight. It's just a great story of what can be done if you can block out some of the distractions. You come together and you fight. Now we've got to prove that we can be consistent. Now we need to find a way to be consistent. That's our marching order going forward. We look forward to getting that accomplished this week and playing an inspired game against a very talented Arizona State team."
on Dietrich Riley's injury
"With Dietrich, all signs are positive. Every test that's back is negative. He was in great spirits when he left the field. We've got a great medical staff that did a great job in getting him to where he needs to be. Knock on wood, hopefully it's nothing serious.
"It was a neck injury. I think it was a stinger where he felt like he couldn't feel anything and then the feeling came back. Caution is the order of the day and they took care of him. Everything from what I was told is that all the tests are negative and that he is checking out OK."
on facing California's defensive front
"They have a talented defensive front. Against us last year where they surprised us with a defensive configuration, we thought that we could get some chances with them with the quarterback. You cannot run not to get hurt tonight. I told him I want 100 yards, and I would be on his tail if he didn't get his shoulder pads down and go. He was a valiant kid. He did as we asked, and that's always fun as a coach to get guys to battle like that."
on the risk-reward factor of a mobile quarterback
"We didn't have a lot of options. We were down to very few wide receivers. That's how to play the game. Fortunately, it worked. You have to give him credit. It was a magnificent effort by him. He was playing great. There are lots of rewarding things for the coach-player relationship to see players respond like they did. Defensively, it was a terrific job to get guys off the field on third down after it was just the opposite the week before. Now we've got to let it go. We're 3-and-2 in the conference, but now we have to play a game against a very talented Arizona State team."
on Tevin McDonald's three interceptions
"No, I didn't mention three, but I should have. He's a great young player. He comes from a football family. He's got instincts galore, and usually when you've got instincts galore, you've got to coach instincts out of them. You have to make sure he's there to make the plays the defense needs him to make. He's starting to get his feet wet, and his instincts will kick back in. We were the benefactor of those taking place."
on UCLA's defensive front being effective
"Other than them getting the corner on us in some rushing situations, I thought we made some moves. We put Datone [Jones] inside for some snaps and added A.O. [Aramide Olaniyan] to the pass rush. We are not going to sit and act like what we've been doing is good enough. We have to churn the soil and find another way for things to grow. We'll look for other ways to develop some measure of consistency on both sides of the ball."
on the emotion of tonight's Pac-12 win
"Yeah [it's emotional], in some ways but not for me. It's more emotional for me watching kids respond. I use kids. I know they're young men and so I apologize to anyone taking offense. Watching Kevin Prince respond like he did. I know that's how Joe Tresey feels about those defensive players. And that Jerry Rice to Mike Johnson to step up and make plays. When guys get chances, they've got to come through and as a teacher there is no greater reward. So, yes, the answer is it was emotional for our guys to respond to the criticisms the way they did. As for me, it was a great win and I'm looking forward to playing a great one next week.
UCLA quarterback Kevin Prince
on the key to his 163-yard rushing performance
"We watched the tape from the game last year when Nevada played Cal. Coach Mastro and Coach Neuheisel told me that I had to rush for 100 yards today. That was a big win for us. Our passing game wasn't where it could be with some receivers down."
on the potential of getting injured while rushing
"If it's one on one, I'll lower the shoulder. If it's a couple more guys, I try to get down and slide. Coach Neuheisel talked to me about that on Tuesday. Running against Arizona last week, I was a little more cautious. Coach Neuheisel told me not to worry about that and just to run as hard as I can. It's fun as long as I can stay healthy. It was big for us. That was a big part of our gameplan."
on UCLA executing the pistol offense
"That's the pistol right there. We watched the Nevada game when they played Cal last year and what Colin Kapernick was doing - I just tried to emulate that. This was huge for us. We haven't dropped two in a row this year. We also haven't won two in a row. It's a confidence booster. It was nice to play a game like that and get through it. I was excited [on being told to rush for at least 100 yards]. I like running the ball. I was playing a little more cautious last week. When they gave me the green light, it kind of fired me up."
California head coach Jeff Tedford
on quarterback Zach Maynard's performance
"It was a tough day. We know we can't win games by turning the ball over. He missed on a couple overthrows, and that cost us at crucial times. We had really poor field position in the first half. You have to be accurate. He has to be at the right place with the ball. He made some good places, but the turnovers killed us."
on possibly changing quarterbacks
"We'll see. We'll look at the tape and make a determination with that."
on offensive problems
"We just couldn't get into a flow. We were backed up [in our end of the field] the whole first half. We weren't consistent enough moving the ball down the field and putting together long drives. We'd have some periods of doing some things well, but we weren't consistent at moving it down the field."
on defense against the run
"The quarterback killed us today. He made big plays and it changed the field position. They made the plays and you have to give them credit. We didn't make the plays. We didn't make the plays on third down and that's what it comes down to. But defensively we missed tackles. We didn't do a good enough job defending it."
on playing an emotional and depleted UCLA team
"We knew coming in that they would use that as a rallying cry. They came out and got some momentum going early and continued that momentum. We came out and scored to start the second half, but we missed a field goal that would have tied the game. The momentum changed right there. You have to give them credit for driving and getting themselves out of bad field position."
on the rest of the season
"We are 4-4 and still have a lot of football left. By no means are we going to fold the tent and say that the season is over. Don't be ridiculous. We aren't going to do that. We are going to go back to work. We took a step back today. I don't want to bury my head in the sand and say that we took a step back today. We didn't play as we need to play. But I have confidence in the team that we'll come back and have great work ethic and get ready to play next week."