California Head Coach Sonny Dykes
"It feels good to win. That was a tough, physical, hard-fought football game, much like we thought it would be, coming in. Washington's got a very good football team, and they play good, solid football. Any time anybody does that, they're tough to beat. I was really proud of our guys. We hung in there. We didn't play great. We dropped a lot of balls offensively, and just kind of stubbed our foot a little bit moving the football at times. I thought our defense played lights out. Those guys played really hard, that's a tough team to defend, because they show you so many different things. The shifts and motions and moving people around and I thought our team adjusted well. I was really proud of the way we played. We created five turnovers and obviously that was probably the difference in the ballgame. So, it was good to get a win against a very good football team."
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1592003-postgame-video-cal...Why do you think your defense has been able to create the turnovers they have?
"Turnovers are really a byproduct of guys playing hard. We're running to the football well, we're chasing the ball better than we have in the past. When you play hard, you're in the right place and our guys have gotten in the right place. And when they get an opportunity to make a play, they've made it."
Cal was 5-of-6 in the red zone, but three of those were field goals. The Bears had first-and-goal at the one-yard line with 10 minutes left in the first half, and could not punch the ball in, turning the ball over on downs. The Bears had some red-zone troubles.
"Yeah, we certainly did. Again, you have to give Washington credit. They're a very good defensive football team, particularly the closer you get to the goal line, the better they are defensively. We wanted to go for the touchdown, down there. Felt like it was going to be a win-win, either way, because if we didn't get it, they were going to have to put their offense out there at the one, and luckily, we got a turnover at that point, which helped us. But, that would have been a big scoring opportunity for us. We have to execute better down there, though."
On the ensuing Washington offensive series, Darius White came up with an interception of Jake Browning, which he returned 21 yards, on the first play of the drive. Cal still was unable to punch in a touchdown, with Trevor Davis taking a tackle for loss on a reverse, and Matt Anderson driving home a 41-yard field goal -- one of his three on the day, and a career-long.
For the second straight week, the Bears had a three-score lead get away from them. The Huskies begain their comeback on a 70-yard fumble return for a touchdown after tailback Vic Enwere coughed the ball up on the 30-yard line to Sidney Jones. What worries Dykes about that, and what did he like about the way his team responded?
"Obviously the fumble return for a touchdown was the big turning point. It got Washington back into the game and got them some momentum. I'm just proud of the guys for finishing the games the way they are. Since I got the job at Cal three years ago, that's what we've talked about: Get better. Let's just make sure we're better today than we were yesterday. To our guys' credit, they've done that. They've improved themselves every single day. Their work ethic, their investment in our program, the way they hadnle themselves off the field, in the classroom, they've gotten better every single day and they just really like each other. They care about each other, and when you coach on a team that likes each other, it's fun to coach. They've got a lot of confidence now, and they believe when it comes a critical time in a ballgame someone's going to make a play, and guys want to be in those situations. I would certainly be in favor of not playing so many close ballgames like this, but that's kind of who we are right now, and we'll take it."
One of those opportunisitc plays came with two minutes left, when Damariay Drew ("I'm really proud of him," Dykes said) picked off Browning to ensure Cal a final drive to milk the clock.
Mustafa Jalil (knee) "could have gone," but the Bears rested him, and instead started Tony Mekari.
Daniel Lasco was also rested so he will be healthy for the final eight games, as he is suffering from a muscle pull in his hip/groin area.