Cal head coach Jeff Tedford
On Oregon State's defense:
They are very hard to move the ball on. There are a few stats in the conference where they are right on top. They are just very stingy.
On whether Oregon State's three straight losses will be a factor:
I don't think by any means that we would ever come close to thinking about overlooking Oregon State. They have had some close games. Their game against Arizona State was 13-9, and to hold Arizona State to 13 points is unreal because they are very explosive. We have great respect for Oregon State. We understand that they've played some close games and anything can happen. They are a great football team.
On whether any adjustments on defense will be made for the Oregon State game:
No. We will continue to play the way that we play. We'll stack the box and do our best to slow them down. There were some pretty physical offensive lines that we've played against and some pretty good running backs that we've played against. As long as we keep them out of the end zone, that's all that matters.
On how he feels about the bye week being so late in the season:
Having it somewhere in the middle would be the best, but it will definitely come at a much needed time for us after this game. I think our players will be able to use it as a time to get healthy, to get mentally refreshed, to catch up academically. They have played a lot of physical, tough games in a row-as they all are, it's no different from anyone else. But they've done a nice job of battling through injuries, so a bye is always nice to get a little refreshed and healthy.
OSU Head Coach Dennis Erickson
|(On California) "California is playing extremely well right now. They've had a great season, a great turnaround by (first-year head coach) Jeff Tedford and his coaching staff. What they've done is unbelievable. They've done it a lot of different ways. From the very start, they've played extremely well; they went back to East Lansing and beat Michigan State back there, which is no easy win, having been back there and played before. Then to go down to the Coliseum and almost beat SC; to go to Seattle and beat the University of Washington; to dominate, pretty much, UCLA - they're just playing really well, with great confidence.|
"Kyle Boller at quarterback is playing extremely well; he's thrown 19 touchdown passes and only five interceptions. They've only turned the ball over nine times, I think, all year, and they've got 25 (turnovers), so they're plus-16 - which leads our league and is one of the best in the nation - in terms of turnover ratio. Their offensive front is playing really, really well; Jimmy Michalczik is coaching them, he was with us (at OSU) and he's done a great job with them. (Tailback) Joe Igber is running the football. But they're not making very many mistakes on offense, they're not turning the ball over.
"Yet on the other side of the football, they're creating turnovers. That's been the big difference. They're running around making plays. Their defensive front, they play seven or eight of them, and they're playing extremely well. Tully Banta-Cain at defensive end is their sack leader and he's playing extremely well for them. Their linebackers, their secondary play very similar to us; they come up and bump and create some problems for you as far as routes are concerned. They've very solid in the kicking game.
"They're well-coached, they don't make a lot of mistakes, they give themselves a chance to win. I think the most impressive thing is, in the first half they've pretty much dominated football games. They come out ready to play and come out and understand what they're going to do. I can't say enough about what they've done.
(On California quarterback Kyle Boller) "As you watch him, Jeff (Tedford) has done a great job and George Cortez, their quarterback coach, has done a great job. Fundamentally, he's so much better. His feet are better. His release is quicker. As far as the strategy of the game and knowing where to go with the football and where not to go with the football, he's so much improved. He's getting it off quicker - all of those things. He's always been a tremendous talent; now he's taking advantage of his talent. When there's somebody open, he throws it to them and he hits them. Fundamentally, he's better, but I think the scheme they run has made a big difference for him, also."
(Prior to this season, had you seen signs that California could be a pretty good team?) "I've always said Cal was as tough on defense as anybody we've played every year since I've been here. They've had guys that could play; they still do. But the mixture of the whole team wasn't quite there, for whatever reason. Coach Tedford has brought that to them. He's brought a good staff that's outstanding and brought them all together as an offense, defense and special teams. They're just playing really good together as a team, and that's why they're having their success."
(Not to detract from California's players, but how much of the Bears' success this season is due to their coaching staff?) "You can give them a lot of credit, but all they can do is get them in the right direction and get them in an atmosphere that is a very positive atmosphere. Once you start getting that and then you have some success in that atmosphere, everything starts multiplying and you start having success. In my opinion, they've got a great staff and they seem to get along together. The players seem to be playing together as a team, and that's a credit to the coaching staff and they believe. But onc