Post-Game Quotes: Cal 34, Stanford 28

Sure, it was a "team loss', but The Bootleg would like a better explanation as to why we chose to throw the ball rather that feed relentless All-American Toby Gerhart, who in all likelihood would have scored his fifth rushing touchdown and provided the Cardinal with a stirring comeback win in the 112th Big Game. Count us among those who don't undertsand...

Post-Game Quotes: Cal 34, Stanford 28

 

Quarterback Andrew Luck

 

On the last play of the game…

 

"I didn't put enough 'air' under it. The way the defense was aligned I thought we had a shot with Coby [Fleener] in the end zone. I didn't put enough air under it and I didn't make a good enough throw."

 

On Cal's defensive adjustments after the first quarter…

 

"I don't know if they adjusted that much. I felt like they were playing the same defense pretty much the whole game. We just sort of lost a little bit of our edge, and all the credit goes to them. They played their butts off and they are a very good defensive team. I don't think it was something completely different."

 

On describing his overall play in the game…

 

"It was sub-par; not very good. I know we had a chance at the end, but I didn't make the play when it counted."

 

On losing the big game after coming off two remarkable wins…

 

"Losing stinks every time it happens."

 

On why the offense changed after such a good start…

 

"It started out well, but offensively I don't think we capitalized enough off of the great start. They are a good team – credit goes to them. They played very well."

 

On the first fumbled snap…

 

"The blame falls on me as well as the center. I think it was maybe a little off-center but nothing that I shouldn't be able to catch. I take responsibility for the bad snaps. I think I may have been getting my eyes up a little quick to see what the defense was doing. I don't know…we'll have to watch the film and see."

 

On Cal's defensive success in the game…

 

"They're a good defense. They play tough. They have good, physical D-linemen and a good, physical secondary. They played well and they made the plays when they needed to be made."

 

On whom the intended receiver was on the last play…

 

"The intended receiver was Coby Fleener and the linebacker picked it off. He just dropped into a zone and I wish I could have had that one back now. There was time on the clock left and I could have done a lot of different things. It's disappointing."

 

On how much losing the Big Game takes away from the season…

 

"It stinks. I'm just glad we have another week left in the regular season."

 

Running back Toby Gerhart

 

On not getting a chance to have the ball in his hands on the team's last possession…

 

"I would have liked to have had it. We had some time, it was first down, and it would have been nice. But that's just the way the game goes. We do what we feel like is going to give us the best shot to win, and they made a good play. Things just turned out the wrong way."

 

On the offense suffering from the long drives by Cal…

 

"A lot of credit goes to their offense. They sustained long drives and that kept us off the field. It didn't allow us to really get into a rhythm. We had a couple of three and outs, gave them the ball back and they had some long drives. We've got to take credit for not allowing our defense to rest and not making plays when we had the chance."

 

On how much losing the Big Game takes away from the season…

 

"This one hurts. This is the Big Game. Everybody takes pride in this one. The communities take pride in this one. Our season's been pretty decent as a whole – going to a bowl game for the first time – but we had bigger goals than that. We wanted to get to that Pac-10 championship and get the Axe back. It's just one game but at the same time, when everything's said and done, we're going to have an empty pit in our stomach that we didn't get the Axe back. We let this one kind of slip away."

 

Safety to McNally

 

On being surprised to see so much of the Wildcat and the key to Shane Vereen's success…

 

"I wouldn't say that we were surprised to see it because they've been doing it all year. They've had success with it so we prepared for it all week. I'd have to watch the film to see what happened (in not stopping Vereen), but I just think guys weren't sustaining their gaps like they should. Vereen did a good job of getting up in there quick and hitting the holes. They did a good job blocking us and we didn't get off the blocks as well as we should have."

On Shane Vereen as a running back…

 

"He's a great back. I said earlier in the week that there really isn't any drop-off from Jahvid Best to Shane Vereen. He's fast, he's quick and he runs hard for his size. He's a great back."

 

On how much losing the Big Game takes away from the season…

 

"For me as a senior, every senior class wants to go out getting the Axe back. But in the grand scheme of things, it's just one game. We are going to really feel this one for the next day or two. And then we are going to shake it off and move on to Notre Dame. That's the beautiful thing about football and the beautiful thing about this week, this year – that this isn't the last game. We've got another chance to play, another chance to get better. We're still a good football team. We're a much better football team than we showed today."

 

Head coach Jim Harbaugh

 

On if he felt the game was decided on the last play…

 

"No..... It was a big play. It was designed to go to Fleener and [Luck] thought the 'backer wasn't as deep as he was. But a lot of ‘should haves'. He should have probably thrown it higher, I should have given him a better play at the time, a better play on the 4th & 9…a lot of ‘should haves' offensively and defensively. It's a 'team loss'. Cal did an outstanding job and they deserve the credit. They were controlling the line of scrimmage for the most part of the game, especially in the second and third quarter. But no, it's not all on that one play. If you're going to win a game, you've got to at least win one of the phases – offense, defense or special teams. I thought we did on special teams so that's two out of three that we didn't."

On if he thought Luck was "off" today…

 

"Off, Good coverage. He missed a couple throws. But we just get so used to Andrew painting every throw on the money every time, and that's not realistic. That's not the game of football. But he's been that way most of the year, and when the coverage was really good I thought he did a good job of bringing the ball down and running with it. I thought he played his tail off, I thought he played really well."

 

On why Cal's defense was more effective than Oregon and USC

 

"They did a nice job controlling the line of scrimmage. Controlling the line of scrimmage and defending the pass at the same time. I thought they did the same thing offensively. There were times that we were getting moved off the ball in their running game. You look at the second and third quarter especially. I think we only had the ball on one possession during the third quarter. The drives – the 90-yard drives, the 92-yard drives, the 94-yard drives. When they're driving the ball with that kind of variety and getting open guys at the sticks that were able to keep the drives alive. And they stopped us."

 

On Cal's long drives hurting Stanford's offensive rhythm…

 

"You've got to get them stopped. Our offense certainly had chances to answer and didn't. Our defense certainly had chances to get off the field and didn't. You look back at it and you can say they won those phases – the offensive and defensive phases."

 

On going for it on 4th and 9…

 

"Like I said, there's going to be some ‘should haves'. When it doesn't work out, you should have and you should have not done it. I felt like we were going to go down swinging. I thought we were going to get our chances at the plate anyway. So we had that shot and then our defense did get them stopped after we went out on downs. They got the field goal, but we still had enough time to move it down the field and get a touchdown. I should have probably run the ball a couple of times when we got inside the 15."

 

On the disappointment of the fumbled snaps…

 

"Yeah we were having some difficulty on the shotgun snaps. That's where they're coming from – it wasn't the under center variety it was the shotgun snaps. Self-inflicted wounds like that are pretty hurtful. The snaps weren't over his head, but they were not where you want them – right in the body."

 

On not giving Gerhart the ball more in the fourth quarter…

 

"We felt like we had to score and score quick. We came back to the run on the series that we got stopped on fourth down. First down was a pass where we had Fleener pretty wide open and we missed that throw. We came back to the run and didn't get but a yard or two. And then we went back to pass on third and pass on fourth. We gave Toby the ball a few times on the scoring drive in the fourth quarter. We should have come back to him in the end, like I said, when we had the ball inside the 15-yard line."

 

On the vibe in the locker room…

 

"It's a tough loss. The guys are disappointed."



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