Notes and Quotes

Head Coach Bob Toledo gets a little "bothered" by how the press characterized the win over Cal. He also talks about Stanford, the Bowl Championship Series, and some other hot-button topics...

Notes:

The game at Washington State will be telecast by Fox and carried on channel 9 in Los Angeles.

Offensive Player of the Game for Cal was Cory Paus. Defensive Player of the game was Robert Thomas. Special Teams Player of the Game – Audie Attar.

Injuries:

Cody Joyce – concussion, headaches continue, doubtful.

Brian Poli-Dixon – dislocated shoulder, doubtful.

Matt Mare – sprained ankle, questionable. Not as bad as first believed.

Shane Lehmann – sprained ankle, likely to play. Day-to-day.


Head Coach Bob Toledo comments...

On the Cal game…

"I sit up here and answer a lot of your questions, so I'm going to ask you guys a question. Did we win 56-17 or did we lose this game? I get confused sometimes. Some people make it feel like we lost the football game. It's just interesting. I'm just venting a little bit. You look at Cal, Cal had nothing to lose in that football game. They had eight defensive starters returning, which leads me to believe they have some good defensive players, and they played good defense in the past. They load the box with 8, 9 guys, sometimes ten guys. They gave us a whole new defense, they blitzed linebackers, they basically sold out. They were not going to let DeShaun Foster run for 100 yards. We had some sacks early because of what they did but I thought we adjusted to it. We didn't have a sack in the second half. Again, I think our coaches did a great job of adjusting and our players did a great job of making those adjustments.

"We had a 100 yard rusher. The first guy to run for 100 yards against Cal this year. And people wonder why he didn't get 300. You guys saw a rare game a couple of weeks ago. It's amazing how people think, ‘Why didn't he get 300 again?' You know how hard that is? I don't care if you're playing flag football. That's tough to do. And some people are just not very realistic.

"We had 531 total years, the most we ever had since the Wisconsin bowl game where we broke the Rose Bowl game record. We had 303 yards passing. Cory Paus had his best game, threw for three touchdowns. We scored 56 points, and most of those were on pretty long scoring drives.

"Defensively, the first drive, Cal came down, they deserved that field goal. But what you have to realize, they have players. They have 85 scholarships, they have players. They have coaches. They know how to coach. They came down, they took advantage of a couple of things, and our coaches adjusted to it, and we took those things away. A week ago they were ahead of Washington 21-7 at halftime. Are they that bad a football team? I don't think so. On the third drive when they scored their only touchdown against our starters, we had a penalty on a punt that kept the drive alive. We had a penalty on third down that kept the drive alive. And if there's one thing that bothered me about this football game, it's the penalties. We had 12 penalties, and that's way too many, and that disturbs me. Because I want to be more disciplined and a lot more poised than that. Our players were told that already. And if there's anything to write about, that's something to definitely write about.

"The second touchdown they scored was on our third team. We had five walk-ons in the game. We played 35 defensive football players. Some guys that had never been in a football game playing defense on that last drive. And credit to Phil Snow, he said, ‘Coach, you're not worried about the stats, are you?' I said, ‘No, I want those guys to have an opportunity to play.' Young Kocher, Manavian, Stromsborg and Krall. I can go on and on. The point I'm trying to make is that we weren't concerned about the stats. We wanted those guys to enjoy the experience and play. I know a lot of defensive coordinators and coaches that would put in their first team and at least their seconds back in to not let them score. That wasn't important. Let the kids have some fun. Let them enjoy it. I can't tell you how to write. I can't tell people what to say on the radio or on TV. You have the pen, the ink, the microphones. But do me a favor, point out a lot of the good things they do. That's all I ask. I'm venting, and I know you have a job, and I understand that. But it bothers me when I read the paper, or listen to the radio or the TV and you have people nitpicking about this football team."

On Stanford…

"Stanford is a lot like us. They have 16 starters returning. They have close to 40 experienced players. Offensively they run the ball extremely well, and that's part of their success. You have to be able to run the ball. You have a couple of excellent quarterbacks and a couple of outstanding receivers. They can throw the football. Their special teams are outstanding. Their punt returner leads the nation. They have a good punter. Defensively, they have 11 senior starters. They have some excellent players and outstanding coaches. I'm good friend with those guys. I know all those coaches. And I think Ty Willingham is an excellent coach. It's going to be a battle. The other thing that makes me laugh is when people say, ‘Oh, you're waiting for the Oregon game.' They forgot to tell Stanford not to beat Oregon. Anybody can beat anybody. This BCS stuff, it doesn't really matter for right now. There is a lot of football to be played. Stanford, in my opinion, and the opinion of my coaching staff, has the best all-around football team that we played to date. Offfense, defense, special teams. They're the best."

On why Cal was so effective defensively at the beginning of the game…

"Talking football-wise, they were using a Bear front. The old Chicago Bears, Buddy-Ryan front. But they were doing it this year with a 7-man front and four secondary people. And that's the way we practiced. And that's what we worked on. Well, they used a Bear front with an 8-man front, and we didn't practice and didn't cover it because they've never done it. And all of sudden they did it and got a couple of sacks early. We misblocked some things. But again, we adjusted to it quickly. We didn't wait until halftime like a lot of people think. We adjusted and solved the problem."

On any team trying to stack the box and take away UCLA's running game…

"They try to take away your right hand and make you play left-handed. Sometimes when you take away the right hand, but you're still good enough left-handed, it doesn'tmatter what you do, they're going to beat you. You can't stop everything. That's why it's important not to be one-dimensional. Which death do you want. That was Cal's philosophy. They'll stack the line and take away the run. If they feel they stopped the guy from getting 100 yards but you got 500 they feel good about it."

On how an experienced team stays in a game mentally…

"I think when you're dealing with experienced, mature football teams like we are, our kids didn't panic, we got the sacks, didn't run the ball very well, got hit in the backfield a couple of times, we didn't panic. Defensively, they ran a little zone play and fake reverse and we didn't panic and we adjusted to that. I think when you're experienced and mature you're able to hang in there for four quarters. I think our football team has enough senior leadership that we'll be fine. And I think Stanford has that ability. They're a fourth-quarter, 60-minute team like we are. They've always played us tough. It's been a real shoot out the last few years."

On the potential loss of Matt Ware, and how vital he is matching up against Stanford's 6-6 Teyo Johnson…

"Teyo only plays about a third of the time, but when he's in there, he's an important person. I think that's a big matchup for us. He doesn't always play wide receive, he plays tight end, too. When they isolate him out there, Ricky Manning is a fierce competitor, but you're talking about a guy who is a foot taller. When you lose a guy like Ware who is 6-3, it's a different matchup. We might have to put David Ball out there on him. Pound him to death. Do the old WWF on him. But it's a matchup we're concerned about."

On Stanford's quarterbacks, Randy Fasani and Chris Lewis…

"They're both outstanding. I think Lewis is one of the up-and-coming star quarterbacks in this conference. He threw two touchdowns on us last year and did a great job. Fasani, he's a great athlete. In high school he was the best quarterback in the country. He goes to Stanford and ends up being a tight end, he's on special teams, which leads me to believe he's very tough and physical. He has the ability to break tackles and make big runs, as well as throwing the football extremely well.

"We're going to come after them and try to rattle them. But because they can run the ball well, too, we have to be careful and pick and choose our spots. But I think part of the game is attacking and hitting quarterbacks. Lewis is a veteran. He played last year, he's played this year. He brought them from behind last week. He's not a rookie quarterback.

"I hope Lewis sprains an ankle before the game. Just for one game. They're both outstanding. It doesn't matter. They're both excellent quarterbacks. Stanford is set for a while at quarterback."

On his reaction to Stanford's come-from-behind win against Oregon…

"I watched it on TV and I was thoroughly exhausted watching that football game. I didn't know if I'd have enough energy to coach our game. I was extremely impressed with Stanford. We all know how hard it is to beat Oregon at Autzen Stadium. I was impressed that they came back to win the game a couple of times in a real hostile environment.

"When the year started, if anyone would have asked me, I would have told you that Stanford and Washington State were going to have great football teams. They have the most players returning and veteran quarterbacks. When you have quality experience and a proven quarterback, you always have a chance to win."

On the BCS and what he'll tell his team about it…

"I think the big thing is what we've been telling them all along. The BCS doesn't matter until the end. What matters is that you position yourself for the opportunity, and take advantage of the opportunity and not let it slip away. I'll tell them that the BCS standings are coming out today and not to pay attention to it. Not to worry about it.

"In my opinion, with what we've done, and what Washington State has done, I would think if someone in our conference goes undefeated they would be in the BCS game. I would be disappointed if one of us weren't in that game. But as I mentioned before, there's a lot of football to be played. Right now we've qualified for a bowl game. What I told our guys is, we've qualified for the Toilet Bowl. At least we're in one."

"I've made it perfectly clear I believe in playoffs. I think there should be six or eight team playoff, or whatever, just like every major college sport, including 1-AA football. The BCS, they have all these rankings. I'm sure we went down because we only scored 56 points last week. Those polls, I just don't buy them. I'm not in favor of the BCS. I'm in favor of a playoff system. But I think it's the best thing that comes in second.

On what he learned by the loss to Miami a few years ago that kept UCLA out of the BCS championship game…

"When we lost that game, everything went right down the tubes. If anything you can't lose a game. You learn, if you look too far down the road you get hit on the side of the head. And you can't do that.

"I also learned you better tackle. When you have a guy like Edgerrin James, you can't miss 35 tackles. And you better have 11 guys on the field. We had 10 three times, and a guy threw a touchdown pass. And you'd better play at home so your officials officiate it. You learn it's no fun to lose."

On the pressure when you're undefeated…

"It's like when we had that 20 game win streak, you can feel the pressure building. The pressure just mounts and mounts. Everybody expects you to have your A game, every play, every week. It's hard to do. We want them to have it, but kids are kids. Sometimes they don't always bring their A game. But if you play hard enough, you beat teams you're supposed to beat.

On the performance of the teams' receivers…

"I'm pleased with the performance of our receivers. Our biggest concern is quality depth at this point. We have some good receivers, we just don't have a lot of them right now. But I'm pleased with Craig Bragg, Tab Perry and Ryan Smith. And hopefully our tight ends will catch more balls. But I think our receivers are doing a good job.

"I got so much flak about recruiting Ryan Smith two years ago when I should have recruited this other guy. Whoever said that, they don't see the films. They're authorities like everyone else, right? We see the films. We know who the players are. And in our opinion he was an excellent receiver. I think people now realize that he's pretty good."

On what he told Cal Head Coach Tom Holmoe after the game…

"I told him I was sorry about the score. If there was ever a time in the future that I have an opening on my staff, I would love to see him part of my staff. He's a hell of a football coach and a good friend. Al Borges didn't feel much better and I felt bad for Al. We're good friends and it's a tough situation for him right now. [With Holmoe] the writing's on the wall. He's a big man. He understands. We talked about it before the game. He knows what's going on. Let's be realistic about it. Nothing's happened, but he knows he's in trouble. If it doesn't work out for him, I would definitely consider him if I had an opportunity. I hope he keeps his job, because he's a hell of a football coach and a good person."


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