Locker room run down from Cougs and Bears

CAL HAD A 15-MINUTE advantage in time of possession, yet outgained the Cougars by just 24 yards. The Bears were a 14 1/2-point favorite, but needed a 42-yard sprint to paydirt from Justin Forsett with 2:42 left and an onsides kick recovery to secure the 20-17 win. Washington State hung tough with a team recently on the verge of a No. 1 national ranking because its youthful defense is maturing.

"They battled their butts off. Cal's a really good football team with great speed. If you compare our defense today to what it was a month ago after the Oregon game, it's a difference of night and day," said Cougar head coach Bill Doba. "The kids are playing well and playing hard."

He noted that despite Cal's oustanding offensive line, the Cougs were able to put a little bit of pressure on Bears QB Nate Longshore "and got him to throw off his back foot" a number of time.

Cal coach Jeff Tedford also was impressed by WSU's improved stop corps. "They were doing a nice job on defense. You have to give them credit. They were shooting gaps and we had some guys that were unblocked at times and Justin was running very hard .. We knew we'd have to be a little bit patient with the run game with all the stuff they (Washington State) do inside."

HERE'S WHAT ELSE WAS SAID AFTER THE COUGAR-BEAR GAME:

Doba on the decision to kick a field goal (narrowing the score to 13-9) late in the fourth quarter rather than try for a first down and TD:
"I asked if they (the staff) wanted to go for it and they said kick it. That way we're down four. On the road, we talked about it, and if we scored late we'd probably go for two and take our chances and try to come out of here with a win. But I thought if we cut it to at least four, then all we have to do is score. If that would have been late in the game then obviously we wouldn't have kicked it, but that got us within four and then they scored and we got the two point play anyway."

WSU receiver Michael Bumpus:
"We made too many mistakes. We had a lot of opportunities to score today and we waited until the last five or six minutes to really try to play. I have to take my hat off to the (WSU) defense. They took a lot of criticism this year but they've been keeping us in it these past two or three games."

"We knew they (Cal) were a fast defense and we prepared for that. Every look they threw at us, we were prepared for. It just came down to executing and mistakes, and in the end, they made the least."

WSU defensive tackle Favaea'i Ahmu:
"Those first two (Cal) drives, we started off pretty slow. I thought that the defense came together like we always do. We just need to start off faster.

On the Cal offensive line:
"They have this wall and we just couldn't penetrate it. That was really the big issue. We were all in our spots but we couldn't penetrate the wall they built. I would beat two guys and still have to fight and it felt like I was always so close yet so far."

WSU quarterback Alex Brink:
"I give our team a lot of credit. We battled through some things and we stuck there until the end but at this point in the season, there are no moral victories. Cal played better than us and they made pays when we didn't so that's frustrating."

"In the first half, we were just a little bit off. We picked up the tempo a little in the second half and started throwing a little bit better. We were just one step or one inch away and it's frustrating because against a good team like this, we needed to make those plays and we just didn't do it."


FOR THE SECOND STRAIGHT WEEK, WSU SENIOR BACK KEVIN McCALL COLLECTED MORE THAN 70 RUSHING/RECEIVING YARDS.


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