Head Coach Steve Sarkisian
Opening statement: "My first thought, right when the touchdown scored was, what amazing memories our seniors are getting from their senior season. I go back to the SC field goal. I go back to the Oregon State two-point play, and for this game to end the way it did, I'm just happy for our seniors. I'm really happy for these guys because they've been through so much and they've been the real catalysts to this thing and really changing a culture and believing in what we're doing and buying into what we're doing. We may not always be the most talented team on Saturday afternoons, but we're an extremely resilient group and it starts with those guys and I couldn't be more happy and more proud of them."
On how much time he spent debating going for the touchdown: "None, really. I was surprised we didn't score on the very first sneak, so we came back with it again out of a formation that I was hopefully going to get an idea of what it was going to look like, and so when we sneaked it on the second one, they were really piled in the a-gaps and in four-point stances so we knew exactly what we were going to do. We wanted to run the power play out of the same formation with them all tucked inside."
On what he said in the huddle before the last play: "I just told them, and we've been preaching now for three weeks, that we gotta finish and there's no better way to finish than on the last play of the game. This is what we do, we're aggressive and we've been aggressive since day one and we're not going to change. We might get a little smarter at times, but we're not going to change and I just wanted to make sure we were all on the same page with what we were going to do and why we're doing it."
On Jake during the last drive: "I though Jake showed a lot of guts in the second half. I don't know if he was great in the first half…we kind of got together and said let's just go play the game the way we know how to play it and I thought he showed a lot of guts, a lot of courage, especially there in the fourth quarter."
On what was courageous: "The pass to Kearse was a one-on-one matchup on a go-route and it was a nice alert by Jake to see and I though Jermaine really showed a nice burst at the end of it to get some separation. It was a heck of a catch."
On what this win means to the program: "It continually comes back to the fact of one: the value of defense and playing defensive football and running the ball and playing smart football. We don't have to play desparate football here, but also the mindset of you play four quarters and truly you play sixty minutes. And we're seeing the value of continually expressing that because three of our wins this year have come down to literally the last snap of the game, so our players understand that now. The game isn't won or lost in the first quarter, it's not won or lost in the third quarter, it's going to come down to the last drive of the game and that's how it should when two teams fight, scratch, and claw together."
On a hurry-up aspect and shifting linemen on the last play: "We went to an unbalanced formation, a similar formation to the first one. We've been practicing that play since training camp, it's a very sound play for us and there's a real timing mechanism to that, being able to sprint to the line of scrimmage and snap it for the QB, and everyone's gotta do their part in getting lined up because if someone's not set it's a penalty. They went out and executed it beautifully."
On Senio Kelemete: "He got an ankle sprain, I think he got stepped on, on the last play, but I don't know the extent of it yet."
On taking the wraps off of Jake in terms of running: "I think he did and I did…that was it, that was our shot. So, we were going to take our shot and see what happens."
On Jake's ribs: "He took a good shot, but it's not like he was going to come out. He took a pretty good shot and I'm sure he'll be pretty sore tomorrow, we'll see."
On Kiel Rasp: "It's kind of odd, he took the hit, but ended up getting back spasms from the hit. It wasn't so much a head injury or anything like that. They tried to get that thing to relax a little bit to get him back out there, but they weren't able to."
On what it means to have bowl hopes going into the Apple Cup: "It's great. Again, I'm so happy for our seniors to have this opportunity. I'm happy for the state of Washington that this Apple Cup is really going to mean something for both schools. It's going to be a great day for the state, it'll be an exciting venue, everyone's going to be fired up for the game. They'll be ready, we'll be ready and it'll be a fun one."
On the defense: "They were fantastic. I thought we settled down on some of their exotic runs, some of the fly plays, the reverse stuff, the different QBs with (Shane) Vareen and (Keenan) Allen in at QB, we hung in there. The second thing that went kind of unnoticed is we played a really good pass coverage. As much as you might want to say that they had their backup QB in, there weren't a lot of guys open. I though our DBs had another nice ballgame, great interception by Quinton again, fantastic play by him."
On Cody Bruns in as the punter: "I was pretty nervous. I'm glad we had a little breathing room, we were backed up there originally…He did a nice job."
On an explanation about the last play of the first half: "They said there was still time on the clock. I obviously argued it vehemently, but they expressed to me that there was still a second on the clock when they called timeout."
On reviewing it: "Potentially it was. We didn't have a timeout available to challenge it so it was up to them to review it if they wanted."
On being resilient after Jake's fumble and Cal's touchdown: "It's a tribute to our leaders and our coaches for rallying the troops. What helped too was getting the kickoff return by Jesse, kind of sparked everyone back up again and got them going again."
On his message at halftime: "Let's just go play the second half with real passion. I think both teams were kind of going through the motions in the first half. Let's go head and play with big hearts and a lot of passion and see if that's good enough to win."
On running the last play over Colin Porter and having Eric Kohler in the game: "Two true freshmen, again, played a lot of snaps today and weren't perfect, but did some really good things and were there when we needed them."
On being on the road playing into the decision to go for it: "No. When we got down in there that tight, I didn't blink, we were going for that. That's at home or away."
LB Coach Mike Cox
On what it was like: "Well it was a great win. It's good for us to play good for two weeks in a row. We played well and we're fired up."
On not allowing a touchdown: "Well I think the linebackers the last two weeks have been lights out, and I know I'm predgidous because I coach them. All three of them have done a nice job. Victor Aiweya has just improved a ton since the first game of the year and Cort's Cort and Mason (Foster) just makes plays and those guys have played lights out for the last couple weeks.
On Alameda Ta'amu having a good game: "I think our guys played well up front. We controlled the run game; we had a couple long runs which we'll get corrected and move on."
On Everette Thompson's improvement: "No doubt, Everette gets better every week."
Defensive Coordinator Nick Holt
On the defense not allowing a touchdown in seven quarters: "The kids are playing hard; playing with confidence. The assistant coaches are doing a phenomenal job preparing them. And I think the kids are having fun doing what they are doing."
On the play of the defensive ends: "I think Everette, really the last 3 or 4 weeks, has come into his own. He's playing with confidence. He likes playing inside better, but because of the injury situation we've got him outside and he's doing a phenomenal job. It's showing up there in the run game. Cal is a good running football team, and we did a nice job. Hau'oli, for a true freshman, the guy is just a really good football player. We've just got to get some weight on him. You're going to hear alot about Hau'oli. Down the road I think he could be special."
Coach Quotes - Cal
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