Golden Nuggets: Press Conference Tuesday

It's Tuesday and that means the Cal media luncheon was today.  Here are some quotes from Tedford.  Riley's quotes are after the jump.

On DB Darian Hagan 

"Hagan played really well the other day. I thought he played well in coverage and then I thought he tackled really well. There's a couple of times in the open field that he's one-on-one with guys and he did a great job of coming up and making a really sure tackle, so I'm really pleased to see Darian play well last week."

On the status of Syd'Quan Thompson(back)
"I don't think he'll practice today. He has a bruise on his back and that's probably going to take a couple of days to heal, but I'd anticipate that he's ready to play for the game. I thought it was a hip pointer, but it's a little higher than a hip pointer. I think it's more in soft tissue, so that's encouraging to know, because hip pointers tend to take a little bit longer."

On the Washington State Cougars and whether they have improved since their last meeting with Cal
"They're much better. They play hard, really run to the football, create a lot of turnovers. They had six turnovers against ASU and anytime that you're creating that many turnovers or coming up with that many turnovers, you're in position to make those plays. So they're in position to strip the ball from people, they're in position to make interceptions and they're really playing hard. I think coach [Paul] Wulff's done a great job with that team. Looks like they believe in what they're doing. They're playing hard and playing fast. Schematically, they're very sound and after a week off, I understand they're going to be a little more healthy with some the guys they've been missing on the offensive line, and so I'm sure they're going to be prepared to play."

On the schemes used by Washington State
"On offense they're a little bit more single-back stuff. They'll spread you out with four wides, they'll play two tights, so they have some different things that they do on offense. [Dwight] Tardy's a good running back. They can close it in with two tight ends or they can spread you out, and do a nice job. They can read the zone play and pull it out and throw, and make you cover the whole field. So that's kind of what they are offensively. I think their quarterback [Jeff Tuel] is very athletic. I've been impressed with him. When he's had a chance to make plays, he's done so. In the SC game I thought he did a real nice job at the end of the game there of using his legs. He's very athletic, very competitive, can make the throws, he's accurate throwing the ball, so I think he has a real chance at any given time to make you pay for things. So it's going to be important we get some pressure on him. And then defensively, they're multiple. They play about everything - cover four, cover two Tampa, man, blitz - they do a little bit of everything."

On PK Vince D'Amato's availability (shoulder) and whether PK Giorgio Tavecchio is the next option for place kicks and kickoffs
"We'll see. I think he's getting better. We'll see how that goes throughout the week. I feel good about Giorgio. He'll do fine."

On whether the Bears are getting enough pressure on opposing QBs
"From time to time, we do, probably not enough. Probably need some more of it, but it depends on who we're playing and what they're doing. If they're getting the ball out quick and you're not going to get to him anyway, then you try to cover the field. So we've been rushing three and dropping eight from time to time, just trying to mix that up. Down the stretch last week we got some pressure on him a couple of times." 

After the jump ESPN has midseason reviews and awards, previews of the Cal-WSU matchup, a look at how much Pac-10 assistant coaches are earning, basketball info, and more.

Again, many thanks for chicagoaubear for providing the Cal at UCLA torrent.  Keep seeding, guys!

Here are some of Riley's quotes:

On whether his downfield block during Jahvid Best's 93-yard TD run earned him a skull-and-crossbones sticker 

"I did. That was my favorite play of my life so far. It's a category where you get a cut block and you get something on your binder. It's a little sticker. I think I'm just going to post it up in our meeting room. I don't know if I'll get many more."

On whether it really ranks among his favorite plays ever
"Maybe. I felt like I was moving pretty fast on that play. Got in front of him, got him, it was just a great play. Jahvid did everything on his own and hopefully that helped out a little bit."

On how pivotal the UCLA win is
"The previous two weeks we got smoked both games. We had to do something. We knew this was a big game and it's a game that we needed to win. Losing that game, that would have really hurt this team in general. It's a big win. I guess it's been a while since we won down in L.A. and so you got that out the way. And just getting a win, getting our confidence back up and continue to for going undefeated the rest of the season."

On WR Marvin Jones and his ability to out-jump defenders to get balls
"It helps. He does that a lot during practice, he did it a lot during fall ball. I just need to put the ball in a place where he can have a chance to make a play. He uses his body well. On that second touchdown he kind of shielded off the guy while he went up in the air and held on to it. He has strong hands where he holds on to the ball well. I've just got to give him more opportunities to make plays like that."

On the swing of momentum last week's win gives the team, with three of the next four games at home
"It feels a lot better. I didn't want to think about what it would have been in the other situation. Three out of four games back home, we just have to take them one game at a time. Our goal is to go undefeated after the bye week, which is very possible for this team. We've just to continue that this week.

On how a designed QB running play can help the offense
"It kind of just keeps the defense a little more honest. A lot of those, they were dropping seven people in coverage and having spots filled, and if I can just run just even for a few yards, I think it makes people's drops not as deep. It makes them have to game plan in a different way. I like running the ball."

On his impressions of the WSU defense
"A lot better than last year, that's for sure. It's a different team. They're playing with more confidence and they're playing a lot harder than they did last year. They're not quitting at all. They mix it up quite a bit. They do a ton of different things. A little bit of everything - man, zone, bring pressure, don't bring pressure - so we're going to have to prepare for everything they do and just get ready ... Personnel-wise, they're playing better ... They play hard all four quarters, every game. They have more confidence and are not giving up as many big plays, that's for sure. 

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