Once again, Cal put the 'special' in special teams. For the second time this year special teams took away a win that the defense singlehandedly earned. As frustrating as Tavecchio's miss was, the punt coverage unit's error was more costly (though few media outlets point to that TD as the reason Cal lost). It's disappointing and Tedford and his players were clearly disappointed after the game.
Though displeased with the outcome, Tedford was very proud of the defense.
On Cal's defense:
"(The defense) played their hearts out. There is no question about it. To give up one touchdown against that offense; they played great. The defensive coaches had a great plan; the kids executed it. All week long they sold out in the preparation. The belief and intensity going into the game was awesome. It is a shame, it's a shame. I feel sick for the kids.
On Oregon's speed:
"We prepared for it; our scout team did a lot. The organization and speed that we practiced with this week made our guys were ready for it. The tempo of what they do, and the speed, and the way they spread the field is obviously a challenge; but I thought our guys matched the challenge. We had two corners go down, Marc Anthony and Darian Hagan in the first half; so we couldn't sub there. I thought the guys did a great job. They worked really well all week practicing at a fast pace. The conditioning showed today, I don't think they were gassed at all. I can't say enough about the defensive performance to hold that offense to seven points."
Vereen was upset that he and the offense couldn't take advantage of one of the best defensive performances in the Tedford era.
On the defense:
"This is really frustrating because we wanted to have their back, just like they've always had our back game in and game out this season. We were unable to put points on the board, and that's frustrating and disheartening. If we just could have put a couple more points on the board, who knows what would have happened."
After the jump Conte says Pac-10 teams should take notes on Cal's blueprint of how to stop Oregon, Tavecchio talks about the field goal, and women's basketball tips the season off with a solid win.
- CalBears.com has video of most of the post-game press conference. Click each name for the video: Jeff Tedford, Derrick Hill, Shane Vereen, Mike Mohamed, Brock Mansion, Mychal Kendricks, Chris Conte, Clancy Pendergast, Giorgio Tavecchio.
- JO recaps the game and focuses on Tavecchio's missed field goal. Oddly enough, there is no mention of the equally devastating punt returned for a TD.
- Miscommunication and crowd noise led to the mistake on the first field goal.
- After the game the defense discusses the blueprint for beating the Oregon defense. Conte said the rest of the Pac-10 should take notes on what Cal did if they want to beat Oregon.
- Tedford says it's tough to try to call this one a moral victory. At the end of the day, guys will look back on how close they were to winning rather than how well they competed with Oregon and how they did not get blown out.
- Derrick Hill earned a helmet sticker from Ted Miller. His forced fumble, fumble recovery, and TD were all firsts in his career.
- The women's team tipped off the regular season with a win over Rutgers. This isn't the same Rutgers team of a few years ago, but it's still a solid win.
- Joanne Boyle was pleased with the team's first outing of the year and pointed to rebounding as a major factor in the win.
- Cal continued its winning ways with a four-set victory over 11th-ranked Washington and a sweep against the Cougars.