Once again Cal athletics didn't release a transcript of the post-game press conference, so we'll have to do what we can with quotes from Rivals' article. Players and coaches had a wide range of emotions after the game: disappointment (Pendergast), pride in the players (Vereen, Jordan), inconsolable sadness (Conte), and furious anger (Tedford). Here's a sample of what Tedford and Conte said about the loss.
"The interception? It went off Marvin's hands and got intercepted," railed a clearly-incensed Tedford. "What else do you want to know about it?"
Tedford was blunt in his summation of the game's final series.
"Absolutely, unbelievably disappointing," Tedford fumed after the game. "Just absolutely, unbelievably disappointed."
Senior safety Chris Conte was choking back tears and shaking with emotion as he stood outside the locker room. He's seen this before. Twice. Once, while still a recruit in 2006, when Lavelle Hawkins tripped on a yard line, and once in 2008 as a sophomore, when Keola Antolin led the Wildcats to three, third-quarter touchdowns.
"To come back off of that Nevada loss, where, I know we were embarrassed, to show an effort like this, it's a great feeling, but to come short like that, man, it hurts, bad," said Conte, who had a then-game-saving interception in the end zone to finish off the first half. "I've never been a part of a football game that hurts more than this game. Not in my life. Never. This is the worst I've ever felt after the game, by far."
Conte had that pick and a game-high eight tackles on the night, but looked visibly sick when he heard his numbers.
"It makes it hurt more," Conte said. "I just, I just did what Coach Pendergast wanted me to do. I tried to execute, and I felt like I played a pretty good game, and then, to lose like that, man, it makes it hurt. It makes it hurt really bad."
After the jump everyone ponders that "what ifs" in Cal's loss at Arizona. Meanwhile the rest of Cal sports helps redeem a disappointing weekend.
- "What did we learn this week?" asks Ted Miller. We've learned that the Cal defense is mightily impressive while the offense still has some problems.
- Not surprisingly, Cal didn't earn a single vote in the rankings. Our two losses have now come to ranked teams, as Nevada has broken into the top-25.
- Mark Schlabach projects a Cal-TCU Las Vegas Bowl while Andrea Adelson predicts a Cal-NC State Sun Bowl.
- It was one of the finest defensive efforts of the Tedford era, but offense and special teams couldn't fully capitalize on all the Arizona mistakes.
- If the defense could perform at this level against one of the top-2 offenses in the conference, can it continue playing at this caliber through the rest of the season?