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2016 Big Game postgame quotes: Sonny Dykes says Cal needs better defensive recruiting, must maximize possessions


Stanford v California Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Cal coach Sonny Dykes poked some holes at defensive recruiting, seeming to claim that defensive recruiting hasn’t been up to par, perhaps due to some coaches not doing a good enough job on the trail.

Also he offered thoughts on his 4th down decision making.

About the decision to kick the field goal at 14-14.

"I think we want to get points, put the pressure on those guys. obviously if I’d have known the game was going to be 45 points scored, I’d have gone for it. but that wasn’t the way the game was going at that time.”

Go to for more comments from Stanford players and extended Cal player and coaching comments.

Cal coach Sonny Dykes

Opening comments: "I'm disappointed in the way the night played out. I thought going into halftime we were in a pretty good position, and then we came out in the third quarter and didn't maximize our possessions on offense. We punted them down inside the 10-yard line and gave up a big run, a 90-yard touchdown run. That was the momentum swing. At that point, Stanford had the momentum and we never seemed to get it back.

“We have to be able to play better defense. That's what it comes down to, ultimately. You can't give up 350 rushing yards against anybody and expect to have a chance to win. That's clearly something we need to get fixed. That puts a lot of pressure on you offensively. You feel like you have to score every possession and you can't do that against a good defensive football team.”

On mood in the locker room following loss:We're a team that doesn't a have a tremendous margin for error, and when you don't have that, you have to be really good at the little things. We're not quite good enough at them yet. Our guys will be motivated to play Saturday. We'll play incredibly hard. I'm not worried about the motivation. I don't worry about this football team in that way. These are good kids. We have a great culture in our program.”

On needing to improve tackling: "The best way to improve tackling, honestly, is recruiting. The better athlete you are, the better you tackle. We can tackle all we want to, we can tackle dummies, we can tackle each other in live situations, but so much of tackling is how good an athlete you are."

The leading tacklers in college football these days are your safeties. Our top eight safeties, not one of them dressed in this game because of injuries. We're beat up, and those guys are the guys that tackle for you. We have pretty good players if they're healthy."

Cal quarterback Davis Webb

On the quick pass game and success with it: "I think their d-line is one of the best in the Pac-12, one of the best in the country. Solomon Thomas is probably one of the best interior guys in the country, so they were just good up front and they were able to get pressure on us all night. We were able to establish a little bit of a run game. We were able to throw for a lot of yards on quick stuff, and towards the end of the game, we saw that we could run by them a little bit.

Cal wide receiver Chad Hansen

On if rain played a factor in dropped balls: “:As a football player, you want to say no, but I mean the truth of the matter is yeah, it does effect it, but it effects both teams. That's why you play the game. It does affect you as a receiver, but it affects the other team, so there's nothing to complain about"

Defensive back Jaylinn Hawkins and defensive lineman DeVante Wilson.