For those who are hoping that Cal can return some of their biggest players for next year’s squad, some encouraging comments from Cal wide receiver Chad Hansen in the postgamer.
General comments: "I was really pleased with the way we played tonight, I thought it was a great way to send out our seniors. We have a group of really special young men that deserve to get sent out with a win. The most impressive thing about this group is that we have had a tough month. We didn't play well for about a month, and these guys just kept practicing and we have had great practices the last two weeks. You know there aren't that many football teams that can do that. Practice and continue to invest when the season maybe is not going the way that they want it to go. It shows the character of our young people and our program. I thought we played probably as good as we have played at any point this year. Again, you don't do that at the end of the season if you are not working hard.
Clearly, we have had a bunch of injuries, particularly defensively we've had to work through some of those things, but you can see those young guys who have gotten work have gotten better and better. I think some of the work paid off for them tonight. So, (I'm) really proud of this group, love these seniors, hate to see them leave, but can't wait to see what they do when they move on. It was a good win, it really was. I thought our guys played hard, played well, didn't turn the ball over, only had two penalties. Played winning football and was glad to see it."
On the game Khalfani Muhammad had: "You know Khalfani had one of those games that he normally has. I tell him in the locker room that he is pound for pound the toughest football player in college, without a doubt. The way he plays, he finishes runs, and for a small guy, he is so competitive, so tough. We hate to lose him. He has been a guy that has been valuable to us for four years.”
On what Davis Webb has meant to the team this season: “Davis has meant a lot, really, he has. He has bridged the gap between Jared and some of the younger guys we got on campus, and did so about as well as you could. In terms of his work ethic, attitude and approach, he is a pro....I think he is a great example for the rest of our players, especially for our quarterbacks, especially the time it takes to be a great quarterback at this level. I think those guys saw the way he worked this year, and I think it will become part of our program. He meant the world to us, had a great year, and has a really bright future in front of him and, you know, I can't wait to watch him on Sundays.”
On the impact the defense had taking pressure off the offense: "Well you know we were frustrated because we had to keep kicking field goals. That has been something that has plagued us at times. First of all, let me say, UCLA is a very good defensive football team. That is a good football defensive football team. They are hard to move the ball against, they are hard to run it against, they have a lot of really good players. I thought our offensive line played really well. Tak McKinley never really got to our quarterback much, he never got sacked. And he is a heck of a player. I thought we played well up front, took a lot of heat off our offense,
On how the team overcame a slow start: “As an offense, we saw the defense playing out of their minds so we knew we had to step it up and play for them. We knew we had to give the seniors a good exit. They work really hard. They set an example for all of us younger guys. Giving them this is a dream come true for everybody."
On how the defense's performance helped the offense: "We see that and we know we have to step it up. I could tell everyone was playing for the seniors. That was the motto Coach Dykes was giving the whole week. The seniors have put in so much time and effort, so much blood, sweat and tears for this program. We needed to play them back and I think we did that tonight."
Davis Webb, QB
On the importance of ending the regular season strongly: "Everyone in this locker room has heard over the past four years that we haven't beat an L.A. team. We ended that tonight, so that streak is over. That was one of my goals going into this year. We accomplished that as a team. It's unbelievable to send these seniors out the way they should – beating UCLA, a team they hadn't beaten. It's a credit to our team."
On the offense's performance against such a good defense: "That's probably the most talented defense in the Pac-12. Top to bottom, they have the most talent of anyone in the Pac-12. We basically dominated the entire game moving the ball."
Devante Downs, LB
On his interception: "I saw the running back clear out and the tight end clear out. I was looking the whole way and just read his eyes and jumped the pass.”
On the defense's performance: "It was a culmination of the things we have been working on, but we had additional motivation. We didn't want the seniors to go out with a loss. We didn't want them to finish their careers like that. This was a big win and a great way to send them off."