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Golden Nuggets: Postgame Reaction From Saturday’s Loss

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Pre-game articles on Patrick Laird, Jordan Kunaszyk, Jordan Veasy and more.

Arizona v California Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Had to leave the game early... the score was 21-28 when I left and I had a feeling Cal was going to comeback and win. Instead, the game ended in a loss just as the concert I was at started... so I support the 2-point conversion try from the standpoint that I wasn’t “that guy” watching a game on his phone during a concert.

Post-Game Video

Videos from Cal’s Youtube channel. Transcripts from here.

Justin Wilcox

Thoughts on the game's final play (two-point conversion):

"I felt like it was the best chance for us to win the game. Based on what was happening, that was the best chance for us to win. We had a good play and we had been doing good things offensively, really most of the night other than the turnovers."

If the two-point conversion shows your belief in the team:

"Yeah, I do believe in them. I told them, if it was a different style of game, it might have been a different decision. Based on the overtime, I love our team, how they compete. We didn't play well enough, especially on defense to win the game today. We had our opportunities and battled back. We were down at half, went and battled and found some stops. Our offense did a nice job all night, really staying in rhythm. The turnovers were huge, but I thought they [the offense ] did a nice job. At the end of it there, that was our best chance to win. You can dispute it, but I would do it again."

Ross Bowers

On Two-Point Conversion Attempt:

"We had a little pump and go to our third receiver. I thought I could maybe get around the edge and run, and at the last second I threw it. It was just unfortunate that they made more plays than we did. On that play it kind of showed what the whole game was like.

"I liked the match-up I had. It's something we work on. Looking back, I wish I probably would have thrown it a little sooner and give [Jordan Duncan] a better chance instead of having him try to make a crazy catch. But the linebacker made a great play. It's just unfortunate."

"If I throw a perfect ball and he catches it, we're celebrating."

Patrick Laird

On his play at the end of the game, after trainers helped him on the field:

"I just had the wind knocked out of me pretty bad, so I decided to stay on the ground and catch my breath. The trainers came and got me and after a couple of minutes I was good to go."

On his number of carries in the game:

"We never have a set number of carries or targets that we discuss before game in our game plans. You kind of feel things out during the game and see what's working and I think that's what we did today."

Vic Enwere

On the touchdown run in the second overtime:

"It was mainly just a will play. They brought everyone down. They knew we were going to run it. We knew we were going to run it. It was one of those things, playing for each other, playing with all the guys around me, all week, all game, they do it all for me, so I wanted to return the favor. On Coach Wilcox being aggressive and going for two in the second overtime: I'm a player and I let him make that decision. But I do like it. That says he has confidence in us. As a player, you can respect that. He can look you in the eye and say I believe in you. That's a lot and I appreciate that."

Jordan Kunaszyk

On Arizona QB Khalil Tate:

"He's a really good player, really fast, really explosive. We missed a couple of plays on him and he made us pay for it. Credit to Arizona. Credit to him. They're a really good team and unfortunately we came up short. On the Cal defense's improved play in the second half: We didn't make many adjustments. In the first half, we just gave up some big plays. It was nothing that they really did. It was more so what we did, missing assignments, missing tackles, eye discipline, little stuff like that. He made us pay for it. That's what good teams do. The second half, we stuck with the game plan. We made a few minor adjustments."

Post-Game Articles

Patrick Laird notched a career-high 28 carries for 130 yards and two touchdowns. They were his fifth and sixth TDs this season and the sixth and seventh of his career.

Ross Bowers rushed for his second touchdown this season in the third quarter, and his second in as many games. He ended the night completing 29 of 49 passes for 301 yards, two touchdown passes, two interceptions and five rushes for 11 yards and a rushing score.

Matt Anderson now boasts 280 career points after making a career-long 52-yard field goal and five extra-points tonight. He passed Duke Morrison for second all-time in career points. Doug Brien is first with 288.

Ashtyn Davis caught his first career interception in the fourth quarter after notching a career-best 44-yard kick return in the third quarter.

Malik McMorris hauled in his second career receiving touchdown, first this season. It was also his third career touchdown overall at Cal. McMorris also caught two passes in a game for the second time in his career.

After allowing 249 rushing yards to Arizona in the first half, Cal held the Wildcats to 96 rushing yards for the rest of the game.

Pre-Game Articles

All of these were published BEFORE the game but they still have cool details on your favorite players, but note some of these quotes could be outdated or look silly in hindsight.

“I feel like I’m a natural leader, and I have a great understanding of the defense,” he said. “I feel like I know the ins and outs, and I know every single position. I’m just trying to do whatever I can in calling out plays and getting everybody aligned and assigned.

“When you have a defense that knows what it’s doing, it enables everybody to play much faster.”

  • Trace did a Q&A with Gerran Brown (I spelled his name right this time!!)

We'd heard Devante has been assuming more of a coach role, has Devante been coaching you up a bit more specifically since you're playing his position?

Yeah, he's always there to help, just the little things that he sees and I don't or the things that I can help, with alignment, and the experience he's had, he's played four years of college football, this is my first and so I'm always going to be listening to him. He's helpful with really in the moment things.

Being that it's your first year playing, how comfortable are you getting?

I'm super comfortable, you know, first game I would say the only play I really felt it was the kickoff. Ever since then, it's the same game I've been playing my whole life. It's the same game, and that's what I tell myself in moments when, like when offenses start going quick or we kinda get gashed on a drive, but at the end of the day, it's the same game. It's a little bit quicker, but that's how you adjust, and I feel like I've been adjusting well to that.

  • A feature on Cal special teams/tight ends coach Charlie Ragle (who was previously an assistant for Arizona).
  • Learn more about receiver Jordan Veasy and find out how he became a great player for Cal after only starting to play football in his final year in high school.
  • Remember Patrick Laird’s TD celebration miming him reading a book? Well, the Daily Cal wanted to know more about his reading habits and what books he likes.

Favorite author of the top of your head?

I’ll say George R.R. Martin. I’ve read all the “A Song of Ice and Fire” books.

Are you as into the show as the books?

I’ve seen most of the episodes. I kind of skipped through season five and four, just because I didn’t want to sit through everything I read. I know it’s a little different but I just kind of skipped to season six.

There’s debate about whether Martin will actually finish the series, how do you weigh in?

I’m thinking he’s not ever going to finish it.

You can find me at the Cal Women’s Soccer and Volleyball games today. I kinda stand out. Go Bears!