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Golden Nuggets: Post-Game Notes and Quotes as Tucson Remains Cursed for Cal

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Where do the Bears go from here?

NCAA Football: California at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

On the game... “It was really disappointing and unacceptable, starting with me. It’s my job to make sure our team is ready to play and we need to give them opportunities to be at their best. We have to give Arizona credit. They have good coaches and good players and they made the plays they needed to make to win and we didn’t.”

On the turnovers... “We gave them two touchdowns and we can’t do that. We had turnovers, penalties and self-inflicted wounds. There’s going to be a holding call from time to time, but we had six procedure penalties. We’re going to play in tough environments and it’s unacceptable to play like that. We have smart guys so we have to play smarter. We can’t make dumb mistakes like that. It was the coaching and playing.”

On the defense... “There was a lot of sudden change and a lot of times they were holding up out there. We weren’t very good early and we settled down and were able to start playing more sound football and then gave up a couple of explosives, a couple of leverage plays, and a couple of missed tackles. There were some good moments, especially during the second half. I thought they were getting off the field pretty quickly and that’s the reason why we went forward on the fourth down and one on the three-yard line. We felt like we should get it and we didn’t get it. I felt like we’d have a chance to stop them right there and get the ball with good field position.”

On going for it on fourth down in the fourth quarter... “We were trying to win the game and we had shot ourselves in the foot offensively in the second half. When we got down there, we had the fourth and one-yard play to win the game. Even at that point, we felt like we were doing some good things defensively ever since the first quarter. And if we weren’t able to pick it up, we could maybe force a three-and-out which we had an opportunity to do and make them punt and get the ball at midfield. We knew we’d get the ball back at some point. We were trying to win the game. When you don’t get the fourth down conversion, it’s a bad call and I own it 100 percent. It was my decision and then it was the wrong goal. We didn’t get it, but we were trying to win.”

On the offense…. “I think we moved the ball well. I think we shot ourselves in the foot a lot of times. I think Brandon (McIlwain) was pretty confident. We were confident in having receivers get open and exploit their defense. I think offensively, if you take away the penalties and the bad play, we were able to move the ball pretty well”

On the offensive changes in the second half…. “I don’t think anything changed, I just think we shot ourselves in the foot too many times. We’re better than that, that’s unacceptable, we’ll own up to it and get better. Starting Monday, actually starting tomorrow, we’ll start watching film. This one hurts, we gave it away, but we’ll get better and improve for UCLA.”

On the defense… “I think we did some good things defensively. There are some things we need to work on for sure. I think early in the game Arizona was doing a really good job of converting on third down and that’s something we always emphasize, getting off the field at third downs and we weren’t really doing that. We gave up a couple of explosives. For the most part, I think we had great energy. Everybody was dialed in and we played hard. At the end of the day, credit to Arizona. They’re a really good team and ended up on top.”

On a game that seemed winnable… “Obviously, it hurts knowing we had opportunities, but at the end of the day, Arizona played better. They ended up winning so credit to them and we just have to stay together. We’re a family, I love my team. We all love each other and there’s no defeat in this thing. We’re going to continue practicing hard. We’re going to continue getting better and we’ll be ready for UCLA.”

On the offense… “We made a lot of plays and did a good job moving the ball between the twenties, but we just need to finish better. I need to personally be able to get rid of those turnovers and take care of the ball a little better, but in general, we just need to finish. We did a great job, made a lot of plays, gained a lot of yard, but we just need to be able to finish a little better.

On his personal performance… “Turnovers will never be acceptable. There’s always things we can do to cut down on that and that’s on me. I have to make better throws. I have to take care of the ball better, make better decisions, clean it up, but it’s never acceptable.”

On going for the win instead of the tie… “I have faith on every guy on our offense. Next time we get into that situation, we’ll get into the end zone. Whatever it takes. It’s what we work for. It’s that moment. We know what we can do and continue to fight. Like I said earlier, finish. That’s the situation when you have to finish.”

Misc.

  • Field Hockey has a recent tradition of honey distribution thanks to a player, Janaye Sakkas who has a beekeeping upbringing.