On message to the team:
”It’s a tough one because everyone just kicked to the gut and, you know first how much I respect our team for how hard they play and for how hard they prepare. They are an unbelievably coachable group and I love them for that. They bring it every single week and it hurts really bad because they know they had chances and we don’t need to relive all those things. We’ll fix it on the film and there will be a time and a place for that. They know we had opportunities and that stings, but we’ve grown this year as a team, both on and off the field, and that’s important. There’s not a lot you can tell them that’s going to make them feel better. It’s the truth. We are going to meet tomorrow as a team, and it’s going to be rough the next 24 hours for everyone.”
Development on program and closing the gap on Stanford:
”Looking for us to improve. We know that Stanford is a heck of a program. They’ve been winning for a long time and have a lot of respect for their coaches and the way they play. Each and every week we are trying to improve, and that means winning. At the end of the day, it means winning. That’s what it’s all about. Winning so when we don’t it hurts. You look at each performance and the good things and the things that you need to improve upon, and you take stock in both. It’s just we’ve got to continue to grow as a team, and I think that’s pretty obvious, but I’m confident in the group of people we have on and off the field, and I’m excited to keep coaching these guys through the bowl game.”
On Chase Garbers’ performance:
”I thought Chase did some good things. He seemed to be more comfortable. He was in rhythm. He seemed confident. There were some throws that Chase would love to have back, I’m sure, that’s always going to be the case, but I thought we got better. That’s one of the biggest things, I thought he got better, and he’s a young player and he has to continue to improve but I thought he took a step forward even though there were some opportunities that I’m sure he would love to have back.”
On Jordan Kunaszyk and the senior group and wanting the win:”
Yep, you do feel for everyone. It means as much to Jordan [Kunaszyk] as it does to anyone in our program because he put so much into it and he’s such a great leader for us, and he just cares. We love him for it. I wish we could have done more for him and the rest of the guys. I don’t know how to answer any better than that. It just sucks, but Jordan has a bright future in football, in life and I know he appreciates this. I wish we could have done it for him and the rest of the guys and found a way to win the game. The reality is that we didn’t, but not all is lost.”
On upcoming bowl game:”It’s always one of our goals to win a bowl game, so we gave ourselves that opportunity and we’re going to bowl practices, which is going to be something that they’re going to be excited to get back to work. Since we don’t have a game next week, honestly, it might be more than 24 hours, it’s the reality of it, but we get to play again. This team, this group of guys get to play together again, and we get to practice, work together and develop some of the younger guys who haven’t gotten as many reps. That’s a big deal.”
On Coach Wilcox’s message after the game:
”It sucks that we lost. We had a lot of missed opportunities. It hurts, but we have one more game to play, so we can’t keep ourselves down on this loss. We have to focus on the next game.”
On missed opportunities:
”We missed in the red zone early in the first half with Duncan, and the second turnover where he made a one-handed grab in the end zone. That’s another missed opportunity. Those stand out the most.”
On wanting the win for the senior class:”We wanted it really bad. These seniors haven’t beat Stanford, so our goal was to send them out a winner. As underclassmen, we failed at doing that. It hurts a lot because you feel you let your teammates down. But, we still have one more game.”
On the win for the program: ”Obviously this was the big one, so it sucks to end the season like this. We have yet to play our best football. We will find out who we and where we are playing, and hopefully come out and play our best football. I’m really proud of this team. We didn’t accomplish everything we wanted to this season, but I love playing with the guys in that locker room. It’s been a blessing and a great four and a half years of my life. I love this program, and I love Cal. It’s tough, this is my last one at Memorial, but we will bounce back on Monday and we will play our best game in a couple weeks.”
Jordan Kunaszyk, ILB
Staying on the field after final drive of the game:”I was soaking up my last time playing at Memorial Stadium. Obviously, it didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but I’m so grateful for my experience at Cal and the experiences at Memorial Stadium – the fans and the alumni who come and support us. I wanted to take a step back to be grateful for this experience and really just thank God for the opportunity to play at Cal and for this university that I love so much.”
On interaction at the 25-yard line:”The guys emphasized how proud they were of me and how they appreciate how hard I play. We still have the opportunity to win a bowl game, so we have to keep our heads up. Obviously, this game didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to. I was really soaking everything up.”
On today’s crowd and atmosphere”The crowd today was unbelievable. A couple times during the game I looked around and took a moment to soak it all in. It’s amazing to have the support we have here and have a big turnout. I feel bad for not getting the win for the fan base, but, at the end of the day, we played as hard as we could. I want to thank the Cal fans for their support and for showing up all season. Unfortunately, I won’t be here next year, but I can promise the axe will be coming back to Berkeley real soon.”
- Instant analysis from the Daily Cal: unfortunately too many mistakes cost Cal the game.
- The loss will forever leave “Big Game Win” unchecked for the senior class. Nonetheless, Jordan Kunaszyk will be “forever grateful” for his time at Cal.
- It was a great atmosphere at Cal in Berkeley as the Big Game’s attendance put the Pac-12 Championship game’s crowd to shame. But it’ll be another “Maybe next year” for the Cal community.
- Post-game notes from yesterday’s game. The attendance felt like it was higher than it had been the past few years... and that’s because it was. The 2015 opener against Grambling State was the last time Cal had the numbers they had for Big Game (almost 58,000).
- Don’t really want to post too many pre-game articles, but learn about how Justin Wilcox’s upbringing helped him become the great head coach he is today.
- Oh yeah, men’s basketball also played and lost at Saint Mary’s. Here’s some post-game notes, the Bears had a very rare perfect night at the free-throw line.
Sadly I won’t be there, but beat the Matadors!