Pete Carroll-Jeff Tedford Talk About Saturday's Game At The Coliseum
Nov. 4, 2008
November 4, 2008
THE MODERATOR: Happy election day. Blue room or red room today?
We're thrilled to be playing these guys in the Coliseum. We had a really good start to the season here so far. The kids are playing really well here, getting pumped up for the games in just the right fashion. Brought great energy here. Expect to do that again.
This is such a well balanced football team we're playing that we're going to have to hit it on all cylinders here, including the special teams, in every way.
Keep talking about they've transitioned their defensive scheme because it's drawn a lot of our attention in trying to figure out what they're doing. They've gone from 4 3 principles to 3-4 principles. They've done it very well. They have good numbers, a lot of turnovers, doing some really good things there. Really a good, balanced offense with terrific home run hitters at the running back spot, experience at the quarterback spot, the system, all of that.
This is a great match up for all of us. Pumped up about it. We're going to crank this week up and get going and try to put together a great week again. Do it one day at a time as we prepare for this thing.
Big time. Excited about it. Looking forward to it.
Q. In your 56 0 win over Washington, you dropped a spot in the BCS ratings, two spots.
Q. How are you going to improve this week? Do you have to beat Cal 70-0?
We've learned over the years that's the only way you can go about this, to maximize your chance to focus properly. So it just doesn't matter. There's a lot of games to be played. All that will be determined in time. We'll see where the BCS election process takes us. We'll see what that's all about.
Q. Do you think that reflects the insanity of the BCS?
Q. You drop two when you win 56-0.
Maybe you guys will answer for it one of these days. Maybe you know and I don't. I'm sure you do. What is the criteria of the process? Is it to pick the team that has the best season, that has the season that you like the most and feel best about voting for? Or is it the best team at the end of the year, the team that would win a playoff system if you did have it?
I don't really know what the design and the direction of the voting is pointed at. Because I think there's two different things. If you're trying to determine who would win out if you had a playoff system, that would likely be the playoff champion, or is it the team that you think had the most exciting year and you like the way it happened and all?
I think there's a difference there. I think it's difficult to understand really what is behind everybody's choices. That's why I can't give it any concern because I don't know how it works. I don't know how the computer thing works. I don't get that part of it. I don't know how the computer knows how good another team is. I don't understand that. I don't know how they can evaluate who you're playing and stuff and all that.
That's why I'm coaching football (laughter).
Q. How often do you think of Oregon State then?
Q. Since you're so good at all this stuff, how do you allow one game a year to affect you against a lousy team?
Q. Against lousy teams.
Q. You're so on top of things.
Q. You're on top of things.
Q. How can you allow that to happen every year? I read about the glorious times of USC.
Q. You have a plan. How have you fixed that plan?
Q. You have your plan.
I look at this week, the next week, every week in the same fashion. Each game kind of has a different element to it, in the story line. So we try to make sense of it so we don't fall prey or allow ourselves to be affected by what just happened, win or lose, in a way that can affect your next game out. That's really the challenge.
I mean, I don't know that it's rocket science. But, man, it will get you once in a while. But that's what we deal with. I love this challenge. I'd much rather be fighting that challenge of the game that you fall out on rather than trying to be 6 5 or something like that.
But, you know, I can't say I got it nailed 'cause it still happens, you know. I do look back and treasure the years when we were able to overcome the games that were like that and find a way to win. We had a very difficult game in Arizona a couple weeks ago that I was thrilled to get the win. They're a good team. They were playing for first place, all that, like this game coming up. But we really felt like as the game went on, we could have been in a lot different situation had we performed a little better.
Things get you. It's not always what you can control. Sometimes it's those other guys playing really well and doing really good things.
A lot goes into it. You know, I guess I'm glad we're not a machine 'cause we would have no feelings. We do get affected by stuff sometimes and we don't control it as well as we'd like. That's the great challenge we face. We'll keep working on it, see if we can figure it out.
Q. Rick Neuheisel felt you were outcoached in that game.
Q. You're coming up on a hundred games at SC. Do the losses stay with you? You have many more wins than losses. Do the losses stay with you longer?
Q. Can you celebrate the wins as much?
Now we live with the challenge of the conference thing, trying to see if we can find a way to win the conference again. You put all those years together, if you don't get it one year, now all of those years it took you to get there are gone now. You know, it makes is exciting, challenging, and a thrill to be part of.
But the losses weigh much heavier. I think anybody that's ever been in the game will tell you that.
Q. Rick has his opinion. What were your opinions? Were you outcoached in that game?
Q. Where does this PAC 10 rank in your mind in the eight years you've been here?
You can go back to the example, where would Washington be if Jake Locker would have been around? He's a great football player, great competitor, all that. The impact he had. When he falls out... Look what happened to Oregon last year. We struggled through our deal with John David Booty a year ago. It's just that big of a factor. I think it just kind of mounted this year. I think it's unusual in that regard.
There's no question that it's helped us play better defense. Our numbers and the things we put up here at this point is a benefit of teams that have been banged up, all of that. And, of course, good play. I don't want to take anything away from it. It's still seizing the opportunity. But sometimes when players aren't there for you, the big time guys, it makes an enormous difference.
I don't know, other conferences, you can look around, conferences that are maybe at the top of their game, check and see what's happening with their quarterbacks, see if that's been a factor. I bet it hasn't.
Q. I think it's obvious you are being hurt by the perception the Pac-10 Conference is down. That seeming to be a pervading theme.
Had we had all of our games won at this point, I don't think from the way it looks, and I don't know how this works, I don't know if we'd be the No. 1 team if we won all our games. Right now there's a lot of games left. There's four weeks. There's a whole month of this season. All kinds of stuff can happen. It always does.
You guys have asked me, I've heard these same questions year in and year out. We kind of keep waiting it out, see what happens. We're right there pretty close to the top of it at the end if we can win our games. That's why this month is so important. If we can get this win, squeeze out the next couple, we have a chance to be right in the thick of things in that consideration.
Most importantly for us is to win this conference. That's what we're trying to get done. It's always been our goal. We're going to keep shooting at that as long as we're here because that is within our reach and our grasp and our control. The other thing isn't obvious. If there was a playoff system, then it would be within everybody's control.
Q. Can you properly judge a team by the conference it's in?
Q. Would you be in favor of the PAC 10 adding a conference championship game at the end because the way the BCS system is structured, that enhances your chance for another quality win?
The way it is, you get a chance to beat everybody. You come out beating everybody, the way it works out, it's not necessary. I don't think we should do it to appease somebody else because we're not playing to me we're not playing to win the BCS, we're playing to win our conference. Whatever happens at the end of it, until there's a playoff system, we'll go for the whole shooting match. There isn't one now, so...
Q. That hasn't soured you on college football?
Q. The thought might be if you end up with one loss, an SEC team ends up with one loss, a Big 12 team ends up with one loss, look at how much stronger those conferences are. That's a thought. Does that make sense to you? This year they are really a whole lot stronger, it seems like.
I guess you're saying if you bank it on what you're asking, if you bank it on the other people you play, how good you are, then there is reason for things to come out scaled. But the astute viewer, which I would think the coaches who know the game, the people that are more tied to it that live it day in and day out, should have more say so. They would know best. They should know best. They're the experts. They should be able to figure it out in time.
But unfortunately we still have to ask for people's opinions and stuff like that. Even in years past, hasn't there been issues about people in conference kind of voting in a certain way that was questionable because they didn't want their conference or they did want their conference to survive?
Let's just play.
Q. Can't leave it up to the astute coaches then.
Q. There are best bodies in Las Vegas where you would be favored over any team this year.
Q. Odds makers.
Q. Do you find that ironic? Last year you would have been a four point favorite against LSU.
Q. You don't follow the BCS. You say you don't know much about it. Do you find yourself having to root for like a Texas Tech last week against Texas?
Q. How about Penn State/Iowa coming up?
Q. Are you rooting for UCLA over Oregon State?
Q. Considering your formidable past success at USC, do you think the expectations of your program have become too fanciful?
Q. When you stumble, there's great scrutiny.
Q. Quarterback situation or not, wouldn't you agree the PAC 10 is quite a bit down this year?
Q. You would know better, but when you were talking to Bay Area media, did they bring up the NFL, the 49ers when you talked?
Q. Did you give them the same brush off?
Q. When you look at the film of Jahvid Best, remind you of anyone?
But he's a great player. He can do anything that you want. He can catch the ball. He can run well. He's a good blocker, too. He can certainly score from anywhere on the field. Shane Vereen is really good, too. A 1 2 punch that's really fast. All three of those guys are track guys. They all have a similar factor about them.
Q. Coach Jeff Tedford is known for his quarterbacks. Is there a defining characteristic to their running game that they have?
Obviously, as you just pointed out, they've had a terrific running game for a number of years. They run 200 yards a game again. He's just a really good coach. I think that kind of coaching, that kind of balance that he stands for in his offense allows for the expression these guys' talents. He's really good at it.
Q. On this election day there was a comment in the Columbus Dispatch, they were listing all the coaches. Said you would be the secretary of defense. Is that accurate?
Q. (Question about the season thus far.)
Our numbers in the turnover areas are hovering where you can get good. We're not quite there yet, but we're plus six or seven, plus seven? We're closer. You have to get in double digits before you're having a good year. But we're getting close.
Some of the stuff in here, the second half play, has been really extraordinary. We've given up a two yard drive and a 15 yard drive for touchdowns all season in the second half. That's pretty good stuff. But it's only as good as this next time out. That's already in the past. We've got to do something about it again against a really good team. If we do it again this week, play really good D, we're getting closer to being one of the best groups we've ever had.
Q. Did you say you're going to have good finishes against really good teams.
Q. You look at the rest of your schedule and think there's some really good teams.
Q. What did you think about Marc Tyler?
When we got a chance to get him healthy last week, got him out there, we wanted to get him as much time as possible to get him going. With Joe down, Allen Bradford down, it's not the same situation that you might have perceived at the beginning of the year. We got four guys available to go, five if we can keep everybody going. We're working at it. I think Marc is going to figure in. We trust him. Tough with the football. We got to get him more shots to make sure he's really secure with that ball. So far he's been really good, really liked him.
Q. How do you think college football will end its season and how far off do you think it is from a playoff system happening?
I don't have that nailed. The reason is you still are going to have to go to some type of an evaluation process to get to the final teams that would be part of the final tournament. The 64 thing, is that how many teams they go with in basketball? The 65th team is pissed. I understand that. At least you've covered a lot of ground there. In our time, we don't have time to do that. You'd have to get it down to eight teams. Somewhere there has to be a selection process who is going to eliminate somebody who has a better record than somebody above them. You're still going to upset some teams.
But I think in taking eight teams, you're most likely not going to leave a team out of there that would win the whole thing. Could be. It could happen. So you're getting closer to it. Just three weeks later you can figure it out. Three games later you can figure it out.
Q. Is it realistic in the next however many years?
Q. Why hasn't it been done?
Q. Have you talked to your own president about this issue?
The reasons sound really kind of weak when we talked about there's enough emphasis on football already, there's too many games, whatever. We're talking about playing during Christmas vacation. School is not even in, all that. Basketball plays all those games. Baseball plays the longest World Series process anybody could ever dream of. It's weeks and weeks and weeks. It's awesome. It's great for the game, for the sport. It's fun. It makes sense. It's the American way. Keep on playing till you find out who's the last guy standing. I don't get it any other way.
I think it has to do with money. I think it has to do with control, the amounts of money they can make in certain ways. That sometimes gets in the way of clear thinking.
Q. Certainly done away with the argument on every other level of every other sport.
Q. Even football every other level.
Q. Is this system better than the old way?
Q. Who did you vote for today?
I voted for Obama today, was excited about it. Fired up for it. That's a good one to end it on. Thanks.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports
California head coach Jeff Tedford
"We have been up and down. I don't think we have put a complete game together yet. I think our defense did a nice job last week against Oregon, they are a very difficult offense to defend. It would be nice to put a full game together, but we are young in some areas and I think we are developing each week. I think that is the key, trying to get better each week."
On status of quarterback Kevin Riley
"We don't know completely yet. We will test (Kevin Riley) this afternoon and see how he does. As far as his concussion, it was a mild concussion. It wasn't one where you feel he will be out a couple of weeks. I think he is going to be ready to play this week, but we don't completely know yet."
On deciding between Riley and Nate Longshore
"We evaluate them through the week. We had a lack of consistency early in the season with Kevin and we went back to Nate to get a faster start. We see how they practice and make a decision like that."
On tailback Jahvid Best and Shane Vereen
"We are fortunate to have two strong tailbacks. Jahvid is a guy who has been hampered a bit. He dislocated his elbow and missed a game there, but he has recovered fine and wears a brace. He is an exciting player, there is no question about it. He has great speed, he catches the football very well...great balance and pass protects well. He is an excellent back when he gets in the open field, he can make big plays and make you miss. Shane is very similar...has good speed, pass protector and good balance. We are fortunate to have two guys that we can go back and forth with."
On team defense
"I think the main thing has been how hard they have played. I think our linebacking corps is playing really well. They are running to the ball, making a lot of plays. I think our defensive coordinator (Bob Gregory) has put them in a position to be successful. I think with the hustle comes the opportunity to create turnovers because they are in position. We have a lot of interceptions, some through tipped balls and some through overthrows. I think the trait that sticks out with them is that they are playing very hard. I think anytime you do that, you have a chance."
On this year's game against USC compared to years past
"It feels the same. We have tremendous respect for USC. They are very well-coached. They have great players, great athleticism, play hard. There are no chinks in their armor. They are an excellent football team. I think it has been documented maybe the best defense in the country. It's a great opportunity to come down there and play such a great team. It's always a challenge."
On if winning the turnover margin will be important for winning Saturday's game
"I do. I think that's one of the stats this is critical. If you turn the ball over against USC, your chances of winning go way down. If you can force some turnovers then your chances go up. I think the turnover margin in this game is going to be critical."
On perception that the Pac-10 Conference is down this year
"From top to bottom, I have a lot of respect for all of the teams in the Pac-10 Conference. I think it's very competitive. I don't know. I just focus on what we are doing and try to develop every week. I couldn't really tell you or give you a reason why people have that perception. I have tremendous respect for all of the teams."
On differences between the 4-3 and 3-4 defense and what makes Cal's 3-4 defense so effective
"I think it takes advantage of our personnel. With our depth at linebacker, I think it makes you a little more versatile as far as being able to drop guys in the pass rush. Guys are a little more athletic dropping into areas with zone pressures and so on. I think it makes you more versatile, but mainly for us, it takes advantage of our personnel in our linebacking corps."
On USC's defense
"It's great. The numbers speak for themselves. Every year they have been great and this year's group is no different. Like I said, there are no chinks in their armor. They are very good up front, they have great linebackers...the secondary is great, great cover corners and safeties that can roam the field and are very good tacklers. They have a great scheme. Pete does a great job with what they have on defense and puts them in a position to be successful. They are well-coached, have great players and they work hard. They are as good as any I have seen."
On impact of new offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti on quarterbacks
"I think it has been positive. He does an excellent job in the classroom with them, getting them prepared for the game. He has brought some new ideas and concepts. I think they have grasped those well. I think it has been a great transition."
On needing to run the ball with success in order to beat USC
"I think it always is. There is no way you are going to be one-dimensional against USC. You are not going to come in there and say you are just going to run it or you are just going to throw it. There is going to be some balance and need to be effective in both. They make it difficult to do that. Hopefully, we secure the football in the run game and protect the passer then we are able to do both."