California Hosts Arizona State for Pac-10 Opener

Sept. 19, 2006

BERKELEY - The University of California football team opens Pac-10 play this Saturday when it hosts Arizona State. The game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Net at 12:30 (PT). Cal held its fourth press conference of the 2006 season Tuesday in the Hall of Fame room at the historic Memorial Stadium. Head coach Jeff Tedford and numerous players attended to speak with the press.

Jeff Tedford
On the Arizona State defense:

'They have a nice blitz package. They have guys who play very hard. They know how to outnumber you in the blitz and they've done a great job of it so far.'

On the Sun Devils overall:
'They're a very good football team. They're explosive on offense, they can run it and they can throw it. They're very good on defense. I don't know if they've allowed a rushing touchdown this year. They're at the top in the country in sacks. It's going to be critical this week that we win the turnover battle and the field position battles. We can't let them have the ball a lot. We're going to have to establish some type of run to keep things going.'

On linebacker Derron Ware for ASU:
'He's a fast guy that comes off the edge and comes up the middle. They come from all over the place, but he's the guy who chases people down quite a bit.'

On the ASU quarterback:
'He's solid, a very strong competitor, accurate throwing the football. He has a nice presence about him in the pocket, a tough guy in there, keeps his eyes down field and throws catchable balls. '

On Nate Longshore:
'He really is doing a nice job. He's been very accurate throwing the ball; his reads have been very sharp. They brought a blitz last week and he threw a post to DeSean for a big play. He's really done a nice job of standing in the pocket and delivering some very accurate footballs and is running the offense very well. I'm really pleased with his progress and it's going to be another very strong test this week.'

On starting conference play:
'We're going to approach it the same as we do every week in preparation. There's something about Pac-10 play; it's conference now. You could have lost all three games in the beginning and still have a chance to win the conference championship. I don't want to say that now it's for real, because it's always was for real, but there's just something a little bit different about conference play.'

On ASU tight end Zack Miller:
'Zack Miller gets down the field and catches the ball very well. He's one of the better tight ends in the conference. They use a lot of personnel with utilizing their tight ends and getting them down the field and they do a real nice job that way. They do a lot of two-tight end stuff, with guys shifting and motioning.'

On Mike Tepper's first start and the offensive line:
'He did well. There was a time or two when he got beat inside, when he over set a guy, but again that's part of learning, making that transition, getting that experience to learn from your mistakes. He's a talented guy and has a lot of potential to be a very good player. Last week, Portland State's strength was their defensive line and they were a good defensive front, they came after you and played very hard. It was a stiff test for those guys up front last week.'

On preparing for the game:
'They can throw it and they can run it. I think our linebackers have been playing very well. Dante [cornerback Daymeion Hughes] has been playing very well. He's got three interceptions and really has a nose for the ball. I think our front eight have really done a nice job of stopping the run. Thomas DeCoud is really doing a good job, filling the alleys, running very well and taking great angles to fill the lanes. He's been very impressive so far. Our linebacking corps has been very solid as well, with Worrell [Williams], Demond [Bishop], Mickey [Pimentel], Justin [Moye], [Zack] Follett and [Greg] Van Hoesen, that's a good group.'

On the Arizona State offense:
'There are some crossovers, same exact things that we do, but he [Head coach Dirk Koetter] uses more two-tight end stuff right now. He uses play-action passes, does a nice job with the running game, but always very solid; they're well coached. The tailbacks are good. I was talking to Coach Delgado and he thinks this is the best collective group that Arizona State's ever had with the ability to run the football, with a good running back and being able to throw the ball, good receivers, good tight ends and a good solid offensive line. He feels like this is the best group that they've had.'

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