Quotes From Rudy Carpenter's Weekly Press Conference
Sept. 29, 2008
On where he feels the team is at:
'I think after the UNLV and Georgia losses, we were a little disappointed. We had a chance to watch the film from last week and practice this week. We know we're still in a good place, where we need to be. We're 1-0 in the Pac-10, and we have a chance to still accomplish all the things we want to. We can improve in every aspect of our game, and this week we took the opportunity to do that, so hopefully it works out.'
'Cal's a good defensive team. They have a lot of starters back from last year. Their front seven is real good. All their linebackers are good players. Their defensive backs are good, with Syd'Quan Thompson, he's a good player. I think it's going to be the same for us, though. We need to find a way to establish some type of run game, and then when we get a chance to throw, we've got to be able to do it and make some big plays.'
On if the offense needs more balance:
'I think we were successful in the passing game against Georgia, completed a lot of passes, completed a high percentage of passes. But those passing plays were as good as runs. They were five or six yards. We weren't hitting big plays, because we couldn't with the defense that was presented to us. That's why it's important to run the ball, and that way we can get more guys down in the box, more safeties down, and get more one-on-one coverage. When you get that, we can take shots down the field. Those shots aren't going to be there unless we can establish some type of run game.'
On if he got away from football at all during the bye week:
'I could have, but I chose not to. I really took this last week to prepare for Cal. I watched a lot of film, tons of film, to really get an idea of what it is they're going to do. During this week, I'm going to start all over again with the film process and re-watch everything; do a lot of mental gymnastics. The reason is, obviously, this is a huge game for us. Georgia was a big game, but in the grand scheme of things, it's not a Pac-10 game. We're 1-0 in the Pac-10, and we've got to keep on the right track. We still have a chance to do what we want to do. Cal's a good team. I felt like I didn't have time to rest and get away.'
On if Cal plays two deep safeties like UNLV and Georgia:
'They can. They have the capabilities to do it. Cal presents a little bit different challenge for us, because they're a different front than some of the other teams we've played. Georgia gave us that front a little bit, but Cal plays a three-down front with four linebackers. Those guys are a good group, with Zach Follett, Worrell Williams, Anthony Felder and Eddie Young. Those guys are the strength of their team, so it's important for us to understand the difference in the run game and protection, because it's a different front. Our offensive linemen and myself, everyone has to do a good job to know what exactly is going on. Cal plays a mixture of tons of different coverages, which is a lot different than most teams. That's why I chose to prepare myself this last week as if we were playing this last weekend, because I want to get used to what they're going to do to us.'
On if he expects to keep seeing defenses play them like UNLV and Georgia did:
'I do. That's what I would do, if I were a defense. I'd play what's been working. We're 2-2. The two wins that we got, they didn't do that to us. They tried to stop the run and play man-to-man coverage. We took advantage of that. UNLV and Georgia both played a lot of zone coverages, dropped eight guys into coverage, and they won. I'm assuming that Cal, to a certain extent, will try to do the same things.'
On what he will tell the young players on this team to expect in their first road game:
'Just stay focused on what you're trying to do. The most important thing is to try to treat it like a business trip. We're going up there to take care of our business. That's how it should be. Sometimes it's hard for those guys, because some of them are going back home, it's their first road trip so they're a little excited about it. We've just got to treat like it's any other game and it's a business trip.'
On if the competition for starting spots on the offensive line is good:
'I think competition is always good and it makes people better. We're trying to find the best fit that's going to work for us. It's also good because we have Thomas Njunge, who hasn't gotten much opportunity, neither has Matt Hustad, but when you present guys with opportunities, sometimes that lights a little fire under them, makes them feel like they've got a chance to play, gives them a reason to work harder and want to get better.'