For whatever reason, something clicks when the Beavers play in Berkeley.
No matter how good or bad Cal is, or how prolific their running back or quarterback is, one thing always occurs: the Beavers win.
Oregon State is 5-0 against Cal at Memorial Stadium after last night's 31-14 win. Here are some post-game quotes:
We'll start off with Cal head coach Jeff Tedford. Obviously, the first question asked regarded the heath of his pre-season fringe Heisman Cantidate, Jahvid Best. Best was injured on a 7-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, and laid on the field for 13 minutes before he exited the stadium in a gurney. Tedford also addressed how the injury put the game into perspective, but also how the Cal program was disappointed following the game.
"Thankfully, the tests came back negative. When he came off the field, he had full movement. It looks like it was just a pretty serious concussion. When it happened, it was unbelievably scary. He was out of it pretty good. There is always great concern for any player on the field like that. Our prayers go with him overnight as a team to make sure he recovers."
"It is very sobering when that happens. The team was in a mindset once they knew he was OK, they regrouped and play again."
"First and foremost, without a doubt, the most important thing when something like this happens is the health of one of your players. It puts football in the right perspective. But we are also disappointed to lose a football game the way that we did. We got outcoached today. We got outplayed in every phase of the game. Give credit to Oregon State. They played great and we didn't."
I was impressed that Tedford was quick to point the thumb at himself, not the finger at his players. He felt that the Cal coaching staff didn't do a proper job of preparing for Oregon State:
"When the numbers are like they are and we can't get anything going on third down and their winning field possession with special teams. They had an advance plan and they executed it and we didn't. Any time you lose a game, it is not just on the players. They are the ones on the field, but it is the coaches' responsibility to put them in a position to be successful. We obviously did not do a good enough job of that tonight."
In my post-game report I mentioned the fact that OSU set out to stop Jahvid Best and Cal set out to stop Quizz. Both defenses did a admirable job of accomplishing the task, but OSU made the Cal run-game a non-factor all night. Here's what Tedford had to say about Cal's struggles to move the ball:
"We couldn't run the football. It seemed we were in a lot of long yardage situations. In the first half, we had poor field position, coming out of our own end zone. Couldn't run the football. They were more physical than us up front. We didn't win at the line of scrimmage. And we didn't make plays in the passing game for a lot of reasons: pass protection at times, missing receivers. We didn't execute. Plain and simple."
"It starts at the line of scrimmage, but the line of scrimmage is everyone involved in the run game, from linemen to tight ends to fullbacks, to everyone. We have to make sure we are doing the right things and that our players are able to execute it. We just got outplayed today."
The fact that Cal's defense took Jacquizz Rodgers out of the game and the Beavers managed to recover is a testament to the balanced nature of this year's offense. Riley was asked after the game if he thought that he needed a huge day from Quizz to produce a win:
"They did a nice job defending us in the running game and that's why you need to be able to do something else. I have a lot of respect for, and still do, for their defensive front. I thought they played very well and I thought we protected our quarterback pretty well to allow him to throw the ball. So those two things were big factors. They played well up front and really held our running game in check, but to counter it we were able to protect and throw the ball."
Canfield noted that the Beavers didn't panic when Cal started stuffing the run. And why not? The Beavers were getting it done in the air.
"We stuck to the game plan we had been running all week in practice. You are going to have games where the defense is stuffing the run. That just means you have to make some throws down the field in the passing game, and we did that. We kept our composure and put up some good points in the first half. I think we are very close, offensively, to putting up a lot of points."