Dec. 8, 2011
Opening Statement: We are equally as equally excited to be here (as California is.) Our redshirt seniors were here when they were redshirted as freshman in ‘07 to play against Arizona State, so when we heard where
we were coming it was some excitement in the room because our older guys could tell the younger guys about the red coats and about the hospitality and about the hotel and the place and the water and the game.
The game historically has been very good and then when we heard who we were playing that was fun for us, as well. I’ve got great respect for [Cal head coach] Jeff [Tedford] and what he does, what he stands for as a coach and a man and Donna [and] their family. Sally and I have gotten to know them really well and also what he’s done with his program. And my wife is a Cal graduate, so we got a little problem there at home right now that we are trying to work through. We are not separated, but we are having some discussions about who she’s going to pull for. Our President Bill Powers is a Cal graduate, so we got a lot of Cal influence in our house, but we respect the university. What a great institution.
Jeff does it as good as anybody. He does it within the rules and had a string of success that is very very impressive. So we are excited about being back here. It will be our fifth [Holiday Bowl.] We got beat by Oregon with a young offensive coordinator named Jeff Tedford in 2000 with a throwback to the quarterback, best I remember, that looked really good and now that quarterback [Joey Harrington] is doing some things for the Longhorn Network, which really makes me mad when I have to see him all the time. He always just has that smirk that he knows that I remember the game. And then some people ask about the BCS in '04. Well, the BCS got us back in '08, so Jeff may be mad about ‘04, we’re mad about ’08 and I am sure Oklahoma State is mad today. So that’s just part of the BCS. I wish we’d change some of that stuff up too, but when you go to a bowl game and you are going to spend a week with the other team, you like to have other people you like. You like to have people that you respect. You like to have people that run their program right and you know that your kids will get along really well with their kids. We’ll have a fun week and a great week
and it should be a great game.
They finished so strong. We didn’t finish as well. We need to pick it back up and do better. Just watching, we got to see a lot of the PAC 12 games now because it’s later. When we get home after our games we get to see them play, and I’ve been very very impressed with everything I see. They’ve gotten much better throughout the year to have to play on the road all the time because they are fixing up their stadium. It’s a difficult thing anyway and they’ve always been really good on offense and now that we’re one of the top defenses in the country, it will be a great challenge for us, but a lot of fun.
On the finish to the season and the quarterback situation:
No, we didn’t play well the other day at times against Baylor and we haven’t met since then, so they’re actually going to have a little practice in the morning. A Captain’s practice just so they can go out with finals going on and try to get started a little bit and we’ll meet Friday for the first time. We’ve been up and down at that position, we’ve got two young ones we are trying to develop and that will be one of our question marks for the next couple of weeks is who do we start and how do they play. Most of the year we played both of them and that will probably be what we’ll do for the game.