Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Coach Zook Speaks ON.....
"If you watch them, they are very talented. Their offensive line and running backs are good. They have a stable full of running backs. I remember watching their bowl game when I first got this job and thinking, `Holy smokes, I can see why these guys are upset about not playing in the BCS.' They were supposed to lose 26 guys, but it looks like they've reloaded. Their offensive line is huge. They lost receivers, but they have a receiver who has already had 11 catches in one game. They are going to be the best receivers we've seen to date. Their quarterback--we didn't recruit him. but we know of him. He's a very talented young man out of junior college. Evidently he has come in, and losing their starter didn't have a big effect on them. They play extremely well. They play with great effort, and I think that is one of the reasons why they have had so much success."
...on changing the mindset of his players:
"We feel like we have made some strides. In the spring and summer, one of the concerns I had was changing the mindset. We always talk about how winning is a habit, but unfortunately, so is losing. It takes 21 days to make a habit. How do you continually press and force and push them to believe? We've put ourselves in some situations in the last two games that you don't necessarily want to be in, but they hung in there. I have to believe that some of it is getting through. I don't think we are anywhere close to where we have to be yet, but once gain, the more positive things that can have happen after adversity, the more that is going to help with our attitude."
...on Cal head coach Jeff Tedford turning a 1-10 program into a 7-5 team in his first year:
"I remember when they came into our place and beat us in that close game. You could see them go up and us go down. You can definitely see a program like that get better, and it helps us knowing that we can do it, too. If they can do it, we can do it. "
...on what beating California would mean for the team:
"It would feel great. This is the fist time we've been 2-0 since I've been here, so 3-0 would be excellent. That would boost our confidence a lot. To beat a ranked team and go 3-0 to start the Big Ten would be excellent for our program."
"I said last week that as a football team we had to make a lot of improvements. I think we did. Obviously, we have to make some more improvements this week. Last night's practice was very good; the players were into it. They are excited to have the opportunity to play a good opponent. As a coaching staff, we've talked about the fact that it's going to give us the opportunity to see where we're at. We keep on saying that every week, but every week there are tests involved. This is the next test to prepare us for the Big Ten Conference."