How has this week of practice gone?
Todd Graham: “We had a good day today, we had one of the best Wednesday we’ve ever had offensively. Our guys know that they know that they need to match the intensity the home team will be playing with. Our guys are getting smarter in the way they prepare themselves and watch film.”
Do you feel that your team is able to practice at game speed?
Todd Graham: “That’s probably the thing that we are working on the most, we are practicing the best we have ever practiced and that’s average in my opinion. In this offensive system you should never make a false step, that waste time and allows the defense to get ready. We are coming off our best game but we have to get better and we need to keep improving our habits. To compete at this level, you have to improve every day. Our guys are working hard and our coaches are teaching them hard. Personally, I haven’t coached this much since 2005”
What is it going to take to beat Cal?
Todd Graham: “It is going to take 100% ball security, we can’t commit stupid penalties and we have to win on special teams. That’s the key for us, if our offense gets another security shirt we will win. Our special teams will be critical as well, Cal has a lot of dynamic players. They have one of the most explosive wide receivers in the country that can make plays happen. They also have a dynamic quarterback who can extend plays with his feet and hurt you with his arm. We need to make sure not to make stupid mistakes when he is extending plays. Offensively we just need to take care of the ball, we have to play disciplined.”
Is the next step for this football team to win their first game on the road?
Todd Graham: “It is, I will be honest with you our staff has had great success with winning on the road in the past. I think our key is that when we take the field, we have to match the home team’s passion. You have to go out there and match their passion and try to exceed it. Last road game that didn’t happen we went out there and were expecting to win. So we have to go onto the field really intense and focused. I think towards the end of the game of Missouri we got our passion and intensity levels right but it was too late. This week will be a different story.”
Do you credit the new strength and conditioning program for the lack of injuries?
Todd Graham: “Yes, I think a lot of the reason why we are so healthy is the work that these players put in during the summer. Also, we practice smart we hit and practice physical but we stay off the ground. A lot of guys are sore, but I tell them that everyone in the country is. We will have a chance to rest after this game against Cal.
How big of a momentum changer can the Cal game be for the rest of the season?
Todd Graham: “I looked at the schedule at the beginning of the year, and I knew what we did against Utah and Cal would determine our season. That’s how important this game is.”