California Heisman Trophy candidate junior TB Jahvid Best addressed the media Wednesday following a Cal football practice at Memorial Stadium. Comments selected by Cal Sports Information:
On whether there's a different feeling on campus this week with the upcoming game against USC on Saturday
"I go to class and come to practice, so I don't even know. It's Berkeley; everybody's focused on school down there [on campus]."
On the USC defense
"They get different faces every year, but they get the same productivity. It's a typical USC defense."
More on the USC defense and the defensive numbers the Trojans have posted in 2009
"It's definitely going to be a challenge. It's going to be a physical game, and we've just got to be ready for it."
On Cal's troubles running the ball over the last six quarters
"Lack of execution. Any time you can't get something going offensively it's because of execution."
On whether not being able to execute weighs heavily on him
"It goes around the table."
On the USC game becoming a rivalry game
"Yeah, I think so."
On whether it's a rivalry game because of geographical connections or become both teams are good
"I think it's both."
On whether it's important to get a win against USC
"It's important to win every week, but SC week we've got to win."
On whether he hears anything from seniors that haven't beaten USC yet
"Those seniors are hungry for a Pac-10 championship. Getting a Pac-10 championship means beating SC, so it makes it that much more important."
On his troubles during the 2008 USC game
"It just gives me a little bit more motivation to go out there and produce this weekend, just to show that I can produce. That's pretty much it, just a little bit more motivation."
On why the 2008 game versus USC was so difficult for him
"They just dominated the line of scrimmage. We didn't execute as an offense, either, and that's basically what it boils down to."
On the team's confidence level heading into the USC game this Saturday
"We're real confident. We've put last week [at Oregon] behind us, and we're ready to go this week."
On whether playing against USC is a reason he came to Cal
"No [it's not a reason], but it is a perk."
On USC safety Taylor Mays
"He's a tremendous athlete, just how big he is and mixed in with how fast he is. He is going to be someone to watch out for on the field."
On how it's different playing USC at Cal instead of in Los Angeles
"It's going to be an exciting atmosphere. I'm pretty sure it's going to be packed, over-packed probably. People all on the hills everywhere, there's going to be cameras everywhere. It's going to be an exciting atmosphere."
On whether it matters that the national perception of him in the Heisman race will change if he and team do well against USC this Saturday
"No, it doesn't matter, but I hope that happens. I hope it happens, but it really doesn't matter to me."
On what the 2008 game vs. USC felt like
"Frustration would be the best way [to put it]."
On whether he felt like Cal was close to breaking through against USC in 2008
"We were close. A couple of different plays, and it would have been a whole different game. But, that's last year."
On how he deals with being patient when he gets bottled up like he did against USC in 2008
"That's probably the hardest thing I've got to do. But, if I trust in my coaching and techniques then good things will happen."
On whether he is a more patient person now than when he started at Cal