After his team was blown out by Oregon and USC, California coach Jeff Tedford told the Bears to look at the rest of the season as a new season. The Bears responded Saturday with a big victory at UCLA ,and Jahvid Best, not surprisingly, played a key role with two long touchdowns. The running back talked with Sporting News' Stan McNeal and other reporters after the game.
Reporter: After coming into the season as a Heisman Trophy candidate, did the two losses and sub-100-yard games change your outlook?
Jahvid Best: As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't matter. If it comes, it'll happen. If it doesn't, it's not a big loss because I'm not counting on it. I'm out here just trying to make my team better. That's the way it's been since Day 1. It's a great accomplishment to be mentioned in that category from the beginning, but I just worry about what's happening on the field.
Q: How did you guys regroup after losing to USC?
JB: Luckily we had a bye week. We were able to get back to the drawing board and work on fundamentals and everything. We were able to get everything squared away.
Q: What difference do you see in the team now?
JB: We're a lot tighter as a family. We do everything together now. Our team bonding elevated a lot over those weeks.
Q: How does this carry over to the field?
JB: When the defense is on the field, coach Tedford wants the offense to be engaged and cheer them on and not just be sitting down on the bench not paying attention. It felt like the whole team was behind us.
Q: Of the 10 runs you've had for more than 60 yards at Cal, has there been one when you broke as many tackles as you did in that 93-yarder against UCLA?
JB: I don't think so, unless I go back to high school. ... They overpursued on the outside, and my read tells me to cut back inside. From then on, it's just finding your way to the end zone.