After a season high 134 rushing yards against Oregon Saturday night, running back Isi Sofele gave much of the credit for yesterday's game to the five men blocking in front of him.
“My offensive line has done great,” he said. “They've had their games – you know, ups and downs. This has been one of their best games that they've had all year. Hats off to them. The guys outside, the receivers, they're out there blocking their tails off. We came out, had fun, did what we could. You know, it's just the little mistakes that get their points up there every two minutes.”
There wasn't any extra motivation to outdo Kenjon Barner or De'Anthony Thomas, Sofele said. “The game yesterday, I was going out there just all about me. I know Barner's a great running back. I like to compete with other running backs. If I see him out there making a long run, I know I gotta go out there and make a long run. But I was just competing with myself out there, yesterday. I knew what I could do, and just went out there and showcased it.”
As the team prepares to finish the season against a resurgent Oregon State squad, Sofele outlined what the offense needed to do in order to repeat the success they had against the Beavers last season.
“We gotta attack them up and down the field. Run the ball down, get them to get everybody in the box, then throw the ball. Come out there and execute all our plays. No turnovers. Protect the quarterback, and we'll be fine.”
“I know they're the number two defense in the Pac-12. I'm just going to come out here, perform exactly like I performed last week, stay positive, and do the little things.”
Though he has seen some of his carries taken by C.J. Anderson and Brendan Bigelow, Sofele said he “felt pretty good” about the year he had personally.
“Not the same type of season I had last year, but I felt pretty good about this season. Came out strong. I'm trying to finish on a strong note as well. I feel like I could have done better.”
As far as the team's 3-8 record goes, Sofele said, “There's nothing you can do right now at this point. We know we can't go to a bowl game, so we're just going to come out this next week and enjoy practice and enjoy moment together and hopefully get a win.”
“I'm kind of upset. It's frustrating. But you have ups and downs in life, and you gotta learn how deal with it. My expectations were way higher than what it is right now, but we have one more game, so we're going to come out and give it all we got. This is our bowl game.”
Despite their disappointing 2012 season, Isi Sofele believes that the California Golden Bears will “come back running” after he graduates in the spring.
“We have Lasco coming back, Bigelow coming back. We're going to have great quarterbacks – Bridgford, he's returning back. We have a lot of young offensive linemen. The defense will be young as well. They're going to come out here with a lot of experience next year. They're going to know what they're doing out there. I think they're going to come back with a lot of power.”