Heading into Saturday night's home finale, Josh Hill recalled on Sunday that there were “a lot of feelings, a lot of emotions going into the game.”
“I just wanted to give it my all, man. Leave everything out there for myself, for the seniors, for the program. Unfortunately, we just didn't get the outcome we wanted. It is what it is, sometimes.”
“I regret that we lost, but as far as competing and effort and stuff, we know we gave it our all, so that's all we can ask for.”
For the third straight season, the Bears had success defending Oregon's blur offense, at least for a time. Hill said that the key to bottling up Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas was simple assignment football.
“The main thing we did was just keep our composure and try to execute what we had to execute; run the play that was called, and do what we had to do on defense to stop them.”
However, when it was when the defense started losing that technique, started losing composure, started losing assignments, that was when things began to spiral out of control, Hill said. He indicated that the defense even had an idea of what quarterback Marcus Mariota was going to do, but was simply out executed by the Oregon offense.
“He did what we thought he was going to do. He's an athletic guy; he made plays with his feet like we knew he could. Nothing really surprised us, nothing was out of the ordinary for us.”
With only one game left in his Cal career, Hill said that he wouldn't approach next Saturday's game against Oregon State any differently.
“Me personally, I try to get better every week, so I'll try to do more than I did last week, and the week before that. Continue to try to do more, and try to end on a perfect game, a perfect note, and end my career in a good way.”
As far as his favorite on-field memory goes, Hill counts the team's Emerald Bowl victory in 2008 as the one he cherishes the most, even though he didn't get to play in it.
“It was a great time here,” Hill reminisced. “I built a lot of great relationships – coaches, players, staff, everyone, really. It's just a lot of things, a lot of memories, a lot of great memories here. Not even talking about the good seasons, or whatever – just the people I've met, the things I've done, the person I've become. There are a lot of great things here at Cal. I just want to thank anyone who's had input in my life.”