Jeff Tedford entered the postgame news conference and made no attempt to conceal his mixed emotions.
The Cal coach was pleased with his running game, especially junior Shane Vereen (151 yards on 25 carries), and delighted with the Golden Bears' defense, which set the tone for the 35-7 trouncing of UCLA on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
Eventually, though, Tedford zeroed in on the pass offense and lit into it about as fiercely as he ever has.
"We need to throw the ball better," he said dryly.
Tedford said this, in a variety of ways, no fewer than four times. Each time, his eyes would narrow and his jaw would tighten ever so slightly. As much he accepted this victory, he could not hide his discontent with the aspect of football he enjoys more than any other.
He'll keep the 28-point win over a Pac-10 opponent, but the coach would like to destroy one of the skimpiest Cal passing performances in his nine seasons in Berkeley.
The statistics submitted by quarterback Kevin Riley -- 9 of 16, 83 yards, one touchdown, four sacks -- were too ghastly to ignore even in a rout built mostly on 304 rushing yards and suffocating defense.
"He needs to improve," Tedford said of Riley. "We need to improve as a pass offense. He needs to make some better decisions. He needs to throw the ball away when we need to throw the ball away. He needs to complete the ball to guys that are open.
"He didn't throw any interceptions,
This did not seem to be a simple case of a coach unloading on his quarterback, as at least one player seemed to be in full agreement.
"Obviously, it's got to improve," Riley said during a separate interview session.
"It's just (about) being more consistent," he added, saying the running game was so dominating that he never established any rhythm for passing.
Riley also said he tried to aim the ball on a couple of throws, rather than throw it. He admitted to a few errant throws. He acknowledged, in short, that this was a day on which he did too many things a quality quarterback doesn't do.
"I have to get the ball out of my hand a little quicker," Riley said, referring to UCLA's sacks, two of which came after belated pressure.
Surely such admissions are not what Tedford wants to hear from a senior making his 28th start at Cal. At times last season, amid the grumbling of alumni with higher aspirations for the program, Tedford realized his offense too often goes as Riley goes.
That has to cut deep for a coach who grew up playing quarterback, played the position in college and now prides himself on devising schemes that result in a balanced offense as lethal through the air as on the ground.
More and more of late, Cal's offense has gone not much further than Vereen -- as a runner or secondary receiver -- is able to take it.
"He's a very dependable and very tough; he is a very smart guy," Tedford said of Vereen. "That being said, (we) can't run him into the ground."
Which is code for saying Tedford would like more out of such weapons as wide receivers Marvin Jones and Keenan Allen, as well as tight end Anthony Miller. That three Cal wideouts combined for five rushes indicates a determination to put the ball in their hands.
Tedford understands that a one-dimensional offense can't win in the Pac-10, even when supported by a capable defense. He knows Cal will need the better quarterbacking, otherwise he'll have to consider making a change he'd rather not make.
"We definitely have to be more productive in the passing game, not just with Keenan but with everyone," Tedford said when asked about getting the talented freshman involved.
The coach's frustrations are not the result of one game or one poor showing by Riley. This likely has been building since last season, when Riley's fluctuations had fans getting restless as Tedford bit his lip -- and his tongue.
Seeing such paltry statistics and too many receivers overthrown, Tedford is starting to lose patience. He is ready to raise the bar for acceptable performance at quarterback.
The Bears won easily Saturday, but Tedford can see what lies ahead. The Bears, 0-2 on the road, visit USC next week and Oregon State two weeks afterward. Oregon and Stanford come to Memorial Stadium in November.
Tedford's comments prove he wasn't fooled by a blowout win over a team that, aside from sacking Riley, couldn't do much of anything right.
Contact Monte Poole at email@example.com.