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September 16, 2023

Tristan Sinclair

Stanford, California, USA

Postgame Media Conference

Sacramento State - 30, Stanford - 23

Q. Tristan, how does it feel to be back home?

TRISTAN SINCLAIR: Coming to the game was exciting. I think being back home was fun. We got to practice a lot in the stadium this offseason. It felt natural, and we were coming back home. I was excited for it.

Q. Defensively, what did you see out there today, different looks?

TRISTAN SINCLAIR: I think defensively we've just got to play better. We've got to do our job. And we struggled to do that. We didn't execute always. It only takes one guy to slip up to have those big plays. We've got to play better.

Q. It seemed like this game was a lot of big momentum plays, interception here, interception on each side. How much, whoever made that last play, make the big difference? How much was it like whoever made the last big play kind of making the difference in this game between the interceptions, it was a game of big play. Seemed like they just made the last one there?

TRISTAN SINCLAIR: It's always tough. We've got to anchor down at the end, and they made the last big one. But we let up too many early on. We've got to buckle down better at the beginning.

Q. (Question off microphone)

TRISTAN SINCLAIR: Yeah, obviously I've been through teams where we've had bad seasons, tough losses and three-win seasons the past couple of years. I think this new staff has done a really good job just talking about that and everything we do, the way we practice is next mentality.

Someone makes a big play, next play, next play, next play. That's something they've instilled in us early. But then something that we've been saying is "No BCD," which is no blame, complain or defend. I mean, I can truly say that the guys that are in the locker room believe that and that's the way we're rolling. We're just on to the next one.

Q. What are some of the things you've seen?

TRISTAN SINCLAIR: I think some of the strengths, definitely guys have started to play a little bit faster.

Obviously the result wasn't what we wanted. We made some mistakes that shouldn't be mistakes. But I think guys are bit by bit starting to learn defense and play a little faster. I think that's been an improvement over the next few games.

Can you repeat the question?

Q. First few games in, what are some of the things that you feel like this team can do better moving forward?

TRISTAN SINCLAIR: I think that honing in on just the little things, little details. We were playing good tonight. I think that a lot of our mistakes were small, like little one-guy, and it takes all 11.

I think there's an improvement going on. We've got to just focus on how we can play with all 11 perfectly. That's something that Coach talked about. When all 11 played perfect, those clips are great to watch. Everyone is swimming to the ball, everyone's covering it up. QB scramble and we're pulling them up.

But one guy doesn't do his job and there's a little slippage there and then two guys don't do their job, a little bit more slippage there. It's just playing with all 11.

Q. Just talk about the performance of their quarterback, Kaiden Bennett, what makes him so difficult to contain?

TRISTAN SINCLAIR: He was fast. We'll give it to him. A fast, shifty guy. He was hard to bring down. He made plays outside the pocket.

Q. If you're looking for any silver linings, you can look at the fact that part of the reason this team is as good as it is, Sacramento State, is because of -- I mean a huge reason why it's as good as it is because of Troy Taylor; he turned around that program very quickly. Do you believe he can turn you guys around in relatively short order, and why do you believe that?

TRISTAN SINCLAIR: Coach Taylor, he's a winner. He's done it everywhere he's been. He did it at a high school. He was at Utah and then Sac State, turned that program around. They were 1-11 and then they went undefeated that next year, whatever it was.

We believe in him, unwavering belief in him. It's hard -- winning college football games is really hard. I think it takes time. I believe in him fully.

Q. You guys bouncing back from this, another home game against Arizona next week. What's going to be the key to putting this behind you and being able to come back next week and get a W against the Wildcats?

TRISTAN SINCLAIR: It just starts tonight recovering. And then tomorrow we'll get back in there and get our bodies right, look over the film, and then just get back to it, honestly.

Like practice, we've been getting better at practicing harder and harder every week. I think we've just got to keep going.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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