After his team pounded Portland State, Jeff Tedford was smiling pretty wide when he talked about red-shirt freshman tight end Cameron Morrah. Morrah is going to be an impact player and he showed it by catching the first touchdown pass of his career.
Although Tedford worried about Morrah’s blocking a bit last season when he was a true freshman, he has gained about 15 pounds. This guy is an absolute load, especially the way he runs. The Portland State game, combined with the concussion suffered by Craig Stevens allowed Morrah to get some much needed experience.
Morrah is a very soft-spoken kid. I talked to him after the game and he pretty much had the pulse of a guy sleeping. It all seems to be no big deal to him. He did laugh a bit when I talked to him about the realization that a major college tight end had to do a lot of blocking. As he admitted, in high school, he just wanted them to throw him the ball. The more he plays, I would imagine that Tedford will follow that strategy as well.
I asked coach Tedford if he is warming up the shotgun snap and he said that, yes, he was. He never liked the shotgun snap before as he had told me many times before this season. But he does like its ability to give his quarterback a chance to look over the field. Of course, when Joe Ayoob came in, the backup center planted a shotgun snap at his ankles. “I was starting to like (the shotgun snap) until that one hit the ground,” Tedford said with a big smile.
Wide receivers coach Danny Ferrigno looked proud as a peacock that his son caught a long touchdown pass and it didn’t hurt Cal a bit. Ferrigno was headed out to dinner with his disappointed son, but I’m sure dad found a way to cheer him up a bit. Portland State has a very nice team that should do well in its conference if it can overcome those quarterback injuries. Unfortunately for the Vikings, they also have to play Oregon. Yikes.
Place kicker Tom Schneider has done a good job getting the ball in the end zone, so I wonder if Tedford will start to have him just drill the ball and forget about the placement. Schneider does a good job of locking a team up against the sideline, but that strategy might be why he loses a kick out of bounds at times. We’ll see.
It was nice to see Anthony Felder get a lot of snaps. He looked very good and he needs the experience. Cal is going to lose Desmond Bishop and Mickey Pimentel after this season, so Felder will be needed big time.
Tedford was very annoyed after the game about his team’s personal fouls. I would imagine the Bears as a group are going to get an ear-ful in a meeting. Nobody around Cal’s campus likes to see the head man irritated. He doesn’t get angry often, but when he does, the Bears do some tip-toeing around him. He is not going to put up with personal fouls. I wouldn’t expect many against ASU.
Tedford felt bad that due to some penalties (roughing the punter) and a bad snap on the shotgun snap, that Joe Ayoob didn’t see much time on the field. He planned to use Ayoob in the third quarter and Steve Levy in the fourth, but Cal didn’t spend much time on the field in the third quarter.
I asked Tedford how he was handling the new rule about challenging a play. He said he challenged Justin Forsett’s fumble because the replay on the stadium board seemed to show his knee down plus Forsett told him his knee was down. “i have to stop listening to my players,” he said.