Heading to Corvallis

The theme of today’s media conference was very clear. Jeff Tedford told his players “you got your butt kicked last season, now what are you going to do about it?”

Tedford has been very good about issuing challenges to his players. When Oregon State has been able to run against the Bears, it has handled them. The Beavers also have mugged Cal’s receivers at the line of scrimmage and that has had a significant effect on the game.

Tedford wants his players to understand this is another of those smack down challenges, a physical war along the line of scrimmage. And that just doesn’t mean the front seven. Those defensive backs and wide receivers will be hammering each other the entire game.

Some good news came out of the luncheon when Tedford said Andrew Cameron should be ready to play. I would imagine that Cameron will reclaim his starting spot even though Tedford said he was very impressed with Mike Tepper’s effort against ASU. Tedford is enormously impressed with Mike Gibson on the other side so I think Scott Smith is going to have his hands full in terms of getting his job back once he recovers from his sprained knee.

This will be a good test for Cal’s offensive line since Boise State tended to run over the Beavers. If Marshawn Lynch lets loose, Cal just might roll.

Rover Brandon Hampton came to the luncheon. He talked about his love of track. I asked him what would happen in Cal’s four fastest players, for example, Hampton, DeSean Jackson, Noah Smith and Sam DeSa, ran against Cal’s A 4X100 relay team. Hampton said it would be very, very close. Tedford talked about timing Jackson in 4.29 in the 40-yard dash during the off-season on a cold, damp day. Hampton said, “I saw it with my own eyes.” He ran 4.3 that day.

Quarterback Nate Longshore and center Alex Mack were joking about the shotgun snap that hit Longshore in the chest. It turns out that Longshore decides what count to go on. He tried to surprise ASU by going on first sound. What he didn’t consider was that if somebody was not lined up right, he would have to deal with it. He tried to move one of the players, Mack heard the first sound and BOOM.

Perhaps that’s why they call it the shotgun snap. When things go wrong, it kills you.