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A thing of beauty

Those of you who would have given away their first borne to keep Jeff Tedford as coach feel fairly justified after the way the Golden Bears stomped Oregon State.

No. 1 — Recruiting. The main reason Cal jackstomped the Beavers in Corvallis was Tedford’s recruiting. He lines up DeSean Jackson on the outside, and the opponent has to cheat a safety his way. Then a guy like Lavelle Hawkins can have his way with the defense. You look in the backfield and see Marshawn Lynch, who was one of the top recruits to ever come out of the Bay Area, and Nate Longshore, who has a gun.
Those of you who subscribe to the Times and see the terrific job that Mike Lefkow does every year in compiling the Cream of the Crop might have noticed a complete change in attitude among the top 25 recruits. We also list their favorite school. It used to be Miami, Florida State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma. It’s now Cal, Cal, Cal. Tedford not only wins, he makes it fun and interesting for the players.

2. Game planning. Bears defensive coordinator Bob Gregory dared the Beavers to beat him through the air, and they couldn’t do it. Tedford is smart enough to let Gregory do his thing without interference. On offense, Cal simply left the Beavers looking like they had no defensive clue. Those two touchdown passes to Lynch were as wide open as a play could possibly be. Those were scheme touchdowns. Those were plays worthy of a guy who makes $2 mil a year.

Other highlights

Nice job by Bernard Hicks in his first game as a starter at free safety. No major mistakes and some hard hits. Cal will be in good shape when Thomas DeCoud gets back.

Nu’u Tafisi is starting to hit that Ryan Riddle stride. It’s taken him a while, but he is starting to get to the quarterback on a regular basis. This is HUGE if Cal expects to earn a BCS berth.

Cal’s offensive line, rebuilt or not, has some animals playing out there. There were Oregon State bodies flying through the air when they tried to rush Longshore. And I MEAN flying through the air. Erik Robertson explained that the Beavers finally would give up trying to get through, and would then leave their feet in an attempt to block a pass. That leaves them vulnerable to a shot to the chest that turns them into a projectile. Fun stuff if you are a Cal fan.

Tight end Craig Stevens is back to full health. He looked great, and actually made a couple of big catches — and held on. :o )

Cal cornerback Robert Peele is going to be pretty darned good.

Zack Follett is a monster.

Syd’Quan Thompson is getting comfortable.

jheater

  • Will Lee

    Jay,

    In view of Coach Tedford’s exhortation to be vocal this week, what’s the loudest you’ve ever heard Memorial since covering the team? 2004 Oregon? Big Games? How do you think Memorial can really be the hostile venue that I think it could be?

    Will Lee ’92
    Honolulu, HI

  • Dan Chang

    Heat.
    Good to hear that the O’line is coming around. Since Tenn, the pass blocking has looked very, very strong, but the run blocking left something to be desired. Seems like lots of people getting into the backfield to stuff Lynch and Forsett for losses, more so than in years past. What’s your assessment?

  • Anonymous

    Jay,

    It hurts to lose Mixon for the year and Decoud for several games, but hopefully the payback will come in the form of a tested secondary including Peele, Hicks and SQT. These three also underscore your recruiting comment as all three had multi offers from name programs, but chose to jopin the Bears.

    dmgobears