Linebacker Greg Van Hoesen was talking about the 500 yards his defense gave up to UCLA and, as he said, “We’re not perfect.” However, the feeling among Cal’s defensive players is everything is building.
Free safety Bernard Hicks said he blew the coverage on one long completion against UCLA and noted that there were a couple of other coverage mixups. Defensive end Cody Jones said the linebackers and defensive linemen got caught slanting the wrong way (not in conjunction) a few times against UCLA and that opened holes.
The bottom line is that it sounds like Cal had quite a few correctable errors on Saturday. Nobody on the team is happy the errors happened, but they are working to fix them. The talent, I think everyone would agree, is there.
Marshawn Lynch and Robert Jordan showed up at the luncheon and they both looked relaxed and happy. Jordan said Lynch is the one who has to get him out of bed every day. Marshawn said that can be a difficult task. “He has all those covers pulled up over his head.” Lynch said that Virdell Larkins, who now is playing at Laney, used to wake him up every morning about 5 a.m. He said Larkins was a real early bird. He also noted that Larkins is doing great as he gets ready to go through the recruiting process all over again.
The two also talked about their classes and getting through school. They said their college writing class was their toughest as they sometimes have three projects they are working to complete at the same time. Lynch laughed as he told the story of Jordan writing a 15-page paper on his (Lynch’s) mom that he had to write on a Sidekick computer. For those of you old folks like me who think a sidekick is Tonto, a Sidekick I guess is this little, tiny computer about the size of a telephone with a keyboard on it. It appears that Jordan must have written this entire paper with his thumbs.
Coach Jeff Tedford said he was very concerned about defensive end Phillip Mbakogu’s knee, which hasn’t responded after surgery. Tedford said the injury is career threatening. Mbakogu will continue to work with the medical staff as they try to determine a solution.
He also noted that sophomore defensive end Rulon Davis have a badly bruised bone in his leg that has kept him out of action. Davis watched the UCLA game on crutches. Tedford said the injury is beginning to respond and he hopes Davis will be available soon. He said Davis was playing well in the chances that he had.
Van Hoesen talked about having the huge wood cutout of linebacker Zack Follett in his house as he was completing the painting of it to send to Zack’s mom. “It was a little creepy having it in the house for a while,” Van Hoesen said. “Late at night, I would walk into it. ‘Oh my god, who is that?’ ” Van Hoesen said he and Follett are considering other projects, including a Lynch cutout.