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Football: Sunday night update

It had only been a little over 24 hours after their win over Minnesota yesterday, but the Bears were completely focused on Oregon on Sunday night. There’s always something a little extra when Pac-10 play begins, and that is augmented when you have to start conference play at Autzen Stadium.

Cal won’t be playing Oregon with wide receiver Nyan Boateng. He will have surgery tomorrow on his fractured right foot and be out 4-6 weeks.

As they have done off and on this season, Cal’s chant during post-practice stretching consisted of one player yelling “Pac-10 champs!” and the team responding “That’s us!” Linebacker Eddie Young then gave an inspirational talk to his teammates. He said he’s the one who initiated that chant during the summer, and now it is time “to be about it, not talk about it.”

During our talk with Jeff Tedford tonight, he said he was very happy about his decision to travel the team to Minneapolis on Thursday. But he said it wasn’t because of the effect it had on his players’ sleep patterns, but because the team didn’t feel so rushed to play the game.

Last year at Maryland, all the team had time to do was have a walkthrough Friday night, eat dinner, have meetings and go to sleep. They woke up in the morning and it was time for the game. This year at Minnesota, they had all day Friday to help ease into kickoff. The team spent part of Friday at the famous Mall of America in Minneapolis, and Tedford said the players had good focus during meetings on Friday.

“I do feel like it helped, for different reasons than people think,” he said. “People think that you are tired when you get up that early in the morning. That’s not so much it. I think we didn’t feel so rushed. That was more relaxing. It wasn’t the sleep patterns. I did really like it that we were there in plenty of time.

“I like this schedule a lot, and I think our kids handled it well. They were focused in our meetings, and they had time to relax. If we had to do it over again, I would do the same thing.”

–Tedford said Vince D’Amato will be the starter handling kickoffs this week, unless “something happens throughout the week.” Kickoffs are going to start getting even more emphasis. The kickers actually practiced today, which is not usually the norm. Tedford said D’Amato will get a lot of reps this week to help improve his confidence.

 –Tedford said that all tight end Skylar Curran suffered was a bruise Saturday and is fine for this week’s game.

–By now, most of you have probably seen that Cal moved up two spots to No. 6 in the Associated Press top 25. USC dropped to 12th and Washington moved into the rankings at No. 24.

Jonathan Okanes

Jonathan Okanes is in his fourth year covering Cal's football team. Previously, he covered Cal's men's basketball team for four years. He can also be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/OkanesonCal.

  • abe

    Sucks for Boateng, he is a senior after all and it looks like he is going to miss half of his senior season. He is a great blocker so that will be missed the most. However, I am very grateful that we have managed to avoid detrimental injuries so far an if we can sustain that for two more weeks it would be awesome. Lets pray.

  • Bears

    Great news that Curran is not seriously injured. He is playing very well and Miller looks like he is getting better and better each week. TE is looking solid with room to get much better. Awesome that guys are stepping up when their number is called. That catch Miller made late was spectacular and probably prevented a pick.
    JO, what bone did Boateng break? There are so many bones in your foot 4-6 weeks is the general estimate. Some fractures can heal as fast as 2-3 weeks even after surgery others can take as long as 10.
    Hope Nyan will be back to give Cal a boost at some point this year. Good luck to him.
    Go Bears!

  • Calduke

    Jan Oski – Cal is 3-0, but, to me, they haven’t shown they are ready for the PAC-10 onslaught. Oregon has a ton of incentive for the game on Saturday; the goal line fumble 2 years ago and their ‘anger’ of having to play and lose in ankle deep water last year.

    Do you have any comments that might give me some level of confidence regarding the Oregon game.

  • Scotty Mon

    Calduke:

    Cal also played in that same ankle-deep water last year, and Cal has just as much incentive for the game as do the Ducks. Where do you come up with that? Oregon is for Tedford as what USC was for Sarkisian and Riley is from there so the Bears are no stranger to Oregon territory. Tedford will outcoach that deer-in-the-headlights Chip Kelly. The Bears are now in the drivers seat and they are a very focused team this year. You need to raise your own level of confidence. The Bears have more than enough incentive to win this Saturday.

  • TrumanHugh

    Calduke–

    I think Oregon’s shot at redemption for that fumble into the endzone is long gone…losses like that are addressed in the very next game between two teams involved, which, of course, in this case, was last season in Berkeley.

    Is Shawn Colvin even around anymore?!

    No, the incentive for the Ducks is national image repair and getting back some respect. If they can manage to get a passing game between now and Saturday afternoon, they may have a real shot at big win.

    Thye just aren’t the same Oregon Ducks we’ve seen in the past. (This isn’t to say that it will be a cakewalk for Cal…far from it…it just isn’t going to be anywhere near the level of play from 2007.)

  • Larry

    Masoli can’t pass worth beans. All Masoli has is his feet, but CAL’s strenth is the run defense. So I don’t think CAL will have a problem with Oregon this week.

    The only problem I see is a key injury which seem to happen against Oregon or CAL just not coming to Eugene very focused, which I don’t think will happen.

    CAL needs to score on their first two offensive series and shut that crowd up, then it should be lights out!

    GO BEARS!

  • ToparchiBear

    My prediction was very close last week. -3 on each team. Any body dare to predict again for the Ducky game. Mine will not be an easy game for Cal, given that they beat the #14 ranked Utah in a close game. Playing in Oregon, alway not easy. So, How about 35 ~ 31. Cal on Top.

    Go Bears!

  • ToparchiBear

    What I am worry about is the kick off coverage. the Duck got a return for touchdown last week, and, the bear is given up too much yardage on return. If Cal can correct the kicking game, kick them deep, contain the return, and stop Masoli’s play action run. Cal will on top big.

  • Calduke

    Scotty Mon
    TrumanHugh

    Thanks. I now have a much higher level of confidence and it looks like a great win for the Bears.