As Cal wrapped up its week of practice, coach Jeff Tedford once again talked about the upgrade in talent the Bears will face this week and how much better he believes Colorado is than last year.
Tedford also has said that the Buffaloes 3-9 record last year is deceiving. Four of their losses were decided by a touchdown or less and a couple others they were in it in the second half before the opponent pulled away.
The biggest concerns about Colorado are their receivers, cornerbacks and offensive line. Scotty McKnight is their returning star, but a couple of transfers have added depth to the receiving corps. USC transfer Travon Patterson and Michigan transfer Toney Clemons are each a threat that Cal will have to be aware of. At cornerback, 6-foot-2 Jimmy Smith and 6-1 Jalil Brown give the Buffaloes an imposing duo, which will provide a good matchup with Cal’s big receivers, 6-3 Keenan Allen and 6-2 Marvin Jones. Colorado’s offensive line features three players over at least 310 pounds and another two at 290.
“They have more speed and more depth at the skill positions on offense,” Tedford said. “Now they have three or four guys (at wide receiver) who are really good players. Theyv’e had some guys step up at receiver. Theyv’e become a really solid group.”
Tedford reiterated that Colorado will be nothing like UC Davis.
“It’s a Big 12 opponent that is very competitive all the time,” Tedford said. “They have a lot of skill and are very well-coached. There’s no doubt this is a much bigger test than last week.”
Tedford also touched on the playcalling against UC Davis, in terms of how much they opened the playbook. Tedford said he doesn’t typically hold plays back and save them for future opponents — rather, he uses the plays that best match up with the opponent to win the game. But when it comes to the point where the game is well in hand, he narrows down the playbook and makes it very basic because the diversity of playcalling is no longer necessary.
“We do whatever matches to win the football game,” Tedford said. “As we got ahead in the second half, we didn’t do some things because we didn’t need to.”