Football: The game nears

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.”

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.

  • Colorado seems a lot like the Bears, some strength at the skill positions. They have a QB that was inconsistent last year depending on how the offensive line played, and both offensive lines return a lot of starters.

  • CalBear91

    I agree Leader. Sound like us in some ways and certainly no joke. If this weren’t a home game I’d be pretty worried. As it is, I am mildly worried. Still think Cal wins by 17, but it will be close to the end. In a way, it could be a great game to watch because we are neither big favorites a la WSU or UC Davis, but neither are we without much hope. Even enough that whoever executes, wins. I like that.

  • Got Couth

    I don’t believe Cal has lost a non conference home game in about six years. Did I miss one? Colorado will be tough.Hawkins should have been let go last year and needs a big year to stay around. CSU is on a long, losing streak but they played Cal tough home and away and it was impresive the way CU handled them last week.The Buffs lost to CSU at home last year. This team must be much improved. We better take this one seriously–remember when we lost to Maryland in College Park–what a shocker that was!

  • Larry

    Plus each team has the coach’s kid on it.

  • Davidson

    Yea, but quinn ain’t the QB.

    It’s nice to be cautious about this game, but I don’t think it’ll be close at all. The bears were so amped to play a game last week, only to have it turn into a rout 1/2 way through the 2nd quarter. Vereen didn’t play the 2nd half and people are still on him for not having a 50 yard run.

    I think our players will treat this as another opener and come out firing on all cylinders. This is by no definition a trap game and we will cruise.

    Nevada..now THAT is a trap game..as we might look ahead to a crucial first Pac-10 game on the road against Arizona week 4.

  • thisiscal

    I’m predicting Bears win 35-17 and Darian Hagan Jr. has an interception.

    As a side note, I’m concerned that with all the hype Keenan Allen is receiving, Colorado may try to put extra hard hits on him. I might be paranoid, but I’ll be watching closely.

  • rollonubears

    i don’t think keenan is like “glass” desean, and as long as we don’t run routes that could leave him hung out to dry across the middle, he should be fine.

  • BearAddict

    Rollon – I made a similar observation about Allen’s apparent durability compared to DeSean to my son during the game when Allen laid out and almost made that spectacular diving catch. DeSean would have come up hurting after that whereas Allen looked fine (and even was looking to make the catch on the rebound after he bounced off the ground).

    Not intended as a knock on DeSean, just that there is a big difference in size and body type between DeSean and Allen. Hopefully that also translates to durability as well but time will tell.

  • Bears07

    BearAddict, I agree with your take except for one minor exception: DeSean would have caught that pass =)

    I LOVE having Keenan Allen and I know that DeSean might have been more self-above-team, but it’s fun remembering how awesome DeSean really was. He could always accelerate to catch an overthrown pass. I even remember a quote from Longshore in a game day Daily Cal one time along the lines of “DeSean makes me look good because if I ever over throw a pass, he just kicks it into another gear and catches up with the ball”. As the PSAs say, “speed kills” (in more ways than one).

  • Boaltblue

    To Some Fellow Bear Fans:

    Would you please knock off the harsh criticism of current and past Cal football players in this and other earlier posts. To read some of your comments, it appears that you are unappreciative of their efforts and dedication to Cal.

    In the case of Kevin Riley, he has won more games and thrown more TD’s than any other current Pac-10 quarterback. This Bear will continue to support him. His last effort: a 70% completion rate, 3 TD’s, 0 INTs, 258 yards, and a QB rating of 227.9 that places him 6th out of 112 QBs rated in the nation. While Jake Locker played a much tougher opponent in his loss to BYU for his first game, he is ranked 76th out of 112 QBs. Like all QBs, Kevin is not perfect, but please end your nitpicking and be thankful for what you have.

    As for DeSean Jackson, he came to Cal when he could have gone anywhere in the nation. He helped put us on the map by elevating the talent on our team. He, LaValle Hawkins, and Robert Jordan made our QBs look great. He gave Cal football fans some of the most memorable plays and wonderful times that this True Blue has seen this decade. He gave 110% effort on the field and tried his best to win for the team. I do not fault him for wanting the ball more, as all Cal fans know, he could deliver a quick-6 as well as anyone on the field.

    I read an interview that DeSean gave after he started with the Eagles and shortly after his father passed away. He continues to express a “love” (his word) for Cal. We should show some appreciation and gratitude in return.

    The undeserved criticism of our current and past players that I read on some of these posts is hurtful to the players and show a lack of respect.

  • rollonubears

    boalt, i see your point here. but if desean had such a great experience here, then why does he claim “long beach poly” as the school he went to when he appears on monday night football? he made a decision to go to cal, and i’m appreciative, but he didn’t come to cal for the education. he didn’t come here to win a championship. he came here to showcase his skills and move on the nfl. when he comes back and watches a game on the sidelines, or sets up a camp for berkeley youth in the summer, or even says “cal” on tv, i’ll be right behind him.

  • Juancho

    Boaltblue, this is a blog. Get off the internet if other people’s opinions bother you.

    I don’t think DeSean cares much for our school. In an interview with ESPN he said that looking back on his college career, he was “lied to” during the recruiting process by Cal coaches and that he would reconsider his decision if he had to do it again.

    Plus have you noticed he always says Long Beach Poly is his school?

    Get off your high-horse and let other fellow alumni express their opinions. We all paid our tuition too.

  • Juancho

    By the way, “appreciative” of the players? They’re students whom in large part are having their scholarships paid for by our tax revenues and donations to the program.

    As an alumni I don’t have to be appreciative of a single student. That’s one of the benefits of being an alumni. They should appreciate me. Do you know I once got a 100% in an upper division class, where I got top score on the midterm and final? That should be appreciated. Plus I used to dominate in flag football in high school PE.

  • thisiscal

    I was born in Berkeley, raised in Berkeley, went to Berkeley High, and went to Cal. I’ve been watching the Bears play for over 30 years and over those 30 years only one thing hasn’t changed and that’s infighting amongst Bears fans. It has always plagued us and has always held us down as a fan base. Fans are allowed their opinions and if a Bears fan says Beau Sweeney is terrible it’s not an ad hominem attack, it’s simply a critique of his quarterbacking skills. We’re all Bears fans and we all want them to do well. Enough of this petty garbage and high horse nonsense!

    @ Juancho – wasn’t that an upper division dance seminar? (kidding man)

  • J willz

    this is a website. this is a blog. everyone has opinions. deal with it 🙂

    and of course, GO BEARS!

  • milo

    Given Colo was 3-9 last season, the comparo to Cal is a little off. They have improved and you certainly better respect them or face embarassment but Cal is the better team and should win.

    re: DeSean…great player, did a lot for Cal but he’s a self-centered punk. Given the season after his departure names on jerseys were removed speaks volume. I wish him well but he’s history.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    This infighting is laughable. Win a big game once every 50 years and it should stop.

  • discdude

    I’m calling BS on “In an interview with ESPN…”

    Never heard or saw a word of this. Provide a link.

  • Juancho

    It was a dance a class, just kidding. I agree that there has always been infighting amongst Cal people. I also was raised to go to Cal and went there. So I’ve been around it, and infected by the never ending pessimism of “here we go again” and I can admit that.

    My point is that people shouldn’t freak out when someone gives their opinion, even if it’s a negative opinion. It’s a blog. That’s why some people hate blogs, because of the opinions. But that’s the nature of them.

    I don’t even get upset when the USC guy posts his random cries for help. I just hope if he really does need help he calls his Employee Assistance Program.

  • House

    Yea I’m with boalt here, just so he knows he’s not alone. I won’t comment on anymore than that because this board is full of trolls worse than moron when anyone says something positive about the program. For a bunch of Cal fans you guys sure dislike the team you root for every week.

  • JD

    Yea, why the heck does DeSean always say “Long Beach Poly” in monday or sunday night football. Makes him look stupid. I guess he must’ve hated Cal after Longshore started sucking…