If there was any doubt how Cal’s players handled Friday’s disappointing loss at Nevada, Cal coach Jeff Tedford made it very clear at today’s weekly press conference.
“Anytime something like that happens to you, it stings,” he said. “It makes you sick to your stomach. A couple of the players, when I saw them on Monday, they still said they were sick to their stomach about it. They were anxious to get back on the field and get after it.”
“The bus ride, the plane ride was as quiet as you’ve ever heard it. It was disappointing.”
The good news for the Bears is they can use the beginning of Pac-10 play to wipe the slate clean and treat it as the beginning of a new season. The bad news is they have to play Arizona, the No. 14 team in the country which is riding high after its win over Iowa on Saturday.
“Obviously, your Pac-10 games are more important because they are conference games,” Cal quarterback Kevin Riley said. “We start off with a pretty strong opponent. People are focused and ready. We put that Nevada game behind us. We have to come out and play our best game of the year to beat Arizona.”
Riley said today that he was not happy with the way he played against Nevada but that he still has confidence in himself and the rest of the offense. When asked if it was reasonable to expect Riley to play better, Tedford said: “I don’t actually think Kevin played horribly by any means. He made a lot of good plays. A poor decision on the interception was costly, of course. But he completed a lot of balls. Can he be better? Obviously, yes. Everybody can.”
On other fronts:
- Tedford said his defense is eager to atone for last week’s shortcomings. “If we weren’t, I’d be very disappointed,” he said. “We’re playing a great offense. Not many people just stop them or shut them completely down. But we have to contain them.”
- Reflecting on the Nevada defensive effort, Tedford said: “Last week’s unconventional thing and a short week, we didn’t handle it very well. There was some indecision, and that’s one thing you can not have against that group.”
- Tedford is taking a wait-and-see appraoch about the availability of linebacker Mike Mohamed (sprained big toe), who could be cleared to practice tomorrow.
- Wide receiver Keenan Allen said his ankle felt tender during pregame warm-ups Friday and that’s why his playing time was limited. He said he feels ready to play this Saturday.