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Football: Wednesday update

Cal continued its preparation for UCLA  today. It seems the media is getting to see less and less of practice, especially at the end. Last year, the final sessions at least usually provided a look at the hurry-up offense or some kind of 11-on-11. Consistently this year, the media is only seeing field goal kicking or conditioning. Not sure if this is by design, but it sure makes harder and harder to to get a good pulse of the team.

After practice, much of the discussion with coach Jeff Tedford continued to be Cal’s second chance at the pistol offense. That’s been covered enough here and in the paper with today’s story, but the bottom line is the Bears seem confident they are better prepared this time around to deal with it.

Even though the Bruins gave us a surprising amount of yards to Washington State last week, they still have a stingy defense. It helps when you have two All-America candidates on the same unit. Outside linebacker Akeem Ayers and safety Rahim Moore are both considered among the best at his position in the country.

Of Ayers, Tedford said: “He’s a very good player. They put him in a lot of different positions. He rushes off the edge. He’s very fast off the edge. They also drop him into coverage.”

Of Moore, who led the nation last year in interceptions, he said: “He’ good, he’s athletic, he’s in good position. Obviously, he can make a play on the ball. It’s obvious that he’s athletic enough to catch the football when he’s in position to make a play.”

Last week, Tedford talked about the need to get backup tailback Isi Sofele more involved in the offense. Tedford would like to make sure starter Shane Vereen is kept fresh over the course of a long season, but also trusts running back Ron Gould to go with who he feels should be in there over the course of a game.

“Through the length of the season, we need to be able to make sure we’re rotating the backs  so we can keep Shane fresh,” Tedford said. “Isi has proven he’s a quality back and he can make big plays. I feel good about his contribution.”

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.