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Football: Tuesday report

I talked to Giorgio Tavecchio today for a notebook running tomorrow. He said he’s received a lot of support from Cal fans during the last couple of days after missing a 29-yard field goal  Saturday that would have given Cal a lead over No. 1 Oregon in the fourth quarter. He’s also received some not-so-supportive reaction.

 

But one thing he wanted to make clear today is he assumes the entire responsibility for the miss, and the illegal motion penalty that came on his 24-yard attempt that was good immediately before. After the game, Tavecchio said long snapper Matt Rios couldn’t hear the cadence from holder Brock Mansion, so the snap came later than Tavecchio expected. That caused him to start his approach too early.

“It was my fault,” Tavecchio said. “I shouldn’t have anticiapted the snap. I should have gone like I was coached and just watched the fingers. That’s completely on me. Looking back at the press conference, I  mentioned the snap count. I want to make it clear that it’s on me. I shouldn’t have anticipated it.”

Tavecchio said he had 66 e-mails when he woke up Sunday morning, 63 of which were about the kick. He said about 80 percent were supportive.

“You have to face it. I didn’t execute,” he said. “It happens. I felt like I had to face it, take responsibility and move on. I heard what people had to say. I understand. For me, the most important thing is my teammates. That’s what hurts me the most because I felt like I let my teammates down. I can’t dwell on it too much. I thought about it on Sunday. I watched film. It’s done. It’s out of my mind. Now I’m focusing on the Big Game.”

Tavecchio said he replied to every supportive e-mail, but left the negative ones alone.

“I’ve had a lot of support. I’ve been incredibly appreciative about that,”  Tavecchio said. “There has obviously been some negativity, but you have to take it with a grain of salt. I have a great family that has been really supportive of me. The team has been incredibly supportive and I can’t thank the guys enough.”

After the game, Tavecchio said his heart was pounding after the penalty but he tried to keep his breathing under control. I followed up with him and asked him if he was rattled at all on the second attempt.

“Consciously, no. But maybe subconsciously,” he said. “You think about making a game-winning kick, not two game-winning kicks. I thought I made the first one and there was kind of an emotional release. But I don’t think I got rattled. It was still only a 29-yard field goal. I’ll take the lessons from it and learn from it.”

Tavecchio said he knew he had stepped  too early on the first attempt but wasn’t sure if the officials would call it.

“I high-fived Brock and then looked behind me and saw the flag,” Tavecchio said. “I knew I had stepped and I’ve heard games where they’ve called that and other games  where they haven’t called that. I didn’t know if they were going to call it or not.”

Tavecchio has now had one field goal attempt in each of the past two games and missed them both. He’s 3 for his last 6 and 9-for-14 on the season.

I asked Tedford today if he would open up the kicking competition this week but he said Tavecchio is still the starter.

“Giorgio is still the guy,” Tedford said. “It’s the life of a kicker. It happens everywhere. You see the NFL guys do the same thing. It’s important to keep his confidence  and get good work this week. When he gets in the same situation again, hopefully he learns from it and has more poise.”

A couple of other notes from today:

  • Tedford reiterated that he expects cornerbacks Darian Hagan and Marc Anthony to play Saturday, although Hagan was wearing a red jersey today and didn’t participate. I didn’t see Anthony’s attire.
  • Tedford on Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor: “He runs through tackles. That’s something that sticks out, a lot like Toby (Gerhart) did. Toby ran through a lot of tackles. You better bring your feet with you or he’s going to run through tackles. You have to put your body on him and gang tackle him or he’s going to step out.”

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.