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Football: Monday report

Jeff Tedford admitted today that his “24-hour rule” is more like a 48-hour rule when the Bears lose.

Tedford says his players are allowed 24 hours to enjoy a win and 24 hours to think about a loss. After that, it’s time to move on. But the last two weeks — the heartbreaking loss to Oregon and the crushing defeat in the Big Game — probably required some extra time to recover.

“It’s usually a little longer than 24 hours,” Tedford said. “By tomorrow, we’ll be fine.”

The Bears can’t afford to mourn Saturday’s loss too long. They face a must-win situation this weekend against Washington in their regular-season finale. At 5-6, Cal is either going to qualify for a bowl game or see it season abruptly come to an end.

On one hand, the Bears can clearly use bowl-eligiblity as motivation. On the other hand, they have to make sure the pressure of the must-win scenario doesn’t hinder their ability to play loose against the Huskies.

“This is what this week’s about,” Tedford said. “All the lifting, running and everything we’ve done since last January comes down to this week. It’s all about preparation. It all comes down to how you prepare and how you practice. If you prepare well and you practice well, then there’s nothing to be nervous about. You go out and you play, and you play your best.

“We have one Monday, on Tuesday, one Wednesday, one Thursday and one Friday for one opportunity. That’s what it’s about.”

Tedford talked with reporters at length this morning on a variety of subjects, including his memories of Memorial Stadium. I’ll have more on it later  in the week, but he told one interesting story about the FieldTurf being installed at the stadium, that the deadline to raise  the money for the turf almost came and passed and the project was saved at the last minute.

Tedford was also asked about quarterback Brock Mansion, whether he considered replacing him with Beau Sweeney after Mansion was plagued with mistakes on Saturday.

“Brock has to play through some things,” Tedford said. “Hopefully, you learn from those experiences and the next game he makes better decisions. Just setting his feet is the key. He was off balance on both (interceptions). He made the Cardinal sin. A quarterback doesn’t throw across his body. As wide open as a g uy looks, the angles are what gets you.”

Tedford said he makes his quarterback decisions based  on what he sees in practice,  and Mansion has definitively been outplaying Sweeney in practice. He said Sweeney has “struggled” in practice and Mansion has not.

“Brock right now is clearly our best quarterback and gives us the best chance to win. He’s going to be the guy.”

Tedford said Mansion has done some good things at times but just hasn’t been able to string it together consistently.

“I really believe that’s youth and that’s experience. He’s competing hard. I think he continues to improve. Every time something goes wrong, you can’t just yank him out and put somebody else in. You have to paly through some things.”

While talking about the advantage a bowl game brings in terms of extra  practice time, Tedford said it will be a chance to take a look at the younger quarterbacks on the roster. Tedford said redshirt freshman Allan Bridgford and true freshman Austin Hinder will both be  in the mix come next spring.

“Obviously, as we move forward, without having a senior quarterback, the quarterback position is going to be key to  be evaluated,” Tedford said. “So it’s beneficial to have a couple extra weeks  of practice.”

Tedford said Hinder played well during a scrimmage the team had for younger players during the bye week at the end of September.

“He did some nice things,” he said. “He showed some athleticism. You can tell he throws the ball  well. His maturation is going to come from understanding the offense and being able to play with confidence and cut it loose.”

Tedford also said Bridgford has been throwing the ball well in practice.

Other notes:

  • Wide receiver Jeremy Ross is definitely out this week because of the broken index finger on his left hand. Ross said he should be back in time for a bowl game if the Bears qualify. Tedford called Ross “maybe the most improved guy on the team.”
  • Corners Marc Anthony and Darian Hagan, who each missed the Big Game, each practiced today. Monday’s practices are simple conditioning practices with no contact. Both Hagan and Anthony practiced last Thursday but didn’t end up playing.
  • Cal has a handful of special events  planned for  the final home game in the current configuration of Memorial Stadium.
  • Defensive end Cameron Jordan is on the final watch list for the Ted Hendricks Award.

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.

  • SteveNTexas

    Some of you know I’m a school board member and attorney in Rockport, Texas. We need a new football coach and athletic director.

    I was hoping to get “lucky” and find some former NFL player who might want to live in a small scenic peaceful town on the ocean, 30 miles north of Corpus Christi. Of course even better would be a Cal Alum.

    Obviously this wouldn’t interest 99.99% of the intended targets.. but we only need just ONE>

    Any ideas?

  • jpf

    ::shaking head::

    Ye of little faith. Sometimes you lose, dude. Sucks. Live with it. Sooner you move on, the sooner everyone else moves on. We got beat by a superior team. The only thing left for the Bears to do is get up, dust yourself off, and keep on working better and harder.

    What we REALLY need are coordinators as good as JT. He’s clearly far and away the most talented coach on this team, but championship teams need quality assistants. Best way you can help the Bears is by helping on the assistant end, not by insisting that firing our coach is the best solution.

    Keep in mind the vast majority of new hires are failures. JT is not a failure. He has failed yes, but he is a known quantity and one that CAN win. Many parts are required not just the coach. You need to recognize that we have a tremendous asset here. Don’t oversimplify the situation. It just makes you look like a jerk and hurts our beloved university.

  • 707 Bear

    Perhaps we coule take a break from the fire Tedford posts—at least until Saturday night.

    With the Old Memorial era coming to an end, how about some reflections.

    Best Memorial memory (not the Play or USC 2003 overtime win, too easy)?

    Go Bears!

  • joey

    JPF nailed it!

  • southseasbear

    I nominate the 28-14 victory of USC in 1975. Roth, Muncie, Rivera & Walker making their way through the Trojan defense while we sang: “Ol’ SC just ain’t what it used to be…”

  • Steve W

    Hard to beat the 93 game against Oregon when Cal overcame a 30-point deficit to win and extend an unbeaten record. Mike Caldwell caught the two point conversion in the southeast endzone that sealed the deal with moments left in the game.

    A few others:

    - Sean Dawkins streaking to a touchdown on a fly pattern against the invincible Washington defense in the 91 thriller.

    - Cal players walking down the steps of Memorial through the student section to take the field and beat UCLA for the first time in 15 years in the 90 game.

    - Russell White scoring a touchdown on a kickoff return in the 90 Miami game – the first time he touched the ball as a Cal player.

    - DeSean Jackson’s electrifying punt return for a touchdown against Tennessee in the 07 game. Before that, Zack Follett wiping out Tennessee QB Eric Ainge on a blitz to create an early turnover and start the Cal rout.

    - And maybe my favorite…Brian Treggs scoring an 80-yard touchdown on a bomb from Troy Taylor in the 89 USC game. Cal lost that game, but in my mind it was a real signature moment in the Bruce Snyder era. Who knows what would have happened to the program if Cal had kept Snyder after the 91 season. I don’t think we would be talking about a 51-year Rose Bowl drought.

    -

  • Larry

    I hope that by playing at AT&T Park next year we don’t confuse that for away games and go 0-12.

  • Larry

    I hope that by playing at AT&T Park next year we don’t confuse those for away games and go 0-12.

  • Bear IV

    Beating Washington in overtime and Marshawn Lynch GhostRiding the Whip in the Stadium Cart.

  • HeyAlumniGo

    The ’91 Washington game that ended 24-17 with Cal having a chance to win it on a last second bomb into the end zone to Brian Treggs.

  • HeyAlumniGo

    I agree with Steve W if Bockwrath didn’t screw up with Snyder, we’d have gone to the Rose Bowl in the next couple of years. If I recall, if he had stayed we wouldn’t have lost a bunch of highly rated recruits that decided not to come after he left. I think I also remember everyone imploring him to stay when he was directing the Cal Band after the Citrus Bowl.

  • Lama

    How about Joe Kapp’s last coaching game. Pretty special beating the furd and being carried off the field. That Bear would not quit!!!!!!

  • Eric

    Hard to top 1993 Oregon. Fun rushing the field that day. But for Barr’s injury, we would have gone undefeated. And to think we were an underdog to Iowa in the Alamo Bowl!

  • Bears

    We need to send old Memorial out with a roar Saturday by getting the W. This is a very important game for our program.
    Bears need to come to play and get it done!
    I have a lot of great Memorial memories but only thing that matters to me is the future and we have one more shot to turn this year around. If we do, that will be my best memory because it’s fresh and relevant.
    It’s all about the future and Cal can make it a very bright future. Get it done Bears!

  • Kyle

    Memorial stadium memory for me was 10/14/200. Cal was not good and a good UCLA team rolled into strawberry canyon and what might be the moste exciting game ever at memorial, Cal won in triple ot 46-38. The place was nuts and i was siiting in UCLA section with my buddy who had just transfered there. I was the lone Bear fan in a sea of Bruins, going wild. A great place to watch a game. Roll on you Bears. Let’s take the old Memorial out in style saturday.

  • Larry

    1996 against Arizona in 3OT. Pat Barnes running around throwing passes. Rushing the field, Mariucci carried off the field. The smell of the grass is still fresh in my mind. Not a landmark game for the program, but one that was exciting from start to the very end. I believe Barnes still holds the single game passing yards record from this day.

  • Larry

    Of course more recently, the 2007 Tennessee game, 2003 U$C, 2008/2006 Oregon, 2002,2004,2006,2008 Big Game, UW ghost rider game, 2002 & 2004 @ UW beating them in their house was quite memorable.

  • Old Bear

    For pure enery, two games stick out:

    2006 game versus the Dennis Dixon led Oregon ducks.

    2007 game versus Tennessee.

  • 707 Bear

    Lowest and highest separated by one year.

    2001 loss to Carson Palmer and USC (in the rain) 14-55.
    2002 victory by Kyle Boller (goalposts down) 30-7.

    Go Bears!

  • Eric

    I’ve been a loud critic of Tedford, but 2002 versus Baylor was pretty damn exciting as it was the dawn of a new era. And just a few weeks later I went to the game at Michigan State!

  • noduck

    ’91 SC game. one of the first games i attended (and only game i attended with my grandfather, who was a former golden bear linebacker).

  • rollonyoubears111

    the last exciting game was vs Tennessee in 2007…that PR by Desean Jackson was awesome!

  • GoldenBear 77

    1972 Big Game. Vince Ferragamo to Steve Sweeney with no time remaining for the Bear Victory (my first Big Game experience). 2003 USC

  • Juancho

    Cal / Tennessee in 2007. Desean Jackson was something else to watch.

  • rollonubears

    Parting ways with Tom Holmoe.

  • jabes

    Joe Kapp’s last game — winning the Axe when losing by three TDs would not have been a surprise.

    Team coming through the student section before UCLA game. That would be a nice touch this weekend.

    Coming back from 30 pts down against Oregon.

    Cal/UW in 1992 — even though we lost it was an epic game like the loss at SC in 2004. OK, I suppose Cal/UO this year goes on the same list. When does Cal get to win an epic game?

  • ET

    I’m with southseasbear, 1975 28-14 over SC. Muncie and the offense played great and the defense was awesome.

    I was a freshman, approached outside Memorial Stadium after the game by half a dozen huge SC alums who had come up for the game. I was by myself and I thought they would be pissed about the game but they just said “Can we shake your hand? Nobody has ever beat us like that. We are so impressed!”

  • G Bird

    Everyone is missing the most important aspect of this entrie team/season.. the o-line. Did anyone see how much more dominant furd’s o-line was? It was even close. Most decent major college football QB’s can be productive with that amount of protection. I admit Mansion didnt have his best moments, but he also didnt have the time Luck did. The o-line has and will always be the most improtant aspect of a team, followed by a good QB. Cal has neither. Some of the best skilled players in the nation to go along with a miserable offensive line and shaky QB. Our D is great, but their big guys up front were the real story in the game.

    I really cant believe not one person hasnt commented on this.. Come on fans.. get with it