As game day gets closer, there is one pretty good development for the Bears — their health.
Cal is pretty whole as it prepares for Saturday’s season-opener against Fresno State. Freshman running back Darren Irvin really is the only player sidelined. Whether he would have been playing as a true freshman is up in the air, but he was getting good reviews from both Jeff Tedford and running backs coach Ron Gould before getting hurt.
Fresno State beat writer Bryant-Jon Anteola of the Fresno Bee has graciously agreed to answer some questions about the Bulldogs to give Cal fans a perspective on Saturday’s opponents:
1. How big a deal is this game for Fresno State fans?
This might be one of the more exciting openers Fresno State has had in recent years. Not only is Fresno State playing Cal, which is only the third time the schools will have met despite their proximity, but it’ll be quarterback Derek Carr’s starting debut, it’s the debut of the Bulldogs’ new uniforms, and it’s a chance for Fresno State fans to tailgate in San Francisco.
Don’t forget: Live chat with running back Isi Sofele today at 3:30 p.m. Here’s the link to participate.
Quotes from Jeff Tedford and others during interviews for today’s season-preview:
On the fans that are critical:
“What I’ve learned over the past few years is to not pay attention to the e-mails, good or bad. There’s nothing productive that comes out of that. We want to win as bad as anybody.
“It’s a great place to play. Fans are fans. It’s going to be that way everywhere. Everyone is going to have opinions. I find it very difficult to please everyone all the time. It’s impossible. No matter how much you’d like to have that happen, it’s impossible. That’s why it’s a sport. That’s why it’s a spectator deal. People come and say that should have been a pass or that should have been a run. That’s part of the deal. I’ve learned to not put so much into that. The support is absolutely critical for our players and lour environment, without a doubt. But I can’t get caught up in that. We really just need to focus on what we are doing.”
95.7-FM The Game, the new all-sports radio station in the area, is launching a Saturday morning college football show this weekend. Called “Bay Area Gameday,” the show is c0-hosted by Cal basketball play-by-play man Roxy Bernstein (along with Comcast Sports Net’s Scott Reiss).
The show will focus on all of college football but with a major emphasis on the Bay Area teams. There will be an interview this Saturday with Jeff Tedford. There will also be lots of discussion and analysis of the games that day.
The show runs from 9 a.m-noon every Saturday.
The Bears had a little extra bounce in their step as they resumed practice this morning. After taking their usual Monday off, it was the first of their final three practices before opening the 2011 season Saturday against Fresno State at Candlestick Park.
We’ve finally reached our first game week of the season (whew). Fresno State’s first weekly game notes of the season are out, and you can read them here. Cal’s should be out tomorrow.
Look for plenty of coverage this week and every week this season. Later this week, Fresno State beat writer Bryant-Jon Anteola of the Fresno Bee will be answering some questions for the blog as a way to preview the Bulldogs for us. And again, don’t forget about the live chat with Cal running back Isi Sofele.
Look for my season preview tomorrow, featuring a look at where Jeff Tedford stands entering his 10th season at Cal and an expanded glance at 2011.
Former Bishop O’Dowd HS star Brandon Ashley, who will play his senior season at Findlay Prep outside Las Vegas, has orally committed to Arizona. Cal has long been out of the sweepstakes for this 6-foot-8, elite-level national prospect, but his decision to play at Tucson only further confirms that UA coach Sean Miller is rebuilding the dynasty that Lute Olson created.
Scout.com ranks Ashley as the nation’s No. 3 overall prospects, No. 1 at power forward. Rivals.com places him No. 13 overall prospect in the class of 2012.