Football: Sunday night update

Cal is back practicing on Sundays this season. Last season, the Bears switched it up and the players took Sundays off. This season, the schedule is back to what it’s been in the past — the team congregates late Sunday afternoon to watch film, work out and have meetings, then has Monday off.

Jeff Tedford wasn’t available tonight, but had a chance to talk with a handful of players. For the most part, the same message was repeated — there are a lot of mistakes to clean up but they are happy with the win and can see the potential of the team.

Running back Isi Sofele had a career-high 24 carries last night — his previous career-high was 13. Not surprisingly, he was a little more sore this morning than usual.

“I woke up this morning and tried to stand up and felt all of my sores and pains,” he said. “I”m more sore than I’ve been.”

Sofele also had some interesting comments about his reaction when Zach Maynard was picked off on his first pass attempt of the game:

“I usually get mad when quarterbacks throw picks, but when Zach threw it I just dusted it off and went out there the next series and we just drove it down their throat. I have a lot of faith in Zach. It was different for me because I usually get mad.

“I know he can handle a mistake like that. He didn’t get mad. He just walked off the field and was like, ‘It’s all good.’ He looked at the O-line and told them that we’ll get it. He gives a lot of confidence to the rest of the team just to know that the quarterback has that much confidence.”

More from Sofele:

  • On his lost fumble in the end zone that resulted in a Fresno State touchdown: “It went over the quarterback’s head and the first thing I saw was the ball. I tried to grab it and do something with it. I should have taken a knee or threw the ball out of there. When I came out, I was like, ‘Dang, I should have thrown that ball.’ But I did what I did and it was a mistake to learn from.”
  • On carrying 24 times: “It let everybody know that I could actually do it. I came out there and played physical and did what I needed to do.”


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.

  • breakingbear

    Ise Sofele = “He’s so easy to fillet.” He’s no good. Sure he may have heart, but we needs yards. Let’s get Rudy out of there and some other backs. This ain’t no feel good movie. This is Golden Bears Football.

    Go Bears!

  • charlie

    I wonder what Isi thought about the O-line/ TE / Fullback blocking…or lack there of. Fresno’s LBs seemed to be getting through the line of scrimmage unchallenged on several plays.

  • SportsBrah

    Maybe Isi didn’t get “mad” because he put the ball on the turf three times himself. While I was pleasantly surprised by the performance of Maynard and other units on the team, Sofele’s performance confirmed what a lot of people have been thinking: that Sofele is not the answer at tailback. He gets the yards he’s supposed to get (or anyone would get) and not an inch more. An average runner who coughs up the football is not gonna work. Time to really take a hard look at plan B.

  • Kevin

    Both FB’s Kapp and Tyndall through excellent blocks to spring Isi on both of his TD runs.

  • gobears49

    I totally agree with SportsBrah. I thought all aspects of Cal’s play was good to excellent except the performance of the running backs and the field goal/extra point kicker (did you notice how he barely made most the few extra points that were not blocked?).

    I thought C.J. Anderson looked good the few times he got in there at running back. We’re not going to win the tough games if we can’t get some breakout running at running back in situations OTHER than where anybody could run through the hole created by the lineman.

  • Suttree

    Did Sofele really have three fumbles?

  • Bears

    Great QB’s either block out external noise or don’t hear it at all. Recent QB’s have let noise and pressure rattle them.
    Maynard has that look of a cool QB. Steve Levy was the last QB I’ve seen at Cal that has the swagger Maynard showed Saturday.
    Hope he builds on it and continues the leadership he has displayed while winning the QB job and on the field in his first game.

  • c98

    Easy on Isi.

    On many of those runs where he got stuffed, he already had a Fresno LB (or two) in his face just as he got the ball in his hands. That’s not Isi’s fault, that’s the offensive line’s fault.

    As for the “3 fumbles” everyone is talking about:

    1)a terrible hand-off that was as much (or more) Maynard’s fault than it was Isi’s fault.

    2)he was ruled down – so it was NOT a fumble, it was just ALMOST a fumble! Maynard threw a few passes in double coverage that were dangerously close to being intercepted – do we count those as interceptions too? Did Maynard have four interceptions or one?

    3) that awful mess in our own endzone: a bad snap, and it looked to me like Isi was trying to lateral the ball. That was a very bad decision. He should have taken a knee (and the safety) or thrown the ball away. It was a bad decision in an very ugly situation, but I don’t think it’s fair to call that a fumble.

  • Rollonubears

    I don’t blame isi.
    The guy was in there for too many snaps anyway.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    This is an excellent article.


    Here is an excerpt from one of your own.

    “We used to call ’em Mickey Mouse courses. They exists at every university,” said Murray Sperber, who teaches at the University of California, Berkeley, is a professor emeritus at Indiana University and author of the book, “Beer & Circus: How Big-time College Sports Is Crippling Undergraduate Education.”

    “As an educator, my concern is: Are they getting a meaningful education?”

    Sperber believes the Academic Progress Rate, a landmark program set up by the NCAA to compel schools to move student-athletes into meaningful courses and show they are moving toward a degree, has actually led to more clustering of majors.

    Schools can be stripped of scholarships if not enough players are making the grade. Therefore, he said, advisers tend to steer players toward less-demanding classes.”

  • MoreNCsarecoming


    Since Sperber who is quoted in the article which I linked in post #10 is a UCB prof could you interview him? Sperber can validate If the clustering into Mickey Mouse majors and courses is happening at UCB. If it isn’t then he can make that clear too.

    I believe it is a topic worth pursuing.

    Thank you.

  • MoreSanctionsComing

    Hey Moren,

    Do ya really want to compare U$C to Berkeley in… academics?


    I knew you were an idiot but this is over-the-top stupidity, even for you.

  • GOGO Bears

    If you want to check out the $C roster, Amy, you’ll find that more than half of the football players are Scoiology majors. Of course, we all know that at $C, Sociology courses are graded on papers, not exams. And how do you know a player actually writes his own papers?

    But you also might want to check this out: From today’s SF GATE

    “angermanagement’s page

    This community member’s page is currently being reviewed by the editors”

    Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone!

  • GOGO Bears

    So JO, make sure you check that SC clustering out as well, okay?

    And then, please check out the clustering at posters’ homes on new year’s eve. I promise you — there won’t be no clustering at one poster’s home! LOL!

    Happy New Years to all the UC Davis Law School Grads!

  • MoreSanctionsComing

    The Moren says: “Schools can be stripped of scholarships if not enough players are making the grade.”

    You know what else can cause schools to be stripped of scholarships?

    CHEATING like U$C did.

    I’ll see your imaginary scholarship stripping and raise you one REAL scholarship stripping that is actually happening, right now, to the disgraceful embarrassment of the PAC-12: U$C.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Well GOGO Bears since you should know the facts try an attempt to dispel your own colleague’s comments. However since you refuse to do that I assume that Sperber’s comments have some validity which apply to UCB.Since you are one who pimps for the football players let’s hear it. Is clustering going on at UCB with the football players or isn’t it?

  • MoreSanctionsComing

    Let’s hear it, Moren: Are real scholarship strippings (actually happening, in place as we speak) more painful to a U$C fan than imaginary scholarship strippings are to a Cal fan? Does it bother you that U$C got scholarships stripped due to cheating or doesn’t it?

  • eric

    I am a little surprised we haven’t gotten nomorencsarecoming’s report on U$C’s stellar performance at home against the mighty Minnesota Golden Gophers. Kiffie’s blank stares mixed in with disgust were just clever schemes to convince his powerful defense in their epic battle against the GG’s true freshman QB who had to come in to replace the starting QB in the 4th quarter.

  • Bears

    Sc troll = over the top rattled!!!

  • Jon

    For all the running game experts, i have to say that your the clowns who probably were not even attending the game. I don’t know who your are trying to impress with what you type here, but i suggest you keep your weak opinions to yourself. Now a question for all the “running game experts”. Who was picking up all the blitzes that FSU through at us? Go re watch the game before yapping. I don’t see the point in disrespecting our running back who gives his 110% On the other hand I have to agree CDJ just wowed me with his game, especially when he decided that running few more yards at full speed to catch the ball and score a touchdown was just not worth the effort, that’s exactly the kind or running back I want there on every down. When it comes to CJ where is the notion that he is a better back coming from? 1st attempt -2 yards second 12 yards. Great body of work to make a judgment off. Considering that he is (in coache’s opinion) still not that familiar with the play book, so you run the risk of him messing up his blocking assignment, plus he is not a threat in a passing game (at least not yet). You guys need to chill out, and support Cal football. This is one of the cleanest/ best run programs in the nation and you don’t agree go support another team. UCLA, USC whatever, you can jump on SEC bandwagon for all I care.

  • Bears

    Jon, you are right, Isi had a solid game, when holes were there he hit them and made things happen. He did a great job protecting the QB and played hard.
    He just can’t put the ball on the ground so much. He needs help so he does not have to carry such a heavy load. Another RB or two must step up! I trust Coach Gould will have that position improve and get deeper each and every game.

  • Calduke

    Isi and OL discussion

    Has the change in OL coach improved the OL play??

  • Calduke

    Cal opened as 4 point favorites

    Now at 6 points.

    Bettors are playing heavy on Cal. Let’s hope money knows.

  • Calduke

    Cal opened at 4 point favorite

    Now up to 6 point favorite.


    You can bet bet $110 to win $100 on Cal to win.

  • Rollonubears

    If cal is a 6pt favorite, the money line will be more than 110. You’ll have to pay 110 just to give the 6 points. Anyhow, bears will win this by 30,
    IMHO. Go Bears!

  • Calduke

    Cal opened at 4 point favorites
    Now – up to 6 point favorites.
    Let’s hope money knows


    You can bet $110 on Cal to win; to win $100.

  • Calduke

    Sorry about the multiple posts.

    The Rivals website shows the -110 now.
    My understanding is the $110 bet to win $100 just requires a Cal win outright – no point spread.
    There is no over/under listed as of now.

    I posted the Fresno 10 points, 49 over/under and you replied take Cal. You were right on.

    The Colorado game should give you an opportunity to hit big.

  • Calduke

    You might be right about the -110 bet.

    All the college games show -110


  • GoGo Bears

    Any time you want to talk about law school and new year’s eve, I’ll be willing to talk about clustering.

    At least the students who might clustered are finishing their degrees. No wimpy excuses to drop out.

  • GoGo Bears

    As for talking predictions, how about you talk about your prediction for the Cal/ASU game and the Cal/UCLA game last year. Remember your “licking their chops” comment?

    Why don’t you explain that prediction before making demands of others.

    Meanwhile, how is the editorial review at SFGate coming?


  • Calduke

    Try again; interesting posts from Fresno


  • Easy Ed

    Okay Bears, new offense, new QB and an all around young team. We’re going to run into some tough spots this year but from what I saw on Saturday, we have the right guy coaching this team. Tedford did not sit around wringing his hands after last season, he went out and took steps to make the team better. He learned from that Nevada game last year and incorporated things from the pistol. He started a QB with different skills and we no longer have a statue in the pocket. This offense is only going to get better and if we can keep the leg breakers from Oregon and Oregon State from cheap shots on Maynard (remember they took out Longshore and Riley) we’ll be OK at the end of the season and loaded for those clowns down on the farm for years to come.


  • milo

    Considering Maynard didn’t play for 1.5 years and it’s a new system, I thought he did fine. Not perfect but he can move the ball and engineer drives it’s reasonable to think he’ll improve…and Cal won.

    I thought the D is the key to this year and the next couple of years. The 9 man(?)DL rotation is huge. As the frosh get more time and the veterans stay fresh, it’s going to be BIG.

  • 707 Bear

    Having seen Maynard in the scrimmages in Sac and San Pablo, and at the Stick, a few brief observations: He will make some incredible plays (both brilliant and not-so-much) and he will be wildly entertaining.

    Conclusion, buy a ticket and get to the games in SF!

    This will not be a boring season.


  • gobears49

    Regarding Isi’s status as Cal’s running back. I guess he’s as good as we’ve got. But a 3.7 average per carry (although it’s only one game) is a major drop off from prior years. Vereen averaged slightly over 5 yards per carry each of his last three years and Best was over 8 yards a carry his last two seasons. I think the reason Vereen and Best did so well is because they made more out of the holes the line provided than the average running back could. I hope Isi can do the same, but I fear he cannot. We have a fairly veteran offensive line, so I don’t think the line can be used as an excuse for lower than average running back performance.

    In response to Jon, I support Cal football, but I don’t think I need to say we did well in our first game at running back. We need to improve there to win tougher games than FSU. Jon should look at prior year statistics for Cal to see how they excelled at that position. I hope we get to the same level this year, but I think that is doubtful, and not because of our offensive line.

  • Rollonubears

    Yeah, and those running backs were getting better yards agains teams who knew
    We ha no passing game. So in reality, this new offense should bode even better for
    Isi. It’s just one game tho. I think we will need to rely on 2 or 3 backs this year to get it done. That double threat is something that also helped the last two backs. Who do we cover? So far they’ve been able to key on sofele.

    Calduke, unless you get a special deal, the standard fee for sports bets is 10%. kind of a rip off, I think, but 110 to win a hundred is a common thing for point spreads and over unders. So the cal money line, the straight up winner bet, will probably cost 130 or maybe more. We should have no trouble winning this game. Only factors should be altitude and environment. Those can be tough on the bears, but I think this team is better than the last team we sent to Colorado that nearly blew a massive second half lead. Go Bears!

  • SteveNTEXAS

    Las Vegas odds are not really decided on who they think will win the game but on making as sure as possible that 50% of the money will be wagered on each side.

    College football during the first couple of weeks in the season among Div 1 teams not ranked in the top 30 or so can be especially tough to predict. If you feel you have some insight Go for it!

  • SteveNTEXAS

    Whoops, forgot to put in punctuation-its early.

    At any rate one person betting a large sum can easily drastically change the odds on a game such as this. They could know something but then again they could just be laundering money.

  • Gobears49

    In a future blog, I’ll list the average yards gained per play for the top three Cal rushers over each of the past six years or so. It won’t be a pretty sight Jon, compared to Isi’s first game stats.

  • Steve W

    It didn’t take me long after watching last year’s games to peg Isi as an average talent at best coming into this season. He goes down like a sack of potatoes when he gets hit and does not have the ability to break tackles, which is the true measure of most great running backs.

    Tedford knows that and is probably itching to get the JC guy more reps, but the trust level is not that high with him right now. I am guessing that Isi is good on his assignments and can be expected to pick up the blitzer in critical passing situations. That’s why he is in the lineup right now. No other great options.

  • gobears49

    Steve W,

    Couldn’t have said it better. Wait till you see the stas from prior years. I think Cal’s top three backs from each of the last five years all averaged over 5 yards per carry, though I did look at the stats rather quickly.

  • vanity

    @C98 “but I don’t think it’s fair to call that a fumble.”

    uh-huh. when you lose possession of the football, it is a fumble. it’s a fumble on the stat sheet. it’s a fumble in the media. and it’s a fumble when you review game tape on sunday. it’s cool that you have isi’s back, but be mindful of your credibility — we can protect our own without making ridiculous assertions.