Football: Tuesday practice update

Now that Colorado made Cal’s pass rush disappear and tore up its secondary, future opponents have a visual aid — the tape of the game — to aid in formulating a game plan against the Bears.

The Buffaloes did three things Saturday to neutralize Cal’s pass defense — make effective use of screen passes, use quick drops and quick passes, and leave extra blockers in for pass protection.

If future opponents employ the same tactics, it will be up to the
Bears to counter.

“We’re going to have to be better,” Cal coach Jeff Tedford said. “We’re going to have to spy the screens better, understand what’s going on with the screen game, notice what’s going on around us. The quick game, you can’t really do much about. If they’re going to run a three-step drop, we have to get our hands up, we have to have tight coverage, we have to force them into hard throws.

“If they’re going to max protect everybody, that doesn’t give them a lot of people out in the routes. We just have to mix it up on defense. Everybody is going to do some different things to you.”

Colorado had an excellent game plan against the Bears, using those techniques and running other plays to get quarterback Tyler Hansen out of the pocket to buy him time.

The end result was a difficult day for Cal’s secondary, especially cornerback Marc Anthony, who was matched up much of the day on Colorado wide receiver Paul Richardson. Richardson caught 11 passes for 284 yards and two touchdowns.

Tedford said there will be no changes to the two-deep depth chart in the secondary this week.

“They executed really well,” he said. “The quarterback threw the ball great and the receiver ran great routes and the ball was right on the money. So you have to give them a lot of credit for what they did.”

A couple of storylines that got lost amid the overtime excitement Saturday were the performances of tight end Anthony Miller and wide receiver Michael Calvin. Miller made two highlight reel touchdown catches, one a one-handed grab in the back of the end zone and another catching the ball in the flat and dragging a defender a good seven yards to paydirt.

On the flip side, Miller also had a couple dropped passes that could have gone for substantial gains.

“We like to have consistent play there,” Tedford said. “He did drop a couple balls that would have been big plays. We have to get that squared away. But it’s always nice to have everyone involved.”

Calvin by far made his biggest contribution during his roller coaster career. He caught three passes for 42 yards, including a huge 27-yard reception on a 3rd-and-10 play that kept alive a drive that led to a late touchdown.

“That 3rd-and-10 he caught on the sideline was really a nice catch,” Tedford said. “That was a huge conversion. It’s nice to see him step up and get some action.”

Less true freshman played Saturday than in the opener. Cecil Whiteside, Brennan Scarlett and Stefan McClure are not listed on the participation chart, although Tedford said Whiteside played a little.

“From week to week, depending on what the schemes are and how you’re going to utilize guys and things like that, it’s up and down for different people,” Tedford said.

A few other notes:

  • In addition to the personal foul call on Trevor Guyton I referenced in an earlier post, Tedford said he also discussed the incomplete pass intended for Coleman Edmond with Pac-12 coordinator of football officiating Tony Carrente. Tedford said he understood official’s call on what was a spectacular, one-hand attempt by Edmond. “After looking at it, I can see what they saw,” he said. “The tip of the ball hit the ground.”
  • Tedford said the coaching staff “was all over” the players today to make sure they paid attention to detail and had a sense of urgency with FCS opponent Presbyterian coming on Saturday. “It’s about us getting better and improving and taking every opportunity to get better at some things we’ve been struggling with,” he said.
  • DL Aaron Tipoti injured his right ankle against Colorado and is doubtful for Saturday, according to Tedford. Tedford also said Tipoti is now getting more reps at defensive end than nose tackle.

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.

  • David

    Does… Does this mean Moala is closer to starting?!?!

  • Rollonubears

    I think the idea of not playing the freshmen backfired again. This has been one of tedfords consistently stubborn traits. Play your best talent, coach. They are not going to freak out because of crowd noise. Could have cost us the game. Glad to see bigelow will play.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Yeah put a freshman on #6. He would still be running untouched and free (somewhere around Utah) as we speak. How about hiring Colorados OC and OL coaches. They are the ones who exposed your ineptitude.

  • Calduke

    Why didn’t Clancy make adjustments to counter the screen passes?

  • Calduke


    When can we expect to know the starting time for the Utah game.

  • covinared

    Calduke: He did make those adjustments. The screens occurred mostly very early on when we were blitzing almost every down.

  • Jan K Oski

    Calduke, the answer is execution, execution, execution. Got it? These are still amateurs, and all of them have room for improvement. Hopefully, the coaching staff can correct those blunders in one week.

  • Steve W

    Could it be that the vaunted front 7 is just not as good as advertised? They didn’t get close to Colorado’s QB the whole game. This from a depleted offensive line that gave up 7 sacks against Hawaii. But I have seen this highlight reel over and over again the last few years.

    Go back to last year’s Nevada, USC, Oregon State and Stanford games for a touch of Deja Vu all over again. That defense can be very inconsistent, and it seems to stem from mobile quarterbacks who can effectively move the pocket around on the Bears.

  • Calduke

    Jan O

    Got it.
    Was the lack of ‘execution'(?) due to inadequate personnel or coaching? A clumsy question, but, what
    execution was lacking?

    ‘Hopefully’ is a key word in your reply.
    Have 2 weeks to correct the blunders.

  • ET

    Steve W,

    I certainly agree on the mobile QB’s issue.

    I wonder too if the expectations are too high for the current front 7, especially the line. The highly rated defensive signees aren’t really on the field yet. It seems that there is time gap between Alualu and Jordan and the next wave of (hopefully) excellent rushers.

  • Travis

    I agree with Rollonubears, playing our freshman is only going to help in the long run, and they seem to have the talent. Whiteside is a beast and can make the big play, and definitely excited to see more Moala. It was frusrating to see our front 7 not get to the QB, but they were at max protection and our D seemed just a step slow, hoping it was just the altitude. Excited to see Bigelow get some touches this week!

  • covinared

    This year we are without the best lineman, lb and db from last year. All those guys are in the nfl. It is unrealistic to expect this year’s group should be dominate from the get go.

  • Jan K Oski

    I saw a number of times that the defenders were out of position for some of those big plays. Check out prd74 thread with highlights on BearInsider to see it for yourself. I assume the coaches tell the players to either zone cover or man-to-man. I think Pendergast is known to favor man-to-man, so it is likely a personnel problem. As Covinared said these early games are learning time, and I again hope they get over the learning curve in time for the major tests.

  • Jan K Oski

    I think the real question is, how much does Pendergast expectations met the reality of his personnel? That’s a tough assessment, if we don’t completely know his game plan and objective in each play…

  • Calduke

    Jan Oski

    I think you are starting to get it; ‘reality of personnel’
    Coach, square peg, fitting into round hole(personnel)
    There is a disconnect there.

    I hope the apparent confusion is just Pendergast ‘testing’ different combinations of personnel and he has one more game to ‘test’
    before UW. UW won’t allow a blocked punt and won’t overdose on penalties.

  • Uh Huh!

    Thanks for adding that tid-bit about the Coleman Edmond 1-handed spectacular. I don’t care what they say. That’s a catch!!!!

    Same with the TN Titans at the end of that Super Bowl.

    Sometimes we can just agree to disagree.

  • David, Kendrick Payne will start but Moala should probably see increased time, especially if the game is lopside, as it is expected to be.

  • Calduke, the Utah start time will be announced 12 days before the game, so on Oct. 10.

  • FuscK

    MoreNCs says that we should hire Colorado’s O-line coach… you mean the one we had for the last two years who thoroughly screwed over our offense with his terrible coaching? That one?