Cal wrapped up its preparations for Presbyterian today before having its walkthrough Friday at AT&T Park. Coach Jeff Tedford said at the beginning of the week that he wanted his players to get back to basics, concentrating on details and fundamentals and having a sense of urgency. He said today he thought the Bears were successful in doing that.
“I think we’ve been real focused on details, making sure that we pay attention,” Tedford said. “There’s been a lot of attention to details with everything that we do with fundamentals. That’s what the focus has been.”
Tedford talked a little about the accomodations at AT&T Park. He said the Bears will be on the sideline that runs along the third base line. The configuration of the field has been altered slightly since Cal played there in the Emerald Bowl in 2008.
The biggest change is the fact that there is room for teams to be on opposite sidelines. In the Emerald Bowl, Cal shared the sideline with Miami. The football configuration was moved eight feet toward the third base line, giving more room to the sideline in right field. It also made it safer for players to run through the end zone that is in left field because the left side of the end zone now leads to the open part of the fence where it meets the third base grandstand.
Tedford said there also will be barriers in front of the third base dugout so players won’t tumble over the railing and into the dugout if their momentum carries them that far out of bounds. There also will be netting over the dugout.
Defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast also spoke with reporters today and it’s clear he wasn’t happy (for obvious reasons) about his unit’s performance against Colorado. He said most of the problems that led to the Buffaloes racking up 582 yards of offense were a product of bad technique and miscommunication.
“I was disappointed with the amount of big plays we gave up,” Pendergast said. “We didn’t give up a lot of big plays last year. That’s one of the things I was proud about last year. We gave up too many on Saturday. We have to get that corrected.”
Pendergast said specifically the big plays by Colorado wide receiver Paul Richardson were also a product of what Cal did wrong, not necessarily what Colorado did right.
“It was not proper leverage by the corners or the safeties,” he said. “Whether our guy was expecting help or not expecting help, and it was or wasn’t there, it was because of miscommunication or technique.”
Pendergast said the problems with technique spread throughout the defense, from the defensive line, the linebackers and the secondary.
“It wasn’t really anything that they did that we didn’t anticipate,” he said. “We just played with poor technique. We had some opportunities to get some pressure on the quarterback and we missed them. We had 4 or 5 sacks that we missed throughout the course of the game.”
Pendergast acknowledged that future opponents will probably try to emulate some of the things Colorado did on offense, but said his unit is ready to counter that.
“We have things that would have helped us there that I didn’t necessarily call,” he said. “The game was close so you’re not in as much a risk-taking mode in certain situations. They had a great game plan and I’m sure we’ll see similar game plans. But we have a lot of things that we haven’t showed as well.”
Pendergast confirmed what Tedford said earlier in the week, that there will be no changes to the depth chart in the seconday. Starting cornerback Marc Anthony was beaten several times by Richardson in Saturday’s game.
“We’re going to stick with our left and right corner,” he said. “We have a lot of confidence in both those guys. I have a lot of confidence in Marc. Marc just needs to play better. He knows that and we’ve addressed that, and I hope that he will.”
And in the most important development of the day, Tedford said Cal will wear blue jerseys and blue pants on Saturday.