Wednesdays are the only day of the week that quarterback Zach Maynard is available to the media. Maynard obviously will be playing in his first Pac-12 game ever on Saturday at Washington. The Pac-10 wasn’t a conference he was very familiar with growing up in Greensboro, N.C.
“I knew a couple teams,” he said. “I didn’t really follow the Pac-10 like I follow the ACC or the SEC. Oregon and SC always have great teams. I saw them a lot on TV.
And from what he knew about the conference, what did he think?
“I thought they played great ball,” Maynard said. “They have a lot of different types of athletes. A lot of big, fast guys — freakish D-ends, linebackers. A lot of guys out here are really fast.”
Maynard also will be playing in the biggest venue he’s ever been in at Husky Stadium, which has a capacity of 72,500. He got a little dose of big venues two weeks ago at Colorado, but Saturday’s environment should be even more hostile.
Maynard said he’s heard all about Husky Stadium and feels prepared to deal with it.
“They said it’s going to be loud, a hostile environment,” he said. “I really don’t know much about Washington, but I’m going to be ready for it.”
The Bears have two defensive linemen from the Seattle area — senior Trevor Guyton and sophomore Deandre Coleman. Backup punter Jed Barnett is from Camas, WA, which is due south of Seattle near the Washington-Oregon border.
And don’t forget offensive line coach/offensive coordinator Jim Michalczik spent a couple months as Washington’s offensive coordinator before taking a job with the Raiders.
Guyton has been praised by teammates and coaches for embracing a leadership role ever since the end of last season. He’s already made an impact this season by returning a fumble 19 yards for a touchdown in the season opener against Fresno State.
“He’s really open with all the people on the team, not just the defensive line,” Cal coach Jeff Tedford said. “He cares about everybody and has done a lot of motivating for a lot of people.
“Trevor is playing really well. He’s very physical inside. He plays hard. He understands what he’s doing.”
It will be interesting to see if Washington employs some of the same tactics Colorado did two weeks ago on offense – quick drops, max protections, moving the pocket, etc. Obviously, the Buffs had pretty good success with that game plan and may have given future opponents a little bit of a blueprint against Cal’s defense.
“Every game is different, every protection is different,” Tedford said. “Different people utilize different things. So it really depends on what they do.
“There are different offenses, different formations, different personnel groups. Obviously, the screen game hurt us in Colorado. So if we can cover the screen game, that would help a lot.”
Tedford also said running back Brendan Bigelow hasn’t show any negative effects after his first game on his twice surgically repaired right knee.
“He looks fine,” he said. “There’s been no swelling or soreness.”
Tedford said he expects Bigelow to wear his knee brace all season.
It’ll be interesting to see if any Cal alumni show up on Saturday. The Bears, as most people know, are well-represented on the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks have a home game Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. So if we’ll see if Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett, Brandon Mebane or Cameron Morrah make an appearance.