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Football: Tuesday practice update

In most years, Cal uses the bye week to let its scout team players work with the offense and defense and let its injured regulars heal up. But with a Thursday game following, the Bears don’t feel like they have the luxury to do that.

So today was the only practice between now and Oct. 6 that won’t focus on Oregon. The Bears held a “fundamentals” practice today where they concentrated on the basics. Starting tomorrow, the game plan for the Ducks will be installed and the Bears will prepare for Oregon in earnest.

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Football: Tuesday quick hitters

  • Jeff Tedford and defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast both said today that freshman cornerback Stefan McClure is going to start getting more playing time. Pendergast said “we’re just going to commit to playing him.” That means playing him at corner and at nickel. Pendergast said it will become a three-man rotation at corner with McClure, Steve Williams and Marc Anthony. “He is a guy that we’ve identified that’s going to be out there a lot for the rest of the games.”
  • OLB Ryan Davis missed practice with an arm contusion, but Tedford said he should be back for the Oregon game with no problem. The bye week obviously gives any injured players more time to get healthy.
  • With the bye week, Pendergast expects OLB Dave Wilkerson to be close to 100 percent by the Oregon game. Wilkerson has been limited the past few weeks with an ankle injury. That being said, freshmen Chris McCain and Cecil Whiteside will continue to see extended playing time at outside linebacker. “All three of those guys are works in progress,” Pendergast said. “They are developing young players that just need to play. They are good athletes with good upside. They just need to continue to play and learn by trial and error.”
  • Pendergast on the defense so far this season: “We need to play better, obviously. We’re giving up too many yards and too many big plays.”

More later….

 

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Football: The bye week begins

Cal had its usual day off today, and even though it’s a bye week, the Bears will practice as usual, going Tuesday through Thursday. But there will be a major difference between this bye week and most bye weeks. In most years, the Bears would use the bye week to get scout team players more work and hold a scrimmage among the younger players. But with a Thursday game coming up next week at Oregon and a lot to work on, especially defensively, the Bears will focus on the present rather than the future.

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5

Football: No conflicts at AT&T

In case you hadn’t noticed, the Giants were eliminated from the playoffs over the weekend. That means the Bears can play the rest of their home games at AT&T Park as planned. Had the Giants advanced to the National League Championship Series, Cal would have had to move its Oct. 13 game against USC to another venue, most likely Candlestick Park.

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Football: Washington quotables

A sampling of what was heard outside Cal’s locker room following Saturday’s 31-23 loss at Washington:

HEAD COACH JEFF TEDFORD

On settling for field goals in the red zone:

“When you get in the red zone, you’d like to come away with touchdowns. We had some opportunities down there and it comes down to making plays. In tight games against good opponents in our conference, you have to come away with touchdowns more than field goals, and we didn’t today.”

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Basketball: Arizona’s Parrom shot in NYC

Arizona forward Kevin Parrom was shot while visiting his mother in New York City this weekend. The report from the Arizona Daily Star is that Parrom is OK.

Here are statements release this evening by the U of A:

From director of athletics Greg Byrne:
“We are aware that Kevin Parrom went home this weekend to visit his mother, who
is in the hospital.  While in New York City, he was the victim of a shooting. Rest assured, Kevin’s well being is our primary concern.”

From basketball coach Sean Miller:
“I have been in contact with Kevin and his family throughout the weekend and look
forward to his return to Tucson and being back in class this week.  Our focus is
on Kevin’s health right now.  Once we have more information, we’ll be able to
address his potential return to team activities.”

Here’s a report from the Arizona Daily Star.

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Football: From the press box

  • While it seems the defense is a big concern, defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast and some players insist the Bears just need to execute better. They don’t feel any major changes are needed, schematically or with personnel. But head coach Jeff Tedford did express concern and said they will evaluate the tape and make any changes they need to.
  • Tedford defended his decision to accept the Washington holding penalty in the second quarter. Declining it would have set up 4th-and-inches from the Huskies’ 41. Instead, it was 4th-and-11 from the 31. Washington gained 12 yards for a first down. Tedford said he believed the Huskies would have went for it on fourth down.
  • On the play selection down near the end zone at the end, Tedford said he felt like Isi Sofele could punch it in. When asked if C.J. Anderson could have been taking those snaps, he allowed that is a reasonable question to raise.
  • Freshman tailback Brendan Bigelow didn’t play a single offensive snap. Tedford had said he was going to gradually get Bigelow more involved, but he said “This was a day that we needed some things that he isn’t able to do yet.”
  • Wide receiver Keenan Allen finished with 10 catches for 197 yards, both career highs.
  • Quarterback Zach Maynard threw for 349 yards, Cal’s first 300-yard game since Kevin Riley had 351 at Arizona State in 2009.
  • The previous longest pass play in Cal history came in 1976, when Joe Roth connected with Wesley Walker for an 88-yarder.