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Football: Tuesday practice update

Cal wrapped up its preparations for Oregon this morning at Witter Rugby Field under overcast skies with rain in the past and in the forecast.

Hmmm…sounds a lot like the place the Bears are headed Wednesday morning.

The forecast in Eugene calls for pretty steady rain Wednesday and then some morning showers on Thursday morning. It actually might let up for the game, but the conditions should still be wet.

That’s what it was like this morning at practice, although the rain had stopped early enough Monday night that the field actually wasn’t too damp.

“It was nice,” Cal coach Jeff Tedford said. “It’s probably going to look a lot like this. But it didn’t rain this morning. I wish it would have rained a little bit.”

The Bears got to practice for Oregon five times rather than the usual three, which is extra significant because the Ducks’ breakneck pace on offense can be a challenge for which to prepare. Like last year, Cal’s scout team spent the practices trying to emulate Oregon’s pace, which is essentially a hurry-up offense the entire game.

Freshman Darren Ervin played the role of Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas on the scout team. Ervin played some quarterback at Lamar High School in Houston.

“The ball comes out of his hand. That’s a start,” Tedford said.

Tedford said it’s exciting to be on national television but acknowledged playing a Thursday game disrupts practice and academic schedules.

“It’s great to be on TV but it really does create a lot of disruption through the week with your schedule and classes,” he said. “It throws everything off a little bit. Your classes are scheduled around a Saturday game.”

While talking about the development of quarterback Zach Maynard, Tedford pointed out that Thursday will mark the fifth different venue in five games for the Bears. Cal will finally get a small dose of familiarity next Thursday when it hosts USC at AT&T Park.

Defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast said linebacker Dave Wilkerson has benefitted from the bye week and should see his workload increase against the Ducks. After starting the opener, Wilkerson has played in a limited role because of an ankle injury. But the extra time off has helped the ankle heal and “he’s moving around good,” according to Pendergast.

Although Wilkerson will play more, you can expect a lot of rotating at all positions on defense as the Bears try to keep players fresh to contend with the Ducks’ pace. Fellow freshmen Cecil Whiteside and Chris McCain, along with senior Ryan Davis and sophomore Dan Camporeale should all see action.

“When you play a game like this with their tempo and the number of snaps they average a game, a lot of players are going to play,” Pendergast said. “We’re really going into this thing with two platoons and we plan on playing a lot of guys. We’re going to try to stay fresh.”

Pendergast reiterated that he expects freshman cornerback Stefan McClure to see increased playing time as well. McClure had the cast removed from his right hand last week after tearing a ligament in his thumb during training camp. McClure should see time at cornerback in the base defense and in the nickel package.

“I anticipate him only playing more as the season moves on,” Pendergast said. “He’s ready now. (The cast) was one of the issues I had about putting him out there. He couldn’t really catch. He struggled to get his hands on balls. Obviously at corner, you have to be able to tackle and get your hands on balls. I thought it held him back. In my eyes, that was one of the reasons we haven’t played him that much.”

 

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.

  • Boaltblue

    Fear no one. Beat Oregon.

    Remember, there were years (2006, 2007, 2008) not long ago that we owned Oregon.

    Play to our potential and the Ducks will falter.

    Go Bears!

  • Dave Northfield

    Actually Autzen drains well, and it’s not as wet as you might expect (I’m up in the Portland area). The PA announcer always says “It never rains at Autzen Stadium!”
    The Ducks practice in a beautiful indoor facility, and they actually struggle in the rain just like everyone else (remember the Noah’s Ark game at Memorial a couple of years ago). You’d think if anyone could play in wet weather, they could.

  • Yoda

    Nice sentiments, but I fear we are about to get our butts stomped.

  • Puddles

    Owned? Owned is 42-3! Losing because we fumbled out of the end zone is hardly owned…

    Owned = scarying a team into cheating right there on the field on national TV! “Oh my leg!”

    See you Thursday!

  • Bobaloo

    I’m with “fear no one” as it does no good, but not fearing the Ducks doesn’t improve our defense or our inconsistent offense.

    I’d like to feel positive, I hope we win, if that’s not on the table, then I hope we look respectable.

  • Mr. B

    @ Yoda, you seem to have lost your way. After all, you are the one who said, “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

  • Nor-Cal Scott

    Great post BoaltBlue!

    Everyone must keep a Positive Mental Attitude!

    As last year proved we must do better on special teams! Kickoff’s deeper, coverage better, no illegal procedure penalties on field goals, etc etc… Special Teams!

  • Tedhead94

    Fear leads to drugs, drugs lead to robbery, robbery leads to starting on the Ducks football team.

  • 1800beatcal

    Wow Tedhead.

    Hate much? Jealous much? Are you talking about Masolli, who got kicked off the team? When did robbery lead to him starting? They’re not choir boys but try to come up with at least one fact per post.

    I know you don’t have any tradition of winning but Oregon has always owned you. Sure, Tedford had his honeymoon, but you’re back to the same old Cal.

    Enjoy, weenies.

  • Sofelefan

    I dunno gang, last year when I was working as a steward for the Cal UO game all of those oregon players were a real group gentlemen! I think you oughta be easier on them Tedhead94…

  • Will
  • Juancho

    Have we beat Oregon with Chipmunk Kelly? If not let’s hope this time we get ‘em.

    Maynard has to play out of his mind for us to win. Has to eliminate those inaccurate throws he’s been peppering into drives.

  • Juancho

    Can anyone quote star trek to one-up that star wars quote above?

  • 24K_Bear

    IT IS A GOOD DAY TO DIE!!!

  • rollonubears

    Hahaha! Good stuff.

    Go Bears! Shock the non-baseball-loving world tomorrow night, and make our alumni proud.

  • David

    Cal is going to come out in their Polar Bear Unis and feast on Duck like this guy right here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrLchZv_bpE

  • Steve W

    Here are the keys to getting out of Autzen with some dignity tomorrow night:

    1) Create early turn-overs and get Oregon out of its rhythem. A couple of bone jarring tackles behind the line of scrimmage that lead to fumbles and early Cal scores would do the trick.
    2) Run, Run run the ball to keep possession and keep the Ducks off the field. Even if Cal goes behind early, they can’t panic and start throwing the ball on every down. The Arizona/Oregon game two weeks ago will be a repeat template if Cal tries to throw the ball on every down to catch up.
    3) When the Bears score, they HAVE to get down on the kickoff and pin Oregon back behind the 25-yard-line or better. Ditto on punts. Short fields will lead to plenty of Oregon scores. Special teams must be HUGE in Cal’s favors to presage a Cal victory.
    4)Zach Maynard has to play out of his mind. He is going to have to spread the ball to his tight ends and backs to keep Oregon off balance. And yes…he needs to break out of the pocket and run a few times to keep Oregon’s defense honest.

    If Cal can accomplish all of those things, the team just might be able to beat the 24-point spread.

  • Jake

    Jeff Tedford also has to coach out of his mind for us to win. What that last few years has showed us, is that he is not the offensive genius we all thought he was. He was doing well based on recruiting and allowing the talent we had to try and “execute.”

    Tedford has a track record of not being able to get us in from the 1-yard line on several occasions, not being able to make second half adjustments, and not being able to stop the bleeding once the floodgates open. I have yet to see anything that lets me think that he is a nothing more than a good recruiter. Can anyone point out a game where Tedford “outcoached” an opponent?

  • rollonubears

    2009 vs. Stanfurd. He outcoached Harbaugh, big time. That team was way more talented than the bears, and while it took an interception in the closing minutes to win, we shouldn’t have even been close in that game, but we were. Actually, in just about all of the Big Games, he’s outcoached the opponent. Remember Steve Levy? That was another awesome game.

  • BlueNGold

    1800beatcal Says:
    “Oregon has always owned you”.

    Try reading the record book, you fool. Cal is 39-32-2 in the series.

  • anthony

    Always loved that handle (and poorly thought-out ‘phone number; who’re the weenies really?): Be At Cal.

    Wise words, my friend, wise words.

  • Jake

    Rollonubears,

    Have to disagree with you. In just about all the Big Games (outside of the Harbaugh years), Tedford benefitted from better athletes than Stanford. Also not much coaching needed when you have Buddy Teevens and Walt Harris. But I guess if you compare Tedford to those guys, you could say he “outcoached” them.

    In 2009, we actually should have lost. Harbaugh overthought that ending. Should have given the ball to Gerhart and we would not have had the Axe that year.