Football: Monday practice update

One revelation at practice today was that quarterback Zach Maynard suffered a quad contusion early on against Oregon and played with it the rest of the game.

Coach Jeff Tedford implied it was a minor injury and not serious enough to remove him from the game. But wide receiver Keenan Allen, Maynard’s half-brother, said Maynard told him it did limit him to an extent.

“He said he couldn’t throw off his foot. That’s why his passes were off,” Allen said. “He tried to make the best of it. He definitely wanted to fight through it and help us out.

In an interview immediately after the game and also after practice yesterday, Maynard made no mention of the injury, likely because he didn’t want it to be perceived as an excuse. Tedford said Maynard has been fine so far this week at practice.

Tedford said he was already thinking of replacing Maynard with Allan Bridgford early in the fourth quarter because of the lopsided score and that decision became easy when Maynard took a hard hit and “was kind of fuzzy,” according to Tedford.

“When Zach got hit, you want him to play through it and keep competing, but at that point it was good to get Bridge some turns and not let him take any more hits,” Tedford said.

Tedford took out more starters in the final minutes of the Oregon game to avoid unnecessary injuries.

“At that point, when there are a couple minutes to play, if you keep Keenan in the game and something happens to him, you shoot yourself,” Tedford said.

Tight end Spencer Ladner practiced today for the first time in weeks. The junior has been plagued by injuries throughout his Cal career. He is coming off two knee surgeries.

Tedford said Ladner is available this week but Anthony Miller and Spencer Hagan will continue to go 1-2 on the depth chart.

“Hagan has done a great job,” Tedford said. “It really hasn’t affected much. It just gives us more depth.”

One potentially very entertaining element to Thursday’s game against USC is the showdown of Allen and Robert Woods at wide receiver. Both are sophomores and regarded currently as the top two receivers in the Pac-12. Woods leads the conference and is tied for the national with 11.0 receptions per game while Allen is second in the Pac-12 and tied for 11th nationally at 7.8. Woods also is the conference leader with 149.4 receiving yards per game (tied for second nationally) while Allen is second in the Pac-12 at 133.6 (sixth in the nation).

Allen and Woods met at a high school All-American game but haven’t kept in touch since.

“I am definitely looking forward to it,” Allen said. “He’s a great athlete. We’re both good athletes. It’s going to be a great show.”

Allen also said he expects Maynard to bounce back from a disappointing performance against Oregon.

“I definitely expect the most out of Zach this game, coming off the last game,” Allen said. “I’m always going to expect a lot from him because he’s my brother. He’s a quarterback so he has to let stuff go. I didn’t ask him about the (Oregon) game. I didn’t want him thinking about it. You have to move on to the next week.”

When asked about Maynard’s passing efficiency — which is 128.9, 10th in the Pac-12 — Tedford pointed out that the Bears have been throwing the ball down field this season, which might be a cause for increased inefficiency. Maynard is averaging 14 yards on his 92 completions this season, the second-highest average in the conference.

That’s not what many expected from Maynard, who was billed as a dual-threat quarterback who was going to give a boost to the offense with his quick feet and escapability. Maynard has flashed that ability at times, but so far the Bears don’t seem to have made his athleticism a focus.

“He’s made some plays scrambling out and throwing the ball,” Tedford said. “To utilize him out in space, it depends on who you are playing and what you are doing.”


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.

  • GoldenTrailsDave

    I wish Tedford would stop making excuses for *everything*. It’s time to produce!!

  • bean

    I don’t see anywhere where he is making an excuse. Yes, Maynard, Tedford, and company can improve. But the negativity here is astounding. Oh, by the way, let’s also fire Rich Feller for letting his team drop consecutive matches. Oh, and get rid of Juricova for losing too. Just not performing up to standards. The path to wins is not formulaic (unless you cheat), regardless of the sport or business.

  • rotfogel

    Maynard is still relatively new to the system. He’s shown more resiliency than every QB since Rodgers (which isn’t saying much I admit). I believe he will bounce back against the weak defense of the trojans. I also expect our defense to have a much better performance, just double team Robert Woods please.

  • bean

    Arizona got uppity after Tomey coached the team to the school’s only two 10-win seasons, ditching him two years after Arizona won the Holiday Bowl. Look at the decade of Stoops since.

  • bean

    Arizona got uppity and ditched Tomey after he coached the only two seasons in school history with 10 or more wins. Look at the decade of Stoops since.

  • Suttree

    I don’t understand the negativity either. It’s a young team, we knew it is a rebuilding year. Maynard is showing promise, KA is a beat and even Sofele is looking better. The defense although young flashes too. If they can get 7 wins and a bowl game that would be a huge success in a year like this.

  • Easy Ed

    I don’t get it either. I also am disappointed but I knew this was not our year and the most important things we can get from this season is experience and confidence for next year. I am still hopeful for a Bowl game but I won’t slash my wrists if it doesn’t happen. Tedford has made some significant changes and I really think we are on the upswing.

  • Bears

    sc comes in with a great QB, great WR and plenty of other highly recruited players across their roster.
    It will be a challenge for the Bears but I hope they are looking forward to the shot they have and give it their best.
    Our D really needs to come together and play as smart and hard as possible for our team to have a shot.
    Can’t wait

  • rollonubears

    So far, we’ve won the games we should have won, and we’ve lost the games we should have lost. I’m ok with that, and if we keep that up all year, we WILL make a bowl game. And we should. The problem is, the Oregon game was the same as it’s been for 3 years. A complete disaster as the game goes on. That’s not ok. It’s not ok to lay an egg against u$c, at home, either. If we play them like UW, I’m ok with a close loss. A blowout is unacceptable.

  • C98

    I agree – all the negativity in a year like this is just stupid. It’s a rebuilding year. This is a young team with a QB new to the system – and they don’t even have a real home stadium to play in.

    Expectations were very low this year and in my mind so far, we are exceeding them. This team has a huge amount of young talent, especially on defense, and they have heart/moxie that I haven’t seen in a Cal football team since… well, ever.

    If we squeeze into a bowl game this year I’m happy. Let’s see what Tedford can do in the next few years with his new stadium (finally!) and as these stud recruiting classes develop before we start warming up his seat.

  • Calduke

    USC is favored by 3 with an over/under of 55 points

    That’s a predicted score of 29-26, SC

  • BlueNGold

    The way that the sleazy cheaters defense has been giving up points, 26 for us sounds conservative. But our D needs to play its best of the season to keep it close.

  • Steve W.

    Rebuilding year? We have an offensive line comprised of juniors and seniors. Our tight end is a senior and should be in his prime instead of catching a few measly short passes a game. Our starting qb did have a full year of experience under his belt playing D-1 football two seasons ago. Our starting tailback is fully integrated in the system. Marvin Jones is as seasoned as WR as anyone in the conference.

    To say this is a rebuilding year is simply making excuses. This offense should not be stalling out as many times as it has on red zone drives. It should be held to account for completing only 50 percent of its passes. I hold the HC responsible. He’s the guy pulling down $2.7 million big ones a year. Cal fans deserve better for those $100 seats they are paying for at AT&T park.

  • ConcordBear

    Our D needs to fly to the ball and tackle. Too many guys in one on one situations have broken free for long TD’s this year.
    Need some help because guys are going to get beat once in a while and need a teammate to pick them up and prevent scores.
    So fired up for the game Th. See all you Bear fans in SF!
    Go Bears

  • rollonubears

    I think being a Notre Dame fan would be more frustrating than being a Cal fan, these days. Since 2002, anyway.

  • Alaska Bear

    If we want our young team to step it up then it is time for the Cal fans to show up Thursday. The reason we have a better home game record is that the players feed off our energy. Bring your best game voices; it is our “Homecoming” game. Show some Cal spirit and don’t be like the Stanfurd fair weather fans of past years.

  • Oski 88

    The reason that this is a rebuilding year, for those with very short memories, is that four years ago recruiting took a huge hit while treesitters were lobbing buckets of crap out of the trees at the stadium.

    Recruiting suffered for two years – our worst two recruiting years under Tedford – and just picked up in the last two years. Our best players are young. We will get another good year this year, and build on that momentum.

  • Jake

    Only one on this post that makes sense is Steve W. Everybody is smoking something.

    We’re not being hard on Tedford based on this year alone. It’s his body of work and consistently not coaching up to the skill level of his players. How many CAL players are featured on Sundays and Mondays? Aaron Rodgers, Des Bishop, Jahvid Best, DJax? Need I mention more?

    The fact that Tedford was not able win close games (Washington this year, OSU the year of the Riley debacle) and is not able to prevent blowouts/keep CAL competitive, shows he is not a good coach. I did not not expect us to beat Oregon, but I wanted to see a competitive game. The first half was great. But in typical Tedford fashion, he did not know how to make halftime adjustments and we were not able to get the offense rolling in the second half. For an offensive guru, he needs to be ahead of the game keeping DC’s on their toes, and he is definitely not doing that.

    For that I blame JT. Not just for the fact that he lost 2 games this year. Too bad Steve W. is the only one that really sees what’s going on.

  • Dan

    Steve W and Jake – A. MEN.

    To the rest- please let me know where I can get what you are all smoking. Has to be the best stuff ever.

  • MikeD

    Steve W, Jake, and Dan – +eleventy nine

    To the rest, we’re still big fans of the team who have great discontent. It *is* possible to want them to win, root for them each week, wear the gear, follow them online, AND post our thoughts on our frustrations with what we see as the gross underachieving, stale, and poor state of the program. These 2 things can live together. I’m not a negaBear, I’m a negaTed. What was good in the past about him is no longer true, how much more suckage do you need to see?

  • Dan

    Mike D- very well said.

    Personally, just because I criticize doesn;t mean I don’t care enough- in fact, I probably care too much- and watching the complete inconsistency, lack of discipline, tent folding, unimaginative football that had been occuring and getting increasingly worse does not take away my love of Cal, my hope and optimism that Cal football SHOULD be able to dream whatever dreams possible- not just a Rose Bowl appearance but multiple conference championships, someewhat regular top 10 FINISHES and perhaps in play for an occasional National Championship. Why Not?

    It just ain’t happening in this regime. Wish it weren’t so, but it is. Now, quite the opposite. We pray to win 6 games to be able to go to a bowl game. It’ll be an insignificant bowl game, but hey, it’s a bowl game. Meh.

    I don’t hate Tedford, I don’t long for him to be canned- if he ever is, I won’t feel joy. It’s just so apparent that whatever he had, he has lost- or time has passed him by.

    I’ll be there tonight, in a $100+ seat, hoping for the best, yelling and cheering my heart out, but trying not to be too let down if Cal does what it nearly always does- lose to SC. Now, in a blowout fashion. If that is good enough for most of you, then that’s your perogative. I just think Cal can do so much better and should do so much better.

    Oner more thing- let me be clear- I am certainly disappointed at 7-5, 6-6 and worse- I don’t necessarily think that 8-4 is anything to write home about when you beat UC Davis or Presbyterian, a mediocre UCLA, WSU, etc. Hoing to the “Who Cares Bowl” every year is, well, who cares. But what is inexcusable is getting blown out by SC, Oregon and now Stanford. That is straw that should break the camel’s back and should raise the ire of ALL Cal fans, alumni, students, etc- anyone who cares about Cal should find great displeasure in that. But hey, maybe that’s just me.