Football: Tuesday practice update

There was lots of talk among Cal players today about finding a way to beat Oregon State. The Beavers have hung four straight losses on the Bears (and they’ve won 7 of the last 9), and it’s amazing when you think back on the bizarre circumstances surrounding some of those defeats:

*The infamous Kevin Riley fumble of 2007 that kept Cal from being the top-ranked team in the country

*The awful tumble that led to a season-ending concussion for running back Jahvid Best in 2009

*The season-ending knee injury suffered by Riley in last year’s lopsided loss in Corvallis.

I doubt that the sight of Oregon State uniforms makes a Cal fan’s blood boil like some other conference rivals would, but holy cow, the Beavers have laid some hurt on this team.

More on that storyline in tomorrow’s paper …

–Teams are rolling up 171.2 yards per game on the ground against Oregon State, so expect Cal to try to pound away with the running game as it did against Washington State. As for the Beavers offense, they like to fling it behind redshirt freshman quarterback Sean Mannion, a local boy from Foothill High School in Pleasanton. With no real running game to support him, he’s thrown the second-most passes in the conference (behind Arizona’s Nick Foles), and according to the reports I’ve read, Mannion has impressed with his strong arm, poise and presence in the pocket. Oregon State coach Mike Riley mentioned this morning on a media conference call that he considers Cal to have a very aggressive secondary, and he believes a key to Oregon State’s success is giving Mannion enough time to throw. Cal coach Jeff Tedford liked the way his defensive line stuffed the run against Washington State, but he would have preferred more pressure on the quarterback. That’s something to watch for Saturday …

Joe Stiglich

  • David

    Kevin Riley didn’t fumble in 2007, he incorrectly chose to scramble for the first down instead of spiking it or throwing it away.

  • eric

    I would write it as Coach Tedford incorrectly chose not to kick the field goal so that Cal could play in overtime, using its strong running game, as opposed to laying everything on, and subsequently blaming, a freshman quarterback who, in his first start, had already engineered a remarkable comeback.

  • Ben

    Really, I have to set everyone straight ? It was third down on the Riley scramble, there was plenty of time for one more pass attempt for a TD which would win the game, but if there wasnt anything there Riley was suppose to throw it away and they would kick the fg on 4th down. Riley scrambled bc he thought he could get the td, instead he got tackled short with a running clock. Due to the running clock there wasnt enough time to set up the FG and cal lost. Riley at the end tried to incur a penalty to stop the clock by throwing the ball backwards but obviously it didnt work. Riley is responsible for the come back, but he is also responsible for ultimately not making it to overtime.

  • rollonubears

    Can we please stop talking about one of the worst days of my life?

  • rollonubears

    There is a live chat tomorrow at 1 with Keenan Allen. Maybe it wasn’t mentioned here because CC times isn’t hosting?


  • House

    +1000000000000000^99 Rollon, That night in the Gold zone was worse than any nightmare… ever.

  • Steve W

    The worst moment of that 07 season was the game before when Nate Longshore had his ankle rolled in the waning moments of the Oregon game. That effectively ended a dream season that might have ended up in the Rose Bowl.

    In the 1993 season, Cal got off to a 5-0 start and was handily beating Washington before Quarterback Dave Barr had his collar bone broken on the hard Memorial Stadium astro turf. Without Barr, the team went into a swoon and lost four straight. When Barr came back, Cal upset 7th ranked Arizona after falling down 20-0 and arguably finished the season as one of the strongest Cal teams ever. I am guessing that would have and should have been another Rose Bowl season if Barr hadn’t got hurt.

    It really points to the cold, hard fact that Cal lives and dies by its quarterback play.

  • 707 Bear


    I respect your insight on this blog, but I think you’re wrong on two points.

    1. Ted didn’t “blame” Riley. From the Cal web site:

    “It’s not his fault,” coach Jeff Tedford said. “He played his heart out at the end to get us in that situation. We didn’t lose the game because of that play.” Perhaps there were other quotes that show a different angle.

    2. I’ve seen high school quarterbacks (this year on ESPN, a game between two schools in Nevada) take one attempt at the end zone (with no timeouts) before bringing on the field goal team.

    Something else to think about: Jordan Kay is not kicking in the NFL today. He was 13-20 on the year (although 6 for 6 less than 30 yards, but only 2 for 5 between 30-39 yards).

    Oregon State had Alexis Serna (Lou Garza winner in 2005) who had already kicked 3 field goals that game from 22, 52, and 33 yards.

    Was Tedford thinking about the kicking game matchup?

    The pain wasn’t as bad from our Blue Zone tickets.

    Go Bears!

  • shaka

    Where is Dan when we need him? Ted has never valued the place kicking game, and where would we be without the current soccer player walk-on despite the PAT’s? Enough already about the past.., deal with the reality of the present and a qb who has a lot of heart. Go Bears!

  • 707 Bear


    Speaking of missed PAT’s: What’s the single season record?

  • eric

    How many times have we seen the replay of Tedford throwiong down the headsets? That is what I meant by blaming Riley. The quote you reference is long after that moment. Tedford should have known better than to do that. He certainly never took responsibility for what happened. Having decided to go with a play into the endzone, did Tedford absolutely ensure his freshman, totally hyped up, and first time starting for the potential #1 team in the country QB to make sure under any circumstances to throw the ball away if nothing was obviously open with 3 or 4 seconds? Given that he decided to play an injured QB the rest of the season – notwithstanding the unbelievable play of Riley up until that fateful moment – until the second quarter of the freakin’ bowl game – at great, great cost to both QBs and this program – yeah, he blamed Riley.

    And sorry, the EXACT reason why you kick a FG in that situation is to avoid that exact circumstance of what happened. It may be conservative, but it is infinitely more safe. Sure, high school, college, and football teams do use third down (pro is totally different given the overtime rules and the strength of long-distance kicking), but rarely with stakes that high and never with a first team, freshman QB, who has already generated a miracle.

    I doubt the kicking matchup was the concern, because overtime gave us back the running game with an extremely tired and likely demoralized OSU defense. In any event, What was Kay’s record from inside 30 yards? He was 48 or 49 on extra points, so he knew how to make gimmes.

    The home team always plays for overtime (as compared to the visitors, who don’t want have to deal with the crowd problems. USC in 2003 didn’t try to score and instead settled for the FG to force overtime).

    One can never know what would have happened, but, given what has transpired since that moment, I’m comfortable that the 2007 OSU moment was perhaps the first truly public example of what was becoming very mediocre to poor coaching.

  • H8sRed

    Sorry 707, but Eric’s posts are anything but insightful if he has to resort to distorting the record to try to make a point. We get it, Eric, you’re not happy with the Bears record. Guess what? None of us on this blog is happy at 5-4 (even Moron is unhappy because Cal isn’t 2-7). But your “everything Tedford touches is wrong” drum banging is beyond annoying and serves only to discredit any valid point you might make in the future.

  • milo

    What? Did JO take the technology and ability to chat with him?

  • JO “let go” and KA chat on the “official” site. Doesn’t take much to conclude that Sandy and Teddy don’t like this site and so they have decided to use whatever it takes to squeeze it out. They probably concluded that potential recruits might get a view here that would cause them to walk, thereby precluding the Golden Bears from finally assembling that prefect Rose Bowl team. I’m so ashamed that I fell into the trap of expressing my views so candidly.

  • abe

    PeteBear…this should come as no surprise, as a sports fan who follows a number of blogs i have yet to come across an uglier blog than this as far as the comment section is concerned. yes the person famously referred to as ‘moron’ is partly responsible but the idiots who lack the discipline to ignore this person and instead continue to enable him/her are even more disappointing. So yes the boycotting of this blog by cal football, if indeed that is whats happening, is long overdue.

  • 707 Bear

    Eric, just for fun…

    Perhaps Tedford new the future NFLers he had on the field at the time and that’s why he went for it.

    Imagine if Rodgers had been on the field with these future NFL players:

    O Line (Marvin Philip, Aaron Maerz, Ryan O’Callaghan; nice right side of the line)

    Skill (Desean Jackson, L Hawkins, C Stevens, M. Lynch)

    Hard to believe that team only made the Vegas Bowl.

    Go Bears!

  • rollonubears

    Going for the win with third and goal is a no brainer. I would have been upset if we went for a field goal on third down. It’s as if he tested the “go for the throat” mentality that day, and since it failed, he’s been passive ever since. And that’s what upsets me the most. This year I’ve seen some signs that he’s being a little more aggressive, and that gives me hope.

  • Yoda

    707 is right. It’s a football play that high schoolers know how to run. And +1 to post n. 17

  • Marc

    Mannion is a solid young QB, and I do not recall Tedford recruiting him. He would be an upgrade for sure.

  • DelthaForce

    Ultimately, what’s really sad about the Riley play in ’07 is not the result of the game itself, but the fact that we have fallen so far since that plays of such national consequence by a Cal player seem like a pipe dream.

  • rollonubears

    I was just thinking about this last night. Let’s assume we win Saturday, which is a distinct possibility. Let’s also assume Stanfurd wins, which I think is about a 60% chance. Now, I realize our chances are slim to none, but if we were able to beat Stanfurd the following week, wouldn’t it be safe to say that would be the biggest win in Cal football history?

  • rollonubears

    Further to that point, wouldn’t it be safe to say that all complaints about Tedford would be fogiven for this year, and next year? I know I’d be ok with everything, through next year, if he could pull that off.

  • 707 Bear


    I would simply like to beat a team we’re not supposed to beat—any team.

    November 21, 2009 (@ Stanford) was our last upset win.

  • rollonubears

    Yep. And it took a very lucky interception in the final moments. I’ll take it, but we were very lucky, despite how well we played in that game.

  • CalBearister99

    And we won that game despite Tedford’s horrid play-calling.

    If you recall, we had the ball 4th and goal from the Stanfurd 2 in the final minutes of the game. Up 3, Tedford faced a choice – kick the FG and go up 6, or go for the win on 4th down. Tedford chose the FG.

    Here’s where Tedford’s play-call made no sense. Anyone who’d watched a handful of Cal games that year knew that the opponent’s starting field position on a kickoff was around the 35-40 thanks to: (a) a kicker who couldn’t kick; and (b) a coverage team that couldn’t cover. As expected, Stanfurd started its final drive at the 40, with 60 yards to go for the one-point victory with a touchdown. Thankfully, Luck had a brain fart and threw a pick as they were driving toward the end zone.

    Now the alternative was to go for the touchdown from the Stanfurd 2. Two ways that shakes out: (1) we score, in which case the game is effectively over; or (2) we don’t score, and Stanfurd takes over at the 2. Either of those would be preferable. (1) is obvious, but look at (2). To advance the ball into field goal range, Stanfurd would have needed to drive about 60 yards – the same length of field it had from the kick-off. But that field goal would have only been a tying score – not a winning one like a touchdown against our six point lead. And being at the 2, Stanfurd would have had a hard time just dropping back to throw, so you probably chew time off the clock as they take 1-2 plays to get out of the end zone.

    In my mind, that was the dumbest play-call of Tedford’s career. It was cowardly, and completely unstrategic. He won in spite of it.

  • Steve W

    Stanford beat Cal like a drum at Cal’s house last year with a team that is not as good as this year’s version. I can’t get out of my mind that vision of Andrew Luck steamrolling Sean Cattouse on his way to a 60-yard run. It was total physical domination and imposing a will on another team.

    As much as I hate to say it, Stanford is on a whole different level than Cal. Just look at the comparative scores, especially the way they hung 60 points on Washington. Stanford has manhandled USC four out of the last five years, and look what USC has done to Cal over the same period. I am mentally preparing myself for a drubbing.

  • rollonubears

    from cal site…

    If Stanford defeats Oregon this Saturday, the Stanford-Cal game will be telecast by ABC and begin at 5:00 p.m. PST, with a guaranteed minimum of 51 percent of U.S. households receiving the telecast.

    If Oregon defeats Stanford, the Stanford-Cal game will be telecast by ESPN and begin at 7:15 p.m. PST.

  • Shaka

    707, can’t say who set the record…But GT could be at the head of class. How about we talk Hawaii’s Jason Elam out of retirement and into grad school..he’s only 41 and made 371 in a row. One of these days we’re going to need those points.