Football: Wednesday practice update

I imagine this has been a much easier week for quarterback Zach Maynard. Last week he was facing lots of questions about his four-interception game against UCLA, and about the criticism surrounding him because of that performance. Maynard was a model of efficiency in Saturday’s win over Washington State, going 10 for 17 for 118 yards and one touchdown with no picks. Not flashy, but effective considering how well Cal ran the ball. Maynard met with reporters today for his weekly media session, and the junior said he’s hopeful that another strong effort from the running game can open things up for the offense. “Our running backs did a great job (against Washington State), the offensive line did a huge job getting downfield and the receivers did a great job blocking downfield,” Maynard said. “We’ll try to do the same thing this week (against Oregon State) — get our running game going so our passing game can open up a little more.”

–Coach Jeff Tedford declined to offer any injury reports after being asked specifically about the status of outside linebacker Chris McCain (concussion). Does that mean McCain isn’t progressing well and won’t be available against the Beavers? Or is Tedford just choosing to play it close to the vest? Tough to tell. As a reporter, I wish college programs were required to provide injury updates like the NFL does. Tedford did say that left guard Brian Schwenke continues to rebound well from illness and should be available Saturday.

–Here’s a story out of Corvallis on Oregon State’s lack of a running game and how it’s hindered the offense. For the first time since 2004, it appears the Beavers won’t have a 1,000-yard rusher.

Joe Stiglich

  • rollonubears

    If the running game was spectacular, and Schwenke was out, shouldn’t his backup get to play again?

  • BearSFeast

    Damn, Penn State is an embarrassment to humanity right now. Where is the respect for the victims? Makes me appreciate Cal and coach more. Despite our predilection for protest no way our students go rioting b/c a molester-protector got fired. Can’t see that type of cover up going on w/in our program.

  • milo

    I hope the O-line shows up this week and opens some holes for Sofele. Good things should happen.

    +1 If the O-line played well without Schwenke, he should drop to #2 on the depth chart.

  • Jim

    Players get their starting jobs back when returning from injury or illness – JT’s rule
    It should be remembered that the “great” running game was against WSU.
    The OL SHOULD do well again against the Beavers … should … the most useless word in the English language.
    Regardless, OSU is probably the last hope for a victory this season.
    The Big Game, despite history, will probably be ugly. Stanford is playing to maintain their record, hoping for a shot at the national championship game.
    Beating ASU is, at best, a dim hope. Possible but certainly not probable.

  • Steve W

    It’s looking for all the world that Cal should beat OSU on Saturday and then get demolished in its last two games to finish 6-6 and get to a bottom tier bowl game. I’m thinking major dilemma if Cal gets selected to play in the Kraft Hunger bowl at AT&T. That has to be a nightmare scenario for all parties. The Cal fans have stayed away from AT&T in droves this year, and there’s no reason why they would pay exhorbitant ticket prices to see their team play another crummy team one more time at the ballpark.

    I’m kind of hoping that the bowl selection committees eschew a 6-6 Cal team on the basis that one of their wins (Presbyterian) really doesn’t count. If Cal can pull off an upset against ASU, then they deserve to play in a bowl game. Otherwise, I would vote to have them stay home and figure out how they are going to fill up that new stadium next season.

  • Kent Wilson

    Does anyone else think that CJ Anderson should split with Sofele? I think Sofele leaves a lot of yard on the field…because he goes down gets tackled so easily…meanwhile Anderson can break a few tackles. Sofele is obviously quicker and hits the hole much faster than Anderson…but I feel we are not maximizing our running game…the game plan should be to get at mimimum 25 carries a game…with each RB getting at least 10 reps…and whoever has the hot hand get get the bulk of the carries.

  • I am with you Steve W. If we beat osu handily, then either lsju or asu on the road, I think we deserve a bowl bid, even to the crappy “Mediocre Bowl” to which we will be assigned. 5-6 vs. BCS teams does not merit the post-season. BBall starts tomorrow! Go Bears!

  • David

    BlakeStreet, and Steve W: Have them stay at home and NOT practice for an extra month if they were to be going to a bowl game, in which our young players may get more live reps? NOT have post season practices which is when Tedford likes having his official visits? Would you rather have recruits visit when the campus is dead and players aren’t around?

    Ridiculous. Bowl game or bust.

  • stay golden

    I agree with you Kent on CJ deserving more carries. Sofele’s numbers are a little misleading because he’s so inconsistent. One play he will break off a big run then the next 3-4 carries he gets zip. It must be incredibly frustrating for CJ when he goes into the game…carries the ball once… and then get’s yanked. Why not send him in on a first down and give him the rock 3 straight times? Coach, sometimes you just got to say WTF.

  • rollonubears

    mean yards per carry is almost always higher than the median, no matter who the back is.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    I for one hope you guys don’t get a bowl bid. It will show the weakness of the conference. Wait until USC can go to a bowl then let the weak sisters play in some too.

  • covinared

    I am not impressed with Anderson. He needs a hole and goes down real easy until he gets a few steps going. Sofele is a good blue collar back but has so far not shown the ability to break off long runs. Some of those gains he had against WSU would have been long scores for Vereen and Best.

    I disagree with those who have already conceded an ASU loss. Form what i’ve seen, we match up well with them. We just need to play our game on the road for once. I plan on making the trip.

  • Steve W

    We don’t match up in the category That matters the most: quarterback.

  • Dave T

    David (#8). Agree totally. So called fans who get on their high horses about whether we should even go to a lower-tier bowl game or not just want to complain about one more thing.

    No one forces anyone to attend a bowl – so if you’re content to end your season in November, just go away until kick off 2012.

    For the players who worked hard all season and the fans who enjoy ‘one more game’, the bowls are a nice holiday gift.

    Additionally, to totally disregard the value of extra practices and the possible impact on recruiting is silly.

    If half our competitors (yes, there is dilution with the # of bowls – but it’s reality) take the extra practice time and recruiting opportunities that we earned but voluntarily refuse – THAT would be irresponsible of the coaching staff.

  • Kent Wilson

    We REALLY NEED to go to a bowl game this year! The extra month of practice goes a long way in preparing the team for 2012…and if the team plays well in the Bowl game, it sets them up nicely for a stronger 2012. Remember the 2003 team that beat Va. Tech in the Insight Bowl…that game really helped the confidence of the Cal team in preparing for 2004.

    While I have no expectations that we are even close to achieving another season like 2004…but perhaps a year like 2003 is attainable next year…2003 the team finished 8-6, but had 4 victories over opponents in which Cal was an underdog…to put that year in perspective, since 2003 Cal has only 2 victories when they were underdogs. Over the past 7 years, Cal has been an underdog 18 times, and came away with only 2 victories. 2003 was a year in which Cal showed they could play competitive games with the top teams in the conference…we have not seen that in a long time.

  • Boaltblue

    Some of you purported Cal fans with your defeatist, scared-of-your-own-shadow attitudes are much more disturbing to me than our unwanted USC-wannabe. Your negativity is strikingly ugly and sickening. Your slander of our players and coach without any proof (statements such as, KA owns Tedford) and calling Tedford undeserved names are even worse.

    If you cannot root enthusiastically for the players who leave it all on the field each week for Cal, such as Isi, Keenan, Mychael, and even Zach, then do not go to the games (as I read some of you have chosen not to do) as no one likes to hang with Debbie downers.

    While Stanford may be heavily favored in the Big Game this year, I take great comfort in knowing that the game is won or loss on the field and our players will lay it out on the field this year.

    As a reminder, in 2009, Stanford convincingly defeated ASU, Oregon, and USC in the three weeks before playing Cal on the Stanford’s field. Stanford was heavily favored to kick our butts on their field. Kevin Riley, Shane Vereen, Mike Mohammed, and the rest of the Cal football team refused to lay down to defeat and instead kicked Stanford’s butt. Kevin Riley (17-31-235 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) easily outplayed Andrew Luck (10-30-157 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT) and Vereen outran Gerhart 192 v. 136 yards. And our Coach Jeff Tedford outcoached Jim Harbaugh (see final score 34-28, time of possession 39:06 v. 20:54, first downs 31 v. 16).

    Another example, ASU was supposed to beat us last year; but we beat ASU 50-17. We have owned ASU as we have beaten ASU 7 of the last 9 games. No reason to fear ASU.

    If you play with the attitude of “Fear no one!” you have a much better chance of winning than if you believe in your defeat before the first snap.

    I am proud to say “Rain or shine, win or lose, I will be at every home game rooting my beloved Bears.” And I am equally proud to say that Kevin Riley was at the WSU game despite the pouring rain rooting our Bears to victory.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    #16 said – “While Stanford may be heavily favored in the Big Game this year, I take great comfort in knowing that the game is won or loss on the field and our players will lay it out on the field this year.”

    Yep just like last year. #11 got laid out on the field. It’s called being “Cattoused”.

  • Steve W

    I have been a Cal fan as long or longer than most, and I cheer just as hard as anyone at gametime. But I stick to my belief that a 6-6 Cal team DOES NOT belong in a bowl game. It really translates to a 5-6 record without one quality win for the program. When you add in the fact there were no quality wins from last year, we would be validating an overpaid head coach that needs to go.

    It’s all just speculation now, and Job 1 is beating OSU on Saturday. I will be beyond geeked up for a bowl game if Cal can find a victory against Stanford or ASU. It would mean that Tedford finally found a way to reverse the course of a stunning decline that began with that loss to Washington after the amazing defeat of Stanford two years ago.

  • Jim

    what the …
    If Cal gets invited to a bowl game, Cal will go to a bowl game.
    The decision is up to the bowl selection process/committees.
    Beating OSU is mandatory.
    The chances of beating ASU and Furd are between slim and none. Possible, but definitely not probable.

  • Kent Wilson

    boltblue…correction on your statement in post #16…you said that “ASU was supposed to beat us last year; but we beat ASU 50-17.” That’s actually not true…Cal was a 3pt favorite against ASU last year.

    One of my disappointments of Cal football since Tedford took over is the lack of “upset victories”. Cal has been an underdog 18 times since 2003 and yet has only won 2 games (Oregon in ’07 and Stanford in ’09)…that’s it!

    I hate to be so anal on this point, but I believe given the outstanding level of talent Cal has enjoyed particularly between 2004 – 2009…I find the 2-16 record as an underdog to be very disappointing.