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Football: News and notes from the Big Game Luncheon

By Joe Stiglich
Monday, November 14th, 2011 at 7:33 pm in Uncategorized.

The Big Game Luncheon took place Monday at Gordon Biersch Brewery in San Francisco, and it wasn’t surprising that Cal coach Jeff Tedford and Stanford coach David Shaw both went to great lengths heaping praise on the opposing team. Here’s a few noteworthy items from the event:

–Tedford on his assessment of Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck: “He does it all. He’s very smart, competitive, very physical. He’s accurate throwing the football and has a great understanding of what they’re doing, so I think he’s arguably the best quarterback in the nation. And I think he’s one of the top guys that’s ever played in this conference.”

But Tedford said Stanford’s balance on offense is what makes them so dangerous. “We haven’t played a team like this yet that lines up and runs the ball downhill like they do.”
You can bet Cal defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast is working overtime this week looking for ways to pressure Luck. Teams have been able to throw Luck off his game a bit by putting heat on him. And the Bears have to find a way to do that without getting burned in the running game.

–Shaw is very impressed with Cal sophomore receiver Keenan Allen, who is one of 10 semifinalists for this year’s Biletnikoff Award, given to college football’s best receiver. “Not enough people are talking about him, but he’s having a dominant year,” Shaw said. “He’s a guy that if you don’t pay attention to him, he’ll hurt you and hurt you bad. … Much like (USC’s) Robert Woods, there are certain things he does that you can’t defense.”

I don’t expect Cal’s running game to buzz through Stanford’s defense the way it did against Washington State and Oregon State, so Zach Maynard will have to complete a few passes to keep the chains moving. And you figure the Cardinal will be keying on Allen during obvious passing downs. If I had to pick a single player who could be a game-changer for the Bears on Saturday, I’d go with Marvin Jones. Maynard has to look for him (and get him the ball), and Jones has to make some things happen to take the focus off Allen. No doubt Jones would like to make noise in his final Big Game.

Who’s your “game-changer” prediction for Cal?

–Stat to remember: Cal is 13-18 against nationally ranked teams since Tedford took over as coach in 2002. Stanford enters the 114th Big Game ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press poll.

More Big Game coverage in tomorrow’s paper …

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  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Stanford – 42
    TedFURD – 10

  • 707 Bear

    Memo to Larry Scott:

    Return sanity to the scheduling process and reserve the last weekend before the Pac 12 Championship for the traditional Pac 10 rivalries. The last game of the year should be Cal v Stanford. No exceptions!

    Tell Notre Dame to stick it; we will no longer have SC and Stanford play late November games against Our Lady Of South Bend in California. Pick another date.

    The seniors at Arizona will finish their careers at home against Louisiana-Lafayette. That is just wrong!

  • MoreSanctionsComing

    BearTalk – 1
    Unwanted Troll that everybody hates – 0

  • Suttree

    Excited to see if our D can out together another strong performance verse this Furd O. Love that these young players are just going to get better and better over the next couple years.

  • Boaltblue

    @NoMoreNCsareComing:

    Coach Tedford has won 7 of the last 9 games against Stanford and lost only twice.

    During that same time period, USC has lost to Stanford three times, including once when Stanford was a 43-point underdog. Add this year’s loss by USC to Stanford and you have four USC losses in the last five years.

    Is Leland Stanford your daddy?

  • Nor-Cal Scott

    707- I can’t agree more!

    Every fan in the the old Pac10 agrees that the last week should be played against their rivals. Cross-Bay, Cross-town, & interstate games are what make the traditions of CFB so great! We’re talking about things like the Big Game & The Axe, Civil War, Apple Cup, etc.

    Poor Nick Foles. A disappointing season, his coach gets fired, and his last game as a Wildcat vs a Non-AQ. Sad.

  • rollonyoubears111

    Lotsa if’s- but I think that if our defense holds up and our QB throws <1 interception, it'll be a lot closer than most of us are thinking.

    As footing is an issue on their field, there will probably more interceptions for Cal. We aren't playing OSU's or WSU's defensive line. Our defense doesn't do to well against the BIG big nasties a la Oregon or SC. It'll be an ugly one for Cal.

    Realisticly speaking:
    Cal 19 (td during trash time)
    Furd 42

    Pipe dreaming, it'd be a "great game to see over and over" prediction:
    Cal 32
    Furd 30
    Our offense takes us down field with 52 seconds left and after a un-Luck like fumble at Cal's 5 yard line, we are down 25 to 30, and there's 1 time out left. 3rd and 15 at Furd's 40, 20 seconds left on the clock- our qb throws to Marvin Jones on a screen play. He's at the 35, breaks a tackle. A defender slips in the mud, he's at the 20. He's at the 15, Allen gets a key block. He's at the 10, he leaps over a safety who tries to get him at an angle at the 5- reaches over the pilon. Touchdown! End of regulation! Cal wins! We storm the field! ….

    Sigh.

  • SteveNTEXAS

    Stanford has beaten us recently when we were supposed to be better soits our turn.

    What do you expect the coaches to say.

    Tedord ” I haven’t accomplished much this season and we probably will get creamed but I don’t like when people call for a new coach so I hope we do well”

    Stanford “Well Cal really sucks but we shouldn’t say that because we want people to follow the game”

  • Kent Wilson

    Here’s another interesting stat:

    Tedford is 10-22 as an underdog since he took over at Cal. And even more interesting, Tedford is 2-16 since 2003 as an underdog.