Cal got back to work Friday with its first practice since learning that it will play Texas at the Dec. 28 Holiday Bowl.
Everyone present and accounted for.
Well, except for the coach.
Jeff Tedford spent the day with a group of potential recruiting who are making a weekend campus visit. He will be back at practice Saturday and Sunday.
The mood was upbeat and businesslike. The players were excited to get back to practice after four days off this week, and jazzed to be playing Texas.
The game matches a pair of 7-5 teams, but the Bears aren’t looking at San Diego as a vacation destination.
“We have to win this game,” said quarternack Zach Maynard, who grew up a Longhorns fan. “It’s going to put us in a good position for next season. We’re taking this game very seriously.”
“They’ve been good for a long time and still are good,” added sophomore wideout Keenan Allen, the first-team All-Pac-12 selection. “Neither one of us, in my opinion, should be 7-5. We should be way better than that.
“We lost a couple games early in the season when we didn’t have our mind right. We’re ready to go now.”
Friday was mostly about shaking some rust off. They kept the plays simple and have not begun to implement the gameplan for the Longhorns. Maynard said that will begin Saturday.
Wide receiver Michael Calvin, who missed the Arizona State game after injuring his knee against Stanford, practiced. But Tedford was not around to make it clear whether Calvin will be available for the bowl.
Likewise, no definitive word yet on outside linebackers Chris McCain (concussion) and David Wilkerson (knee). Hope to get an update Saturday.