Football: Bears’ focus shifts to opener vs. Nevada

Thursday was a big day on the Cal campus. Students began classes and the football team began preparation specific to its Sept. 1 opener vs. Nevada.

“It’s officially game week,” coach Jeff Tedford said. “The looks we saw in practice today were about Nevada.”

Which had to get the Bears’ attention two years after the Wolfpack buried them 52-31 in Reno. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, now a second-year player with the 49ers, totaled 329 yards of rushing and passing and accounted for five touchdowns.

Nevada used the victory as a springboard for its 13-1 campaign.

The Wolfpack has moved from the Western Athletic Conference to the Mountain West and has different personnel than in 2010. But coach Chris Ault’s pistol offense, with its three wide receivers and deceptive option running game remains.

“It’s like the triple-option,” Tedford said. “You have to cover every phase of it — you’ve got to take care of quarterback, dive back, pitch guy. They move very quickly and they play-action pass very well off it.

“The scheme itself is very difficult to stop. We have our hands full. We have to be very disciplined.”

Nevada was just 7-6 last season, including a 69-20 loss at Oregon in its opener.

The Wolfpack returns with sophomore quarterback Cody Fajardo, who took over the starting job at midseason and wound up passing for 1,707 yards and six touchdowns and rushing for 694 more and 11 TDs. Fajardo was voted WAC Freshman of the Year in 2011.

“The quarterback is much more experienced now. I’m sure he’s got a better grasp on the offense,” Tedford said. “It’s still a very productive offense. They’ve been one of the top teams in the country last several years at rushing the football.”

Tedford said the chance for players to redirect their attention to an opponent is refreshing after three weeks of camp.

“The focus in the meetings is looking at someone else, not just watching the repetition of the same thing every single day,” he said. “There’s definitely a focus that goes along with the game planning that picks up a notch.”

The loss to Nevada in 2010 was the first for the Bears in the rivalry since a 6-2 defeat 107 years earlier — in 1903. Cal leads the all-time series 22-2-1, not counting eight rugby matches played between 1906 and 1914.

Jeff Faraudo

  • I was at the Reno game in ’10, and it sucked bigtime. Time for some payback Bears!!

  • covinared

    pendergast has yet to stop a pistol.

  • milo

    Nevada’s pistol is dangerous but not nearly as dangerous without Kaepernick. That guy rolled for 70 yards on a broken against NFL talent recently. But yes, pay back time.

  • discdude

    I hate the pistol, but I guess if it has to there, let’s get it over with. They should be able to defend against it, but it only helps marginally with the prep for the rest of the year. I have an idea, how about the Bears score 60 and hold the ball for 45 minutes, that will fix any defensive problems.

  • covinared

    we’ll have more time to prepare this time.

  • rotfogel

    Colin Kaepernick, now the official backup of the niners, was spectacular in that game. I like him as a pro too. NFL QB vs the bears at their house was a difficult task.

  • oldcalfan

    A scary game for Cal. If Cal loses the season opener in their rejuvenated stadium, well——————.
    Cal has had trouble with option QB’s and the Pistol.(UCLA QB last year).
    I hope they’ve improved enough to win their opener.
    If they don’t the whole season could be a rough ride.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    I called that beatdown in 2010. It was too easy.I laughed like crazy when Kaepernick ran that pistol. Your linebackers and DEs were hilarious.All night long they were crashing down and the Nevada would go outside. Then Nevada would run that kid right up the middle when the DEs and LBs stayed home.

    This one will be tough too. All the pressure is on UCB.

    Go Pack Go.

  • wehofx

    Gap discipline!

    The Pistol is unique but it’s in the same family as qb option used in Oregon’s spread, rich rod and mike leach’s offenses. So now, Pendergast has no excuse for not having a scheme for stopping qb option spread O.

    Payback! Go Bears!

  • rollonubears

    Each side has 11. For some reason, against the pistol, it always looks like we have 8.

  • covinared

    muhammed did not play agaainst nevada. browner looked like a deer in headlights when they ran his way. Kendricks was benched the first half against ucla. lets hope those were the reason why.

  • Cal will crush NV. I predict something like 48-21. Let’s not start hand-wringing already. This team has got to be motivated. And Tedford has got to have the killer instinct restored. Well maybe not that last bit so much…grrrr…

    Tedford, meet throat of opponent. NOW STEP ON IT!!!!

  • MoreNCsarecoming


    HAHAHA…look at your #47 and your #34 on D. They still haven’t made a tackle.

    This one is a close one and too difficult to call.

  • Wilson1802

    AS an optimist, I think Cal is going to blow out Nevada…but as a realist, I know that Cal’s defense under Pendergast has struggled against option plays…remember how inept UCLA’s offense was against most opponents last year…but when Cal came into town, Cal could not stop the running game of the QB. The pistol killed Cal last year (UCLA) and two years ago (Nevada). Let’s see if Pendergast has figured it out, this time.

  • covinared

    moren: I predict you won’t be laughing soon…

  • Will

    MikeD, might be time for you to make another appearance.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    #15 – Covinared

    In the famous words of Doc Holiday to Ike Clapton -“Well Ike what an ugly thing to say. What do you mean?”

    I assume you have a prediction for the Nevada game?

    Let’s see it.

    Go Pack Go

  • MikeD

    Hi Covinared, MikeD here… Might I suggest a big heaping download of the greasemonkey script at this time? And a reminder to ignore the troll, but I know that you already know all this stuff…

    now be the ball: http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/58785

  • ScottyBear

    Ike Clanton, not Clapton, and Holliday, not Holiday. Buffoon!

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    #19 – Way to take the bait. Use…