Football: Sunday night updates

A few quick notes from Sunday’s interview session with Cal coach Jeff Tedford:

— LB Brennan Scarlett had his broken left heavily wrapped, but Tedford said he will be able to play Saturday against UCLA.

— Tedford said both OT Matt Summers-Gavin (knee) and TE Richard Rodgers (foot) came out of the Arizona State physically OK.

— WR Keenan Allen, who was throwing up during the ASU game, said he was feeling better a day later.

— LB Khairi Fortt, the Penn State transfer who has yet to play after undergoing knee surgery last spring before arriving in Berkeley, still isn’t ready for contact in practice. No decision has been made on red-shirting him this season, but Tedford conceded that time is nearing.

— OG Dominic Galas (torn pectoral muscle), who has missed the first five games, will begin contact practice this week, but likely is at least two weeks from being ready to play in a game.

— Tedford said there are no plans to make lineup changes this week, although competition in practice could alter that, as usual.

— Courtesy of the Arizona Republic, this remark from ASU safety Keelan Johnson, “Cal (was) a difficult team to prepare for. Their record may indicate 1-4, but they play like they’re 4-1 at home. To come in here and dominate (defensively) like we did is a great feeling.”


Football: Arizona State game thread

FINAL SCORE: Arizona State 27, Cal 17. Bears drop to 1-4, 0-2 in the Pac-12. Would need to win five of final seven games to become bowl eligible. But December football is not part of the Bears’ thought process right now.

“As far as making a bowl,” linebacker Nick Forbes said, “that’s a little farther down the line than I’m thinking about. I’m thinking about the next one.”

Here’s my game story.

5:56 4th Q: Cal offense goes 3 and out and punts.

6:17 4th Q: ASU answers back with 74-yard scoring drive. Kelly pasases 22 yards to WR Ozier and ASU leads 27-17.

9:33 4th Q: Keenan Allen’s right toe scratches turf on 10-yard reception in the left corner of the end zone — incomplete call overturned for TD on video review. Cal trails just 20-17.

11:27 4th Q: Nick Forbes gives Cal a chance by blocking 38-yd FG try by Garoutte. Bears still down 20-10.

1:12 3rd Q: Tedford opts for FG on 4th-and-7 from the 18 and Vincenzo D’Amato delivers 35-yarder. But will it be enough? Cal trails 20-10.

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Football: It’s only September and already Bears face virtual must-win vs. Arizona State

October hasn’t even arrived and already Cal faces a game it cannot afford to lose.

The Bears will try to show they’re better than their 1-3 record and Arizona State hopes to prove it’s as good as its 3-1 start.

Here’s my game preview.


RECORDS: Arizona State 3-1, 1-0 in Pac-12, Cal 1-3, 0-1 in Pac-12.

KICKOFF: 1 p.m., Saturday at Memorial Stadium.



SERIES HISTORY: Cal leads 17-14. Cal won 47-38 in 2011 and has won four in a row in the series. ASU has not beaten Cal in Berkeley since 1997.

STORYLINES: The Bears, coming off consecutive road losses to Top-25 foes Ohio State and USC, need a win to keep alive their bowl hopes. Only one Cal team (2003) has recovered from a 1-3 start to earn a postseason bid.  . . . Arizona State, under new coach Todd Graham, has been one of the Pac-12’s best offenses and defenses so far, posting its three wins by an average margin of more than 39 points. . . . ASU has yet to face an opponent that both started and finished the game with its starting quarterback.  . . . The Bears hope to establish the run against an ASU defense that is fast and aggressive but not particularly big.

INJURY UPDATE: Cal — TE Richard Rodgers (foot) and OT Matt Summers-Gavin (knee) are questionable. TE Spencer Hagan (knee), ILB David Wilkerson (ankle), ILB Khairi Fortt (knee), OG Dominic Galas (shoulder), CB Stefan McClure (knee) are out. Arizona State — LB Carlos Mendoza (shoulder) and DL Corey Adams (back) are out.

MATCHUP TO WATCH: Cal’s defense vs. Arizona State’s spread offense. This is the third game in five the Bears have played against an opponent whose quarterback will run. Cal lost the previous two — to Nevada and Ohio State. The Sun Devils’ offense is deceptive and efficient. Cal must contain quarterbacks Taylor Kelly and Michael Eubank, who have combined to complete 73 percent of their passes with eight touchdowns, but also have rushed 240 yards, discounting sack yardage.

STATS THAT MATTER: ASU has forced 10 turnovers in four games and has 39 tackles for loss — tied for most in the country. Cal is 114th nationally, allowing 33 tackles for loss.  . . . ASU’s 165 points are the most it’s scored through four games since 2005.  . . . The Sun Devils are outscoring opponents 108-31 in the first half and 40-0 in the fourth quarter.  . . . Cal wide receiver Keenan Allen, fourth on school’s career receptions list at 173, needs eight catches to pass Bobby Shaw for the No. 3 spot.


Football: Thursday notes and links

Here’s my story on one-time Arizona State recruit Angelo Richardson, an Oakland native who is back in Tempe taking classes and part of the football team six years after being paralyzed from the waist down in a random shooting incident.


From Thursday’s regular post-practice media sessions with coach Jeff Tedford and coordinators Jim Michalczik and Clancy Pendergast:

— There is nothing definitive (still) on the status of OT Matt Summers-Gavin (knee) or TE Richard Rodgers (foot). Both practiced Thursday and are day-to-day. Will they play Saturday against the Sun Devils? Your guess is as good as mine. I wouldn’t bet on it. (In fact, Tedford said Jacob Wark, who sprained his ankle at USC, will start at TE).

— Tedford said senior OG Dominic Galas will begin contact practice next week for the first time since tearing a pectoral muscle just before the start of fall camp. He’s not likely to play in a game until at least Oct. 13 at Washington State, but if all goes well the Bears could get more than half a senior from him.

“He’s doing more and more each day,” Tedford said. “Next week he’ll start to have a little bit of contact. He hasn’t had any contact yet. We’ll have to see how he will respond to contact. He’s been working really hard. We’ve got to make sure he’s got good enough strength in that arm.”

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Football: Pac-12 picks, Week 5

Winning on the road in college football is tough, but Oregon and Stanford will show their merit this week when they venture away from home for the first time this season.

For Cal, which comes off back-to-back road defeats to Top-25 opponents, a return to Memorial Stadium comes just in time. Five of the Bears’ remaining eight games will be played at home, starting Saturday against Arizona State.

Hard right now to envision Cal beating Stanford or Oregon, so the ASU game is  about as close to a must-win as there is in September.

SEASON: 27-11


— No. 8 Stanford at Washington, 6 p.m. (ESPN): The Cardinal’s strengths — running the ball and stopping the run — will cause the Huskies significant grief. Then there’s recent history to consider: Stanford won 65-21 a year ago and Andrew Luck, as good as he is, wasn’t worth 44 points all by himself. Stanford 28, Washington 17.


— Arizona State at Cal, 1 p.m. (FX): The Sun Devils are substantially improved, but none of their first four opponents has finished the game with its starting quarterback on the field. That’s just weird. For the Bears, this game means everything. A loss would drop them to 1-4 and pretty much kill even modest dreams. Cal 30, Arizona State 24.

— UCLA at Colorado, 3 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks): Could the Buffaloes actually be overconfident after rallying to win at Washington State while UCLA was upended at home by Oregon State? Yeah, right. A return to reality is on store. We’re still talking about a team that lost to Fresno State by 55 points vs. a team that beat Nebraska. UCLA 40, Colorado 14.

— No. 18 Oregon State at Arizona, 7 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks): Perhaps the best game of the week in the Pac-12. The Beavers seem for real after winning at home over Wisconsin and on the road vs. UCLA. The defense is tough and their passing game is productive. Of course, the Wildcats looked legit, too, until their 49-0 loss at Oregon. Still, Vegas favors UA, and those guys are smart. Arizona 24, Oregon State 21.

— No. 2 Oregon at Washington State, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2): The Ducks are averaging 52.8 points but haven’t played outside Autzen Stadium yet this season. How much difference will that make in this matchup? Oregon 51.8, Washington State 10.


Basketball: Pete Newell earns Lapchick honor

The late Cal coaching legend Pete Newell has been named as one of four recipients of the 2o12 Joe Lapchick Character Award.

The award is named after the Hall of Fame coach who served as coach at St. John’s University and the New York Knicks.

Newell will be honored along with Cathy Rush. C.M. Newton and Morgan Wooten at a luncheon at the New York Athletic Club in New York City on Nov. 15. The honorees will also be recognized that night at Madison Square Garden during the 2K Sports Classic benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project.

Newell, who passed away in 2008, coached the Golden Bears for six seasons from the 1954-55 campaign to the 1959-60 season. He led Cal to an NCAA championship in 1959 with a 71-70 victory over West Virginia. In his final season, Newell guided the Bears back to the NCAA title game against Ohio State.

He posted a 119-44 record at Cal.

Newell was coach at the University of San Francisco and Michigan State prior to coming to Berkeley. He also coached the USA to a gold medal in the 1960 Olympic games.   

Newell was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978.



Football: Golden Bears understand fans are in a panic over 1-3 start, ask for patience

I talked with three Cal players who seem to have a finger on the pulse of Cal fans. They know there is panic among Old Blues, but suggest this isn’t the time to surrender.

Check out my Tuesday notebook, which also provides updates on running back Brendan Bigelow, tackle Matt Summers-Gavin and placekicker Vincenzo D’Amato.

Also, Cal on Tuesday took down the two large poles that support the net behind the north end zone goal posts after complaints from fans who say their view was obstructed. Find out what  is planned for the south end zone and what happens if you catch a football at the north end.