The season-opening loss to Nevada wasn’t yet in the rear-view mirror for Cal coach Jeff Tedford on Sunday afternoon.
“I’ve been better,” he said after coming off the practice field. “Rough night, obviously. A lot of things to improve on in the tape. There’s things you can see there that have a lot of potential.
“We just didn’t make enough plays. Lost the third-down battle. Lost the turnover battle. Didn’t take advantage of good field position. Got to give them credit, they did.”
Asked if he felt better or worse when he watched the game tape, Tedford didn’t hestitate.
“I feel worse about things because . . . you have a lot of opportunity. You’ve just got to make a play here or there,” he said. “I feel the worse that the game ended like it did, but I’m encouraged to know it’s there and I know we make the plays.”
Senior running back C.J. Anderson said the word from Tedford was: Don’t panic.
“You have to understand that yesterday we played down. We didn’t play to the best of our ability,” Anderson said. “The game we played yesterday wasn’t Cal football. Cal football is all about being physical and disciplined and execution. Some of those things did flourish, but a lot of things did lack.”
“You don’t ever want to panic,” added linebacker Robert Mullins. “It’s a long season — that was the first game. There were a lot of bad things and a lot of good things. We need to focus on expanding the good things.
“There wasn’t anything we saw on the tape that was impossible to fix. And we will get it done.”
Tedford said that was another theme on Sunday.
“They got the pretty stern message from me that we need to get better. And we will and everybody’s committed to it,” he said. “They have a good attitude and we’re ready to work.”
The Bears try again Saturday at home against Southern Utah, which lost 34-3 to Utah State in Week 1.
Other Sunday notes . . .
– Right tackle Matt Summers-Gavin will undergo an MRI on his left knee Tuesday. Monday’s holiday will delay the procedure. Summers-Gavin injured the knee against the Wolf Pack, but Tedford would not speculate on whether the senior will be available for Southern Utah.
“I’m hoping for the best,” center Brian Schwenke said. “He’s a great player and one of the leaders on our team.”
– The no-huddle offense is here to stay. Tedford said the team has been practicing it since spring ball and it will be the Bears’ primary offense going forward.
He said the new approach was not the reason the Cal defense didn’t get more rest between appearances. “If you’re making first downs, the no-huddle is not the problem,” he said. “It’s not making first downs that doesn’t give the defense time to rest. We needed to keep the ball.”
– Tedford disputed the suggestion that the starting quarterback change impacted timing with Cal’s receivers. No. 1 Zach Maynard was held out the first three series because he missed an academic appointment during the summer, and his teammates were not informed until Friday that backup Allen Bridgford would start.
Bridgford was 1 for 8 passing in his three series.
“They’d been working with him all week,” Tedford said. “They found out on Friday, but he was taking reps with the 1s all week.”
Asked why he didn’t announce the switch earlier, Tedford said, “I didn’t want to get a bunch of distraction going on, and didn’t feel it was something our opponent needed to know.”