Coach Jeff Tedford met with five reporters Sunday afternoon, as he always does. He was not a happy coach, but hardly resigned to more of what we all watched Saturday when the Bears lost 21-3 to Stanford in the 115th Big Game.
“We lost a tough game,” he said. “The only way we persevere through it is by preparation and the motivation to get better individually and collectively.”
Asked if he was unprepared to have his running game so totally shut down after two productive games, Tedford said, “I was surprised that we couldn’t run the ball better. We got beat. We got beat. They outplayed us. I don’t think we ever made a gain over 4 yards.”
Not the running backs, anyway.
So this was a case of one team being physically superior to the other?
“From time to time, yeah,” he acknowledged.
Still, Tedford expressed confidence that the Bears (3-5, 2-3 Pac-12) will rebound from the loss when it takes the field Saturday at Utah (2-5, 0-4).
“I would be naive to say we didn’t talk about it. I wanted to make sure I’m not acting like my head is buried in the sand. We need to talk about it,” he said. “The team was very attentive in the meeting. A lot of head nodding, a lot of focus and eyes.
“We’ve been through a lot this year and team has done a good job of maintaining their focus and work ethic and togetherness. I wouldn’t expect any differently this week.”
I asked Tedford how he deals with the criticism, especially on Twitter and social media, where the remarks of fans and detractors can be directed at him personally.
For now, he chooses to stay away from all that, except as it pertains to recruiting.
“Besides that, I’m not really interested,” he said. “I’m sure there’s critics. I’m absolutely positive there’s critics. That doesn’t motivate me, it doesn’t do anything for me at all.
“Not that I don’t care because I do. I care a lot, and maybe too much. Those type of things, I don’t want to spend time thinking about. I don’t care who you are, I don’t care how mentally tough you think you are, if you read things like that, you’re going to spend a couple minutes thinking about it. And I don’t want to do that.
“I don’t want the distraction. I want to focus on our team, and that’s to prepare the team and motivate the team and the staff. I can’t control those other things, so I’m not going to get caught up in them.”