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Football: If he’s called, quarterback Allan Bridgford says he will be ready for Oregon

By Jeff Faraudo
Monday, November 5th, 2012 at 2:06 am in Football.

There is still no definitive word on whether senior starter Zach Maynard will be available to play quarterback for the Bears on Saturday night when they tackle No. 2 Oregon at Memorial Stadium.

Coach Jeff Tedford said Maynard — with a sprained left knee — is day to day.

In the meantime, junior backup Allan Bridgford said he will prepare as if he will be starting.

Because he very well could be.

Here’s what Bridgford had to say about the opportunity he may get this week:

What is your confidence level that you can lead the team?

“Very confident. I’ve never had a doubt in my mind I can get the job done and help us win football games.”

What have they told you about what might happen this week?

“Definitely wait and see. I have no idea what’s been going on with anything.”

Do you have to mentally prepare as if you might be starting?

“It won’t be any different this week. Every week I prepare like I’m the starter because one day you’re going to get that chance and you don’t want to miss it.”

During an average week of practice, how many reps do you get with the first-team?

“Zero.”

So this could be a lot different?

“Absolutely.”

Have you talked to Zach about how he’s feeling?

“A little bit. After a guy gets hurt, he doesn’t really want to talk about it that much. Don’t really have any thoughts on where that’s at.”

What things will be important for you to establish in practice if you’re working with the first team?

“Timing with receivers won’t be too big an issue because I do throw to them in other certain drills. Just having my presence out there with the 1s. I’ve done that plenty since I’ve been here. I’ve been on the field, been in the huddle with those guys.”

How do you think the freshmen wide receivers are playing?

“Awesome. If there’s a bright spot from the loss, it was definitely that those guys stepped up. You can see we have some really talented guys who are playing their ass off right now. They’re doing really well and they’re seizing their opportunity and I’m proud of those guys.”

If Zach cannot play the next two weeks, would you — besides trying to win these games — view this as sort of an audition to get a running start on the spring and winning the position for next season?

“Absolutely. No matter what, I’m going to prepare as hard as I can and do everything I can to help this football team win games. We’ve got a lot of pride to play for right now. Yeah, if I play it would be a big thing getting a jump-start, getting ready for next year.”

Given all the points Oregon scores, does that put even more pressure on the Cal offense to not only stay on the field as long as possible, but also produce points?

“You try not to think about that kind of stuff, but that does come in the picture. They do have a really good offense that scores a lot of points. So that means our offense has to score a lot of points. But the good thing about that is we do have the players. We have a lot of talent on offense.”

So is this not a game you guys — or any team – can probably win 21-18?

“Anything can happen. Two years ago when they came in they were averaging probably more points (54.7) than they’re averaging now (54.3) and we held them to 15 points. That’s not out of the question, but yes they are a very good offense and very high-scoring. It does put more pressure on offense. But it’s not something we think about during the week. We just think about executing. We want to go out and score 50 points every game if we can.”

What impresses you about their defense?

“They’re a fast defense. A good front, linebackers that can fly around and make plays. All their DBs seem very aggressive. They can make plays when the ball is in the air. It’s a really opportunistic defense that likes to get turnovers. It’s going to be a big challenge, but we’re up for it.”

Is it the ultimate challenge for your team?

“They’re the highest-ranked team we’ve played so far, so yeah in that respect they are. But the most important game of the season is the one you’re playing next. It just so happens they’re the No. 2 team in the country.”

You played quite a bit against Oregon last season (8 for 19 for 103 yards in the 43-15 loss). How does that help you this time?

“I watched that entire game today. They do a lot of the same stuff. I had some nice completions against them last year, but there was also some things I could have taken. They also played me a little different since it was the end of the game. They were dropping eight in the coverage. It’s going to be a lot different if I’m playing earlier and we’re not playing from behind, where they don’t have to worry about the run and play-action and all that kind of stuff that we do so well. What they did against me last year and what they do regularly is a lot different.”

If you are named the starter, how much different would it be for you knowing you’re going to play and not jump in there cold off the bench?

“Psychologically, your brain acts differently when you know you’re getting to start that week as opposed to when you’re second string and you know you’re not starting the game. But it’s fairly easy for anything to happen. You’re one play away from playing, like you saw last Friday night. Your body is getting ready for a fight either way.”

 

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  • SteveNTexas

    If we are going to play on National TV we need a better excuse than just not having Allen. Losing our “star” qb may give some fans reason to be sympathetic towards us.

    It should also be billed as Tedfords’ last home game.

  • Juancho

    “Zero”

    Bad coaching and worse player development. Im apalled he gets zero reps all year with the first team.

  • Steve W.

    One of the biggest mysteries of the Tedford era will be how he stuck with a quarterback with an established track record of panicking under pressure and throwing as many interceptions as touchdowns.

    I’ve been watching Cal quarterbacks for 25 years now, and it would be an interesting debate to see who would reside in my bottom ranking, Maynard or Justin Vedder. I think I have to put Vedder abover Maynard because Vedder beat USC twice, and Vedder never had a 2-win season. (Southern Utah doesn’t count as a win).

    I look forward to a new era, starting with Allan Bridgford Saturday night against Oregon.

  • rollonubears

    This whole season has become a clown show. For god’s sake, Maynard’s knee is messed up. AB should be named the starter, and should get all the #1 reps this week, starting now. There shouldn’t even be a discussion about this after the way ZM has played and the fact that he’s now injured. If he starts this game and gets further injured, JT’s going to find himself in a legal battle with the Maynard family.

  • http://! BlueNGold

    Announce Bridgeford as the starter against Oregon and go with it. It could not be any worse than relying on a gimpy Maynard.

  • calbearclaw

    I didn’t think this season could drive me any closer to lunacy than it already has. But if Maynard starts this game I’m going to go apeshit.

  • rollonubears

    How do you give the number 2 qb on your depth chart ZERO reps during practice throughout the season? Is JT purposefully trying to sabotage this team or is AB lying?

  • rollonubears

    I meant to say “zero first team reps” above.

  • Robert

    Inept coaching staff strikes again.

    Could this be one of many reasons why the quarterback position for the Bears STINKS every year?

    Now Coach Gould has fallen in line by not playing his most talented running back.

    The entire offensive staff, outside of Chandler, should be out of work for a long time!!!!!!

  • Uh Huh!

    Nice question, whoever asked “how many reps do you get with the 1′s”.
    A one word answer “zero” shows that even he is frustrated by it, though he recovers nicely to say how he has thrown with the receivers, been in the huddle with the guys.

    I agree with the criticism here that asks how stupid it is of Tedford to not have your #2 QB (one play away) not get practice reps with the 1′s. You gotta mix it up and be prepared.

    And I agree with comments here about “just announce AB as the starter and move on”. If AB goes down, or sucks, bring in Maynard off the bench if he can truly play. Let him be some sort of hero rather than the target of everyone’s angst.

    Tedford, the QB guru – NOT.

  • Dan

    I played D1 football many moons ago is a past first offense. In my years there, in JC, in high school, attending NFL practices, other colleges practices- I have a pretty good sample size. I never seen or heard of the 2nd team QB getting ZERO snaps with the first team over an ENTIRE SEASON.

    Aside from still another head scratching thing in Tedfraudville, talk about not being prepared. That would explain a lot of when we see all the Cal backup QBs – Mansion, Sweeney, Bridgeford, and on and on and on – look SO unprepared to step in and be ready. So Tedfraud can develop a starting QB and doesn’t ever have his backups ready. Just pathetic. Anybody still really think Zack Kline is the answer/savior? I don’t, not under Tedford. Don’t burn the redshirt- sorry Juancho, but it’s pointless.

    What a way to kill the confidence and crush the spirit of the backup QB, and also a missed opportunity to have the backup QB start to build some camaraderie with the starters should he be pressed into action. Imagine this- the first time the starting O sees the 2nd strong QB in the huddle, or behind center (in case of the no huddle offense) is IN A GAME!! Insanity.

    Tedford should be fired for stupidity, let alone the garbage we see on the field.

    Where is Bobby, Boltblue, and Milo defending their greatest head coach in Cal history on this one? Milo was Wilners blog the other day defending Tedford as a good coach who can turn things around.

  • 1brsfan

    It goes to show how bad Maynard is as a QB that he has to get all of the reps in practice. I guess he needs as many reps as he can get and even that doesn’t help. Shut him down for the season and give AB a shot.

  • covinared

    I’d like to see what Bridgford can do. He seems to be a natural passer with an easy smooth motion. he has been slightly off target in games. He’d be more suited to Cal offenses of the past since he doesn’t look like much of a runner.
    Maynard is tough, but too inconsistent. I’m not sure the play he got hurt on was dirty. It reminds me of 1979 when our best defensive lineman, Darryl Skaugstad was taken out for the season by oregon on a cartilage block. the center stood him up and the guard took him out sideways at the knee. it occurred midseason and a Skaugstad had already had 2 pac10 defensive player of the week awards that season.

  • Will L

    I’m just appalled that Maynard is even being considered to play the rest of the season. This is JT’s last two chances to save his job and this is what he pulls, the stuff that is gotten him in this situation in the first place?

    1. Maynard was lightly recruited so unless he was a late bloomer, the talent is just not there.

    2. He showed a little at Buffalo but that’s Buffalo. His claim to fame is one game against Pitt.

    3. He got here and I thought maybe he had the “it” factor versus CU and UW early on. Turns out these were really crappy defenses and teams he played against. His true talent against good teams showed.

    4. JT continued to give a guy that was lightly recruited, theoretically had some upside with his legs, but in actuality we found out that he was not explosive even as a runner, so the rest of his game is below average at best, and yet JT decided to go all-in and made effectively an exclusive pact with him or something. No development of AB, Hinder or Boehm. If there was EVER a guy where you needed to hedge your bet, ZM was the guy. I mean you don’t put your $6.9M contract on the line on a guy that barely looks like a HS QB much less a BCS conference QB. If ZM had some incredible gift despite that I would understand, but his play matches his look. Yet he backed up the truck for him. Inexplicable.

    5. But what’s even more inexplicable, now just wildly absurd and borderline clinical, is that JT is considering playing Zach on a gimpy knee. If EVER there was a time he could play someone else, without losing face for making this irrational decision to go all-in with ZM for 2 years, is this week. Yet JT is STILL talking about playing Maynard. If this is not Exhibit A as to why JT will never turn this thing around (as opposed to hoping for a Mike Riley like comeback) this is it. Whoever the QB is next season, unless he completely lucks into someone playing like Aaron Rodgers, if JT is still around, he will continue to mismanage the QB spot because he has some kind of strange mental block when it comes to analyzing the situation.

    JT continues to be quite disturbing even on his way out. I throw my hands up. Can we please end our era with him? We really need to cut our ties with JT ASAP, if the donors and Sandy haven’t made up their minds already. I think it’s dangerous financially to continue to keep him on. Nothing is changing and his thinking process getting worse yet JT seems oblivious to the circumstances. It’s quite toxic now.

    Please don’t get me wrong, it’s not Zach’s fault. Not everyone is a BCS caliber QB. 99.99% of us are not. But that does not mean JT should play them with blinders on, esp. when you do have tons of potential talent, wearing headsets and calling in plays.

  • Suttree

    I understand people wanting to see more Bigelow but you do realize he put the ball on the ground twice Sat correct? That will get anyone yanked, don’t care how good you are.

  • BadBill

    @Suttree, in the earlier days of JT coaching, any RB (including the future NFLers) that fumbled sat at least the next series, but for some reason, he stopped doing this last season when Sofele was a consistent fumble and didn’t miss any time. Sofele and CJ have also put the ball on the ground numerous times this season without being benched, so this argument holds no water.

  • Juancho

    The fumble argument is moot. That’s not true anymore.

  • Batmansf

    You can’t seriously blame that second “fumble” on Bigelow. It was a wildly inaccurate backward pass that he barely got a hand on. BTW, Maynard’s lack of touch on short passes makes these backward passes incredibly risky, when for other teams they are low risk plays.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    I see that JT is still the coach…moving on…

  • Bobsac

    I remember seeing Cal’s scrimmage up here in Sacramento in the spring of 2011. It looked to me like Allan Bridgford would be the QB based on that day. He put the ball out there for the receivers to make plays on and was very successful. He also looked good in relief against Oregon last year. Hopefully he is strong enough to not let the coach’s refusals to put him in in obvious situations where Maynard should have been relieved, destroy his confidence. If he gets to play Saturday, all of us present should give him all the support we can no matter what happens.

  • Nor-Cal Scott

    “ZERO.”

    That answer is unbelievable. When I read that I about fell out of my recliner.

    Dan is correct. I have NEVER heard of the #2 QB not getting ANY snaps with the 1′s during the ENTIRE season.

    Bobsac- I was at Grant HS that day too. I got home and called my ticket partner and said, “Bridgford will be the starter vs CU.”

    Having seen AB throw the ball at a few scrimmages & practices, and his limited playing time, he is 10X the QB of Maynard. Tedford sold his soul to the Devil when he agreed to give Zach a schollie to get Kennan in Strawberry Canyon.

    The rumors continue that Sandy has the $ to buyout Tedford, AND, that she has already approached him about negotiating a settlement. Start creating your short list boys, we’ll be debating replacements on the 19th.

  • Steve W.

    Nor Cal Scott,

    Love what you’re saying, but a rumor got started on Friday that Tedford was going to announce his retirment after the Washington game. We know this guy is stubborn, arrogant and detached. And I believe he is lying when he says he has not talked to the AD about his job situation. He is probably hard selling her right now on how his season got sabotaged by player injuries and maybe a coach or two that he will replace after the season.

    If the speculation is true that Tedford sold his soul to get Allen into Berkeley and thus started an inferior player in the most important position on the field, then there is no doubt that Tedford is hated by a lot of the players. The players can sniff through that kind of BS in a heartbeat. I tend to believe something else: that Tedford wanted to open up his offense and thought that a Maynard, being more fleet of feet than Bridgford, would be a better fit for his vision. Once he named Maynard the starter and gave him all the snaps with the first team, his stubbornness and arrogance would not allow him to see through the errant passes and interceptions and realize he made the wrong decision.

  • covinared

    I think he stuck with Maynard so long was mobility. Tedford saw the writing on the wall that the spread was the new wave in college offenses. Bridgford wasn’t recruited for that type of offense. Maynard has all the tools to run it consistently well, and Tedford hoped he’d develope. It never happened.
    I hope Bridgford gets a shot. the playbook needs to modifed to suit his strengths, like the few games that Levy took over in ’05. Bridgford was the second best pro style qb in socal when Barkley was the first.

  • Juancho

    I hope Bridgeford plays Saturday. I’ll be rooting my tail off for him.

    Anyone listen to Tedford on “Coaches Corner” via 910 AM last night? He definitely didn’t make me feel like Bridgeford was going to play. He said that if Maynard can get a little bit of practice Wednesday or Thursday he’ll play.

    I also can’t stand the Cal radio shows. They dumb it down for us and it’s all pure propoganda. From the Tedford interview you would have thought we were in BCS bowl contention.

    “We did a lot of things well.” “We moved the ball well.” “We did a lot nice things.” “A lot of guys flying around.”

  • scottybear

    Did we win the 2nd half last week? 4th quarter? Coin toss?

  • oldcalfan

    Tedford stuck with a gimpy Longshore for 5, or was it 6?, losses in a row. Longshore couldn’t roll out, run, or scramble. When Riley went down (vs. Oregon State) Mansion came in totally unprepared. Now what’s Tedford going to do? Play a banged-up-knee Maynard? Unbelievable. Tedford should have been gone years ago. He needs to step down graciously and acknowledge his poor coaching since 2007. Thanks for the Stadium and giving us some hope but now it’s time to resign.