–Here is my game story on Cal’s loss to USC.
–Here’s my notebook, focusing on Kevin Riley.
–Columnist Monte Poole says the future of Cal’s season is now clouded with uncertainty.
–ESPN.com’s Ted Miller says the only thing Cal can do is try to move forward.
A thorough sampling of what was said outside Cal’s locker room after the game Saturday:
Didn’t have much time yesterday to get on here but wanted to catch up on a few things, starting with links:
–Here’s my story on the Oregon game. The focus? Just how good is Cal anyway?
–Columnist Cam Inman isn’t very convinced the Bears can right the ship.
–A notebook off the game, looking at the Bears’ inability to stop tight end Ed Dickson.
–Columnist Gary Peterson says the Bears have to complete some passes to fix the offensive warts that showed up against Oregon.
–Most of you have probably seen it by now, but Cal had a big fall in this week’s Associated Press top 25.
–The folks who project the bowl games at ESPN.com apparently weren’t too impressed with Cal’s performance Saturday.
–ESPN.com’s Ted Miller has Cal at No. 3 in his power rankings, with Oregon sitting on top.
I wasn’t able to attend Cal’s conditioning workout tonight, but Jeff Faraudo did and provided this sampling of Jeff Tedford’s comments:
–Breaking down the Oregon tape: “Painful. When you look at it, there were so many opportunities. Typically, it was one thing, one guy. It really becomes evident, it’s just so important that 11 guys play together. You have 10 guys doing the right thing and one guy doesn’t do his thing . . . it’s a lot of opportunities we didn’t capitalize on.
A sampling of what was being said after Saturday’s game:
On withstanding Minnesota’s comeback bid on the road:
That was great for the team. It is great to play a tough game and to be able to play well in the fourth quarter and make plays when you need to make plays in all phases of the game. I think it will give us a boost. It will give us a bit of confidence. After the first two games of winning by so many points, they didn’t have to play four quarters of football. They did, but they didn’t. So today was a great test, a great challenge for us against a really good Minnesota football team to bounce back and make plays and make them at the right times.
–Here’s my game story.
–Here’s my notebook from the game.
–Columnist Gary Peterson says the Bears know Saturday’s win wasn’t always pretty.
–The Minneapolis Star-Tribune on Jahvid Best’s day.
Here’s a sampling of what was being said after Saturday’s game:
CAL COACH JEFF TEDFORD:
(On Cal’s start): I didn’t think we were as sharp as we needed to be. You have to give them a lot of credit. They got the ball off very quickly. Their quarterback did a real nice job. They are a well-coached team. They did a nice job of controlling the football. We didn’t have it very much offensively. They played really well.
–Here’s my game story from today. It turns out playing an FCS opponent was valuable, after all.
–New starting fullback Brian Holley has made an impact so far.
–Here’s the Associated Press’ version of Saturday’s game.
A few more thoughts about Saturday’s game:
–Good starting debut by fullback Brian Holley. There is a lot of talk about the departure of Will Ta’ufo’ou, and for good reason. But one thing Holley demonstrated Saturday is the ability to bully his way for a few extra yards, something Ta’ufo’ou couldn’t do as well. It remains to be seen if Holley will be as good a blocker as Ta’ufo’ou. He did well Saturday. But Holley definitely showed something as a short-yardage back.
–I had forgotten just how good Shane Vereen is. After watching Dasarte Yarnway in training camp, I thought Vereen may have some trouble keeping his spot on the depth chart once Jahvid Best leaves the program. But Saturday reminded me just how explosive a runner he is and how adept he is catching balls out of the backfield. I can’t imagine many other teams across the country he wouldn’t be starting for.
–Cornerback Darian Hagan was in and out of the lineup with cramps, and that allowed the Bears to demonstrate what we already knew — just how deep they are in the secondary. Josh Hill and Bryant Nnabufie each played well in Hagan’s place, with Hill making a couple of nice tackles.
Some leftovers from Saturday’s game:
–Jeff Tedford had nothing but praise for Marvin Jones, who stood out with three catches for 74 yards and a touchdown. “We’ve been waiting for him,” Tedford said. “We knew what he was capable of. We were just waiting for him to get in. He had great hands. He has such great range, and he can run. He’s not afraid to go up for them. Marvin is highly competitive and he’s been waiting to get his turn.”
-Jahvid Best, on his 73-yard touchdown run, in which he waited at the end to follow blocks by wide receiver Verran Tucker. “The corner had an angle on me so i couldn’t get into the end zone. Tuck was right there and I just cut back. I don’t know what yard-line it was at, but there was a point where I noticed he had an angle on me. I waited a little bit to get Tuck’s block. Thank God he was there. If he wasn’t, it probably wouldn’t have been a touchdown.”
–Best, on the deep ball he couldn’t come up with on Cal’s second play from scrimmage: “I should have caught it. it was all me.” (Personally, I felt the ball was a bit underthrown. Then again, it’s probably not easy getting used to Best’s speed, and he doesn’t line up at receiver all that often. It was also a good play by the defensive back to get his hand in there and provide a distraction)
–Jones, on Kevin Riley’s perfectly thrown pass for a 42-yard touchdown in the third quarter: “it was perfect. I knew I had to run a perfect route. I didnt’ even see him throw it. I just looked for the ball and it was perfect.”