Tepper, Jordan, longsnapper Matt Rios, and the rest of the Bears are looking forward to the game at ASU. Comments from Rios and Jordan are after the jump.
In order for the Golden Bears to come out on top when they visit Arizona State, they'll have to do what they weren't able to do against either Oregon or USC--establish the run. "I look at it as a great opportunity to show that our run offense is still able to kick some butt," said Mike Tepper, who's in his sixth season as a Golden Bear.
For a team ranked first in scoring offense, you'd expect plenty of redzone opportunities. Not with Cal. Only Washington State (17) and UCLA (20) have fewer redzone opportunities than Cal (23). The question is, how well can the Golden Bears play in a game where they must grind it out?
Tepper is ready for it. "It doesn't shock me that this game might go to the last couple of minutes of the fourth," he said. "We always expect every game's going to be a battle, even if it's not. So, it doesn't phase me."
For those of you wondering if Mike Tepper could be brought in as an eligible tackle--meaning that he'd be an eligible receiver--Tepper said that there is a play for that, but that it hasn't been done since 2003, when Mark Wilson caught a touchdown. When asked if he'd lobbied for a chance to play receiver after his hurdle against USC, Tepper responded, "Hopefully, my performance exemplified what kind of athlete I am, and maybe they're thinking about it, but I wouldn't take the bet to Vegas. Stay at home."
After the jump I have more quotes from the media luncheon, practice/injury updates, looks at what it will take for Cal or ASU to win, bball scrimmage impressions, how Pat Christopher channels his inner TwistNHook each morning, and more. Also, we find out just what separates Riley from Sweeney on the depth chart.
Continued from the headliner...
Redshirt freshman Matt Rios said that he hasn't had a bad snap this year and he'd like to keep it that way. Rios, from Arizona, said that ASU never contacted him during recruiting, but that Arizona did after he'd committed to Cal. "I didn't sign anything yet, but I told them, I was like, 'I'm a man of my word,' and since I already told them I'd come here, that was the deal."
When Rios does go back home, he heads over to Ben Bernard who was his offensive line coach in high school. Bernard was also former Cal long snapper Nick Sundberg's coach as well. Rios' visit to his former coach isn't social. It's to get better. Rios described snapping weighted footballs, medicine balls, and other drills that sounded pretty demanding. "So usually, that's when we work the hardest, when we go back home as far as our stuff."
Some defensive linemen play angry. I don't think Cameron Jordan will be accused of that. "Honestly, I have fun at all games," said Jordan. "Anytime I'm allowed to hit somebody and laugh at them while I'm hitting them, it's awesome for me." Asked if that's what he does all the time, Jordan said, "Pretty much. Especially when it's like a mismatch, like a running back or something like that. Like anytime I can fully hit a running back while he's like in a pass-blocking stage, it's so funny." So what happens when Jordan is laughing at a player he's just blown up on the field? "You know, there's different types. It's usually--if I can put them on their back, I'm laughing for the whole play, and probably the next couple plays." He wouldn't give an exact example, but he did say that there was a back that had a few choice words for him recently. "I can't say if it was this weekend or last weekend, but it was one of the two. It was recent."
- JO talks about some quotes from the media luncheon. From his practice report he says Syd was practicing without limitation and Hill was not practicing. Also, some of you may have noticed that Riley had a beard the Wazzu game. According to JO, Riley has no plan to shave the beard as long as Cal keeps winning.
I stumbled across some top-secret footage. Tedford recently called a meeting to tell Sweeney that he's making great progress, but that Kevin Riley remains atop the chart because he has one thing Sweeney doesn't...and I have it all here in this clip.
- Media luncheon quotes from Jordan, Mohamed, and Tepper.
- Looking to separate themselves from the middle of the Pac, the Bears understand the importance of this weekend's game. Riley calls it "the biggest game up to this point in the season." Mike Tepper looks forward to showing that the run game can be dominant against a defense like ASU's. Tepper wants "to put up some points against these guys, and do it in the run game."
- Daily Cal on the necessity for the big-play offense to grind out yards against ASU. They also look at what ASU must do to upset Cal this weekend.
- ASU RB Ryan Bass looks forward to the opportunity to carry the ball more this weekend.
- Farudo has impressions from basketball's open scrimmage.
- Pat Christopher channels his inner TwistNHook and tries to make a fashion statement every day. He treats "every day like it's a photo shoot" and calls his style "versatile, classic, confident, (and) daring."