(Major thanks to Kodiak for transcribing all this. Give all thanks to him for this post.)
Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour was on the Cal Coaches Corner yesterday at the Claremont to talk about plenty of promotional stuff, but she also had time to set aside and address what is probably the most urgent issue among Golden Bear fans today: Her feelings on the state of the football program.
Fan Question: There's been a lot of talk about Cal football struggling this year. It's had less success the last five years than the first five. What is your response?
SB: There is no doubt. This season has not gone the way we wanted. The way we expect. Coach Tedford and all of the guys all share that frustration. No one wants to succeed more than Coach Tedford. And no one feels that disappointment in a 1 and 4 start more than Coach Tedford. He and I both are. Having said that, at Cal our entire campus is about excellence. Our players deserve to have their hard work rewarded with success. And our fans and our community deserve the pride of success.
We obviously have to take the measures to put us in the right direction for our players and our fans to be heading towards success. To have our players and our fans believe to expect success.
We've heard that there's a lot of football left. I hope that our fans continue to support the team and the players.
We've got a chance for success the rest of this season. We have a chance to go on a run. And that's what we've got to focus on right now.
Bottomline is that Cal football is the heart and soul of our campus spirit in so many ways and we have to find a way to be successful.
It might not sound like anything notable, but this is probably the first time I haven't really heard unconditional support for our head coach. It certainly doesn't compare to the comments she was making a month ago about Tedford not being on the hot seat, although things have gone horribly wrong since that.
Obviously, on the face of it, it doesn't really imply that Sandy is thinking about making a change or that a change will be forthcoming. But it's hard to see her looking at 1-4 and seeing a successful football team by any measure. The pressure sounds like it's on, and will be for the rest of the season if the Bears keep on losing games.
Here are some of Tedford's transcript quotes.
What would you like corrected?
Tedford: (fighting the flu) All phases. Special teams. Too many penalties. Need to shore up pass protection and give our QB more time to throw the ball. We played a good team. They're good up front. Like to hit you for tackles for loss and bring the heat.
Lots of things to work on. Tackling for the defense. Need to put guys on the ground. Tighter coverage.
There are areas in all three phases to work on that we're going to work on. There's a very good UCLA team coming into town.
How do you keep the defense off balance on 1st and 2nd down?
JT: That's exactly right. We had some opportunities where we missed a chance to get positive yards on 1st and 2nd down. Some dropped passes. Missed passes. Then we had some penalties. Sacks here and there. We had eight 3rd and ten plus. You can't live like that. We have to be patient with the run. And be confident we can get positive yards. High-percentages passes. But we can't be afraid to take shots downfield either. But to do that, we have to protect long enough to let our receivers work their way down the field. If that's shoring up better protections, have to do what we can to help our guys.
Why hasn't Maynard been able to connect on those home run balls?
JT: Yeah, he's missed some balls. He's been under a lot of pressure. I think as he feels the pocket collapsing. He needs to trust that guys are further away and take the time to set his feet. We had Keenan open twice. Get used to the speed of the game. The pocket isn't always going to be clean. He needs some composure and poise. It's something he's got to get used to. The last two weeks the rush has really been bearing down on him and he's rushing things.
If you take out sacks, you ran for 220 yards in the run game. Are you pleased with the improvements?
JT: Yeah. I thought that Isi ran really well. That CJ ran really well. We creased them up the middle a couple of times. That was good. No doubt about it. I thought we ran hard. Isi put it on the ground one time. That was unfortunate. But overall, they ran well.
The game seemed like a tale of third downs. What was ASU able to do to keep their offense on the field?
JT: Yeah, there were some matchup issues. We had a couple of big pass plays. We had some good coverage and just didn't get our hands on the ball. On their touchdown, we had them. We had two guys run into each other and knock each other off. We need to put more pressure on the quarterback. And there were times when we had them, either the QB or running back behind the line of scrimmage and we need to put them on the ground. That's why I talk about the tackling. We could have put them in some deep down and distance situations but let them get free.
As you look at UCLA what's the difference this year?
JT: Their offense is pretty diverse. Last year with the pistol, it was pretty one-dimensional. Now they have the spread. Their quarterback gets the ball out quick and is accurate. He's also big and can run. Then there's Johnathan Franklin who's hard to corral. They're running the ball well. Doing well with high percentage throws. Good offensive line. Defensively, they've brought an attacking style. Physical corners. Very athletic.
What do you hope to different against an outstanding running quarterback?
JT: We need to try to contain him and keep him inside the pocket. They do a lot of things on the perimeter which give lanes inside. When they do that, we need to rally to him. Make sure he's not breaking tackles.
What are the talents that Franklin brings?
JT: He's very quick and strong. He's running with a lot of confidence. He's hitting the hole hard. They're really spread out. So when he hits a crease, he hits it hard. Has good balance. Tough in the open field.
Do you have a concern about your team playing with confidence?
JT: There's no doubt we've taken it on the chin. In every game we've lost, we've been within one score. Very disappointing considering the effort the guys have put in. I'd be naive to say that everything is great. Everyone is hurting from those losses. I have a lot of confidence in this team and the leadership that we'll bounce back. Play hard. Have a good week of practice. That's why I told the guys "what's done is done." We're going to have to be ready. We have a good UCLA team coming in. We have to stick together. We have to win the game in practice this week. We have to work hard. Prepare hard. Confidence comes from preparation. If we do a good job in practice, we'll be fine.
What did Avery Sebastian do well this past game?
JT: He's been a great special teams player. His speed and aggressiveness really earned him his chance. And he did that on defense. Making the calls. Understand where he needs to be. Then just playing really fast. Sometimes with young safeties or young players in general, they have to figure out when to just let it loose. And he did that. Came up with fifteen tackles.
How instrumental was Avery in helping with recruiting the past two years?
JT: He does an excellent job. There's no doubt about that. He's a social butterfly with social media. He's a great Cal Bear, no doubt about it. He really sells the program. And we love having him here.