Jeff Tedford elaborated on his decision to bench Zach Maynard for the first
quarter three drives of the Cal vs. Nevada game. Ryan Gorcey of Bear Territory files this report.
"They've been working with [Bridgford] all week, though," Tedford said. "They found out on Friday, but he was taking reps with the ones all week and he throws with them every day. There was not a timing, you know -- the first play we missed, that would have been -- we had him beat there, and there was another one he threw to Keenan that Keenan dropped, but if he led him inside a little bit more, that's a touchdown, too. But, he throws to those guys every day. He worked, through the week, he worked with the ones all the time, and then they throw routes on air every day to each other in individual drills.
"The (number of practice) reps were the same. We practiced the way we wanted to practice. I didn't want to get a bunch of distraction going on, didn't feel like it was something our opponent needed to know."
Keenan Allen doesn't seem to agree. His quotes on the situation come after the jump (as does his post-video press conference).
The justification is as you'd expect: Tedford wanted to keep Nevada in the dark going into the game about who was starting at QB and not give the opponent an advantage, while also presenting an unwanted distraction for the team going into the game. It's the usual cloak-and-dagger methods from Tedford, who is known to try and keep information at a minimum leading into gameday to keep the opposition in the dark.
Unfortunately, it seems that Cal was put at just as much (if not moreso) at a disadvantage going into the game than Nevada, as Allan Bridgford and the Cal offense picked up only two first downs (one via penalty) and completed one of eight passes. Allen didn't seem to agree with his coach on the methods he employed in informing the team.
"He did take some snaps, but he didn't, like, start," Allen said. "He took snaps in mid practice with the ones, stuff like that."
Allen said that he would have liked to have known sooner.
"Yeah, I think it definitely would have helped us," Allen said Saturday. "Bridg probably would have taken the first reps of snaps in practice all week, but it's something we had to go with. It was coach's call, we just have to be out there, executing."
It could seem like Allen is sticking up for his brother, and he probably is to an extent. But this concern seems genuine with regards to the team rather than any one individual player. Bridgford was having timing issues with his receivers throughout his three drives in the game, and his accuracy suffered. It sounds like Allen believes Bridgford and the Cal offense were put in an unfavorable position going into Saturday's game with the lack of forewarning about the upcoming decision.
For all the talk about Tedford trying to avoid unnecessary stories, this loss, and the lack of agreement between the coach and his star player on this big decision could be an unwelcome distraction going into this week's game.