Cal vs. Oregon Week: First Road Game; Lowe, Barton, Forbes Cleared

Will Goff & Bigelow keep pace with Mariota & Thomas this Saturday? - Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The California Golden Bears officially began their Oregon game prep with an extra practice on Sunday, followed by the normal Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday routine. Let's take a quick look at this week's news, including practice recaps & injury updates.

With a bye last week, the Bears had Friday & Saturday off. The team returned to practice on Sunday, to begin preparing for their first road game of the 2013 season:

When asked at Tuesday's game-week press conference about the Ducks and the hostile environment at Autzen Stadium, Coach Sonny Dykes responded:

"Our guys are excited. I’m excited..."

"Typically our teams have played pretty well on the road. We don’t make a big deal about it. I enjoy coaching on the road. Believe it or not, our life is a lot simpler on the road than it is at home. We don’t have a bunch of people coming in town for the game or have a bunch of recruits. You just get to go out of town and play against somebody. In a lot of ways, I look forward to that, and I think our players do as well. I think it just allows them to focus a little bit more on football."

"You can start to see our guys moving around faster defensively because I think we’re more certain in what we’re doing. ... It allows us to play a little bit faster. We’re certainly going to need to."

-- interview quotes courtesy Jeff Faraudo (#1 & #3) and Hunter Hewitt (#2)

There's some good news on the injury front, per a report by Hunter Hewitt - Mike Lowe, Michael Barton, and Nick Forbes are cleared for the Oregon game:

Safety Michael Lowe (ankle) and linebackers Michael Barton (knee) and Nick Forbes (back) are cleared to play Saturday.

Lowe will start at free safety, and Barton is battling with Khairi Fortt for the job at weakside linebacker. Even if Fortt starts, Barton will see the field often.

How much Forbes will play is uncertain, but defensive coordinator Andy Buh said his leadership and positive energy gives the defense a "huge boost" regardless of whether or not he's on the field.

Another newsworthy item - the team will fly to Oregon on Friday afternoon:

For more information on Saturday's game, check out Cal's official pre-game notes here: Bears Visit Oregon in First Road Trip of 2013. And for details on this week's presser & practices, here are links to beat reporters' recaps:

- Faraudo (Bay Area News Group): Monday / Tuesday / Wednesday

- Hewitt (San Francisco Chronicle): Monday / Tuesday / Wednesday

Jeff Faraudo also did a nice feature on Cal's uber-unique OC/QB Coach Tony Franklin:

A 56-year-old native of Kentucky, Franklin has quickly adjusted to the campus often best-known for Telegraph Avenue and the birth of the Free Speech Movement. He's not concerned with what he wears or if he shaves daily.

Asked if anyone has suggested that he has a Berkeley vibe, Franklin said, "I know I do. The voice just doesn't reflect it. I absolutely love living here. I just love the openness of the young people."

ICYMI - Jared Goff held a livechat via the @CalFootball Twitter account, and had a radio spot on 95.7 The Game:

And this week's episode of The Drive had several great Cal-related moments:

Lastly, don't forget to revisit CGB's Oregon-week content by using the links below:

  • Know Your Enemy: Previewing the Oregon Ducks Offense

  • Bear Raid Record Breaking: Oregon

  • Episode three of The Drive: Which QB is master of the Bucket Drill?

  • Cal vs. Oregon: Do you believe in miracles?

  • Scouting Oregon 2013 - Rest of the Pac Breakdown

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