As usual, today was the Cal football media luncheon. Tedford's comments were more informative and insightful than they normally are. He touched on a lot of areas the fans and press have been talking about. Here are some highlights:
On the UCLA defense, especially its front, and the challenge it presents
"It's another great defense. One of the best players in the conference in [DB Sheldon] Price - he's really a special player. But it's not just him. They have very good linebackers - the Bosworth brothers [DE Korey and LB Kyle] play very had and very well. Akeem Ayers is a great, very athletic linebacker. They're a really good defense. [Alterraun] Verner is a great corner. Again, they're one of the top defenses in the conference and they're going to make their plays. I think Oregon scored one offensive touchdown last week, so they're a good defense and we're going to have to execute, we're going to have to be patient, we're going to have to make sure we protect the football and not turn the football over. Again, very good defense."
On WR Verran Tucker's medical problems
"Verran has a calf issue, a pretty deep bruise. We're going to have to see how he responds to treatment. Verran is day to day."
On the status of WR Nyan Boateng
"Nyan practiced on Sunday and we're going to increase his participation as the week goes on, but he ran some routes on there and he ran a couple of one-on-ones, and today we'll get him going a little bit more. As of right now, it looks like he may be ready to play unless he has a setback."
On P Bryan Anger, who is currently ranked eighth in the Pac-10 in punting
"He hasn't been as consistent as we would like. We all know that he has great potential. It was real windy at Oregon and .. he kind of shanked one that day. And then one against USC, he punted right down the middle of the field, low, that got returned on us. Bryan will keep working at it and get back to the consistency that we need him to play with. He's healthy."
On whether the bye week came at a good time
"I think it was [a good time]. Time kind of heals some of the wounds and I think it gave us a little bit of time to go back and practice and get our thoughts together and get ourselves back together again before just jumping back into another game preparation-type things. It goes both ways. Sometime you jump into preparation, it forces you to forget about the last game, but I think last week worked really well for us, that we were able to have three really good, hard practices and put a little bit of space between last week's game and get ready for this one."
After the jump we have Riley's quotes from the press conference, lots of stories on the Cal-UCLA matchup, and a handful of other stories. Plus Justin Forsett being awesome. Yes, AWESOME.
On the team's demeanor coming out of its bye week
"Optimistic, [ready to] go out there and win a game. Bye week was the most physical bye week I've ever been a part of. We usually have a Thursday where the younger kids get a scrimmage, but this [past] week we practiced against the defense again. Everybody was a little banged up but it was good for us. Going live against the defense, we did a lot of situations, going red zone drills because the last two weeks we haven't been working down there. But just getting ready for the game - we're ready."
On whether he feels they accomplished the things they wanted during the bye week
"Yeah, for sure. Did a lot of throwing. We have more individual time with the receivers and we're going to continue to do that."
On efforts to improve some routes
"Every day we worked on a few routes that are staple routes. We can call them up anytime, we should be able to get a completion on them. The way of route-running and how we were reading it quicker and throwing the ball better on each route was great to see, and it continued even on Sunday's practice. We ran a few of them and it was just real easy and clear."
On specific things he worked on during the bye week
"I threw after every day of practice. The balls I am missing, I'm just putting them a little high, but every one is close, I'm just sailing them a little bit. Through that, just becoming more accurate and have receivers make more plays. Worked on it Friday as well during the day off, just putting it in a better spot. Threw the ball well last week and threw the ball well on Sunday."
On what may have caused high throws
"When the pressure is coming and I'd step up in the pocket, I'd release my hand up and it'd come out, just a little too quick."
- Boateng talks about the sense of urgency Cal has for the UCLA game.
- Rob Calonge talks about the surprising state of Pac-10 play so far.
- JO on Tedford's decision to leave for UCLA on Thursday.
- Wilner says a loss this week will raise questions about how much longer Tedford will coach at Cal.
- Neuheisal is displeased with his team's QB play. Kevin Prince says he needs to do a better job breaking down film. UCLA's defense has been impressive this year, but the offense has been lackluster. The team is trying to avoid developing a schism over this issue, similar to what happened last year.
- Both Cal and UCLA need to show consistency if they plan on winning Saturday.
- After day three was cancelled due to rain and wind, men's golf finished first at the Alister MacKenzie Invitational.
- Water polo's Zach White earned player of the week honors.
And now, your moment in Justin Forsett awesomeness, taken from Sunday's 41-0 smashing by the Seahawks of hapless Jacksonville:
How about just the hit?
Field Gulls was succinct in their description of the play.
It kind of looks like Brian Russell wants to give his old teammate a big bear hug but Justin's not going to have it.
Fun fact: Justin Forsett's NFL.com page lists him at 5'8", 194 lbs.