Not surprisingly, much of the discussion at today's press luncheon was Best's condition and potential return. Here is some of what Tedford said. After the jump Tedford has some more comments. He also stated that Sofele will not pass DeBoskie on the depth chart, so DeBo will be the number two back behind Vereen this weekend. Additionally, Matt Summers-Gavin will probably return, but Derrick Hill and Anthony Miller are questionable.
On any trepidations or concerns regarding a timetable for Jahvid's return
"We haven't even discussed that and that's really the furthest thing from our mind, is when he's going to come back to play football. The No. 1 concern is his health and his well being. If he doesn't play again this year, so be it. We haven't even discussed that and will not discuss it until probably much later on. Like I said, the No. 1 thing that we're concerned about is Jahvid's well being. That's going to be completely in the doctors' hands in making sure that he improves and he's back to 100 percent before we ever even talk about returning to the football field."
On what doctors have said about the severity of Jahvid's injury, its prognosis and his health
"We haven't talked about prognosis ... [but about his health,] that's kind of a day-by-day thing on how Jahvid feels. He's got a sore back and his thing, that night even and the next day, was a sore back and a headache. It's completely, I guess it's day to day, to see how he feels. And then we'll talk about it from there. But we have not got into any long-term `what's going to be,' nothing like that. It's just day to day on how is he feeling, and that's the question every day, is, `How are you feeling?' Making sure that he's stable and there's nothing, no further complications or anything like that."
On his last communication with Best and whether Best offered any specifics on his health
"This morning, actually. We traded texts and he said that he was feeling better. Back was, like I said, his back's a little a stiff. That he's getting better but he still has a little headache, and his back's a little stiff, but he was doing better. That's what he said."
On his upcoming schedule for followup medical appointments or tests
"I know our doctors are in contact with him and I don't know what they're communicating with him to make sure that he's doing OK and all that type of thing. I think he does actually have another appointment soon here, but I don't know. I haven't been in the loop with the doctors exactly when that is."
After the jump we have more press conference info, recaps and analysis of last night's season opener for basketball, injury updates for Arizona (Antolin is the starting RB for now...*shudder*), a surprising shift on the spread (Cal favored by 1 now!), and more.
Don't forget to vote in royrules22's top-25 poll if you haven't already, you democracy-hating Stalinists.
On whether he is comfortable with his players trying to hurdle defenders or if it's something he prefers them not to do
"We don't tell them yes or no to hurdle players. There's been people [who] jump over people and things like that all the time. I think it was a fluke. He jumped over [one defender] and here came another guy that kind of catapulted him even more and I don't think he ever saw that guy. So I don't think it was necessarily the jump, it was the push that got him going and got him off balance. So, very unfortunate."
On whether that "push" on the play that ended with Best's injury points to anything that is needed from a rules standpoint to address that type of play
"I don't think so. I think it was an accident. I think it was a freak deal. I don't think the guy intended for Jahvid to land that way, so there's no animosity at all toward their player. It wasn't a dirty play at all. It's an unfortunate play that happened on the field. You get up in the air and you get tipped and you get upside down. I don't think there's - you can't blame anybody for it, it's just an unfortunate play."
On the offensive line and how it is playing compared to his preseason expectations
"I think one of the things that we need to improve in is just finishing blocks. We get on guys and we need to finish blocks up there. Actually, I thought they protected the passer pretty well the other day. With all the things that Oregon State does, I actually thought they handled that fairly well for most of the game. But again, very important that we're able to finish things, sustain blocks, so that the backs have time to get through and make their plays. That's one area where I believe we can improve."
On whether the offensive lineman are going through a growth process to gain more experience and become more effective"I don't know about that. I think a couple of them are young and the internal guys are pretty young. It's guys that - Tepper's playing a little bit with a sore foot and things like that. And it's not everybody at once, it's here and there with different guys. And it's not just the line. When it comes to the running game, it's the tight end, it's the fullback, it's the receivers, it's everybody. We need to sustain blocks better."
On how to pressure Arizona's quarterback against a line that has only yielded four sacks so far this season and whether that is a concern
"There's no question. I don't know that you're [going to get to Wildcats QB Nick Foles]. You can try to get to him, but they get the ball out so fast, that I don't know. [Even] if they just let a guy run free off the edge, they probably get the ball off. So there's a lot of times where they get the ball out very quickly. But that doesn't mean you just abandon the rush. There's going to have to be times that we mix it up and we pressure and we cover. So that's how we're going to have to go into it."
- Surprisingly (for me, at least), Cal has moved to being a 1 point favorite over Arizona.
- Daily Cal on the impressive run D from Cal last weekend (and the awful pass D). Not surprisingly, the article says Vereen and DeBo will have to step up this weekend.
- USA Today has an article on the rising salaries of college football coaches. It devotes several paragraphs on Cal, especially due to the ongoing budget crisis. Daily Cal's Joseph Cannon talks about how Cal athletics can save some money. It's an odd mix of seriousness and sarcasm: "Cut Andy Ludwig. Cal has had three offensive coordinators in the last three years, and the Bears still run the same plays. Save the money on his contract, or at least don't give him a headset. Those things are expensive."
- Arizona's Nic Grigsby is questionable for Saturday's game. This means we will relive last year's nightmare of trying to contain Keola Antolin. Defensive end Brooks Reed is healing up from his high ankle sprain and should play against Cal.
- After blowing out UCLA and Wazzu, Arizona's starters have had plenty of time to rest up for their upcoming crucial, season-defining stretch.
- Farudo recaps all the action from various games last night in the Coaches vs Cancer tournament. He says Cal played what was by far the best opponent (and the only opponent with a winning record last season). Attendance was only 7,603, by far the lowest attendance of any of the CvC games.
- Farudo has some post-game thoughts. He's not too concerned that Cal let Murray St make a comeback, but he'd be worried if they're letting teams do that a month from now. He's particularly impressed with newcomers Markhuri Sanders-Frison and Brandon Smith.
- Farudo's game thread is a great recap of the game. For those looking for a more traditional recap, check out articles from the CCTimes or Daily Cal.
- Rob Calonge has a recap full of quotes from Monty and his players. Monty says Randle and PC will have to get used to other teams preventing them from doing too much with the ball. This was an issue last night, as PC was often covered enough that he was not an option for a pass from Randle.