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Golden Nuggets: Kyle Wittingham on Cal, Utah's Mistakes Against Pitt

Without another Thursday night game, we're back to our tried-and-true schedule.  This means it's Tuesday and we're checking in with the head coach of our opponent.  Special teams gaffes, offensive line woes, and red zone problems?  Sounds like Cal over the past season and a half!

On Cal running back Isi Sofele:
He is a good player. We offered Isi way back out of Cottonwood. He wasn't ready to commit, and we filled up before he decided where to go. We liked him. If he wasn't going to play running back, he could easily be a defensive back. He's a versatile guy. He's doing a good job for them at tailback.

On the special teams against Pitt:
On the kickoff return, we had him pinned at the 15 had we wrapped up and made the tackle. We missed some and he got bounced outside and turned on the speed. It wasn't a structural error, just us not finishing the play. The blocked punt was an assignment error. We had a miscount and he got a gimmee and was untouched to the punter. On the miscue on the snap, if you watch from the back, the ball got blown four feet with the wind. It made it difficult for us to handle. The bright spot was Coleman, so it wasn't all bad, but it wasn't our usual. We usually win the special teams battle going away.

On pass protection:
We gave up seven sacks against Pitt, which is a boatload too many. The offensive line was responsible for three of those. There are other people involved in pass protection. Although the offensive line probably had their poorest day protecting the passer, we have to get it fixed. Pitt had a nice scheme, so I give them a lot of credit for what was done schematically. You're not going to win many games giving up seven sacks, but fortunately we came up with the win.

On the offense:
We need to be more productive in the red zone. That's our biggest issue right now. The last game we were in the red zone 3-to-4 times and came away with nothing but field goals. If we can score touchdowns in the red zone, we would have won going away, but we didn't score in the red zone. In my mind, there are a lot of things we can improve upon, but the most pressing is scoring touchdowns in the red zone. It's an execution issue. We have a high percentage of penalties that have occurred in the red zone, and we have to eliminate that.

After the jump the Bears are three-point favorites, Mychal Kendricks misses practice with an undisclosed arm/shoulder injury, and the 2012 recruiting class continues to grow.