clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Golden Nuggets: Is Cal Still a Bowl Team? Jabari Bird Makes NBA Debut

Matt Anderson, Patrick Laird and Gerran Brown speak to the media. espnW covers Savannah Rennie.

NCAA Football: Stanford at California Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Football Videos

Justin Wilcox

Transcript from Ryan Gorcey

Colorado may have a quarterback competition there, with Montez being challenged by redshirt freshman Sam Noyer, who played nearly the entire second half at No. 15 Washington State, finishing 7-of-18 passing for 53 yards. Does that change anything you do: "Not necessarily. Both guys have similar traits, so I wouldn't foresee the offense changing a great deal. You never really know; they might run triple option next week. They've done a great job on offense, and they'll utilize whoever they've got lined up back there, and so both guys are talented."

Cal has lost its last 11 conference road games, with the last Pac-12 road win coming on Sept. 26, 2015 at Washington. Why is it so tough to win a road game in the Pac-12. Did you change anything in terms of travel when you came in: "No, not necessarily. We have kind of a schedule that we stick to, and you go from the game time, really, and count back. We'll do the same thing, and we're really focusing on the things we can control. That's how we prepare -- the meetings, the practice, leading up to the game, how we prepare our bodies and our minds to get ready for the game -- because at the end of it, the dimensions of the field are the same, the rules are the same, so no matter where you play, and I know going on the road's tough and they'll have a great environment, but we've got to control what we can control."

Matt Anderson

Transcript from Ryan Gorcey

California place kicker Matt Anderson has 280 points in his career, just 8 shy of the record set by Doug Brien. Is he hoping for a few field goals, or a lot of PATs: "I'm hoping for whatever we need to win, whether it's PATs, whether it's field goals, either way. I'm not too focused [on it]. I didn't know it was eight points until just now. I haven't really been keeping up with it. My mentality is just going out and trying to make kicks every game, so whether it's PATs or field goals, whatever I'm asked, I'm happy with."

On Wilcox saying we don't want to know what they do over on Maxwell as specialists: "Yeah, it's some secret stuff. There's a secret recipe."

Handshakes and practicing golf swings: "Not sure about the golf swings."

Excited to kick in the altitude in Colorado: "Yeah, it's fun. One, I love going on the road. I love going to different stadiums, but going to Colorado will be a blast. I went to Utah two years ago, and that was a lot of fun, so I'm excited to go to Colorado, and I know Gabe [Siemieniec] is, too. Gabe's been crushing his kickoffs, and getting him in some altitude, those things will be 10 yards out of the bakc of the end zone. Hopefully, I'll get some long field goal attempts."

Gerran Brown

Patrick Laird

Football Articles

  • Jon Wilner still has the Bears as a bowl team, predicting a win against OSU and at least one win in one of the three road games.
  • ESPN has the Bears at #8 in their Power Rankings, but predicts wins against Colorado and OSU for bowl eligiblity. (Furd is #1 tho, booooo)
  • Jon Wilner grades the Arizona loss and predicts the Colorado game (spoiler, Cal wins)
  • Wilner twists the knife a little bit with his Pac-12 “All-Injury Team” with 4 Cal players on it (Watson, Robertson, Saffle, Downs)
  • The Daily Cal approved of the Bears going for two at the end of the Arizona game.
  • Don’t forget to read Nam’s novel on the Arizona game. A lot less caps lock this time.

As much as we’d like a bowl this season, it is worth keeping in mind – especially as the math tightens up and Cal needs to steal another one against either UCLA, Stanford, or Colorado, plus hold serve against Oregon State – that 2017 was never about qualifying for post-season play. The projections suggested this rebuild was deeper than it currently is, that this program was further away from competing than it actually is.

And a loss like this one proves neither of these are true.

Something is being built here. Unevenly and slowly, to be sure, but something is being built.

We don’t know its contents, and we cannot see the ceiling yet either, but there is a shape and a foundation that is more visible and solid than it has been in a long time.

  • Nam also has some details on the Colorado game in his “Five Things” segment.
  • Patrick Laird rebounded from missing a game, and also taking a huge hit in the Arizona game, and wound up having a monster return. The SF Chronicle has more:

Laird returned shortly after having the wind knocked out of him by Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles on a screen pass early in the fourth quarter. After rushing 16 times for 55 yards before the hit, Laird rumbled 12 times for 75 yards, including a touchdown that tied it 28-28, the rest of the way.

“By the time I walked across the field, I was good,” said Laird, who stayed down for almost an entire commercial break after the shot to his sternum. “Our coaches do a good job of rotating us during the game. Also, with the way we practice and the way we condition over the summer, I never feel tired during the games.”

Laird, who scored two touchdowns, finished with 130 yards rushing and five catches for 42 yards. He sat out the previous game with an undisclosed injury.


  • Jabari Bird is making an impact early for the Boston Celtics, and (except to us, maybe) its a big surprise.

“I was shocked,” Bird recalled. “I was so concerned because I felt kind of bad for Gordon with his situation that I wasn’t even really thinking about myself, that I’m going to have a chance to play for the Celtics now. I was just hoping that he was OK with everything. But when I got the call, I quickly told my dad that I had to go to Boston.”

Bird boarded a red-eye flight from the Bay Area that night, and joined the team the next day for its home opener against Milwaukee.

Even being on Boston’s bench, Bird wasn’t sure if he would be given a chance to play during the last two games. But Stevens had faith in him in Philly, and it paid off.

While some of Bird’s teammates were taken aback by his contributions, Brown wasn’t surprised at all. He had played with Bird for one season at Cal-Berkeley and was fully aware of what he could bring to the table.

“He’s more ready than anybody, in my opinion,” said Brown. “He can guard at a high level. He can play, and he will outplay a lot of people.

These days, Baker is a household name in the USA Swimming world. After missing out on the London Olympics in 2012, Baker qualified for her first Olympic Games in 2016. In Rio de Janeiro, Baker earned her first Olympic medal by placing second in the 100m backstroke. Swimming the backstroke leg of the women’s 4x100m medley relay, Baker won her first Olympic gold medal.

Having the opportunity to stand on the podium and hear the national anthem is something that has stuck with Baker from the Olympics. “It’s one of the best feelings you’ll ever feel,” Baker said. “You get to stand up there with some of the best women in the world.”

Many of those women Baker speaks of are her teammates from Team USA and fellow stars on the collegiate level. With the likes of Katie Ledecky, Simone Manuel, Lilly King, Mallory Comerford, and several others already with medals on the international stage, Baker acknowledged that this young core of female swimmers is a pretty special group.

“We’re all still in college and it’s pretty amazing to see the success we’ve already had the international level,” Baker said. “I think the best has yet to come.”

  • espnW has a report on Volleyball’s Savannah Rennie and her cancer battle.

The 20-year-old is now battling non-Hodgkin's post-transplant lymphoma. The disease usually doesn't affect patients for 10-15 years after they've started anti-rejection medication for their transplants; it had been only a year for Rennie.

She has begun chemotherapy. "She's fighting," said Matt McShane, Cal's coach.

Sometimes McShane literally has to pull Rennie off the court. Every day she musters the strength to go to Haas Pavilion for practice. She rarely sits, tossing balls to the setters, delivering pointers to the middles. She often loses her voice during games because she's cheering at the top of her lungs for the Golden Bears (12-9).

"I'm not going to let this beat me," Rennie said.

Go Bears.