Bears aiming for walk in the park at AT&T

FCS Presbyterian likely won’t have a prayer against an undefeated Cal squad in its home opener in San Francisco.

Wide receiver Marvin Jones has caught 10 passes for 173 yards in Cal’s first two games of the 2011 season. The senior also has two touchdowns grabs.
Sean Goebel/File
Wide receiver Marvin Jones has caught 10 passes for 173 yards in Cal’s first two games of the 2011 season. The senior also has two touchdowns grabs.

Leading off Wednesday afternoon’s press conference, one reporter asked how many snaps Cal head coach Jeff Tedford wants backup quarterback Allen Bridgford to get on Saturday against Presbyterian. This wasn’t the first type of question he had received about backups receiving extended playing time.

“At any opportunity that we have depending on the flow of the game, we will want to play our guys,” Tedford said, smiling. “Is that good enough?”

With a win that would make him Cal’s all-time winningest coach, Tedford enters Saturday’s game against the Blue Hose with his usual game plan in mind, but even he wants to get some other guys in the game.

A week after surviving a scare at Colorado, the Cal football team (2-0) enters what looks like its easiest game of the season. The Bears take on Presbyterian (1-1) at 2:30 p.m. in the Bears’ first official home game of the season at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

The Blue Hose are unlikely to present a challenge. A school in its final year of transition from Division II to the Football Championship Subdivision, Presbyterian has played Wofford and North Greenville to start the season, and after Cal it will take on the likes of Stony Brook, Gardner-Webb and Charleston Southern.

“We tried to find other games but we play a very tough schedule,” Tedford said. “If you look around the country there is a team like this on almost every top Division-I schedule for the most part. We tried to get other games and we couldn’t. I am not apologizing for our schedule because we play a very tough schedule.”

The Pac-12 has already had a slip-up with an FCS team — Sacramento State defeated Oregon State, 29-28 on  opening weekend in Corvallis — but Tedford said that was not at all a focus when evaluating Presbyterian.

“It’s about us preparing and getting better,” Tedford said. “We’re going to talk about our team playing to our potential.”

The biggest news was that Brendan Bigelow, the touted freshman running back out of Fresno, would see some snaps this weekend now that he is near 100 percent recovered from his second tear of his anterior cruciate ligament. Tedford also noted earlier in the week that fellow tailback C.J. Anderson would see more of the field after his strong performance at Colorado.

“Physically, it looks like (Bigelow) has made the turn in terms of running full speed and cut,” Tedford said. “He’s comfortable.”

With Bigelow suddenly in the mix, Cal now has four running backs — Isi Sofele, Anderson, Covaughn Deboskie-Johnson and Bigelow — suddenly jockeying for position. Tedford stated that Bigelow has not overtaken Deboskie-Johnson’s position as the third running back, but Tedford did guarantee that the freshman would see the field this weekend.

It’s the defense that could use the tuneup this weekend. The Bears come off of a disappointing defensive performance that saw them surrender 582 yards of total offense and three touchdowns of at least 37 yards.

After a very impressive opening weekend limiting Fresno State, the Bears were exposed several times against the Buffaloes, which almost resulted in their first loss of the season. Tedford noted that the defense put in a lot of work during the week and that Presbyterian had nothing to do with its preparation.

“We were all over them about attention to detail and sense of urgency,” Tedford said. “It’s about us this week and us getting better in some things that we have been struggling with.”

Should Cal defeat the Blue Hose, Tedford would be cemented as Cal’s all-time winningest coach. Last week he tied Andy Smith, who led the Bears to 74 victories between 1916 and 1925.

Typically reserved about comments regarding his position in Cal football lore, Tedford joked that he “just outlasted the rest of them,” and was quick to credit both his past and present players about getting him to this moment.

“It’s an honor, obviously,” Tedford said. “It’s more to do with the people and players that have played in my time here. I feel fortunate to be the head coach here but this is really about this year’s team.”

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  • Anonymous

    The big question is Cal’s offensive line. They have struggled against their 2 previous opponents, neither of which was supposed to have that great of defensive lines. If Cal’s offensive line cannot dominate Presbyterian then this season will start going south in a hurry.

  • UCPD_Sociopaths

    Jeff Tedford Big Kahuna, Highest Paid Person of the Entire UC System.
    (His 2010 pay) $2,349,037.96

    Oh where does your tuition go!
    The stadium that sits right on the Hayward Fault!
    Tedford’s Pocket, etc., It pays mega interest to bond buyers:
    http://www.cucfa.org/news/tuition_bonds.php

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/16/us/skeptics-cast-wary-eyes-on-plan-to-finance-cal-stadium-upgrade.html?_r=3http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/16/us/skeptics-cast-wary-eyes-on-plan-to-finance-cal-stadium-upgrade.html?_r=3

    O shizzle, nearly I forgot to give the link to the reportage in my other comment below!

    • Anonymous

      Would any of this matter to you if Cal won a Rose Bowl or a National Championship? There are plenty of other coaches ( football, basketball, etc.) in the NCAA that make more than Tedford. Frankly I wish there were a NCAA salary cap for all coaches ( that will never happen as long as certain schools don’t follow the rules. It would be better for the economy of this country if all College head coaching jobs were limited to $750,000.00 maximum. What would head coaches do in protest, quit? I doubt it. 

  • DIA_Deluded_Math_BankAccts

    … university officials are eyeing the progress of an elaborate financing
    plan for California Memorial Stadium that relies on selling 50-year
    rights to 3,000 special seats for $40,000 to $225,000 each.
    After an initial surge in interest, seat sales have slowed over the past
    year, and Cal is only halfway to its goal. In its latest update, at the
    end of June, the athletic department reported 49 percent of the 3,000
    Endowment Seating Program seats were sold. But the total projected
    revenue of $113.5 million is just 41 percent of the goal, and only $27.8
    million has been collected; buyers can pay up front or over time, but
    there is no contract, so people can opt out at any time.
    The seats that have sold the best are those at the lowest price; there have been few takers at $225,000.

    Cal contracted with Stadium Capital Financing Group of Chicago, an affiliate of Morgan Stanley… MORGAN STANLEY. WHERE DID NATE BROSTROM WORK B4 UC? JP MORGAN.

    “Intercollegiate athletics at U.C. Berkeley never comes anywhere close
    to breaking even each year, with ever-increasing annual spending as it
    is locked in a financial arms race with competing schools,” he said. “On
    what basis should we assume that this will turn around?”