A tale of two coaches

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For much of Saturday’s 59-17 loss to Oregon, the Bears held their own. But their performance raises more questions than answers. “We could have won that game,” linebacker Chris McCain said. How does the same team that went toe-to-toe with the best offensive team in the country for 32 minutes get embarrassed at home by Nevada? How does a squad hold Heisman candidate Kenjon Barner to just 65 rushing yards yet let Utah’s John White rack up 108 yards and two scores? How does that team let a competitive game at halftime turn into a blowout for the second straight…

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Final score in Cal’s last home game belies strong first half

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The process was unexpected, but the result was inevitable. On a Saturday night at Memorial Stadium, the No. 2 Ducks cruised to an easy 59-17 victory over the Bears. But a surprisingly slow start kept Cal close through the first two and a half quarters. “That’s a great team,” coach Jeff Tedford said. “They can really get away from you in a hurry if you’re not careful.” Freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota burned the Cal secondary repeatedly with accurate throws to his bevy of speedy receivers. The redshirt freshman finished 27-for-34 and 377 yards and 6 touchdowns. The vaunted Oregon rushing…

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Live Blog: Cal football vs. Oregon

The Cal football team hosts No. 2 Oregon in its home finale.

It’s the last hurrah for football beat writers Connor Byrne, Jonathan Kuperberg and Michael Rosen. Assistant sports editor Seung Y. Lee joins them in the press box for play-by-play, analysis and snark during Cal’s final home game of the 2012 season against No. 2 Oregon. Linebacker Chris McCain and the Cal defense look to slow down the nation’s most prolific offense, while tight end Richard Rodgers could be an x-factor amid a depleted receiving corps. With the Bears currently sitting at 3-7, Jeff Tedford’s hot seat is approaching boiling — is it possible that this could be his last home game…

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The Tedford era

From ascent to descent, a look at Jeff Tedford's last 11 years at the helm of the Cal football program

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The Era Begins In December 2001, Jeff Tedford inherits from former coach Tom Holmoe a Cal football program that went 1-10 in 2001 and hadn’t earned a winning season since 1993. In Tedford’s first game at the helm, the Bears blow out Baylor, 70-22. Tedford later takes the team to a 7-5 record in 2002. At the end of the season he signs a contract to extend his tenure until 2007 and earns Pac-10 Coach of the Year. Cal Ascending In 2003, after going 7-6 on the season — including a triple overtime stunner against USC that resulted in a…

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Down and Out: Richard Rodgers recovers from setback

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Richard Rodgers knows exactly where’s he going, and he’s not afraid to talk about it. “That’s what I’m here at Cal for,” Rodgers says. “They send players to the NFL.” The sophomore is an anomaly at the tight end position. At 6-foot-4 and 265 pounds, his size generally implies he is more in tune with blocking schemes than the pass game. Yet his route-running and catching ability is more reminiscent of a receiver than an auxiliary blocker. The unique combination of elite size and skill makes Rodgers entry to the NFL a near certainty, barring unforeseen injuries. He’s never been…

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Watch the Throne: Is Saturday Jeff Tedford’s final game as head coach at Memorial Stadium?

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Before he ever coached a game in Memorial Stadium, Jeff Tedford said he planned to take his inaugural season “one day and one week at a time.” Before he ever coached a game in the newly renovated Memorial Stadium, Tedford said that same exact thing about his 2012 campaign. In 11 years at the helm of the Cal football program, Tedford hasn’t changed much in what he says. There’s a stark contrast between the fearless Tedford of 2002 and the cautious deer caught in the headlights of today. Tedford’s mantra is about as sturdy as a stadium built of sand.…

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Fired up, ready to go: Chris McCain channels his emotions

A self-proclaimed problem child, Chris McCain has grown up to become a leader at Cal

Sophomore linebacker Chris McCain wants to be a businessman after his playing career is over. Not a fan of the corporate America life, McCain says he may open a restaurant and for sure will own a couple of gyms.

Moments before Cal ran onto the field at The Horseshoe to challenge No. 12 Ohio State, Christian Cornelius McCain addressed his team in the locker room. With the fervor of an army commander heading into battle, he promised his teammates that he would fight for them and put his body on the line for them. He just wanted his team to know how he felt. “If you’re gonna give me 99 percent of your heart, I don’t wanna play with you, so keep your ass in the locker room,” McCain said. “If you’re gonna come out here and give me…

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Cal has shot at taking down Oregon — but wait

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Grantland’s John Brandon put it best: “Well, Cal can’t win this game.” A Bears win over the No. 3 Ducks is as inconceivable as Mitt Romney winning California’s electoral college votes. How about the defensive matchup? Cal ranks 74th in the country in defending the run. USC’s run defense is better than the Bears’, and the Trojans let Oregon to rush for 426 yards last week. Containing a running quarterback? Redshirt freshman Marcus Mariota was an instrumental part of those 426 rushing yards. When the defense gives Mariota an iota of space in the pocket, he takes off running faster…

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With no bowl, Cal playing for pride against Oregon

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Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. bout at Memorial Stadium pits a team playing for a national championship against a team playing for pride. The Cal football team cannot make a bowl game, yet the losers of three straight are brimming with confidence as No. 2 Oregon comes to town. The least amount of points the Ducks have scored in a game this season is 42, not that the Bears are worried about containing the nation’s most prolific offense. “I don’t see us giving up 42 points,” said linebacker Chris McCain. “We’re practicing as if we’re undefeated … Whatever Oregon get, it ain’t…

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