No, Jeff Tedford isn’t known for wild displays of emotion, but even he needed a few extra seconds to collect himself after notching his 75th career victory.
The Cal football head coach — who with Saturday’s 63-12 win over Presbyterian became the winningest coach in program history — was greeted with a tub of ice water immediately after the game. After drying himself off for the press conference, he let the first question linger in the air, making sure he didn’t choke up.
“I hadn’t paid much attention to it,” Tedford said of his milestone. “But I started getting asked and started thinking about all the players back in the first year, and all the coaches. It’s everyone — every player, every coach, every GA, every equipment manager, every one who has had something to do with our program is part of this.”
And while the 49-year-old coach was quick to defer credit, others could tell that the significance of the mark didn’t escape him.
“He’s our coach,” senior receiver Marvin Jones said. “He’s dear to all of our hearts. He’s our head coach. He downplayed it, but I’m pretty sure inside he’s pretty happy and feels very accomplished.”
No place like home?
Cal’s new home of AT&T Park attracted only 33,952 in its 2011 debut, somewhat short of its 45,000 capacity — and well short of the crowds the Bears were accustomed to at Memorial Stadium.
“It was odd, to tell you the truth,” Tedford said. “I hope next time we come here, I hope it’s a little more of a home-field advantage because it was very quiet out there. We’re used to having our student section right behind us. It really creates a buzz and an energy.
“It felt dead out there today, to tell you the truth.”
Cal’s next home game will be against USC on Oct. 13, a matchup that promises to be a far more rousing draw than Presbyterian. The fact that the Trojans will visit on a Thursday night, however, might suppress those attendance numbers as well.
—Redshirt freshman Michael Coley sprained his ankle against the Blue Hose. The defensive back was put on crutches as a precautionary measure and will have an MRI on Monday.
—Brendan Bigelow’s 88-yard burst was the first kickoff any Cal player has returned for a touchdown since Lavelle Hawkins took one back for 90 yards in 2007.
—Sophomore Allan Bridgford made his first appearance of the season, throwing for 76 yards on 4-of-10 passing in the second half.
“He did alright,” Tedford said. “He did a couple things — for a young guy — that he’ll learn from. But, I thought he threw a nice ball down the middle, and it was good to get him in there and get his feet wet a little bit. That was really important.”
Senior Brock Mansion completed one of his two passes for five yards.