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Longshore, expected to be in a four-way battle for the starting job, looks sharp in practice as he returns from a leg injury
It appeared during this week's practice sessions at Memorial Stadium that Longshore, who had won the starting job before breaking his left fibula in the 2005 opener against
Tedford said he will interview three or four prospects next week to fill the vacancy left by defensive backs coach J.D. Williams' move to
By Dan Greenspan Daily Trojan
After all, he has handled constant roster turnover over the last four seasons. In that time, he has lost a total of four games and finished no lower than No. 4 in the Associated Press and USA Today polls. There are still numerous questions to be addressed (John David Booty or Mark Sanchez? Dwayne Jarrett or Ben Malcolmson?), but USC remains a top five team. The best receiving quartet in
Pass two early season tests at
Notre Dame -- Are you sick of Brady Quinn yet? You will be as the Irish expect big things from year two under coach Charlie Weis. With Quinn, receiver Jeff Samardzija and running back Darius Walker all back, the offense should be prolific. The defense? Don't ask. Get ready for shootouts every week. As USC learned last season, you can't outscore all of the people all of the time.
The ever-productive offense of Jeff Tedford will be getting an injection of spread offense with the arrival of former Northwestern coach Mike Dunbar. And just when it seemed USC had ridded itself of the sturdy Golden Bears with a 35-10 whipping, Nov. 18, 2006, appears that it will again decide the Pacific-10 Conference championship.
The next week, the Trojans and Irish will renew their intersectional affair. Those two might be better than USC on those specific Saturdays.
But seven teams better? Please.
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By Ted Miller
Special to ESPN.com
The transition to Nate Longshore from Aaron Rodgers appeared seamless as Longshore finished a nifty half-rollout with a deep completion in his first start as
Longshore was the chosen one, the next great passer for quarterbacks guru and head coach Jeff Tedford.
Then -- snap -- his ascension ended just moments after that 40-yard completion, his 11th career pass, left his hand. He was tackled from behind by a
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Analyzing the coaching situations in each conference
By Richard Cirminiello
Best Coach – Pete Carroll, USC – Only a fool or a contrarian would argue with Carroll’s 54-10 record that includes four straight Pac-10 titles, three BCS bowl wins and shares of two national championships. Yes, no one has better talent or depth, but managing and mollifying so many different mega-stars is far tougher than some would make it out to be. Carroll has created a unique environment that fosters individuality and somehow keeps an eclectic group of players and coaches from becoming discontented. Faced with getting back up the mountain for the first time in a while, he appears more motivated than ever for the upcoming season.
Most Underrated – Jeff Tedford,
Most Overrated – Tyrone Willingham, Washington – Not many coaches in recent college history have straddled the .500 mark and won a single bowl in 11 years, yet commanded so many headlines. Willingham continues to be all that’s good in amateur coaching, but the attention he gets is hardly commensurate with his production in the fall or in February. He was a good hire for a
Coach on the Hot Seat – Bill Doba, Washington State – With a team constructed by Mike Price, Doba went 10-3 with a Holiday Bowl win over Texas in 2003, but ever since, he’s won just nine times. The Cougars have been terrible in close games, and the defense, Doba’s forte, has reached its lowest point in five years. A third consecutive bowl-less December would be catastrophic for a coach some felt was best suited as a career assistant when he got the job. Would Wazzu and Price ever reunite? It’s not as if he left the Palouse on bad terms.
Bucking for a Promotion – Jeff Tedford, Cal – With each passing season, the price to pry Tedford out of
Best Offensive Coordinator – Dirk
Best Defensive Coordinator – Bob Gregory,
Bruce Adams, Chronicle Staff Writer
In addition to the routine drills on fundamentals and the early competition for starting jobs,
Tedford gives the early nod to Longshore by virtue of his having won the job last year. "I was very comfortable with where he was in his development," Tedford said, "but obviously there's going to be a bit of rust there from not being behind the center." Tedford also has some off-field issues. This is the first time in three years he has had turnover in his staff. Bob Foster, who was at
His hiring reflects Tedford's desire to incorporate the spread into his more conventional system. "Trying to put it together is the challenging part," Tedford said. The spread can employ as many as five receivers. Meanwhile,
"That's where we differ from teams that are solely spread," Tedford said. "That's a work in progress as we try to find what the right combination is." He said the spread elements of
By Jay Heater
Plenty of midnight oil is being burned in the football offices at Memorial Stadium as Coach Jeff Tedford and new offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar go about ``tweaking'' Tedford's offense. How big of a tweak is it? ``This is earthquake country, right?''
With a veteran group returning after an 8-4 season, hope springs eternal that
By Dave Newhouse, STAFF WRITER
Tedford and Foster were the offensive and defensive coordinators together at
GREG BEACHAM Associated Press
"I've been thinking about that for a while, about implementing certain parts of (the spread offense)," Tedford said. "I pursued someone with spread knowledge, and (
Although the Bears won't abandon Tedford's effective running game, they'll spend the spring installing some aspects of the spread offense in the Bears' game plan. Tedford, who played in spread offenses while he was a CFL quarterback, hopes to turn
Joe Ayoob, who spent most of his junior year as
2006 SPRING OUTLOOK & NOTES
To the typical observer of college football, Jeff Tedford faced three different challenges when he inherited a struggling
Four games into the 2002 season, the Bears were in the polls for the first time under Tedford and they have climbed all the way into the top five during his tenure with numerous weeks in the top 10. Over the last two seasons,
Those accomplishments should satisfy the expectations and requests of a typical college football fan. However, inside California Memorial Stadium, the mission continues. The non-stop drive to improve, reach new heights, and grow into an even greater national presence are far from being fulfilled, despite the bucket-load of accomplishments already attained by the Golden Bears under Tedford.
It was a year of transition for the Cal Bears in 2005. Gone was a 2,000-yard rusher, gone was a first-round draft pick at quarterback and gone was the school's all-time leading receiver. How did the Golden Bears handle the losses -- by ranking ninth nationally in rushing with 235 yards per game and 26th in America in total offense, despite starting three different quarterbacks, and a virtually completely rebuilt receiving corps. Things will be different this fall. For starters, Cal returns two of the top seven rushers in the Pac-10 in Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett, a handful of big-play receivers that are still very young, an accomplished two-deep at tight end and all three of the quarterbacks who got starting assignments a year ago. Up front, the Bears must replace some of the foundation with the loss of All-Pac-10 players Ryan O'Callaghan (tackle) and Marvin Philip (center). But there is talent and still some experience for a
There is little doubt that the Bears coaching staff will spend lots of time looking at scenarios in the offensive front, the only place on the offensive side of the field where the Bears suffered major losses. "We will be looking for some of our young guys to gain some experience there and give them a chance to gel," the head coach said. "We thought before Mike Tepper's injury that he could have been a factor for us, and Mark Gray is a guy we brought in for the spring who is a smart and competitive player." The Bears lost three solid starters up front, including the headliners in O'Callaghan and Philip. Also gone is the steady Aaron Merz, who started 10 games and super sub Jonathan Murphy, who had starts at both tackle spots last season.
Senior Scott Smith will hold down the fort at one tackle spot. The senior has spent part of his time in
Like the tackle position,
The tight end plays an important part in the Bears' attack, and that role could increase in 2006. Returning is Pac-10 honorable mention all-conference selection junior Craig Stevens and top reserve senior Eric Beegun. The duo combined for 19 receptions last season, but are capable blockers and athletic enough to cause matchup problems. Senior David Gray, a converted wide receiver, also added seven receptions and averaged more than 16 yards on his catches in 2005.
A newcomer to keep an eye on in 2006 is redshirt freshman Cameron Morrah. He is a fleet-footed big man who caught the eye of the coaching staff early and often while a member of the 2005 scout squad. "Craig brings some strength and stability to the position," Tedford said. "There is some experience with Beegun and a talented underclassmen in Cameron."
One year after rebuilding the receiving corps,
Junior Robert Jordan is the elder statesman of
True sophomore DeSean Jackson returns as the starter at this position. As a freshman, he led the Bears in receptions (38), receiving yards (601) and touchdown receptions (7). The exciting Long Beach Poly grad can also be a factor on special teams, as he returned a punt for a touchdown in the 2005 season opener. Another fleet-footed wideout, Sam DeSa, is listed as
It would be hard to find anyone in the country with a better situation at running back than what
In the first half of play in the first game of the 2005 season, redshirt freshman quarterback Nate Longshore was lost for the season due to an ankle injury. He is recovered and tops the early spring depth chart at quarterback. He is a big, accurate quarterback that never had the chance to fully display his talents. Also back in the fold is senior Steve Levy. The quarterback-turned-fullback-turned-quarterback led the Bears to two straight wins to close 2005 with victories over Stanford and Brigham Young in efficient fashion. Also returning is senior Joe Ayoob, who took the majority of the snaps for the Bears in 2005. He passed for 1,707 yards a year ago with a 49.2 percent completion ratio. New to the fray this spring will be former
One year after the Bears saw lots of new faces in lots of new places,
Defensive End Seniors Nu'u Tafisi and Abu Ma'afala return as starters on the defensive ends. Tafisi, who tallied 10 tackles for loss in 2005, ended the season by being named second-team All-Pac-10. He is one of
Senior Brandon Mebane returns as a first-team All-Pac-10 performer who is worthy of national honors consideration. He rarely has the luxury of competing against just one offensive player, and his disruption up front allows for big plays to be made by the
Senior Desmond Bishop, who led
Sophomore Anthony Felder, one of
Worrell Williams saw action in nine of
Entering spring, Randy Bundy, a rising senior, and Syd'Quan Thompson, a redshirt freshman, complete the depth chart.
The Bears also return big-play capabilities in the return game with Mixon and
The position of punter is open with the graduation of David Lonie. However,
The Modesto Bee reports that at the Outstanding Athlete Award Banquet in
Note From Blogger: Once again, to clarify,
Thursday, March 09, 2006
By JOHN MOOREHOUSE
"He's always gonna be on you and make sure you're doing what you need to do to get better everyday." Swain said that when the previous receivers coach Pat Washington was fired,
By RON AGOSTINI
Good coaches, it's said, never stand pat. They're evolving, looking for an edge, always keeping score. Jeff Tedford of the
So Tedford is pushing. Hard. His hiring of offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar, the mastermind of Northwestern's potent spread attack, signals changes ahead in the
That said, Tedford displayed all the right stuff in the hour following
"Here was a young kid who was thrown into high expectations after Kyle Boller and Aaron Rodgers (Ayoob became the starter after Nate Longshore was injured during the season opener). You can be crushed by the expectations at this level. You don't wish that on anyone," Tedford said. "I've never been through a situation like that. We've always been very efficient at that position. For us to struggle, there were new lessons to be learned."
"The main thing is to provide a lot of support for the guy at that position," he said. "And, hopefully, we won't put him in a position where he's not ready." How driven is Tedford, you ask? Rewind, again, to last November, and the postgame reaction from USC coach Pete Carroll. "
Tedford, when reminded of those words, accepted the final score but not the sentiment. "That was his opinion on a day we struggled. I don't see it that way. I don't think they're dramatically better us. We aren't in awe of them, nor are they of us," he said. "Just because we struggled that day doesn't mean our programs are light years apart. He sounded like someone happy with himself after a big win. It was easy to say when you've got all those guys back, with a Heisman Trophy winner and a veteran team. I do know that tides seem to change from time to time." Even in March, Tedford is keeping score.
Note: While this blog is limited to
By Alex Gyr and Daniel Novinson
Hey, Sixth Man: take notice.
Sure, heckling visiting shooting free throws is nothing new, and First Team All-Pac-10 guard Gabe Pruitt of USC has received his fair share of taunts. But when the sophomore stepped to the stripe during last Saturday’s game at
As SI.com first reported, it turns out Pruitt had been chatting on AOL Instant Messenger the week leading up to the game with “Victoria,” who claimed to be a cute UCLA student.
Pruitt liked the pictures she sent, allegedly telling her, “You look like you have a very fit body,” and, “Now I want to c u so bad.” Sure enough, he eventually gave the “girl” his digits and agreed to meet her when he returned to
Unfortunately for Pruitt, “
Pruitt, a 79-percent free throw shooter, missed both attempts badly, and finished just 3-of-13 from the field. Perhaps Not surprisingly,
The two teams meet in the first round of the Pac-10 Tournament on Thursday. No word yet on whether “