Thursday, November 01, 2007

Daily Cal: Longshore Still Laboring; Davis Out Against Cougars

Quarterback Nate Longshore hobbled through Saturday’s loss with a sprained ankle. It didn’t help matters that he took numerous hits and often did not have much time to throw in the pocket. But Tedford did not attribute Longshore’s two interceptions late in the game to the sprained ankle.  “I watched him very closely and thought he moved fine in the pocket,” Tedford said. “He was hurrying some things though.”  Although backup Kevin Riley warmed up in the second half, Tedford elected to keep Longshore in the game even though his sore ankle gave him noticeable discomfort.  “I asked myself, can he run the offense, can he protect himself? He wasn’t any different last week than when he was completely healthy,” Tedford said.  Tedford will evaluate Longshore throughout the week and decide whether he or Riley will start at quarterback.

• After missing four games with a sprained foot, defensive end Rulon Davis returned for his first game in the Bears’ loss to Arizona State on Saturday and he made a difference early on.  Davis caused Sun Devils quarterback Rudy Carpenter to fumble on his first possession, which led to a Cal touchdown.  Davis, however, was not able to finish the game, as he went out in the third quarter with a sprained medial collateral ligament.  He is the only Bears player that Tedford said is definitely out for this Saturday’s game against the Cougars and may miss the next couple of weeks.  Fullback Will Ta’ufo’ou—who missed last week’s game because of a knee injury—and wide receiver Robert Jordan (shoulder) are considered day-to-day this week.  “It's that time of the year where a lot of guys are playing knicked up right now,” Tedford said.

• Tedford admitted that the three straight losses have weighed on him heavily and necessitated some personal self-reflection.  “It causes you to look in the mirror and ask if you did the right things,” he said. “It wouldn’t be fair if you didn’t ask if there’s anything we could’ve done differently. These are emotional, tough, hard losses. They’re draining. “  Tedford still maintains that the difference between wins and losses comes down to eliminating the penalties, which have crippled the Bears over the past few weeks.  “We need to focus on taking care of any minor thing that can possibly make a difference,” Tedford said.  Lavelle Hawkins agrees that there is no reason to panic and Cal just needs to eliminate self-inflicted mistakes.  “We just can’t keep beating ourselves,” Hawkins said. “We need to make the plays we’re supposed to make. We really can’t cry about it.”

• The last three weeks have been trying for many Bears football players.  Just three weeks ago, Cal was two quarters away from being No. 1.  Now the Bears have fallen out of the polls and many players are trying to get away from all the negative attention the team has been getting in its recent skid.  “It hurts me a lot,” Hawkins said. “I don’t even watch anything with college football on. If I see anything with college football I just turn the T.V. off.”  Hawkins said he has noticed the difference from just a few weeks ago, when the team was ranked No. 2 but was barely mentioned on the small screen.  “They weren’t talking about us at all,” Hawkins said. “But when we lose, we’re on there all day.”


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