Saturday, October 21, 2006

San Jose Mercury: Bears' linemen leaving bruises


For all the talk about trick plays, razzle-dazzle and spread concepts, the truth about Cal's football team is that it simply pounds its opponents.

Washington Coach Tyrone Willingham, whose Huskies challenge the Bears today at Memorial Stadium, says beating No. 11 Cal means winning in the trenches -- a task made even more difficult because of the Bears' depth.  ``We have to be in great mental and physical condition to play Cal,'' Willingham said. ``They hit you with an onslaught of person after person after person. That can have an impact on you. But I think our guys are suited to play this kind of game.''

That's what Washington State's players thought last Saturday. After the game, defensive end Mkristo Bruce said he had never played in a more physical football game. Bruce, who leads the nation in sacks with 10, did not get to the quarterback. ``They hit me, and hit me, and hit me,'' he said. ``They were relentless.'' After losing to Oregon, and already having lost to Cal, Arizona State's players said Cal was the superior team because it was much more physical. ``It's nice to hear that,'' Cal Coach Jeff Tedford said. ``That's the way we practice and that's our mind-set. We need to play physical football on both sides of the line. (Defensive line coach) Ken Delgado does a great job of teaching our guys how to strike, how to get into you. (Offensive line coach) Jim Michalczik makes sure our offensive line has a great pad level. Being physical is their mind-set.''

Read the entire article here.

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