Thursday, October 14, 2010

Daily Cal: Cal's Defense Surging as USC Looms

Jack Wang

There are 109 players on the Cal football team's roster. Not a single one knows what it feels like to beat USC.  For a number of seniors, their last chance kicks off this Saturday at 12:30 p.m., at the L.A. Coliseum. The rest of the squad will try and make sure it happens.  "Everyone, once in their college career, deserves to beat 'SC," junior linebacker Mychal Kendricks said.  Kendricks is currently the Pac-10's leader in sacks with four, and he's part of a defense that has been resurgent under coordinator Clancy Pendergast.

Five games into 2010, the unit has more than lived up to its billing. It's currently the top defense in the conference and seventh in the nation.  If you ask players, most will say they saw it coming.  "Yeah, you have to have high expectations," Kendricks said. "I feel like if you don't have high expectations, what are you doing out there playing?

"High expectations are what it's all about. You gotta set the bar high for yourself and your team. So, when I said that's the type of defense we expected, I really meant that."  This weekend, the Bears will be tasked with stopping the Trojans' explosive offense. While USC may not be the unstoppable juggernaut it once was, it still boasts the nation's 13th-ranked attack - behind only top-ranked Oregon in the Pac-10.

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