Colorado Daily – Cal


November 15th

Cal running  back Daniel Lasco will not play against Buffs

From … After suggesting most of the week that Daniel Lasco (shoulder) likely would be ready to play Saturday at Colorado, coach Sonny Dykes said the redshirt sophomore running back is out this week.

“I thought he could do it,” Dykes said after practice Thursday. “Had a doctor’s appointment. They checked him out and said he’s not ready.”

Lasco will miss his third game in five weeks. He had a season-high 71 rushing yards two weeks ago against Arizona, but was limited to three carries last week.

“We’ll use (Brendan) Bigelow a little more back there, which is good,” Dykes said. “Give him a chance to get his hands on the ball more. We’ll play him at running back and slot receiver.”

Khalfani Muhammad, Darren Ervin and Jeffrey Coprich also will be available at running back. Ervin, slowed last week by a shoulder injury, is listed as probable.

Meanwhile, linebacker Khairi Fortt (biceps) is day-to-day and could play against the Buffaloes.

“Possibly,” Dykes said. “Wait and see how it feels. He was better today. I’m cautiously optimistic.”

Asked how the Bears will respond if Fortt cannot play for a second straight week, Dykes said, “We’re a little thin even if he does play. We’ll figure it out.”

Slot receiver Richard Rodgers, who missed last week’s game after thumb surgery earlier in the week, is off the injury and expected to play. The thumb is immobilized by a splint and heavily padded.

“I thought Richard practiced well. Caught the ball well, so I feel good about him,” Dykes said. “He caught the ball with his off hand pretty consistently. Didn’t do it very well the first part of the week, but later did it well.”

ESPN bloggers split on outcome of Colorado v. California


Gemmell: Someone will get a conference win. And because the game is in Boulder, I’m going with the Buffs. The Bears continue to suffer injury after injury and they’ve turned the ball over 25 times. The true freshmen quarterbacks for both teams makes for an interesting storyline, and both teams have explosive wide receivers. With a lot of things being equal, go with the home team. Colorado 28, California 27.

Miller: Both teams are bad on defense, but the Bears seem better equipped to punish the Buffs. Of course, picking against the home team is a kiss of death in the Pac-12. Not sure if my Cal curse still exists, but this might tell me. California 40, Colorado 38.

November 14th

Jared Goff – No longer trying to be “Superman”

From the San Jose Mercury News … Cal freshman quarterback Jared Goff has settled into a more efficient rhythm the past three games, throwing eight touchdowns and just two interceptions. He said one reason is his acceptance that he can’t leap tall buildings in a single bound.

“Part of it is not trying to be Superman out there, just doing what a quarterback has to do and not trying to make every play on the field,” Goff said. “For a little while there I was trying to do too much.”

Goff’s numbers for the four previous games included just two touchdowns and three interceptions.

“I would get frustrated and think I’ve got to throw a touchdown here. I realized it and fixed it and that’s what’s going on the last few games.”

When the Bears (1-9, 0-7 Pac-12) visit Colorado (3-6, 0-6) on Saturday, old WAC coaching rivals Sonny Dykes and Mike MacIntyre will meet for the fourth straight season.

Dykes won two of three meetings as coach at Louisiana Tech against MacIntyre’s San Jose State squad, although the Spartans prevailed last season.

Then both were involved in the Cal coaching search to replace Jeff Tedford.

“We kind of laughed about that in the offseason a little bit, about the way things work out,” Dykes said. “Everybody’s mentioned for everything at some point in their career.”

November 13th

Ryan Iverson nominated for Burlsworth Trophy

CU senior long-snapper Ryan Iverson has been a fixture at CU for four years, but few fans know his name.

And that’s a good thing … because if you hear the long-snapper’s name called, it’s probably not for something positive.

The Buffs’ long-snapper is tied for the lead in career tackles by a CU long-snapper, and has continued the tradition of Buffs who have held that position for four years.

Now, the weekend before his last home game wearing the black-and-gold, Iverson has been nominated for an award …

From the Press release … Burlsworth Trophy and presenting sponsor, the Springdale (Ark.) Rotary Club, are pleased to announce the 53 student-athletes selected as nominees for the 2013 Burlsworth Trophy. The 2013 list includes standout players and national statistical leaders from every major conference in the nation.

The Burlsworth Trophy is given to the most outstanding collegiate football player who began his career as a walk-on. A walk-on is defined as a player who began his first season of participation with a Division I (FBS) football program without financial aid of any kind from his university’s athletic department.

The trophy is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, who walked on to the Arkansas Razorbacks in 1994, worked his way to being a three-year starter and was eventually named an All-American in 1998. Burlsworth was selected as the 63rd overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts in the 1999 NFL Draft but was killed in a car accident 11 days later. The Burlsworth Foundation was created in his memory and supports the physical and spiritual needs of children, in particular those children that have limited opportunities.

“The 2013 class of Burlsworth Trophy nominees are an outstanding group of young men,” said Marty Burlsworth, CEO and founder of the Burlsworth Foundation and brother of Brandon. “They represent their schools well and embody everything that the Burlsworth Trophy stands for: hard word, dedication and a commitment to excellence.”

Injury update

The injury report has been – thankfully – short for most of the season. The out-for-the-season list has been about the same for much of the season, as all but Marc Mustoe were injured before the season started.

Woodson Greer, who has started five games this season, but missed the Washington game, will be missed against Cal. Paul Richardson is still listed as “day-to-day”, but, barring further setbacks this week, will play on Saturday.


LB Woodson Greer – neck – suffered a stinger in practice on Nov. 6; missed Washington game and is limited in practice – QUESTIONABLE

FB – Clay Jones – neck – suffered a neck sprain against Central Arkansas (Sept. 7), conditioning, practicing on a limited basis – OUT

WR – Paul Richardson – ankle – suffered a sprained ankle against Arizona, reinjured at UCLA, was in a boot until pregame at Washington – DAY-TO-DAY

Out for the season:

PK – Justin Castor – hip – suffered an avulsion (severe flexor strain on Aug. 21) that required surgery – OUT/SEASON

TB – Josh Ford – ankle – suffered a high ankle sprain (Aug. 11), underwent surgery (Aug. 19) – OUT/WILL PETITION FOR 6TH YEAR

OL – Jeromy Irwin – foot – suffered a broken bone in his foot doing yard work at a friend’s house (July 30) – SET TO REDSHIRT

DB – Josh Moten – Achilles – suffered initially in late May, was rehabbing and recently reinjured it a second time (late July) – OUT/SEASON

OT – Marc Mustoe – lower leg – suffered a fractured fibula against Charleston Southern (Oct. 19); surgery this Thursday (Oct. 24) – OUT/SEASON

OLB – Tommy Papilion – knee – suffered a torn ACL in the spring game (Apr. 13); he has elected to be a student coach – OUT/SEASON

S – Terrel Smith – shoulder – underwent surgery on Sept. 5 to mend a chronic injury and is redshirting – OUT/SEASON

November 12th

Tuesday press conference quotes

From … General / Opening Statement “Last week’s game was tough.  I knew that Washington was a very good football team.  I still feel like I did going in.  I would’ve hoped we would have played a lot better, but we didn’t.  So, we’ve got to get back to the drawing table and keep working.  We need to keep getting better.  Washington was what we thought they were on defense, very athletic and very good.  I still feel that the best corner in the league is #21 (Marcus Peters).  I think he’s a very good player and I think they have some other very good football players.  Offensively, (quarterback, Keith) Price has played a lot of football.  He’s had a lot of great football games and he had another one the other night.  (Bishop) Sankey is a great running back and we made him look even better with the way we tackled, which was probably the most disappointing thing.  We just haven’t done that.  We’re going to have a hard time stopping anybody if we miss 37 tackles.  It’s something that we’re working on all the time and we worked on hard again today.  We hadn’t had that really creep up that bad.  We’ll rectify that better next week and do better in the game this Saturday with that.

So, talking about this Saturday’s game: Cal offensively is not putting up a lot of points but they’re moving the ball.  Their quarterback is throwing the ball well.  He can make all the throws.  I saw him play in high school and I think he has a bright future in front of him.  They have some really quick wide receivers that have good numbers.  They moved the ball good last week.  I know the score was kind of lopsided but, they were moving the football and doing some things.  They just didn’t get into the end zone.  (Cal Head coach) Sonny (Dykes) does a great job offensively.  He had the most prolific offense in the country a year ago at Louisiana Tech.  So, it’s going to be a tough battle for us defensively.  They’ve had a lot of people get hurt and some different things on defense that’s hurt their defense but, they’re playing extremely hard.  They blitz you a lot.  Their defensive coordinator (Andy Buh)  was at Nevada for long time when coach (Chris) Ault had all those great teams and he had great defenses.  So, he knows exactly what he’s doing and he’ll have a good game plan for us.  It’s going to be a tough, tough contest for us.  I’ve had the question asked to me by a couple different people: ‘Ya’ll ought to have a good chance of winning this weekend.  Your kids ought to think they should win.’  If our kids aren’t thinking they should win every Saturday then, we’re doing the wrong thing and not getting the point across.  This game is no different than any other Pac-12 game to us, period.  Or any other football game we play for that matter.  So, we need to make sure every game we show up the same exact way.  We didn’t do that as well Saturday as I felt like we have all the other times.  I wish I could put my finger on it but, I thought we had a good practice today.  Of course the weather helped.  It was really a gorgeous day out there.”

On Tackling More in Practice “We tackled more.  Well, we do every Tuesday. Wednesday we’re going to tackle more this week.  As the season gets going on, you’ve got guys with blue shirts.  You’ve got guys that have had stingers in the game.  Some guys can’t do it as much to make sure they’re ready for the game on Saturday.  We’ll keep working on being physical.  Two long road trips back to back usually you change up your practice routines a little bit.  We’ll change it up this week again.   If you keep doing the same ‘old, same ‘old and getting the same results ….. If you don’t change something, that’s not very good coaching.  So, we’re changing it and we’re working at it and have done that.  If not, we’ll change again and try to find another way.”

On Missed Defensive Assignments in Saturday’s Loss “It wasn’t as astronomical as the missed tackles if that makes sense.  It didn’t cause a lot of the missed tackles.  I think that might be what you’re asking ….. Out of position type thing ….. We just didn’t close and didn’t make the plays like we needed to.  They made the plays.  So, we just have to keep working on that.  They spread us out good and got us in open space some which is what this team will do Saturday.  They’ve got some quick athletes so, you’ve got to be able to tackle in open space and know where you’re leverage is.  Everybody’s got to close on the ball and have eyes on the ball and do those types of things.”

On Defensive Mistakes “I think it’s probably a combination of everything.  You’ve just got to play solid football all the time with the way the offenses are in our league.  Outside of our league, we’ve done pretty good.  All of the offenses in our league are putting up good numbers most Saturdays.  Every once in a while there might be an aberration but, most days they’re putting up a lot of good numbers.  So, we’ve got to get better and more consistent.  We’ve got to coach things a little bit better.  Kids have got to play a little bit harder and a little bit better.  So, it kind of all works.  If there was one answer then we could fix it.  So, I think there’s kind of a multitude of different things that we have to fix.”

On Whether the Team Has the Necessary Speed on Defense to Keep Up with Pac-12 Offenses “That’s kind of an insinuating question there.  I think that we just have to keep working harder and keep playing harder. We need to keep coaching better and keep trying to move and fit things.  Try to figure out what we can’t do.  Also, the offenses in this league change from week to week to week.  It’s a difficult situation and we’ll just keep working at it.  That’s all you can do.”

On the 37 Missed Defensive Tackles vs. Washington “I’ve never been a part of that, ever.  The most I’ve even been a part of is probably like 20.  If you get above 10 you’re in trouble.  So, you just think about it.  There’s differences between three guys are there and it’s just a hit in the backfield and the guy still gets a yard or two.  It’s when you miss them out in the open field and a five-yard catch goes to 30 yards.  There’s a huge difference.  We had one run the other night where we had had five guys that missed the guy on an outside run where we were in good position.  He gained 57 yards and it was with their back-up (running back).”

On Sefo Lifuau’s Comment that he Doesn’t Think he has Reached his Full Potential Yet “I don’t think you ever reach your full potential.  Sometimes you might score more or do that and you go ‘Wow!’  You did something good but, you could’ve caught another pass, you could’ve made another throw.  I think that’s what is going to make Sefo (Liufau) good and that’s what has prepared him to here.  He’s able to have confidence but at the same time, be critical of himself.  That’s a great quality.  I think that’s what he’s saying.  He’s kind of looks at it and says ‘We can do this better.  We can do this better.  We did this ok but, we can do this better.’  That’s kind of what Peyton (Manning) does I think. I’m not comparing the two but I’m saying the guy s at the quarterback position that can see all the picture and still have all the confidence but know that ‘this guy can improve, or ‘I can improve, or we can do this better.’  I think that is what Sefo is saying.”

On the University of California’s Interest in Hiring MacIntyre as Head Football Coach Last Winter “We were right in the area so, they called.  Sandy Barbour is a great (athletic director).  They have great facilities.  It’s a great school. Sonny (Dykes) is a heck of a coach who is a good friend of mine.  We both grew up in coaching together.  His dad was a coach.  My dad was a coach.  So, Sonny will do a great job there.  He wouldn’t be there now if it hadn’t gone down a little bit.  You’ve got to build it back up and he will do that.  I saw him do the same thing at Louisiana Tech.  He did a great job there.  I talked to (University of California) but, it wasn’t anything big time or significant or anything.  It’s a great school and a great area.  We love the area.  We liked it at San Jose.  I mean, those are crazy times when you’re a coach.  One night I had five phone calls from five different schools in one night.  So, it’s just kind of the way it goes.  You don’t know who’s serious when they’re talking to you or not, if that makes sense.  It’s kind of like when I was in high school. I never had five girls talking to me, so I wasn’t used to it.”

On Team’s Ability to be Both Critical and Confident in Themselves “I sure hope so.  If we are, and I feel like we are, then we’ll keep getting better and keep improving.  There are some plays that look really ugly and there are some plays that look really good.  We need to get a lot more that look really good than look really ugly.  It’s all a process.  I kind of snicker sometimes when I walk around and see people and talk to people and they act like somebody has died.  We’re going to keep getting better.  You can’t fix it in one snap of the finger.  It’s always a process.  If you walk around like everybody has died then, you’re definitely never going to move forward.  I truly believe that.  Now, am I satisfied, am I happy?  No.  But, am I at peace with what we’re doing and how we’re doing it and how we’re going to go about it and how we’re going to keep working?  Yes.   Would I love to have quicker results? Absolutely.  So, we’ll just keep fighting.  It’ll be another good Pac-12 team playing here on Saturday.  I know their record is not that good but, neither is ours.  So, we just have to keep pushing along.  If we get this one, then we’ve got another home game.  Then, we’ve got the rivalry game with Utah and anything can happen.  So, I’m excited about Saturday and I know our kids are too.  I know Cal will be excited about Saturday just like Washington was excited about last Saturday. So, it was a lot of fun.  What a great place, Washington’s facility and stadium… Wow!  That’s something else.  That’s really nice.”

On Cal’s Red Zone Inefficiency on Offense “Well, they’ve got a couple young receivers and a true freshman quarterback and I think sometimes it kind of takes you a while to kind of get everything clicking.  If you turned on the film and watched it you’d go ‘Wow, they are scary looking. Wow, they do make plays.  Wow, that guy’s fast.’  It’s not like they don’t have players.  It takes a while to get it all going and they are moving the football.  They’ve just been off a little bit here and there in the red zone and we need to play better red zone defense.  We need to get better in the red zone.  Most teams that aren’t winning, you usually say their red zone offense isn’t very good.  So, I think that’s an area that they need to improve on.  And they’ve had some fumbles down there that has kept them out of the end zone a couple times in some games in games that I think they probably would have won for sure.”

On the Difference in Playing Styles between the Top Two Cal Quarterbacks “They run the same offense.  They don’t change anything.  If (Zach) Kline looks like he runs a little better then (Jared) Goff is a little bit more accurate passing and can make a few more throws.  I’m not saying Kline can’t but, the little bit I’ve seen on both …. I mean, I’ve seen a lot on Goff and a little on Kline …… That’s where I would say he’ll pull it down and run where Goff will stay in the pocket and pass.”

On the Status of Paul Richardson’s Ankle “We kept him off (the field) today and he should be able to go tomorrow.  So, we’re just making sure.  After the games it’s usually just sore and playing on field turf even makes it more sore.  Field turf people probably wouldn’t like me to say that but, it does I think.”

On How the Richardson Injury Situation was Handled Last Week “I wouldn’t have put him out there if he hadn’t come to me and said ‘Coach, I want to try it in warm-ups and see if I can go.’  I said ‘Well, I’m going to let (trainer) Miguel (Rueda) watch you and (wide receivers coach) Troy Walters watch you and they’re going to watch you all through it.  I’m going to takes some looks at you but, I’m looking at the whole team and we’ll see from there.’  They said ‘he looked good moving around and he was cutting on it.’  He did good out there.  It was a little bit sore on him at halftime and when they went ahead and went on up I said ‘Just get well. You’re out.’”

On Whether This Game Could be Considered a Trap Game for his Team “First of all, I want to go back and I don’t mean this as a coaching cliché but our kids need to go back and look at everything as a must-win game and if we’re not there yet then we’re surely not there yet.  I would think Cal looks at it the same way.  I watched Cal’s kids play their rear ends off against USC hard and they were right there in the game.  Then, they got the punt blocked and things kind of unraveled on them.  I saw their coaching staff coaching it up as hard they could.   I saw people intense.  I saw trainers and managers cheering.  So, everybody is into it just like we are.  So, in no way, shape, or form do I see this as a trap game or anything like that.  Every game we play is going to be a battle one way or the other.  They’re definitely good enough to whip us good.  We’ve got to go play.”

On Liufau’s Performance “Sefo did some good things.  The one interception he threw on the slant: the corner made a great play.  He tipped the ball up.  We’ve got to try to get better separation.  Usually a slant is a bang-bang play.  Unless they roll to a certain coverage, you’re throwing that slant and everybody knows that.  You’ve seen those plays made so, the kid got his hand in and it popped up and they went off for the run.  The other play was a fourth down play that he threw the interception on.  It was fourth down.  Our first option was covered so, he stayed alive and he couldn’t really run for it so the tight end has a chance.  He can throw it out of bounds or he can give the guy a chance to catch it.  Well, he gave the guy a chance to catch it and the (defensive back) kind of got it.  To me, to be honest with you, I thought it was a pretty good play.  If you throw it out of bounds on fourth down then, why are we even going for it on fourth down?  Does that make sense?  They didn’t even get it back to where we were stopped for.  Now, if they had went for a touchdown maybe that’s a little different but then again, we’ve got to stop them too.  So, the fourth down play I really don’t …… I mean I think he was trying to create and to me, wouldn’t you create on fourth down?  So, I thought that was a good try on his part.”

On Kicker Will Oliver’s Struggles in Recent Weeks “I don’t know (what’s wrong).  He needs to make them this week.  I talked to him about it.  We need him to make field goals and he can kick them and make them.  I’m pretty sure he will.  He kicked well today.  He’ll make them Saturday.”

On Liufau Learning from a Particular Play against UCLA when he Threw the Ball Away on Fourth Down “We signaled it to him.  That’s when he got hit in the head and his helmet came off.  He had been hit like five times in a row.  He put his helmet back on and he saw the signal and he completely forgot what down it was.  Because the game is going fast and the clock was in a hurry.  He came off the field and I said ‘What are you doing?  It was fourth down’ And he says ‘Oh my gosh!’  So, it was a great learning experience for him.  Thank goodness the game wasn’t right down to the wire and he did that.  So, he learned from that.  He didn’t blame anybody and he didn’t think somebody should have told him.  He goes ‘Gosh, I screwed up.  I got it coach.’  That play to me helped me realize that he did understand it.  So, that’s progress.  Now, it was progress with a negative.  Other people would say ‘Oh, that was terrible.’  But, it was progress and you have to start somewhere.”

On Changing Their Strategy on Kickoff Returns “(The Strategy is) to not to have return as many.  I keep waiting for (Ryan) Severson’s parents to call me for child abuse because he’s having to return so many.  We’ve got to stop him from having to return so many.  We’ve had a couple good ones and we’ve changed some people around on it for the blocking.  But, the main thing is we don’t need to return that many.  That’s the key.  We tried a couple different things the other night believe or not.  We just have to keep working at it and keep going.  We’ve almost popped a few.  We’ve been close.  We’ve had pretty good starting field position off of that.  We didn’t have any just horrendous ones.  But, we didn’t really pop any and I think if you watch us have to do so many kickoff returns after a while you go ‘Why can’t they pop one?  They’re getting a lot of returns.’  The main thing is to have not as many kickoff returns.  We’ve got to play better defensively.”

On the Persistent Struggles during the Last Few Minutes of the First Half “When you look back at it, a couple of times we could have gotten a first down that would have completely eliminated that situation.  The other side of it, we’ve had them sacked a few times and made some plays then they’ve made some plays on us.  I don’t know.  We work at the two-minute drill and we do some different things.  I think one of the reasons we need to be able to create a little bit of a better pass rush with four rushers.  Because sometimes when you have to blitz in those situations, all of a sudden you’re thinking ‘Well, we can’t get there.  We better blitz to stop it because they’re just going to move it down.’  Then, you might give something up.  So, it’s just been a combination of that.”

On Parker Orms’ Injury Status “Parker is extremely sore in his shoulders and neck area.  He had like a stinger.  So, we’ll just see if he progresses during the week.  Hopefully, he will.  Today, he was out there in a blue jersey.  That means we can’t hit him but he can do everything else.  So, we’ll see how he feels as the week goes on.  He’s got to get the strength back in it.  So, hopefully he does.  If he doesn’t have the strength back in it then, he won’t be able to go because in no way, shape or form do we want to put him out there when he can’t really protect himself as well as he’d like.”

On Woodson Greer’s Injury Status “Woodson has the same type of thing.  Hopefully, he’ll be back.  Hopefully, he’ll be stronger tomorrow.”

On Whether the Team is Showing Signs of Improvement “Well, we’ve won three games.  I think they won one last year.  We beat CSU who they didn’t beat last year.  We beat a team that is in the playoffs and we beat a team that was fifth in the nation in I-AA. So, I think we’ve shown some stuff there. I think we’ve got to get better in the Pac-12. I would say if we had played in the Pac-12 about three years ago I’d say it would be a whole different story. I think there is some really good football teams. I think we if we just keep working then, the tide will keep turning. So, I do see improvement daily. You only see the three hours on the field and you see bits and pieces of stuff that is good and other stuff that’s not so good, I understand. But, I do see improvement. Most people didn’t predict was to win three games this year going into the season and we’ll win some more before the year is over.”

On How to Get Better Next Year “Keep recruiting, keep practicing and keep working and the process.  We didn’t break it.  We’re here to fix it.  And we’re fixing it.  And we’ll keep working to fix it and we’ll keep going forward and we’ll keep having the right attitude and the right positive-ness.  It does not get fixed over night with a magic wand.  It does not.  We’ve been down for a while here at Colorado and we’re going to be back.  In no way, shape or form does it happen like that.  So, that’s the process we’re working and we’ll keep working it.”

On Michael Adkins’ Lack of Carries vs. Washington “Michael, he came back last week after the concussion and did some good things in the game.  When the game kind of got out of hand I didn’t want to take a chance of him getting hit again.  Right there at the end when it was out of hand I wanted to see some other guys play too and to give them a chance.  So, that’s why and hopefully he’ll able to play and do better this week.”

On Comparing Addison Gillam to Other Freshmen Linebackers that He has Coached “I think Addison has a bright, bright future.  We coached two guys at San Jose State that were both freshmen All-American linebackers and now they’re seniors there.  One is the leading tackler in the history of the school.  Addison, to me, has all the tools to be a great one in the future and to keep moving forward.  I think he has a great future.  As he gets bigger and stronger too I think he’ll have a phenomenal career here.  He has a lot of great tools.  He’s very intelligent, very sharp, and very committed.”

On Gillam’s Potentially Ideal Weight in Order to Maximize His Talents “In the old days you would have said ‘Man, he needs to get to 255, 260.’  You can’t say that today.  He needs to be able to run and be as quick and as fast as he can.  To me, he doesn’t have to get too much bigger than he is but, he’ll naturally gain some weight.  He can’t lose any of his quickness or speed.  The game is just different.  So, I think that he’ll naturally get bigger and stronger.  He has wide shoulders.  He’s a tall young man but, he was a high school tailback and that type of thing so, his body isn’t prone to being a big, big guy.  So, I think 10-15 more pounds would be good.  And (he needs to) make sure its muscle.”

On How to Improve as a Defense against an Explosive Cal Passing Game “I think it’s a combination of all of it.  We need to play the ball better when we’re right on top of the guy.  I can think of three against Washington where we’re all over the guy and he comes down with the ball.  We need to get our hand in there somehow and get the ball away.  It’s something that we work on and something that we’ll eventually make plays on more than we have.  And you need to harass the quarterback.  You need to be around him.  You need to make him have to throw off target.  You have to move his feet.  Those types of things …. You have to hit him some.  So I think it’s a combination of the two.  You can cover great in the secondary but, if you can’t get there then, they will actually find somebody.  Then, you’ve got to get to him and be able to cover a little bit so they have time to get there.  So, I’d say it’s a combination of both.”

On The Process of Improving as a Team “You just keep trusting in them.  You keep believing in them.  You keep working.  You keep fixing the stuff and keep working and keep going and keep processing.  You stay positive with them and push them at the same time.  And challenge them and challenge them to challenge themselves to get better.  It gradually just keeps making increments. And eventually it definitely happens.  That’s the way it works.  I truly believe that you keep working, you keep working, you keep working, you keep being positive, you keep recruiting, you keep working in the weight room, you keep working on the practice field, you keep working with them individually, you keep working with them being better people off the field then, they just incrementally keep growing.  Then, when you have enough men there that understand what it takes to win, understands the focus, understands the practice habits, understands off the field, understands academically, understands what it takes when you walk out there and all the ebb and flow of a football game then it just happens.”

On Dealing with the Maturation Process of Young Talent “I think it’s all relative.  We’re recruiting a lot of really good football players that we’re excited about and you have to just keep working with that.  You get to know their parents, and you get to know the kids.  I’ve always said you want to get the right 22 here and I felt like the class that we brought in this year is a good class as late as we started.  I think there are a lot of quality young men.  There were quite a few that we redshirted that needed to get bigger and stronger that will help us next year and then the process goes along.  You need 18 and 19-year olds to become 21 and 22-year olds.  Then, when you do that and they’re processing and they’re tough and they’re mean and they don’t take anything off of anybody and they understand what you want to do and they truly care about each other and they understand the sacrifice of a team, then you start winning.  You can’t make them go from 18 to 21 in three weeks.”

On Yuri Wright “I just talked to him before I came up here.  He’s gained seven pounds.  The goal is he’s got to gain seven more for me. Academically, he’s starting to be a little bit more conscious which is really good.  Some kids, like a lot of you guys’ kids, kind of procrastinate a little bit when it comes to school.  I know Kyle Ringo’s kid will do that when he gets in high school probably.  But, I’ve been very proud of where Yuri is headed and what he’s doing.  I think this is a good year for him to redshirt. I really do.  When I got here he weighed 163.  I don’t know how you play college football at 163.  Now, he’s at 175.  He’s improving.  (The on-field improvement) will happen a little bit more gradually than probably the weight gain because he’s got to just do it, do it, do it. But, it is improving.  (Cornerbacks) Coach (Andy) LaRussa is doing a good job with him and they’re working extra and doing stuff.”

On How Far the Team has come since the Beginning of the Season “I think that they’re working hard and going.  We’ve had some tough games here but, I would say we’re better than we were the first game.  We are better.  So, that’s encouraging to me.  But, at the same time you want to get those (wins) on the scoreboards and go from there.  When you play good football teams you’ve got to play well.  We haven’t done that as much as we would like to say the least.”

Coach Mac counts 37 missed tackles from Washington game

From … As Mike MacIntyre and his defensive staff watched the rerun of Colorado’s 59-7 weekend whipping at Washington, they counted … 37 whiffs, which matches CU’s missed tackle total provided by MacIntyre on Tuesday. That could be a school, conference and modern day NCAA record, but it most assuredly and most disturbingly was a MacIntyre personal mark.

I’ve never been a part of that – ever,” he said. “The most I’ve ever been a part of was like 20. If you get above 10, you’re in trouble.”

And, yes, the Buffs were eyebrow-deep in the stuff Saturday night on the shores of Lake Washington. The Huskies amassed 628 yards in total offense and 28 first downs. It was the fifth Pac-12 Conference game this season that saw CU surrender 500-plus yards in total offense, with two opponents (Arizona, UW) topping 600-plus and one (Oregon) topping 700.

MacIntyre said there is a difference if three defenders miss a runner in the backfield and he stumbles for a couple of yards. “It’s when you miss them out in the open field and all of a sudden a five-yard catch goes to 30 yards,” he said. “There’s a huge difference.”

On a particular Washington outside run, MacIntyre counted five CU defenders who whiffed but allegedly were in decent position to make the tackle. Instead, the play went for a 57-yard gain – and it was by the Huskies backup tailback, not starter Bishop Sankey, who ran 23 times for 143 yards and a touchdown before sitting out the final quarter.

If tackling was suspect in most of the runabouts/blowouts, it all came to an inglorious crescendo in Seattle. We haven’t had it really creep up that bad,” MacIntyre said, promising the Buffs will work toward rectifying it for Saturday’s home game against California (3:30 p.m., Folsom Field, Pac-12 Network).

Part of every Tuesday’s practice routine is tackling, but MacIntyre said a portion of Wednesday’s practice also would be devoted to one of football’s two age-old basics – blocking being the other. But here’s the problem with having to emphasize that in mid-November: it’s the point of the season where players are battling bumps, bruises and worse that might or might not have been with them since August.

Getting maniacally physical in practice at this time of year usually is counterproductive. “You have to make sure they’re ready for Saturday,” MacIntyre said. “Usually you change up your practice routine a little bit. We’ll change it up this week again. If you keep doing the same old same old and get the same results, if you don’t change something, that’s not very good coaching. So we’re changing it, working at it . . . and we’ll change again and try to find another way.”

Missed defensive assignments against the UW offense, said MacIntyre was “not as astronomical as the missed tackles . . . it didn’t cause a lot of the missed tackles. We didn’t close, didn’t make the plays like we needed to. And they (UW) made the plays. We just have to keep working. They spread us out good and got us in open space some, which is what this team (Cal) will do Saturday. They’ve got some quick athletes; you have to be able to tackle in open space, know where your leverage is and everybody has to close on the ball and have eyes on the ball.”

A reporter asked MacIntyre about the overall speed of his defense, essentially if the Buffs lacked enough speed to put themselves in position to make tackles in such a warp-speed league. MacIntyre wouldn’t go there. He answered: “That’s kind of an insinuating question.”

But linebacker Woodson Greer, who missed the UW game with a stinger but is hopeful of playing this weekend, claimed the Buffs are “a pretty fast defense . . . it’s not like people are running around us. I think we’re keeping up with the offenses we play.”

Greer said MacIntyre told the team that good tackling boils down to “70 percent mindset and 30 percent skills.” Greer theorized that maybe it’s a mindset problem for the Buffs.

But back to the question that MacIntyre termed “insinuating.” Here’s where he went with that one: The coaches must coach better, the players must play better – read: tackle more efficiently – and together they all must “figure out what we can do . . . the offenses in this league, they change week to week to week. It’s a difficult situation and we’ll just keep working at it. That’s all you can do.

“We have to play solid football all the time, the way offenses are in our league. Outside of our league we’ve done pretty good. All the offenses in our league are putting up good numbers. Every once in a while there might be an aberration but most Saturdays they’re putting up a lot of good numbers.

“We’ve got to get better, more consistent. We’ve got to coach things a little bit better, kids have to play a little harder (and) better. If there was one answer, maybe we could fix it. There’s kind of a multitude of different things we have to fix.”

This Saturday – “Bacon-Fest”; Veteran’s Day salutes; parking information

From … The University of Colorado is hosting a rare football and men’s basketball double-header Saturday featuring a Bacon Fest for the early 10 a.m. tipoff for the men’s basketball game and a Veterans Day tribute for the football game set to kickoff at 3:30 p.m.

The men’s basketball team faces off against Jackson State in a game televised by Pac-12 Mountain at 10 a.m. MT and then the football team will kickoff against California at 3:30 p.m. MT, televised by Pac-12 Networks.

The men’s basketball game will feature Bacon Fest Presented by Fate where 10,000 pieces of bacon will be handed out for those in attendance. The football game will feature several tributes as the Buffs honor Veterans Day. CU will also honor its newest class of Living Legends, those student-athletes who last lettered 50 or more years ago.

Veterans Day Information

In honor of Veterans Day, the Buffs have some special things planned for the football game.

  • ROTC cadets, midshipmen and officer candidates will complete their annual, 24-hour POW-MIA Memorial run inside the stadium just prior to the playing of the National Anthem.
  • The coin toss will be made by Army Lieutenant Colonel Dave Rozelle, who is a Professor of Military Science at the University of Colorado and an inspirational figure for American service members injured in conflict. While serving in Iraq commanding a Calvary Troop, he lost part of his right leg when an enemy landmine exploded under his Humvee. He then became the first Commander since the Civil War to redeploy in command as an amputee to the same battlefield. He is scheduled to move to Korea in the Spring to assume a Battalion Command.
  • At the first quarter break there will be a swearing in ceremony where new recruits will be taking the Oath of Enlistment to enter various military branches.
  • Photos of CU alumni currently service in our nation’s armed forces will be featured throughout the game on BuffVision.
  • Before the game and weather dependent, Skydivers will fly in military flags.
  • Additionally, the athletic department will participate in Operation Hat Trick. Fans can buy a special CU hat online at and proceeds will be donated to support wounded warriors in their recovery.

Parking Information

Due to the double-header, some special parking policies will be enacted for Saturday.

If you are a:

  • Football or Men’s Basketball Donor With A Parking Pass: Your normal lots (weather dependent on Franklin) will open up at 8 a.m.
  • Men’s Basketball Ticket Holder Without A Parking Pass: Limited parking will be available on lots off of Regent and Kittredge Loop
  • Football Ticket Holder Without A Parking Pass: Parking will be made available on East Campus with a shuttle running to Folsom Field.

The Buffs are asking fans coming to the football game to avoid arriving on campus between Noon and 1 p.m. as the postgame basketball traffic will make coming onto campus difficult.

November 11th

Colorado v. USC – TBD

From CU SID David Plati: FOX has exercised its right to conduct a six-day selection for games on Saturday, Nov. 23. The Colorado vs. Southern California game is one of four games that will be held back for a six-day pick.

The four games are: Oregon at Arizona, Arizona State at UCLA, California at Stanford and USC at Colorado.
The four games will fit into one of the following four windows once selected:

– FOX – 4 p.m. PT/5 p.m. MT,

– FOX – ESPN – 12:30 p.m. PT/1:30 p.m. MT,

– ESPN network TBA – Pac-12 Networks – 7:30 p.m. local time (PT/MT),

– Pac-12 Networks – FOX – 1 p.m. PT/2 p.m. MT, FOX Sports 1

Buffs a three-point favorite over Cal

From Las Vegas Insider … Colorado opened as a one-point favorite over Cal for this weekend’s game, and the line has since moved up (up!) to three points. Granted, home teams are usually spotted three points from the start, which means that CU has gone from being an underdog (at a neutral site) to a pick ’em game.

We’ll take what we can get …

Other lines of note for this weekend:

– UCLA a 2.5 point favorite at home against Washington;

–  Arizona State a 13.5 point favorite at home against Oregon State;

– Stanford a 3.5 point favorite on the road against USC;

– Arizona a 13 point favorite at home against Washington State;

– Oregon at home v. Utah … no line posted

– Colorado State a 6.5 point favorite on the road against New Mexico.

Wilner on Cal football

San Jose Mercury writer Jon Wilner can always be counted on to have his pulse on everything Pac-12, and is certainly a voice to be respected when it comes to Bay area football.

Here’s what he has to say about the state of Cal football (sorta nice to know that other fan bases are as frustrated as ours):

From the San Jose Mercury News … There isn’t much to say about the events that unfolded over 3.5 hours on Saturday. The Bears were mediocre on offense, putrid on defense and even worse on special teams.

In other words: Just another day at the office.

(OK, that’s probably a bit unfair to the STs.)

So I’ll mention a few factoids and then get to big-picture items about three of the four people most responsible for this mess (the fourth being Jeff Tedford).

Result: Lost to USC 62-28

Grade: F

Comment: At least the weather was nice.

* The good: No turnovers.

* The bad: USC averaged 9.8 yards per play.

The ugly: Cal allowed three special teams touchdowns: two on punt returns (75 and 93 yards) and one on a blocked punt.

Said special teams coach Mark Tommerdahl: “This is my responsibility.”

No kidding.

* The abominable: The Bears allowed more than 40 points for the seventh time this season … and lost their 12th consecutive Pac-12 game … and 14th in a row to FBS competition

As I have noted previously: It’s tough to be this bad, folks.

To be this bad, many things have to go wrong outside the coaching staff’s control and the coaching staff has to do a less-than-stellar job of utilizing its talent. Because the Bears have better talent than 12 consecutive FBS losses.

I’d also take a moment to note Northwestern’s record: 0-5 in Big Ten play.

Oh, and Washington State hasn’t come close to winning a league game since it thumped Cal on Oct. 5.

Now …

*** Big-picture item No. 1:

When attempting to reasonably and fairly assess Dykes’ first season, I can’t help but think back to the rookie years for Tedford (2002), Jim Harbaugh at Stanford (2007) and Mike MacIntyre at San Jose State (2010).

All three took over programs that were in much worse shape than the 2013 Bears, and all three accomplished something positive on the field – something to provide momentum for the offseason, for recruiting, and for Year 2.

Tedford won seven games and was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year.

Harbaugh beat USC in the epic upset and Cal.

MacIntyre made the Spartans competitive (despite years of scholarship limitations) with a series of close, encouraging losses down the stretch.

With two games remaining in Dykes’ rookie year, the Bears have nothing to build on.

Sure, there are positive changes behind the scenes (i.e., academic accountability). But at some point, on some level, you have to show progress on Saturday.

A five-point loss to Arizona does not qualify.

*** Big picture item No. 2: 

What will Dykes do about defensive coordinator Andy Buh?

I don’t think Buh’s a bad coach, but there is nothing on his resume, which includes a failed stint at Stanford, to suggest he’s an elite coordinator — that he’s as adept as the man he replaced, Clancy Pendergast (now at USC).

It’s hardly fair to heap all of Cal’s defensive woes on Buh. The talent was mediocre to begin with, and the surreal series of injuries have compounded the problems.

But Buh is in charge of one of the worst defenses in conference history, a unit that has repeatedly looked ill-prepared, that has under-performed its modest talent and that ranks 121st in the nation — ahead of only Idaho and New Mexico.

Dykes must peer through the murk of the injuries and the inexperience and ask himself if Buh is the man to lead Cal’s defense next season … if he has shown enough tactical expertise, motivational skills and grasp of personnel to lead the unit out of the gutter.

Dykes must ask himself what message would it send — to the team, the fans and prospective recruits — if he dismissed or demoted Buh … and what message it would send if he didn’t.

Can Cal thoroughly erase the stink of this season without a change in defensive leadership?

Next up: at Colorado

The matchup: Colorado is a 3-point favorite.

Think about that for a minute: The Buffs, who have been double-digit underdogs in every Pac-12 game this season and haven’t come close to winning one of them, are the betting favorite.

That’s how low the Bears have sunk.

Which brings me to …

*** Big-picture item No. 3:

This is an important game for the Bears as they try to generate momentum for the offseason – and a critical game personally for athletic director Sandy Barbour (and, by extension, for Dykes).

Barbour could have hired Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre last December following a breakthrough season at San Jose State.

Instead she went with Dykes, who did a lesser job at Louisiana Tech than MacIntyre did at SJSU.

The rebuilding task at LaTech wasn’t nearly as difficult as the situation MacIntyre faced at SJSU. The Bulldogs, after all, won eight games just two years before Dykes arrived.

Add to that dynamic the fact that MacIntyre beat Dykes head-to-head last year and …

Barbour has a pile of problems to deal with. The last thing she needs is her hand-picked football coach to lose to the man many (myself included) thought she should have hired in the first place.

It’s the last thing Dykes needs, too, as he tries to build confidence and limit potential recruiting damage inflicted by this wretched season.

If the Bears don’t win Saturday, they’ll have to wait ’til September.

3 Replies to “Colorado Daily – Cal”

  1. Stuart, I was wondering if you know of any way the link below can be sent to Will Oliver? I’m clueless.

    The link has a video of two professional golfers talking about Moe Norman, who is reputably the greatest (golf) ball striker who ever lived. Moe died in 2004. In the video, they talk about what Moe called “The Alert Attitude of Indifference” and explains Moe’s thinking about the psychology of hitting a golf ball. Hitting a football successfully is no different psychologically. I think Oliver would benefit by hearing what Moe thought. The video is only a couple of minutes long.

    Tiger Woods was asked once who is or who was the greatest ball striker. His response was that there’s only 2 golfers he knew of who ever ‘owned their swings’ and they were Moe Norman and Ben Hogan. (Note: he didn’t include himself in that statement).

    Moe Norman only hit one ball out of bounds in his professional career. He won 50 tournaments in Canada… never playing more than a couple of tournaments on the PGA Tour (probably because of the way he was treated by the PGA…. a whole different story). He also had 17 holes-in-one. He is also regarded as the straightest golfer to have played the game.

    So, here’s the link:

    1. I don’t know about getting it directly to Will Oliver, but I’m sure that kickers, more than any other players on the team, have to be well-schooled in being in the moment.

      I remember how Mason Crosby used to laugh when other teams called time out to “ice” him before a kick. He thought it was nice of them to give him more time to relax and prepare.

      Definitely a mind game. Now, if I could just find a way to make it work for me and my golf swing …

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