Midweek Notebook: Bears Adjust to Short Week Leading Up to Nevada

Photo: Two weeks into the season, Kevin Riley is ranked as the nation's third-most efficient passer, with a rating of 205.27.
Michael Restrepo/Staff
Two weeks into the season, Kevin Riley is ranked as the nation's third-most efficient passer, with a rating of 205.27.

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Friday's match-up in Reno has thrown a small wrench into Cal's practice schedule this week.

"Everything is pushed forward a day," linebacker Mike Mohamed said on Monday.

"Your natural rhythm is kind of thrown off. Starting off this week, coach Tedford came out and told us we're not gonna be hitting as much. We still want to play fast, play hard, but we're not gonna be banging."

Sundays are typically reserved for the coaching staff to evaluate film, while the players have the day off. Instead, the coaches examined Colorado game tape on Saturday night, and the team was stripped of its rest day.

Cal will fly out to Nevada tomorrow afternoon.

"(The coaches have been) stressing a lot to go get treatment early, whenever you can, hop in the ice tub so you can rejuvenate your body." linebacker Jarred Price said.

Mohamed was one of the Cal players taking it light and recovering. The senior linebacker sat out practice on Monday and Tuesday with a foot brace after battling through most of Saturday's game with a sprained toe. He should be ready to play against the Wolfpack.

Meanwhile, cornerback Steve Williams underwent surgery on Tuesday morning to repair a ligament in his thumb. Tedford was uncertain about the redshirt freshman's status for Friday, but said that Williams will likely sport a hand brace if he plays.

Preparing For the Pistol

In getting ready for Nevada, the Bears have used 6-foot-5, 232-pound Brock Mansion to play the role of dual-threat quarterback Colin Kaepernick in practice.

"(Kaepernick is) really lanky, and has long strides," coach Jeff Tedford said. "He has great speed in the open field. That's why we put Brock in as the guy today to simulate that."

The Wolfpack's signal caller commands a potent pistol attack that's by far the stiffest test for Cal's defense.

Clancy Pednergast's unit, which is currently the nation's best in yards allowed, faces an offense that has amassed nearly 600 yards per contest - also tops in the country.

"Their main thing is getting people to do what they shouldn't be doing," said Mohamed, whose primary role on Friday will be handling Nevada's tailback dives.

"Everybody has to do their particular job. When guys start trying to do too much, try to help out somewhere here when they should be out there, that's when they hit you."

One thing the team believes will help with preparation is a new practice policy implemented this season. Unlike years past, Cal's second team offense now serves as the scout team for the No. 1 defense. Similarly, the second defensive unit is the scout squad for the No. 1 offense.

"That definitely helps a lot," linebacker D.J. Holt said on Tuesday.

"The speed is almost close to what the game speed will be like. The twos are not that far from the ones, a lot of the guys who are twos also get into the game, as well. That's a great look."


Ed Yevelev covers football. Contact him at [email protected]

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