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Cal Player: Humidity Got Us

[I am a believer in transparency, so here is the deal: The following quote was said by Cal linebacker Zach Follett, not the Cal tight end, as I had earlier posted. There is a representative from either school who types of quote sheets from the opposing locker room after the game. I spent all my time with Maryland, obviously, and not with Cal. I typed up the quote sheet from Cal and put it on the blog. But the quote was inaccurately attributed to Cal TE Tad Smith instead of LB Zach Follett. The reason I know it was wrong is because colleague Steve Yanda spent all his time with Cal, and he just called to tell me. Unfortunately, the AP story, which runs in many papers across the country, has the quote inaccurately attributed to Smith instead of Follett. I regret the error and confusion.]

A lot was made of California’s decision to arrive on the East Coast at 4 p.m. on Friday, exactly 20 hours before the ball was kicked off at Byrd Stadium. Coach Jeff Tedford said the Golden Bears could not do a walk-through Friday at Byrd Stadium because of the rain, so they used Maryland’s practice field. But another factor that Cal tight end Tad Smith talked about was the heat and humidity. The temperature was in the 80s at kickoff and I thought it felt a little muggy outside.

“It was tough,” said Follett. “The offense was not firing in the first three quarters and the defense was playing a little sluggish. To tell you the truth, this humidity was tough. With this heat and humidity, I was over-heating in the game but I think once we got our second wind as a defense in the second half, it was easier to feel more grounded. I don’t think the trip did anything to us. This was a tough heat to battle. We are not used to this humidity and they kind of had the advantage there.”

Cal linebacker Worrell Williams said the travel and the heat, “all that psychological stuff, subconsciously, it plays a factor.” And when asked how Maryland compared to the team they had watched on film, Williams said: “They were 10 times better” than they were on film.

This looked like a typical Cal team yesterday. Once they start looking good, people fill up the bandwagon just in time for the Golden Bears to lay a giant golden egg. Over the past few years, we’ve been waiting for Cal to seriously challenge USC in the Pac-10. That didn’t happen. And when Cal climbed to No. 2 in the rankings last season, they hobbled to a 1-6 finish, doomed by chemistry issues and a variety of factors. I had reservations about climbing aboard the Jeff Tedford train this season, even after the sound performances in the first two games. But I thought this could be the second or third best team in the Pac-10. Now I would go with Oregon to finish second in the conference.

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 14, 2008; 11:18 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Comments

Amazing. Had the Terps lost people would be out here calling for his job. WOW!

Posted by: Skip in Va | September 14, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Cal Bears have always been aoverhyped team. Ted Tedford has his *** on the line after underacheiving for the past several years.

The heat/humidity are pathetic excuses for losing the game. The fact of the matter is that the Terps outplayed the. The final score isn't reflectiveof the drubbing they actually received.

I am ticked off at coaches Franklin as well as Cosh. Franklin for not going for the jugular. Once we had a lead we started conservative play calling. There were numerous drives where we simply attempted to run ... and eat out the clock. If the we were getting 1st downs with the run in the 4th quarter consistently ... then it would be a different matter. We didn't, and only had one more score in the second half! NOT ACCEPTABLE. We should have played as we were in the First half, and rack those points up. Did you see what USC did to Ohio? Yeah! That's what I am talking about. BCS and other bowl sponsor do take into account the margins ... and, it would help in recruiting as well.

On defense ... we played well in the first half. But the play calling in the second half was just aweful. Cosh's "bend but not break" philosophy nearly cost us the game. We gave up 3 touchdowns ... and, had time not run out ... we may have lost the game! The defense needed to put pressure - especially, since we had a 3 score lead. Hit the QB rattle him up a bit... etc. Instead, we played soft - like we were scared, and gave up big completions and completions.

Cosh really need to up the ante, and improve his play calling or needs to get out here!

And, the kicker ... we need him gone too! I appreciate that Friedgen likes to play seniors, but this guy is 0-5! How lame is that! Had he made those kicks the outcomes of some games would not be so close. In yesterday's game, had he made the kick - the score would have read 38-27. A little more convincing of our deserved victory.

Posted by: Alex | September 14, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Tedford's decision to come east on Friday is sheer idiocy. Anyone--anyone--who has made that trip will attest to requiring a 1-2 day adjustment period. Happy for the Big Man. Now let's keep it going and, whatever you do, DON'T extinguish the flame under Cosh's a$$.

Posted by: zzTerp | September 14, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

If a few things happen we could literally win the ACC:

1. Most importantly, Cosh needs to continue blitzing the qb and running the stunts I saw in that first half. (5 sacks!! and it could've been more like 8 if we'd actually finished a few more tackles)

2. Scott and Meggett stay healthy and continue to get 6 yards a pop with the occasionally homerun.

3. Franklin remembers that we have a pretty decent receiver.

Posted by: Plan4theFuture | September 14, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

You didn't jump on the Tedford bandwagon but you sure were on the Best bandwagon. You did no less than seven pieces on him last week. Other than he got hit so hard he puked, I would have expected a piece about how ineffective he was after all the praise and hype he got before the game.

Posted by: Paco in Ajijic | September 14, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

It's not the heat, its the humidity.

Posted by: TerpInVA | September 15, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

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