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November 22, 2011
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BERKELEY -- After going to the turf hard in Saturday's Big Game, California senior wide receiver Micheal Calvin got word on Monday that he did not tear the ligaments in his knee.
"He doesn't have an ACL tear," said head coach Jeff Tedford. "It's good news."
Could Calvin potentially suit up again?
"Oh, yeah," Tedford said.
"Maybe even this week," Tedford said.
While Calvin may get at least one more chance to play for the Bears, freshmen outside linebackers Chris McCain and David Wilkerson did not practice at all. McCain is still dealing with post-concussion issues, and Wilkerson still sported a bulky brace on his left knee.
With a short week before facing off against Arizona State on Friday, Tedford and the staff adjusted the practice schedule for this week.
"I think we're in good shape. I think it was a good move not to practice yesterday," Tedford said. "We shortened practice up a little bit today and tomorrow, so the cumulative effect over the week of shortening it down should keep us fresh. I thought that if we came out here and tried to practice on Monday morning, after such a physical game, I'm not sure that we would have gotten much out of them. They needed to get their bodies back, and we'll still get the quality of work that we need to get in and still have enough rest, because we have such a late game that night, so there'll be plenty of time for us to rest and recover."
There was no emotional hangover from the emotional loss on Saturday to Stanford, as the team seemed to be in fairly good spirits heading into the season finale against the Sun Devils.
"It's definitely tough," said senior wide receiver Marvin Jones. "We should have been on the other end of that, but we palyed our butts off and we have no regrets about that game. A couple of things in a couple phases of the game that made us get behind, but we just ran out of time. We drove down most of the time at-will, and we felt like that game should have been ours, but it is what it is. They're a great team.
"It gives us confidence, because we played a great game. We knew that we could match up well with those guys. We didn't think one bit that, 'They're great, they're going to blow us out.' With us two, it's always a good game, always a physical game. Coming out of that, it does give us motivation, because we played our butts off."
As if moving on from the narrow loss to the Cardinal weren't enough of a motivation, senior Arizona State wide receiver Gerell Robinson -- who set a Territorial Cup record Saturday with 199 receiving yards, ranks ninth in the Pac-12 in receptions per game (5.2) and leads the league in punt return average (16.6 yards) -- gave the Bears plenty of bulletin board material.
"We will win," Robinson said. "I'm not worried about it. I know what this team has. And if this team has the character I think it has, we will win this game. We'll make sure we'll do what we have to do."
Such a win, coupled with wins by Utah over Colorado and USC over UCLA would send the Sun Devils to Eugene, Ore., on Dec. 2 to face Oregon in the conference title game, with a slot in the Rose Bowl on the line. Despite that, though, Arizona State head coach Dennis Erickson's job is far from secure after losing the past three games to fall to 6-5 overall and 4-4 in conference play.
"If I had the answer (for what's transpired in recent weeks) I would try to solve the problem," Erickson told ASUDevils.com. "We haven't practiced differently. We've practiced extremely well. Guys are focused in meetings. There's not just one thing that stands out why this has happened. I don't have an answer for you to be very honest. I do know one thing. We have to live in the present. We have to get ready for Cal. That's where I'm at right now."
Across the desert, former Michigan and West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriguez was officially announced as the new head coach for Arizona, which came away with a 31-27 win over the Sun Devils last week despite having had a tumultuous 3-8 season and seeing previous head coach Mike Stoops fired.
"I'm glad to have Rich in the conference," Tedford said. "He's a quality coach. Rich is one of my good friends in the coaching profession, so him and Rita - his wife - are good people and I'm happy for him, that he's landed on his feet."
Tedford and Rodriguez are friends off the field, having taken their fair share of trips around the links.
"We've played golf a few times, amongst other things" Tedford said. "They're good people ? I've known them for quite a while. I went back and visited him when he was at West Virginia, he actually came here this summer for a day or so to visit us, and then we'd see each other at the different things like the Fiesta Frolic, things like that."
Rodriguez's offense at his last two stops has echoed the same principles that power Chip Kelly and the Ducks, giving Tedford and defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast yet another no-huddle spread team to face in conference play.
"It's a no-huddle, spread attack, so it's another one of those offenses," Tedford said. "It's kind of a mix. It's kind of a mix between what Arizona was doing and the Oregon stuff, as far as the ability to run and things like that. Obviously, you need to recruit to it and have a quarterback in that system who can run the ball, so they'll need to recruit to that system now."