Cal Wednesday: Notes

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The USC defense is preparing for the nation's No. 8 passing offense.
  • Ed Orgeron announced that OLB Morgan Breslin (pictured) needs hip surgery which knocks him out for the remainder of the regular season.  However, there is a possibility that he could return for a bowl game down the road.
  • Breslin-Utah-Prac-McG.jpgAs a senior, the injury could mean the end of Breslin's short but impactful Trojan career. "In my 27 years of coaching, [Breslin] is one of my favorite players I've ever coached," said Orgeron. "He is a fantastic young man totally dedicated to football.  I just loved his attitude.  Total team player."
  • With Breslin out, J.R. Tavai will continue to start and Jabari Ruffin will also get major snaps.  Orgeron is also excited about the prospects of redshirt freshman Scott Starr, "I really think Scott is going to be a tremendous football player for us.  He has really come along in the last couple of weeks."
  • Here is the rest of the injury report: CB Anthony Brown (OUT), RB Tre Madden (OUT), TE Randall Telfer (OUT), LB Marquis Simmons (OUT), DL Leonard Williams (questionable with a shoulder injury), and OL Kevin Graf (probable).
  • With Graf likely returning, the coaching staff has a decision to make about the offensive line.  Orgeron "liked the continuity that we had last week," but he still has not reached a decision on who will start.
  • While Cal is winless in the Pac-12, the Bears can move the ball through the air averaging 349 passing yards per game. "They are still a powerful offense," said LB Hayes Pullard.  "We have to limit explosive plays and effect the quarterback."
  • Pullard has caught DL Leonard Williams for the team lead in tackles. "I didn't even know," he said.  "We're just out there having fun.  Nobody is really worried about tackles.  I know they're worried about the sacks.  That competition is different.  We're just trying to rise to the occasion."
  • Again tonight, Cal's fight song and cheers were pumped loudly onto the practice field.  Pullard said the noise helps with preparation. "On Saturdays, that's when you want to take the test, and you know all the answers to the test, so you just want to have fun."
  • Orgeron is not looking past Cal nor does he expect his team to underestimate the Bears. "We're in the mode, one game at a time, one day at a time.  Hopefully we can stay focused on that, but the natural deal is how are we going to react.  We're going to see."
  • The Trojans were guilty of coming out slowly against Cal in 2003 when they lost in a triple overtime classic. "I will always remember that day," said Orgeron.  "We walked into a snake pit.  We didn't play very well.  We tried to catch up, and we couldn't.  That was a devastating loss to our football team."
  • Here is Orgeron's presser for the day...

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Coach O -

Can we get a shutout at Cal? Finishing them off at zero would help the team in a number of ways, including getting noticed in the polls - which pays dividends in recruiting.

Charles Burks may be as good of a pass rusher as Kennard is, could he get a chance? Burks was a beast in the spring game, and I have read numerous practice reports in the past mentioning him getting sacks and a lot of pressure on the qb's. Clay Matthews, Jordan Cameron and Allen Bradford were players who didn't get used much in games until late in their career's, but when they did they were stars. Burks seems like he is the next in line.

Demetrius Wright is the answer at corner opposite of Shaw. I know it is too late to make that adjustment this week. Them at corners with Bailey and Cravens at safety, still having McQuay Bowman there, too. Wright showed in the spring that he is a ball hawk, he has good feet and is the best option at corner in the same way Josh Pinkard was in the past - even if their best position is safety.

Fight On

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