Dec. 23, 2003
Scottsdale - Cal practiced in full pads on Monday in preparation for Friday's showdown with the Virginia Tech Hokies. It was the first time the Bears practiced in full pads in six days. The boys from Berkeley did not seem to skip a beat, however, hustling from drill to drill in search of an edge in the upcoming game.
Cal wide receiver Burl Toler, who ranks second on the team in receptions with 42 for 525 yards, explores the topic of bowl preparation in the latest edition of Golden Bear Q & A.
Q. What is going to be the difference in Friday's match-up?
I think the deciding factors will have nothing to do with X's and O's. I believe the winner will be the team that has taken advantage of their time, and truly prepared themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally for this game. It is a match-up of two really good teams, so it will basically come down to who wants it more.
Q. How important is the role of the Cal wide receivers this week?
The way we play will be a huge determinant in the outcome of the game. As a group we have tried to provide leadership all year and this week is no exception. We have a tough challenge this week in the Va. Tech secondary. They have some of the best defensive backs in the country, but I feel we are ready. If we stick to our keys and execute we'll be fine.
Q. What does this game mean to the players immediate families?
It is nice to see the player's families sacrifice their Christmas' to come and support their sons. Sometimes we forget that we are not just playing this game for ourselves. We are playing for all those that sacrificed to get us to this point in life. I have family that played college football and they never reached a bowl game; it feels good that they can experience it through me.