Aug. 24, 2006
BERKELEY - The California Golden Bears held their final double-session of preseason camp on Thursday at Memorial Stadium. The team has one more preseason practice remaining - that will be on Saturday afternoon. On Saturday morning from 10:30 to 12 p.m., Cal will host fan Appreciation Day where fans can meet the players, have pictures taken and get autographs from the Bears. The event is free.
The 2006 season starts on Sept. 2 in Knoxville against Tennessee at 2:30 p.m. (PST). The game will be televised live on ESPN. The following week is the home opener for the Bears, when they host Minnesota at 4 p.m. For ticket information, call 1-800-GO-BEARS.
Cal's morning practice was a shorter shells-only session where the Bears held a mock game and focused on situational practice to prepare for different in-game scenarios.
"It's very important [to practice different game situations]," head coach Jeff Tedford said. "It can mean the difference in a game. To be able to stay focused; it's critical that players understand to keep their head in the game; things happen in games that you don't anticipate, sudden changes, fumbles, whatever it may be. You always have to stay in the game mentally and stay focused so you don't fall short with people in the game or delay of game penalties or things like that.
"This practice is meant to be more mental," Tedford continued. "We have banged pretty well, we've run hard; you get to a certain point, you're banged up physically, but there is nothing run with coming out here and getting some mental work."
For the afternoon session, the Golden Bears hosted the Cal Student Football Rally presented by Cingular Wireless as all currently enrolled students were welcomed to watch the No. 9-ranked Bears prepare for their season-opener.
The students saw a variety of exciting plays, capped by a pair of long connections between senior quarterback Joe Ayoob and junior receiver Robert Jordan, including a 67-yard touchdown strike over the middle. True freshman quarterback Kevin Riley also had a long-distance hook-up with classmate Jeremy Ross down the sideline. Defensively, redshirt freshman defensive back Marcus Ezeff continued his strong camp with another interception.
Following the practice session, the students participated in contests with the Golden Bears staying on to cheer, Coach Tedford addressed the students, yell leaders gave the students a quick refresher on the basics of cheering for the Bears and senior linebacker Desmond Bishop introduced the group to some team-related cheers. The event was capped by one lucky student winning a trip for two to the Tennessee game from Cingular Wireless, raising the bar. Food for the event was provided by Baja Fresh and soft drinks provided by Coca-Cola.