Coach Mike Riley met this press this morning, and his responses to various questions are listed below. The most interesting is the issue of the medical redshirt for Sammie Stroughter. He will obviously be missed for the rest of this season, but having him 100% for a whole season is a better option than a mediocre 5 or 6 games. Plus, he had the issues before the season that kept him out of the Utah game.
"It is a big challenge. They are a very good football team in every part of their game. We will have to play a terrific game, probably our best game in order to give ourselves a chance to win."
On the threat that Cal receivers pose.
"They have very explosive athletes playing receiver for them, it's a great core. That whole group is very talented and they have been playing a while so they have experience to go with it. That is obviously a major factor in the game, but the other good thing about them from their vantage point is that they run the ball well. That allows balance to occur, which means you have two very good factors to contend with, the run and the pass."
On relating last week's Sanford - USC game to this week's Cal - Oregon State game.
"That doesn't have a lot to do with us, our guys know we can win. We don't need a lot of other sources to tell us that. That is the nature of college football right now. The number of teams that have been beaten in the top twenty-five and in the top ten even over the last two weeks is pretty incredible. It's not always the team that people think is the best team that wins, it's the team that plays the best on that day, so it's going to be up to us to play well.
Is what you did last week enough to beat Cal?
"I think this stage of the year you have to be getting better all the time. We played a lot of good football last week, but it's the time of the year where the cream will rise and you get better every week, and give yourself the chance to win."
"We are looking for improvement. For a couple of weeks we did not improve as a team, but we made strides last week, and I think we will make more this week."
Sammie Stroughter Medical Redshirt.
"He is going to pursue a medical redshirt. That would obviously mean he will no longer be playing this year, but we are confident it will go through."
On deep pass coverage.
"The first thing we need to do is to be in sync with the receiver before you look for the ball. If you are not in position before you look for the ball, you will lose ground, and therefore get more separation. I always used to tell defensive backs when I was coaching them that the quarterback is not throwing the ball to you, so you better find the receiver first and get in good shape before you look for it. That is major in man to man coverage."
"We play a lot of tight coverage, so until you get that good position you should try to get to the receiver before you try and play the ball."