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October 4, 2011

Final Berkeley practice



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BERKELEY -- The California football team put the capper on its week and a half of preparation for Thursday's clash with Oregon with an early morning session at Witter Rugby Field on Tuesday morning, yet again just missing the kind of weather likely to hit Eugene by game time.

"It's probably going to look a lot like this, but it didn't rain this morning," said head coach Jeff Tedford, dressed head-to-toe in heavy rain gear. "I wish it would have rained a little bit. We tried to wet the balls, but it's supposed to be off and on anyway. I don't think it's going to be continuous, but you never know."

The Bears will have one final walk-through on Wednesday at Autzen Stadium -- rain or shine -- before the primetime contest on Thursday night. Asked whether his team was more prepared than normal, given the additional time to study up on the Ducks, Tedford was noncommittal.

"We were yes, and no," Tedford said. "I think we got things in early enough that when the kids left, there was more familiarity with it. I think we talked about that last week, that if they leave, do they forget some of it, and they came back and I think they had pretty good recall, so they did a nice job of focusing in on the game plan."

Notebook -- Tedford has played in three weeknight games since he came to Berkeley, and his teams are 1-2 in those contests. Cal will have two more such games this season -- Oct. 13 at home against USC and Nov. 25 at Arizona State.

-- Athlete Darren Ervin has been simulating Oregon QB Darron Thomas on the scout team during practice. Ervin played a bit of quarterback at Houston Lamar during his prep days, completing 9-of-21 passes as a junior and a senior for 72 yards.

-- Tedford said that true freshman defensive back Stefan McClure would play both cornerback and nickel back on Thursday.

-- Defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast said that now that McClure has moved to a more-manageable soft cast, he will only see greater playing time as the year goes on. McClure tore a ligament in his thumb during fall camp, and had been having trouble catching the ball with his hard cast.


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