Tedford Prepares for Tough Pac-10 Opener

California's plan is to extend their winning streak against the Devils to four games. However, ASU has plans of their own extending their season's three-game win streak with a much improved defense that has caught opponents off- guard. The Golden Bears' head coach knows that Saturday's match-up will be a challenging one.

"Our guys are excited about getting into Pac 10 play," University of California head coach Jeff Tedford said. "We like to be at home and are fortunate to play our last two games at home and to open up home against Arizona State because it is a very hard place to play at. We also understand that Arizona State is a great football team, very highly ranked and very explosive on offense and very solid on defense and one of the better teams in our conference."

Cal looks to improve upon its 2-1 season and put to rest any doubters that claim they don't deserve to be nationally ranked, following an embarrassing opening day loss to Tennessee. The task of beating the Sun Devils will be a challenge, especially with ASU's much improved defense. "They do a nice job up front and play very hard," explained Tedford. "They get after the quarterback, blitz you and cover you at the same time…they are a very solid group."

Though the Devils' defense is much improved, Cal ranks higher than ASU in total offense at 456.33 yards per game, including 294 yards coming though the air. Coach Tedford gives credit to the much improved play of starting quarterback Nate Longshore. "Nate has done really well, the first week at Tennessee was pretty rough because of the hostile environment," he said. "In the last two weeks he has been very sharp and very efficient and very accurate throwing the ball…every time out, he gets more comfortable."

Tedford added that Longshore is playing this season because he has fully recovered from an ankle injury from last year. "He wasn't 100 percent playing ball, but after spring ball he worked hard through out the summer and nothing has set him back at all except for the playing experience."

The one aspect of the Bears' offense that ASU must stop is junior running back Marshawn Lynch. "He's been solid and has played real well," said Tedford. "He didn't play much last week though. He's a pretty explosive player." Tedford noted that Lynch has been banged up recently along with the offensive linemen Andrew Cameron and Scott Smith. "We should get Andrew Cameron back for this week…we probably won't have Scott smith he'll be out for a couple weeks."

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