BTTV: Kaufman Has Faith

BERKELEY -- Art Kaufman talks about Oregon State's shifty new offense, James Looney's final stand and the evolution of the Cal defense.

BERKELEY -- California defensive coordinator Art Kaufman breaks down the confidence have in the Cal defense, the play of James Looney and the new-look, hard-luck Oregon State offense, which lost two offensive linemen to testicular cancer this offseason. Plus, how does Darius Allensworth look, and what will Jaylinn Hawkins give the Bears at safety, after Evan Rambo's injury? comments: "Their quarterback (Darell Garretson) is more of a drop-back guy, they've got a couple of receivers who do a nice job, but the big thing we've got to talk about is that we make sure we know where we're at, what our jobs are. They do a lot of things, formation and motion, to confuse you. We've just got to make sure we're sharp on our game."

On Oregon State receiver and returner Victor Bolden: "He's a guy who can make plays. He makes things happen. He knows what he's doing with it, and the big thing is, we've got to stay focused on our stuff."

On the final goal-line stand against Utah: "I think the biggest thing that it tells, is that if you just do your job and you do it the way it's supposed to be done, you have a chance to make big plays, and it wasn't anything spectacular about what everybody did. It was the end result, what was spectacular. It goes to show, just do your job, and do everything we've talked about the last couple weeks -- just do your job, and when the play comes, make it."

What was the conversation like with Sonny Dykes that resulted in him not calling any time outs: "I knew exactly what we were doing. The clock was running down, and I said, 'Hey, let's play it out. Let 'em play, and see where we're at.'"

What about the last two weeks gave you the confidence to say, 'Let's see what they can do'? "When you practice with guys, and people see an end result, they don't see what's going on most of the week, as guys get better and better and better over the course of the week. I knew it was a matter of time. When it was going to happen, I didn't really know, but I knew the guys were getting more confidence, No. 1, in knowing what to do, which allows them to focus on how to do it, and that's the thing that I've seen with our younger guys."

On Looney's play over the last three weeks (20 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 3.0 TFLs, 1.0 sack): "A lot of times, production may come in the form of stats for the team, and not for the individual. A lot of times, a sack occurred because somebody else made the play that let somebody get the sack, and that's what James has done. He is a focal point for offenses, and all he does is do his job, and his job right now is to draw all the attention, and taking care of his business."

How well do he and Cameron Saffle play off one another: "Oh, I think they're really good. The big thing is, one, they're talented players, but their level of intensity is the difference. I think they feed off each other for that."

Is Looney as vocal and confident on the field as he is off: "In practice, he is when he needs to be, but he's not so much a vocal guy out there as much as he is a focused guy, more than anything else. I think he's got confidence in what we're asking him to do, and his ability to be able to do it."

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When Looney came up with that tackle, was it any surprise that it was him who came up big in that spot: "It's a matter of Looney was the one who had the opportunity, the way everything was blocked, and he was the guy who was set up for it, and I would expect James to make the play when it comes to him, and that's all he did."

Over the first three games of the season, Cal allowed 6.54 yards per rushing attempt (889 yards on 136 carries), while the last two games, the Bears have held opponents to 3.27 yards per rushing attempt (340 yards on 104 carries): "It's just guys playing within the scheme, and understanding their role, and I think that's the biggest thing."

Oregon State has undergone a lot of problems along the offensive line. Schematically, what have they done to make up for it? "I think the big thing is, they've got some changes week-to-week, and it's just like last year, there were quite a few changes, when we came in. The big thing we try to do, is, if we understand what we're doing, we have the ability to adjust over the course of the game to what an opponent's doing."

On the difference in Oregon State's offense, compared to Mike Riley's teams: "I think the biggest thing is you see a lot of shifts, motions and things like that, that confuse you, to get you out of alignment. That's one of the things we've got to make sure that, mentally, we're focused on what we've got to do and where we've got to be."

Is there a substantive difference between Garretson and Conor Blount? "To me, there's not. I've seen all of them, but what I've seen is more the offense than anything. What I try to do, is I go in and look at, 'Hey, here's what they do, and whoever that opponent is, here's what we've got to be ready for, and here's some match-ups we've got to make sure we're careful where a certain guy is, in certain formations."

What does having Darius Allensworth (thigh contusion) back in the mix do for you? "It does a lot for us. One, it's allowed us to develop some depth when those guys were out, and now, we've gained some depth by getting those guys back."

What have you thought of Jaylinn Hawkins's play over the last two weeks? "He's really come along. I would say probably the week before we went to Australia, he kind of flashed a little bit, and every week, he's gotten better and better. One thing about him, is his ability to stay tuned in and locked in mentally."

What went into moving Hawkins from corner to safety: "Just the fact that we had a need there. When you look at our safety position, going into what should be this year, the two fifth-year seniors (Damariay Drew and Griffin Piatt) coming back, and all of the sudden, we're here, because of all the injuries. Then, all of the sudden, we get depleted, and we have to move some guys around."

How tough was it to lose Evan Rambo, given what he'd done the first three weeks? "No question that's been a thing we've talked about. Next man up. We're going to have to play guys, because of the number of snaps, is one thing, and the only way you know if a guy can play is to play."

Having the defense on the field for 42 minutes against Utah, and the conventional wisdom being that, if you want to beat Cal, keep the defense on the field, what does what thy did mean? "We look at time of possession, we look at plays, but in this league, you've got to figure that you're going to play at least 80 every week, and we wound up playing a little bit more than that (97). They're a huddle offense, which eats up some of that time. It's more the snaps that we look at. 97 snaps is a lot, but I know a couple years ago, we had a three-game stretch of 330 snaps in three games, so it's not as bad as some of the stretches we've had."

The offense ran a season-low 13 times (not including one sack). Did you find yourself wanting to lobby for more? "I really don't pay much attention to what our offense s doing. We go on the field, wherever the ball's laid out there and whatever the situation, our job is to stop them." Top Stories