New Athletic Director Sandy Barbour was active in Corvallis, speaking at a California Alumni Association event before the game and congratulating the players and coaches as they left the field following Saturday's game.
At the CAA event, she spoke briefly before taking a couple of questions.
"The stadium project is our #1 priority," said Barbour in response to a question about concerns over the stadium project and keeping Jeff Tedford.
Before she could continue, someone from the crowd drew chuckles when he yelled out, "What about beating Stanford?"
"If we get the stadium project done, that will take care of itself," Barbour said. "And it'll also take care of the Jeff (Tedford) issue."
Barbour, whose first official day on the job was Friday, also expressed her excitement to be joining Cal ("it's a great time to be a Bear"), had laudatory words for her predecessor ("I'm taking over a pretty good ship, thanks to Steve Gladstone , but also thanks to all of you for your support over the years.") and also said, "I want to promise you that academically and athletically, our teams will represent you well in every venue we compete in."
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The imminent announcement of ESPN taking its GameDay show to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for this Saturday's game will excite both Cal and USC fans alike; the show's other choice was attending the Texas-Oklahoma game in Texas – another game featuring a clash between two top-10 teams. But what does Aaron Rodgers make of all this?
"Being on GameDay is important. I'm a college football fan just like everyone else and on Saturday morning, I turn on the TV to watch it," Rodgers said. "It's a dream come true and it'll add an extra level of intensity to the game. I talked to some guys over there at the show and they said that they wanted to show the nation what the Pac-10's capable of ."
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Oregon State is in the middle of renovating Reser Stadium – the Raising Reser project will include expanding capacity, upgrading seating, and modernizing the facility. Currently, opposing teams have to dress in a locker room in Gill Coliseum – the basketball stadium – a short walk uphill and then around the corner a building.
Most of the funding for the project will come from a statewide bond measure. Outside the stadium there were was a small display tent that included a prototype of the new seatbacks and a diagram of the different seating locations and donation levels.
Key to the project is generating a per-seat donation in addition to an annual donation level from season ticket holders. Such a sale was easier to make a few years ago under Dennis Erickson when demand for tickets was high. With the team struggling this year, there is concern how this will effect not just demand for tickets but with donations necessary to keep with the project's funding goals.
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There was a small gathering of Oregon State fans that were behind a short barrier to watch the California team leave the field and make its way to the locker room. As Rodgers came up the walkway and passed the fence he was holding a large candy bar that someone had given him. Rodgers caught the eye of a young boy and gently tossed him the candy bar. As Rodgers walked away, someone yelled to him, "Beat USC for us next week."
Rodgers stopped, turned, and pointed at the crowd.
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More Rodgers: during and following last year's 35-21 victory by Oregon State in Berkeley, Beaver players were quite vocal about their abilities and their perceptions of themselves during the course of play. However, Cal's early offensive outburst not only took the crowd out of the game, but also the Oregon State bravado, "I was actually expecting them to be more vocal, but we shut them up early."
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After posting sensational numbers last year and working his way onto some honorable mention teams, McArthur has gotten off to a comparatively slow start this season – and while sometimes slow starts can affect players psyches, that doesn't appear to be the case with McArthur, according to teammate Chase Lyman.
"Everyone on this team is unselfish," Lyman said. "If you went into the locker room right now, Geoff McArthur's probably the happiest one in there."
McArthur continues to be a receiver they can't ignore. On a first-quarter play, he faced single coverage while being isolated on the right side of the field. After catching a short pass, and with the defender being left on an island, McArthur turned the play into a 19-yard line gain late in the second quarter.
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After having been beaten by Oregon State and being frustrated the past two seasons, Cal, along with head coach Jeff Tedford was happy to be on the winning side.
"It's nice to win and be 1-0 in the conference. Last year we left the game frustrated and we marked this year's game on the calendar. There was a lot of motivation for this game."
Even with the one-sided win, Tedford was concerned with parts of the second half effort.
"We had a couple of penalties and a few pass interference calls and we can't have those in close games. We have to do better against the fade and we have to do a better job of making plays on balls."
Cal did commit three penalties against Oregon State (and the Pac-10's leading) receiver James Hass. Hass was otherwise limited to two catches for 19 yards – although he was responsible for drawing 42 yards in penalties.
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After spending three weeks planning for Oregon State, Tedford is probably glad that he and his staff can spend a week focusing on a different team. At the same time, this Saturday's game represents a culmination of sorts for Cal football – going from 1-10 a couple of years ago to this week where the Bears are ranked 7th in the country and facing the #1 team in country and defending co-national champion away from home.
"(USC)'ll be looking for revenge, but we'll be ready and we'll come out with poise," Tedford said about this Saturday's contest. "This is why we work, this is why the administration has been put into place to get us to this point. This is going to be exciting for the players – they came to Cal to play at this level. We talked very early about playing for the Pac-10 Championship and a national level – this Saturday's game will be as national as it gets."
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