Eager to put the devastating 10-9 loss to Arizona behind him, Cal coach Jeff Tedford requested to speak to the media Monday so the Bears can move on to their bye week and start preparing for UCLA (Oct. 9).
Tedford knew there would be several follow-up questions about Saturday's game, and he wanted to get those out of the way immediately. Cal didn't practice Monday, but Tedford spoke with reporters at Memorial Stadium.
Cal appeared to be in control of Saturday's game until the Wildcats scored the game-winning touchdown with 1:11 remaining.
"The way it unfolded. It was a very emotional, hard-fought game," Tedford said. "It was right there for the taking, and we let it slip away. Those are always very difficult."
The Bears shut down Arizona's spread offense for most of the night, but the Wildcats forged a 77-yard drive during the game's final minutes, highlighted by a 51-yard pass play from quarterback Nick Foles to wide receiver Juron Criner. Cal kicker Giorgio Tavecchio missed a 40-yard field goal attempt at the end of Cal's previous possession that could have put the game away.
Tavecchio made three field goals, including an earlier one from 40 yards, but missed two. Tedford said Tavecchio still has a strong edge over the other kickers on Cal's roster.
"By far, he's our kicker," Tedford said. "It's not even close. I went over and put my hand on his head and told him to hang in there."
With two weeks until Cal's next game, Tedford said he expects Allen to be completely healthy against the Bruins.
"It's still early, but I think the early part has proved that he can make plays," Tedford said. "He can make people miss. He's good with the ball in his hands. It would be nice to get him back 100 percent."
The Wolf Pack racked up 497 yards of offense against Cal during a 52-31 victory. The Bruins are coming off a stunning 34-12 upset of Texas, although they had just 291 yards during the win.
"Obviously, we need some work on the pistol," Tedford said. "As much work as we can get on the pistol, the better. We proved that we didn't play it very well against Reno. We have our work cut out for us to make sure we improve on that."
UCLA (2-2) at Cal (2-2), 12:30 p.m. CSNBA