BERKELEY -- Frank Bigelow's advice to his son, Cal sophomore running back Brendan Bigelow: Do as I say, not as a I do.
"As parents out there in the stands, we get impatient and frustrated a lot because we know what could happen if he's actually in there," Frank Bigelow said. "I have to stress to him the total opposite -- hang in there, be patient, wait your turn."
Brendan Bigelow's turn may come again Saturday night when the Golden Bears (1-4, 0-2 Pac-12) try to jump-start their season against No. 25 UCLA (4-1, 1-1) at Memorial Stadium.
Bigelow stirred the imagination of Cal fans three weeks ago when he dashed for touchdowns of 81 and 59 yards and totaled 160 yards on just four carries at Ohio State. But he got the ball just five more times a week later at USC and didn't touch it once in last week's 27-17 home loss to Arizona State.
Fans couldn't understand why the team's fastest back wasn't getting the ball while the Bears were losing. Bigelow was a bit confused, too.
"It must be me, so I'm going to fix whatever it is," he said.
Coach Jeff Tedford, who has cautioned that Bigelow still is learning all aspects of the position, promised Tuesday the young back would get the ball against the Bruins.
"That's cool," Bigelow said. "It's not going to change anything. I'm going to keep working."
Seniors Isi Sofele (333 yards) and C.J. Anderson (235 yards) remain the team's top backs. But Bigelow -- averaging 20.6 yards on 10 carries this season -- provides an extra dimension. "He has phenomenal speed. That really stresses some people," Cal offensive coordinator Jim Michalczik said.
Owner of a 10.55-second time for 100 meters as a high school sophomore, Bigelow also has tremendous confidence. "It's to the sky," he said. "It's probably beyond what anybody would imagine. I'm just ready to go."
Bigelow said his pass blocking needs improving and that he was mixed up once by hand signals from the sideline sending in a play. "Other than that," he said, "I do know the plays."
"He's young, he's learning," Michalczik said. "But like all young guys, every once in a while they kind of short out."
Senior tackle Matt Summers-Gavin called Bigelow "a great weapon" for the offense but said the adjustment from high school to college is significant.
"You have to be great with your mental game, watching a lot of film, making correct reads, being decisive and playing fast," Summers-Gavin said. "It doesn't matter what position you play."