SAN FRANCISCO — Cal coach Jeff Tedford said quarterback Nate Longshore is excited to be starting today's Emerald Bowl against Miami. Of course, you wouldn't know it by talking to Longshore.
In typical form, Longshore wouldn't bite when asked Friday about the significance of regaining his starting job just in time for the final game of his career. Tedford repeatedly calls Longshore a "team-above-self" guy, a trait he usually demonstrates when asked about himself.
"Oh, come on," he said when asked about it after Friday's Emerald Bowl Kickoff Luncheon at the Westin St. Francis. "It will be a good game. It will be a lot of fun."
Today's game will be the culmination of a tumultuous career for Longshore. He's had to endure a season-ending broken leg as a redshirt freshman, an injury-plagued and inconsistent season as a junior and losing his starting job as a senior.
Longshore regained his starting job briefly earlier in the season but then relinquished it once again to Kevin Riley. But Tedford said Longshore had two of the better weeks of practice he's ever had and on Thursday named him the starter.
"I have a lot of admiration and respect for Nate," Tedford said. "He's done a lot for this program. I'd like nothing better to see him have success, just like any of the players."
A successful performance could be a perfect way for Longshore to cap his up-and-down career. He hasn't rocked the boat as he spent most of the year watching from the sidelines, and he also has nursed a shoulder injury for a good chunk of the year.
"You always want to go out there, especially when it's your last time," Longshore said. "You want to go out with a bang."
Center Alex Mack and linebacker Zack Follett have been invited to the Senior Bowl on Jan. 24 in Mobile, Ala. Linebackers Anthony Felder and Worrell Williams, and long snapper Nick Sundberg earned tickets to the East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 17 in Houston. ... Because of the configuration of AT&T Park, both teams will be on the same sideline for the game. There will be a 10-yard buffer between the teams.
— Jonathan Okanes