Cal left tackle Mike Tepper didn't want a bye week — until the bye week actually happened.

The Bears played their most complete game of the season in a 34-28 win over Stanford in the Big Game on Nov. 21. Considering that came after a 24-16 victory over then-No. 18 Arizona, Cal was feeling pretty good about itself.

The last thing the Bears wanted was to put an artificial obstacle in front of that momentum — until the scars from playing six weeks in a row began to surface.

"Usually by Wednesday, stuff stops hurting, and Thursday I'm feeling pretty good," Tepper said. "But (last) Wednesday, I thought maybe the bye week wasn't such a bad thing after all. I was pretty beat up. But I really did want to keep playing. We were on a roll."

After using the bye week to heal and rest, the No. 19 Bears now have to regain their momentum as they prepare for Saturday's regular-season finale at Washington. Cal (8-3, 5-3 Pac-10) has won five of its past six and will achieve a 10-win season if it defeats the Huskies (4-7, 3-5) and wins a bowl game.

"We were feeling pretty high," Cal linebacker Mike Mohamed said. "It's something you want to keep rolling. But at the same time, we had a lot of guys dinged up. We want to get that energy back. Hopefully, we're coming back fresh now and ready to close out the season."

  • Injured running back Jahvid Best (back) said he wanted to come back for the Washington game. But he still hasn't practiced, and coach Jeff Tedford said there hasn't been any discussion about a possible return. Best has missed two games since suffering a severe concussion and back injury after falling hard on his back and head at the end of a touchdown run against Oregon State on Nov. 7.

    If Best isn't ready to return, he still could come back for a bowl game. The Bears would have at least two weeks off, and likely more, between the end of the season and the bowl game.

  • Cornerback Syd'Quan Thompson (ankle) is progressing well and should return to practice this week, Tedford said.

  • The Bears still can play in one of five bowl games — Holiday, Sun, Emerald, Las Vegas or Poinsettia. Cal will be eliminated from Holiday Bowl consideration if Oregon State beats Oregon on Thursday.