Well Wishers

Pete Carroll said Stafon Johnson received get-well messages from all the Pac-10 coaches, Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis, musician Bill Withers and actor Will Ferrell.

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Season-Long Brace?

Pete Carroll said doctors talked last week about safety Taylor Mays wearing a knee brace for the entire season.
“It’s not slowing him down,” Carroll said.

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Smith Update

Linebacker Malcolm Smith (sprained ankle) said he ran today with no problems and doctors cleared him to play against California.

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Perry Misses Practice

Linebacker Nick Perry missed practice with a bruised knee. His status for the game is in question because he could not bend his knee today.

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Old Rivals

Cal is USC’s longest, continuous rival, with the two schools playing each other every year since 1926. The last interruption in the series came in 1925, after Cal informed USC in 1924 that the Trojans were no longer worthy opponents because of USC’s alleged professionalism.
One would have thought the Bears would want USC on their schedule; California, after the 1924 game, had a 8-1-1 record against USC.
It is said that Cal’s dropping of USC from its schedule contributed to USC’s decision to fire Coach Elmer Henderson; if so, that was bad news for the Bears, because Henderson’s replacement was coaching legend Howard Jones.

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Short-Yardage Situations

Offensive line coach Pat Ruel said he is not concerned about some problems converting short-yardage situations in recent games.
“We had an assignment error on one play where a guy went to block the wrong guy and that caused another guy to try and block a wrong guy but that was with the reserves,” Ruel said. “And a couple other plays were just some execution stuff that we can fix.”

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Poll Notes

The last two weeks the SEC has held three of the top four positions, the first time a conference has accomplished this feat since the Big Eight in 1971 when Nebraska, Oklahoma and Colorado were ranked one, two and three respectively.
Meanwhile, the coaches’ poll has Oregon behind California, even though the Ducks routed the Bears. And it has undefeated Houston behind Oklahoma State, even though Houston beat Oklahoma State.

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