Tedford's Liking Longshore's Progress

By Adam Caparell - September 27, 2006

Cal coach Jeff Tedford, that college QB mastermind, more and more is liking what he’s seeing out of sophomore Nate Longshore.

“Every week he’s getting better and better,” Tedford said.

Longshore was lambasted following Cal’s blowout loss to Tennessee in Week 1 in which he threw for just 85 yards on 11-of-18 passing to go along with two sacks and an interception before being benched in the third quarter.

But Longshore has rebounded nicely from his poor performance to lead the Bears to three straight wins.

You have to remember, Longshore was playing in his first road game against Tennessee after taking only 20 snaps in his freshman season that was lost due back and leg injuries. And while Longshore was dominated by the Tennessee defense and Vols QB Erik Ainge thoroughly outplayed him Sept. 2, Tedford cautioned it certainly wasn’t Longshore’s fault that Cal lost.

“He didn’t have a lot of help that day,” Tedford said. “It wasn’t so much on him. It was dropped balls and break downs in protection and stuff like that.”

Last week against Arizona State, Longshore broke out, passing for 270 yards and four touchdowns as the Bears more closely resembled the team everyone thought would compete for the Pac-10 title rather than the sorry squad that was blown out in Knoxville.

That Tennessee game seems like a distant memory following the Bears three game-winning streak. Longshore has a 188.48 passer rating, completing 68.8 percent of his passes and throwing for 795 yards and 10 touchdowns. He's the most efficient passer in the Pac-10 and he's garnered conference offensive player of the week honors twice in the last three weeks.

“Each week, being a young guy, he’s seeing the field better, he’s making good decisions and he’s handling the offense well,” Tedford said. “He’s been very accurate with his throws. Most of the time he’s doing a good job getting rid of the ball.”

When Tedford breaks it down, guaranteeing Longshore’s success is pretty simple: if they can protect him, then they’re Golden.

“His comfort level has improved every week,” Tedford said. “When we can give him time to throw, he’s very accurate.”

Posted by Adam Caparell at 12:44 PM on September 27, 2006

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