November 7, 2007

Follett taking charge

Staring a three-game losing streak dead in the face, the Cal coaching staff decided to switch things up a little bit when the Bears tangled with Washington State last weekend. Instead of trying to add more schemes to the game plan, coach Jeff Tedford and his staff went the opposite direction and made things simpler. The Bears defense certainly responded to the change, which is something Zack Follett and his mates hope to continue Saturday evening against No. 12 USC.

If Lavelle Hawkins is the honest, straightforward player of the Cal offense that media members flock to when in search of a truthful quote, then Follett is definitely the guy who takes the honor defensively of being the most blunt.

Ask Follett about any topic, whether it's the fans, his hair, or the opposing team and the junior linebacker will almost always give a full, blunt answer that is both surprisingly honest but also a breath of fresh air at times as well.

After the Bears 20-17 victory over the Cougars last Saturday at Memorial Stadium, Follett noted that defensive coordinator Bob Gregory and his strategy to "just let the guys play" against the Washington State offense greatly benefited his unit.

The statistics definitely bares that out, as the Bears held a potent Cougars offense led by senior quarterback Alex Brink to well below Washington State's season average in yards, points, and time of possession.

"Coach Gregory said we were going to simplify things and not throw too much out there and we went out and had our best defensive performance of the year," middle linebacker Worrell Williams said. "If you look on tape we played the best technical tape we've played all year and that's what it comes down to."

"Oh yeah, that was definitely the simplest game plan we've had," added defensive tackle Matt Malele. "When a game plan calls for a lot of reads, a lot of blitzing it honestly makes guys think a lot more. But when a game plan is that simple we just go out there and cut it loose."

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