Nate Longshore claims that right now is the best part of his football career, and we have to ask, “Wait, what?” After last season’s spectacular second half, as well as a pulled pectoral muscle during spring training, this is the exact opposite attitude one would expect from Longshore.

But it might also be the only attitude—if he’s serious about Cal as an unstoppable (or at least very-hard-to-stop) football force. After all, extensive historical analysis has definitely proved that generals who keep spirited attitudes after losing half their battles end up as victorious conquerors (that wasn’t serious—but it might be true!)

Not to mention he also has to contend with Kevin Riley. Does Longshore’s optimism hint at some sort of secret weapon? Perhaps, but probably not. But maybe, just maybe … it’s the good omen we’ve been waiting for.

Image Source: Dinur under Creative Commons
Fresh start for Cal’s Longshore [Contra Costa Times]
Earlier: Those August Football Blues

If you haven’t heard, the big story this week in Cal athletics is that Nate Longshore has been playing with a chipped bone near the back of his ankle since the Oregon game. Nobody is really sure where exactly the chip is, but it’s somewhere there. Coach Jeff Tedford and everyone else on the team were well aware of Nate-Nate’s ailment, but decided to keep it from the public and maintain that it was only a high ankle sprain.

No wonder at the Big Game this past Saturday Longshore had difficulty completing the most basic of screen passes (his completion percentage was a lousy 46.8% for the game.) For the season, Nate-Nate’s passing percentage has actually gone down, and going into the bowl game, he has already thrown as many interceptions as last year with six fewer touchdowns. Dare we say that we may have the next Reggie Ball on our hands?

Of course Tedford was asked that if he had known about this all along, then why did he not start Kevin Riley instead? Tedford replied that he defers to his “veteran” quarterback for those type of decisions. Veteran, really? Nate-Nate has played one full season, unless of course you count a medical redshirt as another one.

Tedford was a football player back in the day and should realize that players have their reputation to worry about. Nate-Nate does not want to be seen voluntarily taking a seat on the bench and therefore being labeled as a player who lacks heart. For this precise reason the decision has to be taken out of the player’s hands by the head coach.

But wait, it gets better.

He has asked Longshore on several occasions if the injury has caused his poor fourth-quarter performances, and each time, Longshore maintained that it does not.

For a minute here, let’s assume that Longshore was answering Tedford’s question honestly (which we doubt). What about subbing Nate-Nate out of the game for simply royally sucking?

Image Source: Jessica Kuo, The Daily Cal
Chipped Bone Plagues Longshore [The Daily Cal]

The Trojans trumped the Golden Bears for the fourth consecutive year in less than ideal conditions at Memorial Stadium last night. The game closed at 24-17.

Coach Jeff Tedford once again proved incapable of subbing in Kevin Riley for consistent-at-being-inconsistent quarterback Nate Longshore. Nate-Nate threw several befuddling passes, including an interception in the fourth quarter that all but sealed the game. Recurring trend anyone (think UCLA, ASU)? The Clog, for one, would like to see Nate-Nate start his Mormon mission sooner rather than later.

The non-stop rain drenched the playing field, as well as everyone who was in attendance. Players were slipping all over the turf in the first quarter as they attempted to adjust to the poor conditions. The student section stuck it out to the bitter end, but the Clog did notice an unusually large number of empty seats after halftime—shame on you, alumni.

The Clog even found disappointment on the sidelines with the USC Song Girls. Instead of their normally highly entertaining performances in short skirts, the Song Girls looked comical at best, prancing on the sidelines in ponchos. (That could actually pass as a picture of them.) No word yet if one of the Song Girls was caught cheering following Lavelle Hawkins’ redonkulous touchdown reception.

As far as our Uni Watch goes, we weren’t huge fans of the 1975 throwback uniforms worn in honor of Joe Roth. We did, however, like the helmets, which bore a striking resemblance to those of the Green Bay Packers.

The Clog is also happy to report that fourth quarter Cal Mic Man, Christian “Ian” Villanueva, was back after being the victim of a stabbing incident that put him on the disabled list for the Washington State game. Additionally, the Clog would like to applaud Mic Man Harris Cohn who bowed out gracefully following his last home football game. Harris, you were always our favorite.

Image Source: Jayson Dana, Daily Cal
Longshore’s Late Pick Drops Cal Once Again [Daily Cal]