Sept. 9, 2011California Golden Bears (1-0) vs.Colorado Buffaloes (0-1)
Coverage begins Saturday at 12:30pm on CSN California
BOULDER (AP) -- The Cal Golden Bears have inside information about Colorado's offense and quarterback Tyler Hansen, and not just because they faced the Buffaloes last year.
Eric Kiesau, the Bears' new passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach, was the Buffs' offensive coordinator under Dan Hawkins. So, he shared his knowledge of his former pupils, particularly Hansen, with Cal's defensive coaches as they prepared for Saturday's kickoff in Boulder.
The game won't count in the Pac-12 standings because it was scheduled as part of a home-and-home series before the Buffs bolted the Big 12.
When the Buffs hired head coach Jon Embree, who brought Eric Bieniemy with him from the pro ranks to serve as his offensive coordinator, Kiesau went even farther West, along with fellow former Buffs assistant Ashley Ambrose, Cal's defensive backs coach.
"Coach Kiesau is a great guy, I love the guy," Hansen said. "The last two years when he was my coach was a lot of fun. I've become close to his family. So it's going to be fun to see him. I've talked to him a couple of times since he left. So maybe he knows my weaknesses, I don't know if he does or doesn't but it will be fun to play him."
Kiesau said he's trying to keep his emotions in check this weekend.
"I don't want to sound cold when I say this but I want to be disconnected when I go back and take it as a business trip and understand what we're trying to do and go there and play a game," Kiesau said. "I know these kids on a personal level. I'm very close to some of them. They still text me now and then. Some texted me about the game.
"The only advantage is I know them on an athletic level, just what they do personally. They're going to have scheme and X's and O's, which will be very different from when I was there."
Kiesau was on the losing side of the Bears' 52-7 throttling of the Buffaloes in Berkeley last season.
"They'll use last year's game as motivation for this year," Kiesau said. "We have to make sure that we're prepared and we're ready for this game because Colorado plays a little different brand of football at home than on the road."
Indeed, Embree said during fall camp that he was eager to host Pac-12 teams at high altitude.
"We're not going to make it a big deal," Kiesau said. "We're going to go out there and play. You can't let it get into your mind that it will affect you because once your mind goes it will affect your body."
Cal coach Jeff Tedford has told his team, which beat Fresno State 36-21 in its opener last week, "You may be short of breath, but you'll recover quickly so don't panic about it."
"I think it's a mental thing," Bears tailback C.J. Anderson said. "We're not the type who are going to come out and say we're tired. That's not our mojo. That's not what we do."
With the coaching turnover at Colorado, Tedford said he hasn't watched film of last year's blowout.
"I haven't looked at it at all," he said. "It's just different, totally different."
Embree sneaked a peek, and he didn't like what he saw at all.
"Lack of effort, that disturbed me the most," said Embree, who lost his head coaching debut 34-17 at Hawaii last week. "I don't feel like we competed very well last year. I felt like we just kind of were just hoping, waiting for the clock to run out so we could get off the field. I mean, that's what it looked like watching it."
"I thought the effort was there," Buffs defensive tackle Conrad Obi said. "I didn't think we executed at all."
Although this game doesn't count in the conference standings, don't expect any letup from the new Pac-12 foes.
"You don't play any different because it's a conference game or a non-conference game," Tedford said. "You just do everything you can to try to prepare to win the game. It doesn't really matter."