NCAA

Tedford to meet with Barbour to discuss future at Cal

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Tedford to meet with Barbour to discuss future at Cal

BERKELEY (AP) California coach Jeff Tedford said he expects to meet next week with athletic director Sandy Barbour to discuss his future after the Golden Bears finish their worst season during Tedford's tenure.Tedford said Tuesday he will begin a thorough evaluation of what went wrong for the program as soon as the season ends Saturday night at No. 15 Oregon State."The first place I will look is in the mirror," Tedford said. "We'll do a deep dive and figure out where we can improve."Tedford said he will meet with assistants and each player to get their input on how to improve the situation at Cal. The Bears (3-8, 2-6 Pac-12) are having their worst season since finishing with a 1-10 mark in 2001 that led to the firing of Tom Holmoe and the hiring of Tedford.After a bright start to his tenure with seven wins his first year, a school record-tying 10 wins in 2004 and a share of the conference title in 2006, things began falling off the rails during what started as a promising 2007 campaign.The Bears won their first five games that season and were poised to move into the top spot in the AP poll before losing at home to Oregon State. Starting with that loss, Tedford has a 34-36 mark over his last 70 games.Cal failed to become bowl eligible for the first time under Tedford in 2010 and has been even worse this season. The Bears have lost four straight games - the longest skid since Tedford arrived - capped by a 59-17 loss last week to Oregon that was the most lopsided for the school since 1999."Teams go through adverse moments," defensive backSteve Williamssaid. "This is one of our adverse moments. Coach Tedford has been here a long time. He's been with us a long time. I'm behind him 100 percent."The recent struggles led Tedford to this thorough evaluation, where he said he will look at every aspect of the program from recruiting to academics to practice format and scheme."We'll evaluate all of that and take coaches' input and all the coaches and figure out where we feel like we can improve in every phase," he said. "You really have to put a microscope on it. How can I be better as a head coach? What can I do to help the staff? What can I do to help our players?"Whether Tedford will get that chance remains to be seen. If Cal decides to get rid of Tedford, the school would owe him 6.9 million for the final three years of his contract.With recruiting season picking up in December, a decision on Tedford's status would likely come soon after the season ends. For now, Tedford is operating as though he will be back and is ready to start looking in depth at recruiting needs next week."We're moving forward as we have work to do," he said. "We're moving forward making plans to get where we need to be and do the things we need to do."While Tedford acknowledged that recruiting off a down season can be difficult, he said he believes potential recruits will see an opportunity to play immediately at Cal and look at the improved facilities he helped get built.The Bears finished their first season at renovated Memorial Stadium, which underwent a 321 million facelift. There is also a 150 million on-campus High Performance Center attached to the stadium that has modernized outdated facilities.That is just part of Tedford's legacy, which also includes a school-record 85 wins."He's one of the hardest-working guys you'll ever be around," senior offensive linemanTyler Rigsbeesaid. "He's kept a great attitude and kept this team together, which is not easy to do, especially this year with some really tough losses. Teams will disintegrate or guys will start bickering at each other. He's done a good job keeping us as a family. He's going to go back to the drawing board and work as hard as he can to get us in the position to win games."There are also questions about the future of another key figure at Cal, star receiverKeenan Allen. Tedford said he expects Allen to decide next week whether to return for his senior season or leave early for the NFL.Allen is the career record holder in receptions at Cal with 205. He has 2,570 yards receiving and 17 career touchdown catches. He will likely miss his third straight game this week with an injured left knee.Allen is considered one of the top receivers eligible for the draft and Tedford said he will research where Allen would be projected to go if he decides to leave school early."That's important information," Tedford said. "I will try to gather as much information for him and sit down so he can make an educated decision. I'll support him in whatever he wants to do, but it's really important we get him all the proper information."

Cal fights USC into fourth quarter, can't complete the upset

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AP

Cal fights USC into fourth quarter, can't complete the upset

BOX SCORE

BERKELEY -- Stephen Carr ran for a fourth-quarter touchdown two plays after Southern California's defense forced one of its six turnovers and the fifth-ranked Trojans won their 13th straight game, 30-20 over California on Saturday.

USC (4-0, 2-0 Pac-12) has dominated the series with its in-state rival by winning 14 straight against the Golden Bears (3-1, 0-1), but this was one of the tightest matchups in years as the game was tied early in the fourth quarter.

Sam Darnold threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns for the Trojans but also had an interception and was under pressure for much of the day.

It was the defense that stepped up for USC, intercepting a pass from Ross Bowers in the first quarter to set up a field goal and then delivering the big play early in the fourth quarter after Chase McGrath gave the Trojans a 16-13 lead with his third field goal of the game.

Josh Fatu knocked the ball out of Bowers' hand and Uchenna Nwosu recovered the fumble at the 3. Carr ran it in two plays later from the 2 to make it 23-13.

Ykili Ross then intercepted Bowers' pass on the next possession, setting up Darnold's 4-yard TD pass to Deontay Burnett that put away the game.

Bowers finished 22 for 50 for 303 yards with one touchdown, four interceptions and two lost fumbles.

THE TAKEAWAY

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: The Trojans struggled for much of the game without starting RB Ronald Jones (ankle) and WR Steven Mitchell (groin) but managed to pull away late in their first road game of the season.

CALIFORNIA: The Bears used an improved defense to start 3-0 under first-year coach Justin Wilcox but this was supposed to be the test of how far they had come. Cal showed plenty by sticking with a national title contender for three quarters. A sequence on the opening drive of the second will haunt the Bears. Patrick Laird dropped a potential TD in the end zone and Matt Anderson then missed a 29-yard field goal that kept the game tied at 13.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

A win against an unranked team should do little to alter USC's poll position.

UP NEXT

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Visits No. 18 Washington State on Friday.

CALIFORNIA: Visits No. 24 Oregon on Saturday.

From feeding homeless to doing the splits, Stanford's Phillips a rare find

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From feeding homeless to doing the splits, Stanford's Phillips a rare find

Stanford has a penchant for recruiting the overachieving student-athlete. Even among those standards, Harrison Phillips is a rare find. The senior defensive tackle helps feed the homeless every Friday morning at a local shelter. He often visits the kids in the oncology ward at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. He was named to the Pac-12 All Academic First Team and will graduate in December with a double major and a minor. He is a team captain and heir apparent to Solomon Thomas, the 49ers third overall pick in this year’s NFL draft.

“One thing you love about Harrison is, every day he’s going to get something done,” head coach David Shaw told NBC Sports Bay Area. “On the field, off the field, in the community, he’s always got a million things going on. But nothing ever suffers.

"He does everything at a high level.”

At 6-foot-4, 290 pounds, Phillips is a mountain of a man. His skill set is different than that of Thomas, but he can be just as disruptive. He plays over the center. He plays over the guards. His self-proclaimed job is to eat as many blocks as possible to keep the linebackers free.

“He’s such that hard point for us. He’s that guy up front that’s getting knock back, that force in the run game that you gotta have,” defensive coordinator Lance Anderson explained. “You have to have that strong solid point in the middle of your defense, and he provides that.”

Phillips had a game-high 11 tackles, five of them solo, in the Cardinal’s loss to USC. No other defensive lineman on the field had more than three.

“He’s outstanding against the run. He’s a very good pass rusher,” Shaw added. “He’s got a lot of tools that can work inside.”

Phillips main instruments of domination are strength, knowledge of leverage and abnormal flexibility for a man of his size.

“He can do the splits on command,” Thomas said laughing from in front of his locker after a recent 49ers practice. “He loves showing it off. We get on him for it. But he loves doing it.

And, according to Thomas, his former Stanford teammate loves to bench. So it comes as no surprise that Phillips’ upper body strength stands out.

“He’ll be really low in a position that you think he’d get knocked over in,” Thomas explained. “Because of how flexible he is, it’s not a problem for him to get in that position and stay there and move on from there. It definitely shows up on his film.”

No doubt, Phillips says, that ability comes from his wrestling experience. His high school curriculum vitae includes, “Nebraska State Wrestling Champion, Heavy Weight Division, Sophomore, Junior and Senior years.”

Phillips first year on The Farm, he vividly remembers his Stanford coaches testing him. Just a mere 245 pounds at the time, they put him up against Joshua Garnett and Andrus Peat, two offensive linemen now in the NFL and each well over 300 pounds.

“They’d double team me, almost 700 pounds on you, and I would somehow find leverage and be able to sit on some of those double teams,” Phillips said. “I think the violence that wrestling brings, and balance and being comfortable in weird positions, wrestling has a ton of scrambling, as it's called, you just know your body and know what you can do. I have tremendous flexibility, and I use everything to my advantage.”

One thing Phillips is not allowed to do is use his explosiveness away from the football field. At one time, Phillips could do a back flip off the wall, but he no longer attempts it.

“I’m not a big fan of the back hand springs,” Shaw said. “I’d like for him to stay on his feet.”

Phillips doesn’t argue. He lost his entire sophomore year to a knee injury, and doesn’t want to risk another. He has NFL aspirations and put himself in position to graduate in three-and-a-half years should he choose to enter the 2018 draft. But just as he has done at Stanford, he is looking to be more than just a name on a jersey should he play on a professional level.

“I want to build something that is really lasting,” Phillips said of his life goal, “and put my name on something to touch people’s lives and change people’s lives, pay it forward as much as I can.”