After a season of up and down performances, the Cal's offensve line put together one of their better efforts against Oregon. Reflecting on last week's game, senior left tackle Tyler Rigsbee said, “We want to really be consistent.”
“Any good O-line you watch across the country is a consistent group, and we've struggled with that a bit. We want to go out there and be the most physical group we can be, and just have fun and fly around and finish. That's what we tried to do.”
“We had some positives. You go back to the film and there's definitely some stuff to work on, but we definitely got after them a bit, ran the ball, so that's good. That's a good positive we want to take forward into this week.”
Considering the line's success in the run game, Rigsbee was also asked if he thought the team should have run more last Saturday.
“As an O-lineman, you want to run the ball every play,” he admitted. “but you gotta understand the way the flow of the game goes. You gotta do some other stuff.”
Rigsbee felt that Allan Bridgford did well in Zach Maynard's stead, saying that both were “great quarterbacks, but Bridge, (with) his maturity, he was definitely prepared to play.”
“[Bridgford's] a student of the game. We definitely didn't feel any drop off. He came in there, he ran the offense. He was a leader out there, and did some really good things for us. I'm excited. Hopefully he can get this experience, come in and play his butt off this next game.”
With his career now coming to a close and highly ranked prospects like Freddie Tagaloa and Matt Cochran waiting to take over, Rigsbee said that the seniors in the group have already spoken about the passing of the torch, so to speak.
“That's something we kind of always talk about, man. We have a lot of tradition here, especially as an O-line.”
“The future is the limit for these guys. We're really excited and we've told them all year since they got here that this is going to be your time to take it over and do it. We're excited for them.”
This season has been trying at times, Rigsbee acknowledged. “It's been frustrating because we've lost the really close games that we've been in and just haven't been able to do enough to win the game.”
“While we're all really disappointed from top to bottom about the way the season's turned out, I'm proud of the way our guys have stayed together and our coaching staff has kept us together,” he added. “We've had a positive energy. We've been excited to come to practice everyday, and I think a lot of times that's hard to do with a season like this.”
“We going to have one more chance to be together as a team, and we really want to make that a positive one.”
One hot topic of fan speculation as 2012 draws to a close is Coach Tedford's job security, but Rigsbee denied that such talk had become a distraction in the locker room.
“No, not at all,” he said. “We're focused on winning football games. All that outside stuff, they do a good job of keeping it away from us, and we do a good job of focusing on playing football. That's what we're here to do. We respect our coaching staff. They would do anything for us, so we're going to try to win some games for them, play as hard as we can, and focus on what we're doing here inside our family.”
This week's opponents, the Oregon State Beavers are “a really hard-working group,” Rigsbee said. “They play uptempo, they fly around, they hit, they do a lot of stuff that makes a good defense.”
“It's going to be a challenge for us. It's going to be a nasty, physical game up at their place. That's kind of an O-lineman's dream.”
“It's hard to pinpoint one [favorite moment],” he said. “There've been some great wins here. I know one really special moment here was winning that night against UCLA – big home game, homecoming. Kind of a turning point in our season. Having my brother out there and doing some things was a special moment. Hopefully we would have had more of those.”
“It's been an interesting year. There's been some highs and lows. As a whole, I couldn't be happier with the way we're going to finish.”
“There would be nothing that matters more to me than to finish my career with a W, and get to celebrate with my teammates and my brother and my family here.”