Cal Bears football podcast with Morris Phillips: Bears will have to regroup after failed first half against OSU and answer the bell against Utah Saturday

photo from California quarterback Devon Modster, left, hands off to running back Christopher Brown Jr. in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game in Berkeley, Calif., Saturday, October 19, 2019.

On the Cal Bears podcast with Morris:

#1 The Cal Bears (4-3), in the first half of the game, could never make good use once they got into the red zone except to elect to kick a field goal. If not for that, they would have got shutout in the first half of the game by the Oregon State Beavers (3-4).

#2 Here is a Beavers team, whose been on a struggle, came into Berkeley at 2-4 and there’s Cal, who had a lot of confidence. This would be a great building block going forward after losing their last two games to Oregon and ASU.

#3 Did OSU take Cal out of their game in that first half by scoring two first half touchdowns and holding Cal to only a field goal?

#4 OSU won 21-17. Did Beavers quarterback Jake Luton, who threw 18-34 for 174 yards and two touchdowns, get some good protection and some time to throw the ball Saturday?

#5 Cal travels to Utah to face the Utah Utes (6-1) and the Utes are no pushover. They beat ASU (5-2) in their last game 21-3 on the road in Utah. This is a game that might keep Cal head coach Justin Wilcox up all week.

Morris does the Cal Bears podcasts each Monday at

Cal Bears Football podcast with Morris Phillips: Golden Bears look to rebound on OSU after loss in Oregon

photo from The Cal Bears Deandae Johnson sacks Oregon QB Justin Herbert in the October 5th

On the Cal Bears (4-2) Football podcast with Morris:

#1 Morris, Cal head coach Justin Wilcox reflected on the tough loss in their last game October 5th at Oregon (4-1) saying “It’s not one person, the way we meet, the extra work they do” referring to the work ethic of the team was that element lacking referring to the loss to the Ducks on the 5th?

#2 Morris, talk about Cal’s defensive backfield: Ashtyn Davis, Jaylinn Hawkins, Trey Turner III, Treyvon Beck, Josh Drayden, Camryn Bynum, and Elijah Hicks. How much of a percentage you would put on the game in Oregon that defense was there or not there?

#3 How much pressure will be on David Modster to get it done this coming Saturday. He just wasn’t able to get some of the passes he wanted in Oregon last game.

#4  Modster will get a chance to throw against Oregon State (2-4). Oregon State had their heads handed to them in their last game by the Utah Utes (5-1) 52-7 nearly getting shutout. Could Modster have a game like that throwing for scores all day?

#5 Lastly, talk about coach Wilcox’s game plan the Bears need a lot more offense than they got in Oregon and how sore is the wounded Golden Bear that wants to come out with a vengeance on Saturday?

Morris does the Cal podcasts each Monday morning at

Cal football podcast with Morris Phillips: Modster looking to regroup against OSU photo: Cal Bears defensive back Jaylinn Hawkins (6) and defensive back Erik Harutyunyan (26) got some joy before Oregon put the kibosh on the Bears happiness with a 17-7 win at Oregon on Saturday.

On the Cal football podcast with Morris Phillips:

#1 Another tough loss for Cal quarterback David Modster, who threw two picks. How much did the turnover play a role in the lack of offense against Oregon?

#2 How tough of a role was it for Modster to step into throwing 17-34, 190 yards and one touchdown.

#3 Knowing head coach Justin Wilcox, he really wanted to set up some kind of rally down 10 points to get back into this game. How uphill was his game plan to execute?

#4 Oregon is noted for its tough defense and they succeeded with holding Cal to just a touchdown. Talk about how the Ducks were able to stop the run?

#5 Oregon State comes to Cal Saturday Oct 19th. There’s no doubt that Modster wants to avoid the interception and get the scoring up. How much of a workload does he have this Saturday?

Morris Phillips does Cal podcasts every Monday at

Stanford’s feel-good win over Oregon State helps prep for home cooking

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By Ana Kieu

David Shaw showed the masses he still has a few tricks up his sleeve Saturday night at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Ore.

Clinging to a seven-point lead against Oregon State early in the fourth quarter, Stanford had first and goal at the 8-yard line. Shaw called a reverse with junior quarterback Davis Mills pitching left to fifth-year senior running back Cameron Scarlett, who handed to junior tight end Colby Parkinson, who lofted a pass in the end zone for Mills. The latter used every inch of his 6’4″ frame to out-leap two Oregon State defenders for a touchdown.

“Colby put a little too much air under it,” said Shaw. “We knew our quarterback was going to be wide open. Davis is a great athlete and he hung up there and made a great play.”

Mills loved the call, now known as the Stanford Special.

“It was fun,” Mills said. “It was our version of the Philly Special.”

Parkinson also caught a touchdown pass from Mills, becoming the first non-quarterback at Stanford since Christian McCaffrey in the 2015 Pac-12 Championship Game to throw for and score a touchdown.

“I was very excited and very nervous,” Parkinson said.

As it turned out, Stanford needed one more score to win. Senior kicker Jet Toner grooved a 39-yard field goal with one second remaining to lift the Cardinal to a 31-28 victory.

“He’s got that cool Hawaiian breeze going through his blood,” Shaw said of Toner, a Honolulu product.

Breaking out
Stanford (2-3, 1-2 Pac-12) snapped out of its offensive funk by scoring four touchdowns against the Beavers (1-3, 0-1 Pac-12), who have lost 10 consecutive conference games. Making his second start of the season in place of injured K.J. Costello, Mills passed for three scores and caught another.

“He was calm and collected under pressure,” said Shaw. “He stood in the pocket, made some huge plays with his legs and made some really smart decisions.”

Operating behind the fourth different starting offensive line in five games, Mills threw for a career-high 245 yards.

“Not much,” said Shaw, when asked how much he revised the game plan. “Davis gets outside the pocket a little more. We protected well and guys made plays.”

Mills accompanied the team to Corvallis as a freshman, which helped prepare him for the loud and challenging environment. He didn’t flinch in the final drive.

“I have a lot of trust in the guys,” Mills said.

Shaw has been waiting for his wide receivers to step up and they did. Junior Connor Wedington caught five passes for 31 yards, junior Osiris St. Brown caught 4-for-46, sophomore Michael Wilson caught 3-for-87, sophomore Simi Fehoko caught 1-for-16, and Parkinson grabbed 3-for-44. More importantly, they contributed several big gains, going for 39, 36 and 18 yards.

Truly special
Wedington helped set up Toner’s game-winner with a 43-yard kickoff return in the final two minutes after OSU had tied the score. Senior cornerback Obi Eboh blocked a field goal, Wilson contributed a 27-yard punt return, and freshman punter Ryan Sanborn averaged 50.3 yards on three punts, lacing a career-best 68-yarder and downed two inside the 20.

“We were stellar,” Shaw said.

Stanford ranks first in the Pac-12 in kickoff coverage.

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Frosh impact
In just his second start, freshman Jonathan McGill collected a game-high 11 tackles at nickel-back and was all over the field. Sophomore defensive end Thomas Booker had his first two-sack game and finished with a career-best eight tackles, and senior inside linebacker Curtis Robinson added a career-best seven stops.

The Cardinal posted four sacks and six tackles for loss.

Booker had rave reviews for McGill, cornerback Kyu Blu Kelly and the other freshmen who have stepped up on defense.

“Seeing them come in with the poise they have is awesome,” Booker said.

Huskies next
Stanford welcomes No. 15 Washington (4-1, 1-1 Pac-12) next Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the first of three straight home games.

The host Huskies defeated No. 21 USC (3-2, 1-1 Pac-12) on Saturday, 28-14. Salvon Ahmed ran for a career-high 153 yards for Washington, which has outscored opponents 77-3 in the first quarter.

The Huskies won last year’s meeting at Husky Stadium, 27-23. However, the Cardinal has claimed four of the last six and eight of the last 11.

The Pac-12 Network will broadcast the Pregame Show on campus Saturday.

Game theme
Stanford football student-athletes and coaches will be sporting pink to draw awareness to breast cancer as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer survivors will be honored throughout the game. Additionally, the 2019 NCAA champion women’s water polo team will be recognized for capturing their seventh NCAA title.

Extra points
Freshman Barrett Miller started at offensive left guard alongside freshman tackle Walter Rouse … Miller became the 13th first-time starter and fifth true freshman to start for Stanford this season … As he has all season, Scarlett ran hard and tallied a team-high 92 tough yards on 24 carries. “He’s our MVP,” said Shaw … Sophomore wide receiver Brycen Tremayne, a former walk-on who earned a scholarship during fall camp, caught his first collegiate touchdown … The Stanford defense hasn’t allowed a first-quarter touchdown in six of the last eight games … The start of the game was delayed 15 minutes due to lightning in the area … Chris Peatross ’88, a four-year wide receiver at Stanford, served as honorary captain. He is the founder, president and CEO of Swift Real Estate Partners.

“What it really showed was our grit and character. We’re excited about going forward.” — Colby Parkinson

Stanford travels to Corvallis to take on Oregon State this Saturday

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By Ana Kieu

According to Mark Soltau, Colby Parkinson didn’t see it coming.

Last November on Senior Day against Oregon State, Parkinson — a junior tight end — tied a school record by catching four touchdown passes from then junior quarterback K.J. Costello — all in the first half — in Stanford’s 48-17 win. Coming into the contest, Parkinson had 17 receptions and no touchdowns, but finished with six grabs for 166 yards.

Parkinson scored on a variety of routes, finding pay dirt from 5, 9, 28 and 75 yards.

“It was a great game and fun to be part of,” Parkinson said. “I don’t think I caught a ball twice on the same person.”

Leading into the game, junior tight end Kaden Smith and senior wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside had been Costello’s favorite targets. But Arcega-Whiteside didn’t play after sustaining an injury the week before at Washington.

“It’s just kind of how it evolved,” Parkinson said of his first half. “We always put in different plans for different people in certain games and we have matchups that we like. The ball was coming my way.”

After playing in Smith’s shadow, Parkinson showed he was a threat.

“We did some things to get him singled up,” said David Shaw, the Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football. “I don’t know that he was enough of a name to have specialty coverage for. That game really proved how special he can be.”

The contest had special meaning for Parkinson, who grew in Simi Valley, Calif. That week, the devastating Camp Fire in Butte County and Woolsey Fire west of Los Angeles were raging in Northern and Southern California. Additionally, a shooting near his hometown in Thousand Oaks, took the lives of 12 people.

“It was almost sentimental,” Parkinson said. “It was pretty cool to hopefully give some of my friends and family back home something to watch.”

This season, the 6-foot-7, 251-pound Parkinson ranks second on the squad with 17 receptions for 178 yards, but has yet to score. With Arcega-Whiteside and Smith now playing in the NFL, opposing defenses have made stopping Parkinson a priority, often jamming him at the line of scrimmage and double-teaming him.

“You’ve seen it in the first four games – I’m not getting the same looks I was getting last year,” said Parkinson, who will try to help Stanford (1-3, 0-2 Pac-12) snap a three-game losing streak at Oregon State (1-2, 0-0 Pac-12) at 4 p.m. on Saturday. “It seems like they’re game-planning for me, which is definitely a compliment.”

The coaching staff is working hard to find ways to free him up.

“It’s incumbent on us to move him around and show his versatility,” Shaw said. “At the same time, if they want to take him away, other guys have to make plays.”

All Parkinson cares about is winning.

“I’m happy not to catch a single pass if that means other people are getting open,” Parkinson said. “It’s absolutely a team sport, especially in that way.”

Plagued by penalties and near misses, the Cardinal offense has only produced four touchdowns.

Parkinson is confident the offense is close to clicking.

“Absolutely,” Parkinson said. “I feel great at practice this week. I’ve kind of changed my attitude. It was easier for me last year having those established vertical threats like JJ and Kaden. We have great talent on this team. It’s been tough, but I’m excited about where we’re going.”

SLOW START: Stanford’s losses have come against No. 22 UCF, No. 21 USC and No. 13 Oregon, who are a combined 9-3. Although many consider the Cardinal’s first four games the toughest stretch in the country, Shaw offered no excuses.

“We haven’t been up to our standards,” Shaw said. “Injuries aren’t the reason for our record.”

Eliminating mistakes, better execution and making plays are the Cardinal’s keys going forward.

“I trust the mentality of this football team,” said Shaw. “I think we all are a little frustrated, which I think is a positive, because we should be frustrated. We’re not going to press and scrap a lot of things. We need to tweak some things and improve the things we’re doing.”

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HANGING TOUGH: Costello is questionable for Oregon State. He injured his throwing thumb early in the game after hitting an Oregon helmet with his follow through on a pass.

“He fought through it the whole game and made some great throws late in the game,” Shaw said. “It’s hard to say how much it affected him.”

Asked if he considered inserting junior backup Davis Mills, Shaw said, “Honestly, I think there were only two errant throws the entire game. He put the ball on the money a couple times with guys in his face. It wasn’t like he couldn’t do the job.”

INJURY UPDATE: Junior offensive tackle Foster Sarell is probable and senior offensive tackle Devery Hamilton is doubtful.

Sophomore cornerback Ethan Bonner, senior cornerback Treyjohn Butler and junior strong safety Stuart Head could return to practice and might be available Saturday.

DEFENSIVE FORCE: Fifth-year senior outside linebacker Casey Toohill is first in the Pac-12 in sacks with four and second in tackles for loss with six. He leads the team with 28 tackles and has one forced fumble and two hurries.

“I thought we came out with more fire,” Toohill said of last week’s 21-6 defeat to Oregon. “That really should be our standard. I think we really need to bring the same juice every game.”

ALL OUT: Sophomore wide receiver Michael Wilson likes being physical and goes hard until he hears a whistle on every play. He developed that mentality in youth football.

“I just have the desire to out-work my opponent,” Wilson said. “Coach Shaw really wants that to be the theme of the Stanford football team. It has been in the past. I like to bring professional brutality. If you keep attacking over and over again, a lot of guys aren’t going to like that.”

Asked about the team’s offensive struggles, Wilson said, “People love to see big plays made and we want to make big plays. That’s why we put in all this work throughout the offseason.”

The danger is trying to force things.

“In a way, you kind of have to let the game come to you,” Wilson said. “I think when you try too hard to make a play, that’s oftentimes when you don’t. You have to have this calm way about it. We’ve got guys across the board that can make plays. Hopefully, it starts this game.”

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BACK TO CLASS: Autumn quarter classes began Monday.

“It’s definitely gotten more hectic, but we’re Stanford men, and this is what we signed up for,” Wilson said. “I love it. School is a big part of why I came here. I love the challenge.”

SCOUTING THE BEAVERS: Toohill is impressed with Oregon State’s offense and knows stopping it will be a challenge.

“Great running backs and receivers,” Toohill said. “Like any Pac-12 offense, they can put up a lot of points. I don’t think their record reflects how good they are. There are no easy weeks in the Pac-12, so you always have to be on your game.”

Quarterback Jake Luton, now in his sixth year of college football, has thrown for eight touchdowns and hasn’t been intercepted. Running back Jermar Jefferson has rushed for 270 yards and averages 5.7 yards per carry, while wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins has snared five scoring passes and averages 15.1 yards per catch.

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NOTES: Shaw typically watches film of the last game at least three times by Sunday night … Shaw on playing at Reser Stadium: “Every time I think of Corvallis, I think of that third down chainsaw (played over the PA system). It’s unnaturally loud. It’s a great atmosphere, it’s loud and those guys are going to be fired up.” … Junior tight end Tucker Fisk and sophomore fullback Jay Symonds made their first collegiate catches against Oregon … Fifth-year senior running back Cameron Scarlett ranks fourth in the Pac-12 with 321 yards and has caught 10 passes for 88 yards.

QUOTE: “I’ve never seen a guy that has so much natural wiggle. He’s like a magician with his body.” — Michael Wilson on freshman running back Austin Jones

March Madness NCAAB podcast with Michelle Richardson: Top schools Virginia and NC; plus Tenn, Kentucky, and Duke

Photo credit: @UVAMensHoops

On the March Madness NCAAB podcast with Michelle:

#1 Michelle, talk about some the top ranked schools in March Madness, Virginia and North Carolina.

#2 Talk about the Tennessee Vols (5), Kentucky Wildcats (6), and Duke Blue Devils (10).

#3 The Washington State Cougars (11-20) finished up their season with Oregon State Beavers (18-12) they’ve lost four in a row. What is the best thing they can expect out of the Pac-12 Tournament?

Michelle’s Final Thoughts

Michelle does the NCAAB podcast each Sunday at

Stanford stops by Oregon State on Thursday

Photo credit: @StanfordMBB

By: Ana Kieu

The Stanford Cardinal, coming off a two-game winning streak, made sure to pay the Oregon State Beavers a visit inside the Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Ore. Thursday night. The tipoff has been set to 7:00 pm PT on the Pac-12 Network.

The Cardinal’s last two wins occurred at Cal in a 84-81 thriller on February 3rd and at home–Maples Pavilion–versus the Colorado State Buffaloes 75-62 on January 26th. The Cardinal has been a wishy-washy team this season, but at least they aren’t in the abyss like my alma mater, San Jose State Spartans, or some other hapless men’s basketball team out there.

Anyways, the Cardinal and Cal Bears were more of a Bay Area rivalry than anything else. The Cardinal has to be focused on the road ahead in the Pacific Northwest as the Beavers and Ducks will likely be tough customers. And, of course, the home court advantage that often shifts the game in favor of the home team.

Cardinal head coach Jerod Haase told the local media that Bryce Wills has been making plays and growing each game. Wills currently holds a career-high of 16 points. That’s definitely a good thing as the Cardinal need all the help they can get.

Before the Stanford vs. Oregon State game, it was announced that KZ Okpala was named one of ten finalists for the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award. Okpala was joined by Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura, Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter, Kentucky’s Keldon Johnson, Nevada’s Caleb Martin, Michigan’s Charles Matthews, Tennessee’s Admiral Schofield, Iowa State’s Marial Shayok, Oregon State’s Tres Tinkle, and Belmont’s Dylan Windler.

Okpala leads Stanford in scoring (18.1 points per game), rebounding (6.1 rebounds per game), three-point field goal percentage (.410), free throws (87) and minutes (33.0 mpg). He ranks third in the Pac-12 in scoring, fifth in three-point field goal percentage, and 14th in rebounding. In conference play, the forward is averaging 20.4 points per game (ranks second) and 6.1 rebounds per game.

Okpala scored a career-high 30 points at Cal and leads the Pac-12 with 12 games of 20 points or more this season. He’s one of 10 individuals in the nation to average 21.0 points per game or better in their last six games.

“KZ has been a rock for us,” said the Cardinal’s Anne and Tony Joseph Director of Men’s Basketball. “He’s a foundational piece for everything we do. There’s so much more for him to grow, but he’s really developing very quickly. He certainly deserves the recognition. It is great to see him among the 10 candidates for this prestigious award.”

The nation has been taking notice of Okpala, including ESPN College Basketball Analyst Jay Bilas.

NCAAB podcast with Michelle Richardson: Without Azubike and DeSousa, Wildcats have their way with Hawks; Duke comes back to beat George Tech; OSU gets the better of UW; plus more

Photo credit: @KentuckyMBB

On the NCAAB podcast with Michelle:

#1 Udoke Azubuike is out with an injury and Silvio DeSousa is in ineligible. Wihout their key players, the Kansas Jayhawks (16-4) couldn’t turn the corner to the Kentucky Wildcats (16-3) 71-63. The score is reflective of the lack offense needed by the Hawks.

#2 Duke (17-2) got a win over Georgia Tech (11-9) on Saturday 66-53. The Blue Devils got hoop help from RJ Barrett with 24 points and 11 rebounds Duke won it coming back from behind.

#3 Washington Huskies (16-4) defeated the Oregon State Beavers (12-7) 79-69 Saturday . The Huskies’ Jaylen Nowell (19) and Nahziah Carter (18) both led in scoring and the Beavers’ Stephen Thomson Jr (30) and Tres Tinkle (18) led OSU in scoring.

#4 Michelle’s final thoughts

NCAAB podcast is every week at

Beavers, Moreland too much for Cardinal

By Daniel Dullum

The first stop on Stanford’s Pac-12 men’s basketball road swing through the State was a rough one Thursday, as the Cardinal were upended 81-72 by Oregon State at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis.

Eric Moreland led the Beavers (9-6 overall, 1-2 Pac-12) with 17 points and 15 rebounds, with Roberto Nelson adding 21 points. Halice Cooke, making his first start for OSU, netted 16 points.

For Moreland, it was his third game back after serving a 12-game suspension for violation of team rules.

Chasson Randle scored a game-high 30 points to lead Stanford (9-5, 0-2 Pac-12), with Dwight Powell adding 13 points and 10 boards.

The lead see-sawed early, but after the Cardinal took a 13-12 lead, Angus Brandt’s dunk off a rebound sparked a 10-0 OSU run that put the Beavers up 27-18.

Oregon State built a 10-point lead in the second half, but the Cardinal closed to within two points three times, the last time at 2:59 on a layup by Randle, who was also fouled. Randle converted the free throw and pulled Stanford to within 68-66.

Cooke drained a 3-pointer on the next possession for OSU, and the Beavers cruised home.

Both teams were looking for their first conference win of the season. Oregon State opened Pac-12 play with losses at Colorado and Utah, while Stanford lost to California last Thursday.

The win snapped a four-game Beavers losing streak against Stanford, which had won seven of its last 10 games overall against Oregon State.

On Sunday, the Cardinal travel to Oregon for a 2 p.m. tipoff against the Ducks.

Michael Duca on Cal

by Michael Duca

Cal football: In the new Cal system with old players and that’s pretty old for people who are seeing this team (1-9) but that’s just how it is. It was the team that former head coach Jeff Tedford left behind and it was not covered at just that and the skill set is somewhat underneath it. So current head coach Sonny Dykes has spent the entire year trying to shave the edges off round things so they’ll fit square holes.

Jared Goff is well on pace to throw for 58,000 yards in his career and it maybe well beyond that. Again it’s a true freshman stepping up and running a system that’s somewhat new to him, not totally new. Goff played spread in high school but he didn’t play spread for Dykes and he didn’t play it with this group of players who were drafted for pro set offense. If you look at last Thursday’s game Cal’s offense played USC pretty even.

Cal hoops: Obviously everybody figures you schedule cupcakes a certain time of the year and I don’t think St. Mary’s scheduled a cupcake at Akron last night and Cal scheduled a cupcake at Coppin State. Coppin State went up the coast up a ways and smoked the Oregon State Beavers at Corvallis. That’s a win that Cal could be pretty proud of.

It gives them an idea of what they’ve got this year, the Bears have to figure out a win without having Alan Crabtree to lean on and they could do real well without him because he was so streaky and so prone to disappearing on defense when he wasn’t hitting on offense so if he had a good game it was a great game and if he had a so so game it turned out to be a poor game.

Cal is going to need David Kravish to produce a low post presence they don’t have a lot of height, they’re very limited on who they have on the team. Head coach Mike Montgomery might go small and by small he basically means playing a four guard offense to draw the other team away from the basket. When they go to the four guard offense Kravish is the man on the island, you’ve come to the lighthouse at the opening of the harbor.

Kravish has developed greatly over the years, he came in a skinny kid with a lot of ball hocking ability and could never tell where the ball winds up on a rebound. He’s beefed up a little bit, he doesn’t get pushed around in the low post like he did a couple years ago. He’s got the potential to be a solid good ball player. It really anchors that low post offense for them.

For Monty coaches are coaches they are always excited about their team and their always looking forward to their next game and their always respectful to their opponents. This is how they are they don’t believe in whacking hornets nests and, they don’t believe in over selling their kids and in front of their kids and underselling them and they have kids playing with a chip on their shoulders and Monty is great at that.

He’s one of those guys whose never satisfied because you can only approach perfection you could never reach it.


Michael Duca covers Cal for Sportstalk radio