Tedford hopes Bears get back on track

Updated: October 17, 2003, 2:26 PM ET

PASADENA, Calif. -- Coach Jeff Tedford hopes the California Golden Bears have finally gotten over the game they played three weeks ago -- their biggest win of the season.

The Bears' upset of Southern California has had lingering effects -- and not all of them are good.

"It was a big win for our program and alumni and everybody else," Tedford said. "The problem is, they won't stop talking about it.

"We need to put that behind us. That's old news and we need to move on. We play a very difficult UCLA team and we need to get back on track."

Cal (3-4, 1-1 Pac-10) faces UCLA (4-2, 2-0) Saturday afternoon at the Rose Bowl.

The Bears followed their emotional 34-31, triple-overtime victory over fourth-ranked USC with a lackluster 35-21 loss to Oregon State.

Tedford sensed trouble heading into that game.

"We just didn't have the same emotional juice we did the week before against USC, not from the fans, not from anywhere," he said.

Cal had a bye last week, its only break in a 13-game schedule.

"I think it feels like a new season right now after the weekend off," Tedford said. "It gave the players some time to get away, and get more than just physically refreshed, to get mentally refreshed."

Like the Bears, the Bruins are having an up-and-down season. They have bounced back from their 59-24 loss at No. 1 Oklahoma to win three in a row, including Pac-10 victories over Washington and Arizona.

UCLA rallied from a 21-10 halftime deficit to beat Arizona 24-21 last Saturday.

"We were very fortunate to do the right things at the right time for us to come out with that victory," first-year Bruins coach Karl Dorrell said. "It probably wasn't our best game to date. We found a way to win and we're excited about building from that and moving on, which this week is Cal."

The Bears feature the passing of Aaron Rodgers and Reggie Robertson, and the running of Adimchinobe Echemandu.

Rodgers, who has started the last three games, has completed 73 of 138 passes for 892 yards, with six touchdowns and three interceptions. Robertson has completed 61 of 97 for 778 yards, with nine touchdowns and three interceptions, and leads the Pac-10 with a 154.7 passing efficiency rating.

Geoff McArthur has 41 receptions for 695 yards and six touchdowns.

Echemandu has averaged a conference-high 5.4 yards on 119 carries, including rushing for a career-best 147 yards against USC, then gaining 146 yards against Oregon State.

Dorrell said Rodgers and Robertson give the Bears a one-two punch.

"They do a nice job offensively with mixing things up. Both quarterbacks have different strengths, but both of them collectively present some issues for any opposing defense," Dorrell said. "They are a good tandem to have."

UCLA also probably will use two quarterbacks, although starter Drew Olson, who took over when Matt Moore went out with a knee injury in a season-opening loss at Colorado, is expected to get most of the playing time. Olson has thrown for 1,107 yards and four touchdowns, with five interceptions.

Moore has been working his way back from the injury and played two series last weekend at Arizona.

The Bruins have gotten scoring punch over the past two weeks from an unlikely source -- defensive tackle Rodney Leisle.

He recovered a fumble for a touchdown to ignite the Bruins against Washington, and later intercepted a pass to set up a field goal in that 46-16 win. Last week at Arizona, he rumbled 55 yards with an interception to bring UCLA back from a 21-17 deficit in the fourth quarter.

Kickoff at the Rose Bowl is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. PDT. The Bruins are favored by three points.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index

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