Cal not catching breaks

By Patrick Klein

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Mark Twain once penned, "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." But with summer still going strong, California head coach Keith Gilbertson is feeling nothing but heat.

His Golden Bears, who were once thought to have a pair of automatic wins against seemingly inferior Western Athletic Conference teams, followed up their 22-20 loss at San Diego State by getting WAC'ed again this week in a 21-7 loss to Hawaii.

How bad have things gotten for the Bears? This week's Pacific 10 Conference press release had Cal ranked 12th in the conference in scoring offense and, during his press conference for this weekend's game with Arizona State, Gilbertson's phone line was overcome with static, causing ASU officials to politely thank Gilbertson for his time, and then disconnect him.

It was probably better that way, because with how the last two weeks have gone, who knows how much of what Gilbertson had to say would have been printable.

Washington coach Jim Lambright, who along with Gilbertson was an assistant under Don James at UW, said it best about the Golden Bears' plight: "I wouldn't want to be in Berkeley this week."

The only team that might want to be there is ASU. The Sun Devils will stumble into the Bay Area this weekend after dropping two of three at home, including last weekend's loss to Louisville. Bad starts are nothing new in Tempe, which has seen the Devils start 1-3 in 1992 and 2-4 in 1993.

It is only mid-September, but this game is a must if either team hopes to salvage a productive season (meaning, if either team hopes to qualify for a bowl).

"We're struggling," ASU coach Bruce Snyder said. "But I'm really excited about getting into the race. We're going to have to play a lot better than Saturday night."

Southern Cal returns to action after a bye week following its loss to Penn State. Awaiting them is a 3-0 Baylor team that is starting to get some notice from around the country.

"They have an impressive defense that dominates opponents," Trojan coach John Robinson said of the Bears. "I would rate them on par with Washington. We will have our hands full."

Other odds and ends: The Pac-10 player of the week awards went to, on offense, Stanford running back Mike Mitchell and on defense, Cardinal end Pete Swanson. Oregon State cornerback Reggie Tongue was named Sports Illustrated's defen-sive player of the week for his two interception returns for touchdowns in OSU's win over Wyoming.

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