Cal linebacker Jarred Price says he's eyeing the Pac-10 single-season sack record. If the Bears could play Colorado every week, he just might get there.
Price is the Bears starting rush linebacker in nickel situations, and given that the Buffaloes routinely go with three-receiver sets, he saw extensive playing time last week during Cal's 52-7 rout at Memorial Stadium.
Price took advantage, recording two sacks of Colorado quarterback Tyler Hansen and hurrying him into two other passes that resulted in interceptions.
Arizona State's Terrell Suggs set the Pac-10 and NCAA single-season record with 24 sacks in 2002. Saturday marked Price's first two sacks of the season.
"Twenty-four is a lot of sacks, but I've done it before. Even though it was high school, I got 24. And I got 20 in junior college. It's a realistic goal. It takes a lot to get there, but I think I can get there."
But since Price isn't a starter on Cal's base defense, the amount of playing time he gets from week-to-week is predicated on the opponent's offensive schemes and the flow of the game. That means he must make an impact whenever he is on the field.
"I want to try to play a little bit more in the base package," Price said. "It's dictated by the offense how many reps the nickel gets. If they don't run the personnel that has us put the nickel in, then I have to try to get my reps in base.
"But whatever my role is, I'm willing to accept it. I know my role is more getting to the passer."
Price didn't play nearly as much in Cal's season opener against UC Davis, because the Aggies' scheme called for quarterback Randy Wright to get rid of the ball quickly. When the Bears face teams that are more inclined to pass or teams that fall behind in a game, that's when Price could thrive.
"He played well and will continue to get quite a bit of time," Cal coach Jeff Tedford said.
Players typically have Sundays off, but they were in the football offices this past Sunday to go over the tape of the Colorado game. Game planning for Nevada began Monday instead of Tuesday.
The Bears also took some precautions Monday, holding linebacker Mike Mohamed (sore ankle) out of practice and limiting the workload of starting tailback Shane Vereen.
"We're still on schedule," Tedford said. "You just have to practice smart today because some of the guys that were banged up a little bit from the game. You have to make sure you let them heal properly."