When beleaguered California quarterback Joe Ayoob came off the field against USC amid a smattering of hometown boos after throwing one of his four interceptions, coach Jeff Tedford pulled him aside and delivered an impromptu lesson in mechanics. Ayoob needed to set his feet and throw with authority toward his target.
Only Tedford now acknowledges that the critical engine that is sputtering isn't Ayoob's talented body, but his head, which has been leaking confidence while the Bears have lost four of five games. "There's a lot of things," Tedford said. "You can't point to just one thing."
Ayoob is taking a lot of heat, and it's possible that backup Steve Levy could start against Stanford in the Big Game on Saturday. After completing nearly 60 percent of his throws with just three interceptions during his first five starts, Ayoob has thrown 11 interceptions and seen his completion percentage nosedive to 49.2 percent, worst in the Pac-10.