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Insider

Bears feel prepared for conference opener

Is there still some Tennessee hangover at California? Coach Jeff Tedford says no. "We took a lot of lessons out of that game but we rebounded well and I think we're prepared to go into conference play," he said. "I think all that's on their minds is the job ahead." More than doubling up Minnesota and Portland State helped the Bears mentally, but their national reputation will take longer to heal. With Arizona State headed to Berkeley, a victory over a top-25 opponent could further inch things forward.

• One of the primary goats from the Tennessee debacle was quarterback Nate Longshore, but his numbers have been strong the past two games -- he's completed 69 percent of his passes for 525 yards with six touchdowns and just one interception. "The difference is he's gotten some help," said Tedford, refusing to dump on his quarterback. "He's gotten some protection and his receivers are catching the football."