|USC Legends News|
Longshore has something to prove in Cal's final games
An uneven string of performances that culminated last week in a 24-17 loss to USC prompted Longshore to take blame for the midseason slump that knocked the Bears out of the national title race and into Pacific-10 Conference mediocrity. Cal might not be relevant nationally anymore, but Longshore has a couple of games left this season to prove that his recent shortcomings were aberrations.
"I feel like I've let my teammates down a little bit," Longshore said. "It's going to be important for me to bounce back and help do my part as a teammate. I think it's important for me to rebound, just to come out this week and get better. Even if I don't have a huge game, as long as I get back in the right direction, I'll be satisfied."
Quarterback play was one of the last things the Bears thought they would have to worry about this season. Longshore was All-Pac-10 honorable mention last year after becoming the only Cal quarterback other than Pat Barnes to throw for more than 3,000 yards in a season.
Longshore didn't put up huge numbers as Cal got off to a 5-0 start, but he didn't need to because tailback Justin Forsett was carrying the load. Longshore threw seven touchdown passes and just two interceptions during the first five games, and enjoyed his best performance of the season in a high-profile victory over
Oregon (28 for 43, 285 yards and two touchdowns).
"I just felt bad for how everything has been shaking down," Longshore said. "At some point, you just have to take responsibility for what's going on, and I felt like (after the USC game) was a perfect time to do it. It's my job to play the best I can. That's all I can worry about."
Longshore threw an interception as the Bears were driving for a potential tying field goal at UCLA, two interceptions during the fourth quarter of a close game against Arizona State and another interception as the Bears attempted to drive for a tying touchdown against USC.
"I feel like I'm pressing and trying to do too much, and that's when the interceptions come," Longshore said. "We'll find out this Saturday if I can overcome it."
Longshore's recent woes have prompted criticism from Cal fans, but the quarterback said his life is "so good" that it doesn't get to him.
Longshore is engaged to be married next summer and is considered an NFL prospect, although his stock might be dropping. A month ago, ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. rated him as the top junior quarterback in the country; now Longshore isn't among the top five.
"It's kind of fun knowing that people's lives are so uneventful that they need to tell me how terrible mine is," Longshore said. "I hear about it all the time. It's kind of humorous. It's flattering that people are talking about me."
Longshore said his confidence isn't suffering, and his teammates agree.
"Nate is a great quarterback," tackle Mike Tepper said. "He's always very confident. I'm confident in him that he'll forget about it and he'll be back in the huddle doing his thing."
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