Cal Tailbacks Shine in 70-play Scrimmage

April 7, 2001

Berkeley, CA - The Cal Football team held its first major scrimmage of the spring with a 70-play scrimmage in Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon and head coach Tom Holmoe appeared pleased with the balanced results.

'I was pleased with the intensity of the play,' said Holmoe. 'I saw some plays on both sides of the football and that was what we were looking for. When you consider we're in the midst of installing a new system on offense and we're playing without some of our key performers on defense, the level of performance was solid.

'Our backs took advantage of the holes that our offensive line opened. We moved Brandon (Ludwig) just a few practices ago to the center position on a fulltime basis and, while that will benefit us in the longterm, it creates a learning process right now. Still, I was happy with the performance of our line.

'The main thing is that we got in a lot of work and that's what we need at this point.'

The standout of the scrimmage was junior tailback Joe Igber, as he rushed for 77 yards on just eight carries. He had carrries of 32, 15 and 11 yards. However, several other tailbacks got plenty of opportunity and took advantage. Back-up Joseph Echema had 7 carries for 43 yards, including a 9-yard TD run. Senior Saleem Muhammad had 35 carries on 10 carries and redshirt-freshman Michael Sparks from Palma HS near Santa Cruz showed very well with 37 yards on just six carries.

Junior quarterback Kyle Boller had a solid outing as he's absorbing a new offense, hitting 9-of-17 passes for 127 yards. His favorite receiver was senior Charon Arnold, who hauled in 6 passes for 82 yards, including catches of 27 and 20 yards. Arnold got extensive action in the absence of junor Derek Swafford, who The longest play of the day was a 45-yard TD pass from Boller to senior Sean Currin.

Back-up quarterback Eric Holtfreter hit 4-of-6 passes for 32 yards.

Defensively, several players showed well, including defensive linemen Tom Canada and L.P. Ladouceur, who each had several tackles.

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