Defense Dominates First Fall Scrimmage

Aug. 17, 2002

BERKELEY - In Cal's first scrimmage of fall training camp, the Bears' defense, which boasts nine returning starters, dominated the action Saturday evening on Witter Rugby Field.

The defensive unit came up with a pair of interceptions - one by senior Jemeel Powell and another by freshman Donnie McCleskey - while defensive end Jamaal Cherry recovered a fumble and cornerback Mike McGrath blocked a punt. Senior Tully Banta-Cain also had two sacks as the Bears pressured Cal's quarterbacks all afternoon and did not allow a rush of over five yards.

'The defense ran to the ball very well,' said head coach Jeff Tedford. 'They made a lot of big plays and came up with some turnovers. Every time there was a tackle, I saw a lot of blue shirts. That was the good part. We had some defensive penalties that we have to eliminate. Besides that, it was a great day.'

On the offensive side, which has been hit by a number of injuries to the line and wide receiver positions, Tedford said he purposely limited the play of several of his key performers, notably quarterback Kyle Boller, center Ryan Jones and tackle Mark Wilson.

'We played the starters on three plays of each series,' he said. 'We gave the young guys a chance to see what they could do.'

Statistically, Boller was 2-for-9 for 9 yards, sophomore Reggie Robertson was 3-for-9 for 23 yards and redshirt-freshman Richard Schwartz finished 4-for-10 for 47 yards. Only two receivers caught more than one pass - Burl Toler had two catches for 34 yards, while junior Vincent Strang had a pair of receptions for 81 yards, including a 70-yard TD strike from freshman Steven Levy.

Cal continues with its training camp in Berkeley for another week before the start of classes Aug. 26. The final scrimmage is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 23 at 5 p.m.

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