Competition Saturdays Continue
BERKELEY – Cal was back in full pads for another competitive workout Saturday with the Golden Bears running approximately 120 plays from the line of scrimmage including 60 in full-tackle mode during a cool and crisp mid-day practice at California Memorial Stadium. The practice was the 11th of Cal's current spring ball session that will conclude with four practices next week including the Cal Football Spring Game to be televised live by Pac-12 Networks on Saturday (2 pm PT). Fans will not be able to attend the event due to local health guidelines.
"It was a good work day for us," head coach Justin Wilcox said. "We were able to get in lots of live tackling and situational work, and a lot of guys got reps that will help in their development. It is hard to replicate an actual game, but I feel like we did a pretty good job of doing that today in those areas."
The scrimmage was split up into four periods and the play of the defense highlighted much of the first that ran for 40 plays with the only score a 56-yard touchdown pass from Robby Rowell to Ben Skinner. Patrick HIsatake was credited with a 12-yard tackle for loss on a bad snap from center and added a three-yard sack of Zach Johnson during the period while Erick Nisich also had a sack.
The defense prevented offensive touchdowns on each of the first four red zone possessions in the day's second period before Chase Garbers ran in from four yards on fourth-and-goal the fifth time the offense had the ball in the period. It was the first of three consecutive four-yard touchdown plays to end the second period that was followed by a four-yard scoring pass from Johnson to Justin Richard Baker and a four-yard TD run by Rowell.
The third period and first to feature full tackling started with the ball on the plus-45. On the first possession, the offense drove nine plays to score on a seven-yard pass on fourth-and-one from Garbers to Jake Tonges. The offense put together another long drive on its second possession before the defense provided one of the biggest highlights of the day when Branden Smith forced a Gavin Reinwald fumble at the one-yard line of the defense and Craig Woodson recovered the ball in the end zone for the day's only turnover. The defense would also stop the offense on the next two drives before the offense finished with three consecutive scoring drives that ended on a 34-yard touchdown pass from Garbers to Monroe Young before scoring runs of 28 and 34 yards by Damien Moore and Chris Street.
Garbers started a red zone full-tackle period that would conclude the workout by hooking up again with Young on a seven-yard score and Brooks would get the offense its final touchdown on the next possession on a one-yard run. The defense kept the offense out of the end zone on the day's final possession when Andy Alfieri tackled a live quarterback Rowell at the four-yard line on the final play of the day.
Cal's four quarterbacks – Garbers (12-22-0-100, 3 TD), Johnson (10-12-0-99, TD), Rowell (7-10-0-98, 2 TD) and Spencer Brasch (2-4-0-18) – combined to complete 31-of-48 passes for 315 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions, while 16 different receivers had catches led by three each from Aidan Lee (3-31), Tonges (3-18, TD) and Elijah Mojarro (3-17). Ashton Stredick (13-75), Moore (5-58, TD) and Street (6-56, TD) combined for 189 of the team's 247 rushing yards on 55 carries.
Evan Tattersall and Trey Paster led the defensive with six tackles each, while Hisatake, Carter Lynch, Nisich and Orin Patu each had one sack.