Cal vs. UCLA Week: McClure out for season; position changes & practice updates

Chris Harper and the Golden Bears play UCLA on Saturday - Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The California Golden Bears head down to LA this Saturday to take on the UCLA Bruins. Let's take a look at this week's news - including: depth chart (Muhammad & Lee listed as starters) & injury report (McClure out for season), position changes (Espitia to safety, Treggs & Harper practicing at corner), and practice updates.

UPDATE:  McClure is out for the season, Jalil will have surgery next week, and Jefferson & Willis are out for UCLA.

Excerpt from Cal media release:

Sophomore cornerback Stefan McClure will miss the remainder of the 2013 campaign after injuring his knee during last Saturday’s game against Washington State.

* * *

The big news at the beginning of the week was injury-related: Mustafa Jalil was declared out for the season, and Stefan McClure out for the UCLA game. Both players had knee injuries requiring surgery - with Jalil's injury dating back to last year, and McClure's occurring in the 1st quarter vs. WSU:

The full injury report, as of Monday, is as follows:

*Out for the season

OUT: LB Nathan Broussard* (knee), DT Austin Clark* (knee), RG Matt Cochran (ankle), DT Mustafa Jalil* (knee), CB Stefan McClure (knee), DE Brennan Scarlett (hand), SS Avery Sebastian* (Achilles), DE Sione Sina* (knee)

PROBABLE: WR Maurice Harris (shoulder), CB Kameron Jackson (ankle), LB Jalen Jefferson (head), RB Khalfani Muhammad (head), Joel Willis (head)

At Tuesday's game-week press conference, Coach Sonny Dykes mentioned that Brennan Scarlett will likely redshirt, and also commented on injuries overall:

After Wednesday's practice, Coach Dykes was asked to provide an injury update:

Sonny also noted that Cal will fly to LA on Friday morning:

* * *

In depth chart news, true freshman Khalfani Muhammad is listed as the starter at RB:

Daniel Lasco is the backup, and Brendan Bigelow is listed on the 3rd team:

Muhammad was listed with the first offense on the Bears’ latest depth chart and got first-team reps during practice Tuesday. Brendan Bigelow, who has lost four fumbles this season, is listed as the third-team running back.

Kam Jackson and Adrian Lee are slated to start at CB on Saturday, while there is some minor shuffling at WR:

Maurice Harris (shoulder) has practiced two days in a row and is working with the second team at the X-receiver position. Kenny Lawler and James Grisom split reps at the Z, and Harper remained in the slot.

Kam Jackson saw increased reps Tuesday and said he is feeling much better. He and Adrian Lee are listed as the starting cornerbacks in the latest depth chart.

In addition to Lee, there might be another new starter on defense - Lucas King at SLB, if Jalen Jefferson is unable to play on Saturday:

With Stefan McClure (knee) likely out for the season and Jalen Jefferson (head) questionable Saturday, two players will need to step up to fill the void on Cal’s defense. At cornerback, Adrian Lee is expected to start in place of McClure.

Jefferson’s status remains uncertain, but King said he is preparing as if he is the starter. He has taken all the first-team reps this week at strongside linebacker. Like Lee, King could be making his first collegiate start this weekend.

And to address the increasing lack of depth in the secondary, the coaching staff has moved sophomore receiver Maximo Espitia to safety:

Receiver Maximo Espitia is being given a shot at safety in an attempt to address the Bears' depth issues there. Dykes doesn't expect the sophomore to make an impact soon at his new position.

Bryce Treggs and Chris Harper continued to take some practice reps at CB this week, but don't expect them to play extensively:

Treggs also said at Tuesday's presser that the team remains confident and sees Saturday's game as an opportunity:

Additional Links:

  • Scouting UCLA 2013 - Rest of the Pac Breakdown
  • Cal vs. UCLA first looks: Can we upset the baby bears again?
  • Episode five of The Drive is now live!
  • Cal football: What are you missing the most this season?
  • Golden Nuggets: Injuries plaguing defense and insight into Jeffrey Coprich's life
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