LIKE THE BEARS DID ON SATURDAY AFTERNOON, WE'RE GOING FULL TEMPO INTO THIS PRACTICE REPORT, REALLY GONNA FLY AROUND AND EXECUTE OUT THERE TODAY, BECAUSE WE'VE GOT A LOT OF STUFF TO GET TO.
INJURY NEWS. QUARTERBACK STUFF. STATISTICS. VIDEOS. LOTS OF VIDEOS. READY?
While Jared Goff and Zach Kline saw the same amount of drives, the former worked entirely with the 1st string, and the latter, with the 2nd. If the quarterback competition hadn't been called already - and it has, so don't anyone start petitioning for Kline right now - then Saturday might have only made things more interesting, because Kline played roughly as well, or better than the new Bear Raid Commander.
After a high throw to Bigelow to begin the day, Goff began his usual routine, moving the ball downfield bit by bit, taking sure completion after sure completion. On his first drive, there was a play in which Chris McCain leaped straight up in the air to try to block his line of sight, but the true freshman ended up completing the pass anyway, as if having a 6'6" defender in his face didn't bother him. On that same drive, Goff stepped up and away from an oncoming Jalen Jefferson and scrambled for a first down - he might have even scored a touchdown, but the play was called dead to save him from contact.
Goff's second drive was a 3 and out, stalling after a pass to Bryce Treggs hit the grass, and when Jalen Jefferson made an outstanding tackle to prevent the offense from getting any closer on 3rd and 9.
The next time the freshman saw the ball, he directed the Bear Raid down field for his first touchdown - a 19 yard lob to Chris Harper, with Cedric Dozier in coverage. The key play on this drive was a reverse that went for 29 yards - Khalfani Muhammad took a handoff, flipped it to Bryce Treggs coming the other way, and the sophomore did the rest, slicing through defenders before finally being taken down.
After Zach Kline took a drive, Goff made his first major mistake of camp - while running away from Dan Camporeale, he stepped up and tried to throw a receiver about 10 yards down field, but the play was perfectly read by Damariay Drew, who picked it off and would have taken it for six.
To his credit, Goff responded with his best drive of the day on the next possession, which would be his final one. Five blisteringly fast plays and one blink of an eye later, he was in the end zone: a 1st down completion to Treggs, a long 30 yard run by Bigelow, an 8 yard run by Bigelow, an incomplete post route to Chris Harper, and then a complete one, which went for a touchdown to Treggs.
All in all, solid work from Goff on Saturday afternoon. He looked in complete command of the offense and its tempo, he was sharp, and he was accurate - although the same could be said for his backup, as well.
It is true that Kline's numbers looked better, but keep in mind, he worked mostly against the 2nd unit. He has, however, been much sharper, calmer, and more accurate these past two days. It doesn't seem like Coach Dykes is interested in flipping between quarterbacks incessantly, but in any scenario where Goff is unable to play, Kline has shown that the Bears will have a capable replacement.
Though he saw high snap after high snap from Mark Brazinski, Kline handled it all without issue, leading the second team to three scores on the afternoon. He actually came within one pass deflection of a fourth - Cedric Dozier made a good play on the ball to break up a fade to Chris McCain, which was the final offensive play of the day. [Khalfani Muhammad also ran into Kline, which undoubtedly altered the throw at least a little bit.]
Unofficial Drive Chart:
Goff: Turnover on downs inside the 15, 3 and out, touchdown, INT, touchdown
Kline: 47 yard field goal, touchdown, touchdown, punt, turnover on downs
Hinder: missed 47 yard field goal
- Avery Sebastian could be "starting the recovery process" next week, according to Coach Dykes.
- Kameron Jackson did not play, giving way to Adrian Lee in the starting lineup, and Stefan McClure saw reduced reps at the scrimmage. We'll get an update on those guys later today.
- Harrison Wilfley, Nick Forbes, Sione Sina, Brennan Scarlett and Trey Cheek did not dress. Khairi Fortt dressed, but did not participate.
- Of those guys, a further round of updates: Sina will have his knee re-evaluated sometime this week; redshirting does remain a possibility for him. Forbes and Fortt will begin to be pushed a little more next week as well.
- Brennan Scarlett has a club on his hand still, and has not been cleared to play.
- Nathan Broussard suffered a knee injury of unknown severity.
- The scrimmage ended after an hour, in which 65 plays were ran. Sonny Dykes said after practice that this was slow. [It did not seem like he was joking.]
- Though the tempo varied all afternoon, at its fastest on Saturday, 7 to 9 seconds were elapsing between plays.
- Compared to the last scrimmage, when the Bear Raid never truly took off, everything was perfectly fine this time. There were very few penalties on Saturday, and the line gave up no sacks. Both quarterbacks made quick decisions and got the ball out quickly, which helped - but on the occasions when there was pressure, they were able to step up and complete passes too, with just one exception.
- The rushing attack was fantastic as well, rolling up 197 yards on 30 carries. It is probably safe to say that the warp-speed tempo played a large factor in the run game's success, by forcing the defense to line up in less than ideal positions, and tiring out approaching defenders, as well.
- Fun with numbers: Cal averaged 5.7 yards per play, 4.9 yards per carry, and 6.8 yards per attempt last season. Those same statistics were 7.5, 6.6, and 8.0 at Saturday's scrimmage.
- Opinion: Given those last few points, and having been to every open practice since spring, I think this was the best I've seen the offense under Dykes.
Player Observations and Notes [with highlights!]:
- Brendan Bigelow didn't get many carries - stop me if that's starting to sound familiar - but based on his performance Saturday, it seems he's actually serious about living up to his "first down or touchdown" philosophy. The Fresno Flash ran with a vengeance every time he touched the ball, spinning out of would be tacklers and fighting for every possible yard, part of a strong effort at the scrimmage. Bigelow ran up the middle with authority, ran to the sides with authority, and on the one run he managed to break for a long, 30+ yard gain, only a diving tackle by Ikem Okwudiafor prevented a touchdown. [This also might have been the only time I've ever seen Bigelow get caught in the open field. Chris Harper had a fantastic block as well, driving the cornerback out into the sideline.]
- It was not all perfect for the junior tailback, though, as he dropped a pair of passes thrown his way as well - one that was actually quite catchable, and one that was thrown a bit too high, bouncing harmlessly off his hands and incomplete.
- Kenny Lawler sighting! The redshirt freshman from Pomona isn't always noticeable, but he did make his presence felt at the scrimmage, delivering some great blocks on the outside, and snagging four passes, as well. His touchdown came on a little fade route with Stefan McClure in coverage, and a bulk of his yardage was recorded when he outjumped Cameron Walker for another ball down at the 3 yard line. It might have been his best day of camp.
- Beyond the aforementioned Drew and his interception, among the defenders who stood out were Jalen Jefferson and Johnny Ragin. Every time he was in coverage or around the ball, Jefferson made very quick and effective tackles, and he moved around the field with ease, due to his athleticism. One good example - he wrapped up Richard Rodgers in the open field for a gain of one, quickly closing space after the big inside receiver caught the pass.
- Ragin was fairly similar in that regard - like Jefferson, he moved all over the field essentially at will, and was a general nightmare for the offense, in run coverage, in pass rushing, and, if you don't believe me, here's the best evidence:
- More on Ragin: As older Bears have pointed out - the freshman actually tackles a lot like Mychal Kendricks, and in addition to a crushing blow he laid on Austin Hinder while pass rushing, he actually threw Jeffrey Coprich for a loss to end one of the drives. Ragin also stopped Caleb Coleman in the end zone for a touchback during special teams - a play helped by Coleman's uncertainty on whether or not to return the ball, but an impressive feat regardless.
- Adrian Lee was another strong performer, making several strong tackles from the cornerback position. [You may remember Marc Anthony being fantastic at this same particular thing.]
- Chris McCain was relatively quiet, but did show freakish athleticism once in chasing down Daniel Lasco from the backside. Lasco, who was cutting right after seeing Michael Lowe and another defender in his path, never had a chance to accelerate again - the Texan's half second of indecision was all McCain needed to pounce on him for a loss.
- Khalfani Muhammad continued to show some improvement running the ball, and though he broke no large runs, he did good work inside, picking up 26 yards on 5 carries.
- Vince D'Amato went 1 of 1 on field goals, making it from 49 toward the south end zone, while Noah Bieto missed from about that same distance in the north end zone.
- Coach Buh confirmed to me after practice that Isaac Lapite will be the team's nickel back. More from him when we run the interview article Monday.
- 5* RB Joe Mixon - a supposed Cal lean - was at practice, palling around with Coach Dykes and Coach Ingram. According to the friends sitting next to me, he even got to break the offensive huddle to start the day. Here's a photo of Joe Mixon striking the touchdown Jesus pose.
- Cal commit Jalen Harvey was also seen at the scrimmage, chatting it up with Jared Goff afterwards.
- Random Photo Album by Michael Rollins
UNOFFICIAL SCRIMMAGE STATS (Cal Athletics)
NET YARDS RUSHING
Average Per Rush
NET YARDS PASSING
Average Per Attempt
Average Per Completion
Yards Lost Rushing
TOTAL OFFENSE YARDS
Total Offense Plays
Average Gain Per Play
1-1 (Special Teams)
Average Yards Per Punt
Net Yards Per Punt
Punt Returns: Number-Yards-TD
Fumble Returns: Number-Yards-TD
Sacks By: Number-Yards
Rushing (Att-Yds-TD): Brendan Bigelow 5-51, Jonah Hodges 3-44-1TD, Bryce Treggs 1-29, Khalfani Muhammad 5-26, Jeffrey Coprich 5-18, Darren Ervin 4-15, Austin Hinder 2-8, Mitchel Bartolo 1-6, Jared Goff 1-5, Daniel Lasco 2-1, Kyle Boehm 1-(-6)
Passing (Comp-Att-Yds-INT-TD): Zach Kline 14-17-156-0-1TD, Jared Goff 12-19-113-1-2TD, Austin Hinder 4-6-19-0-0
Receiving (Rec-Yds-TD): Kenny Lawler 4-57-1TD, Maximo Espitia 3-51, Bryce Treggs 3-42-1TD, Brendan Bigelow 3-20, Richard Rodgers 2-5, Darren Ervin 2-2, Chris Harper 1-19-1TD, Stephen Anderson 1-17, Patrick Worstell 1-16, James Grisom 1-13, Drake Whitehurst 1-11, Raymond Hudson 1-8, Kyle Boehm 1-7, Jackson Bouza 1-6, Daniel Lasco 1-4, Joel Willis 1-4, Bryce McGovern 1-3, Jeffrey Coprich 1-2, Jacob Wark 1-2
Punting (No-Yds-Avg): Cole Leininger 2-77-38.5
Field Goals (Yardage-Made/Missed): Vincenzo D’Amato 49-Good, Noah Beito 47-Missed
PAT (Made-Att): Vincenzo D’Amato 3-3, Noah Beito 1-1
Defense (Tackles; Big Plays): Michael Lowe 6 (0.5 TFL, -2), Michael Barton 5, Damariay Drew 5 (1 INT, 24-yard return), Cedric Dozier 4, Jalen Jefferson 4 (1 fumble recovery), Kyle Kragen 4 (0.5 TFL, -3), Lucas King 3, Isaac Lapite 3, Adrian Lee 3, Stefan McClure 3, Ikem Okwudiafor 3, Johnny Ragin III (3, 1.0 TFL, -3 yards), Todd Barr 2, Nathan Broussard 2, Chris McCain 2 (0.5 TFL, -2 yards), Cameron Walker 2, Dan Fadelli 1, Jason Gibson 1, Mustafa Jalil 1, Puka Lopa 1, Viliami Moala 1 (0.5 TFL, -2), Edward Tandy 1
Penalties: Offense 2-10; Defense 2-14
Fumbles-Lost: Caleb Coleman (1-1)
Vincenzo D’Amato 49 FG
Jonah Hodges 2 run (Vincenzo D’Amato kick)
Jared Goff 19 pass to Chris Harper (Noah Beito kick)
Zach Kline 15 pass to Kenny Lawler (Vincenzo D’Amato kick)
Jared Goff 20 pass to Bryce Treggs (Vincenzo D’Amato kick)