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Golden Nuggets: Dykes stresses importance of "dress rehearsal"

Let's see all the Cal news!

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Practice makes perfect! Or at least game condition based practice makes perfect. Hopefully. That is what Dykes is executing with spring practice this year.

Sonny Dykes figures the best way to get better at football is to play football.

Cal’s football coach is putting his players in as many game-like situations as possible this spring, taking full advantage of NCAA rules that permit eight fully padded practices and maximizing the Bears’ exposure to what they might experience in a game.

"The biggest thing is just learning how to play football," Dykes said. "Just tackle and get off blocks – all the stuff you have to do in a football game. We knew coming in this year that we were going to rely on a lot of young players, so we felt like a lot of young guys just need to learn how to tackle and be in those type of game situations as much as they can. We’re such a young program, that I think it’s important for their growth to be placed in live situations."

The Bears are going in full pads in all eight practices in which they are allowed. Simulating game conditions forces players to focus even more on the fundamentals than they would otherwise doing drillwork.

Makes sense to me, but what do I know? Either way, the spring game is coming up on Saturday. Who is going to attend????  We do have a report from Cal itself from Friday's practice:

BERKELEY – On the first live play of practice Saturday running back Daniel Lasco ran around the right end for a 35-yard gain as the Golden Bears were simulating a fourth-and-one situation. It was the first of many big plays by the team’s offense but the defensive also had a strong day on a gorgeous spring afternoon at Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium. Among the notes and highlights from the team’s 12th practice of the spring were …

  • The offense successfully converting six-of-eight times during live fourth-and-1 simulations early in practice but on the two occasions they didn’t convert Trevor Kelly racking up an eight-yard tackle for loss and Todd Barr a four-yard sack
  • The offense starting the first regular live team period by marching 75 yards down the field on 11 plays and scoring on a 10-yard touchdown run by Lasco
  • The defense dominating the remainder of the first live team period with five consecutive stops including a trio of three-and-outs and defensive highlights from Barr (pass breakup), Kyle Kragen (sack), Puka Lopa (1.5 sacks, forced fumble), Michael Lowe (pass breakup), Brennan Scarlett (half-sack) and Cameron Walker (pass breakup), while the offense had two additional fumbles
  • The return of the offense in force during the second live team period with the first-team unit scoring on each of its two possessions on Jared Goff touchdown passes of 12 and 19 yards to Bryce Treggs and Kenny Lawler, while also hitting Trevor Davis for a 54-yard gain on the first play of the drive that ended with Lawler’s touchdown


Women's Tennis is the Pac-12 champions!

STANFORD, Calif. – Tenth-ranked California celebrated a litany of firsts on Saturday at Stanford’s Taube Family Tennis Stadium, where the Golden Bears upset the fifth-ranked Cardinal, 6-1, in the regular-season finale for their 12th consecutive dual-match victory. The Bears captured their first Pac-12 Conference championship, locked up their first Pac-12 automatic berth into the NCAA team tournament and won at Stanford for the first time in 15 years with their win in the 2014 Big Slam.

Cal finishes the conference season with a perfect 10-0 Pac-12 record (18-4 overall). Stanford ends the regular season with a 16-2 overall record and 8-2 conference mark.

The last time Cal won at Stanford was in 1999, when head coach Amanda Augustus was a senior star and clinched that victory in doubles (doubles was played last back then) and when volunteer assistant coach Jan Brogan was the Bears' head coach.

This marks the Bears’ second Pac-10/12 conference title in a fashion, as they won the Pac-10 South division title in 1987, when Washington won the Pac-10 North division and no single champion was crowned. The 2014 title is also Cal’s first outright conference championship since it won seven NorPac titles under Brogan.

This also marked just the fifth loss at home for Stanford since 1999, including the Cardinal’s 4-3 loss to UCLA this season on April 4.

Even MORE Cal news!

Women's Water Polo loses to Stanford

Rugby beats UCLA

Sand Volleyball ends season strong with pair of wins

Sand Volleyball loses to Santa Clara

Oregon Defeats Softball

Denver beats LAX

Men's Soccer receives new recruit

Cal Baseball loses to UW 4-3 on Thursday