Week 2 of spring football opened with the Golden Bears putting on full pads for the second practice in a row. This of course meant hitting throughout, along with a live (11-on-11) scrimmage period during the last half hour. Officials (not Pac-12, but likely from a local JC league) were present as well -- they patrolled the field during 7-on-7s and the full team sessions. Per Head Coach Sonny Dykes, Pac-12 refs are expected to officiate this Friday's closed practice.
Sonny getting his own yelling-at-refs spring practice work in... Or maybe they're just saying hi :) pic.twitter.com/r0ln9EKDiM— Cal Rivals (@CalRivals) March 17, 2015
While last Friday's scrimmage period featured a bit more passing than running, the run game was more of a focus this afternoon. This naturally gave the running backs and front seven a chance to stand out. Coach Dykes had praise for several defensive linemen, and also the trio of underclassmen RBs. Coach noted that both position groups -- particularly the D-line, which potentially could have a 3-deep come fall -- have much better depth this spring than compared to years past. A few notes on each:
- DT Trevor Kelly: He's been running with the 1s since last week, in place of the somewhat-limited-with-a-bum-knee Mustafa Jalil. Kelly was the most disruptive D-lineman during the scrimmage period, and his stats included 2 TFLs.
* [update on Jalil]: Coach clarified after practice that Moose won't get any "live" (full contact) action this spring, as a precaution to keep his oft-injured knee healthy. Jalil is healthy though, and is expected to be full go in the fall.
- DT James Looney: Sonny once again said that Looney's been "showing up alot..."
- DE Jon Johnson: Coach said "he looks like a much different player, much faster, playing with more confidence..."
- DE Kyle Kragen: The senior rush end looks like he's 100%; he's gained back all 20 pounds that he lost due to mono last year, plus he's added an additional 5 to boot.
- RB Lonny Powell: Dykes mentioned that the true freshman could possibly push for playing time, but it depends on how he develops through spring ball and fall camp. "He's strong, he's tough, he's physical... He's got alot of talent, and I love his toughness and maturity..."
- RB Vic Enwere: "Vic's running with power -- he's explosive -- and running with confidence..."
- RB Tre Watson: "He got the ball alot in the full team period, and he did a bunch of good things..."
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The most notable standout this afternoon though? QB-turned-Safety Luke Rubenzer, who picked off 2 -- yes, TWO -- Jared Goff passes during the full team scrimmage session. The first was on a long ball intended for Maurice Harris, with Cedric Dozier in coverage. Rubenzer lurked over from his safety spot, made a well-timed break on the ball, and snagged the INT. Unfortunately, a flag (PI on Dozier) negated the play. Not to be denied his first interception in a Cal uniform, Rubenzer picked off another Goff pass, off the rebound of a Dozier tip:
Bowers drive ends with another FG. LUUUKKKEEE!!! RBZ gets a tipdrill pick off Jared, Dozier with the break/tip. Lasco stuffed by Kelly...— GoldenBlogs (@GoldenBlogs) March 17, 2015
Luke said after practice: "It's just really good to get the first pick out of the way... I'm starting to think less and just fly around and make plays..."
Sonny added: "Every day he gets better, that's what you like to see... There are just certain guys that are in the right place at the right time, and you want those guys playing for you..."
Could this mean that the Rubenzer-to-safety experiment might be working? We'll see how things progress for the remaining three weeks of spring ball.
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Today's QB rotation was as usual -- Goff, then Chase Forrest, then Ross Bowers. None of the three had particularly good days; Goff had the [two] INTs, Forrest was accurate but couldn't find the end zone in 11s, and Bowers just couldn't find a rhythm all afternoon. Goff and Forrest took the majority of reps during the live scrimmage session, while Bowers -- who wore #13 today instead of #7 -- took one series.
Some unofficial scrimmage stats:
- Goff: 5-of-8 for ~70 yards, no TDs
- Forrest: 4-of-5 for ~75 yards, no TDs
- Watson: 5 carries for ~40 yards
- Enwere and Powell also had multiple carries
- Kelly: 2 TFLs
- Wilson: 1 TFL
- Downs: QB pressure, several tackles
- Rubenzer: 1 INT (plus 1 called back due to penalty)
- Matt Anderson was 2-of-3 on field goals from 35 & 40-ish yards out, while Franklyn Cervenka made both attempts from 35-ish.
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Highlights from 1-on-1s & 7-on-7s:
- Mo Harris, Bryce Treggs, Darius Powe, and Ray Hudson all caught at least 1 TD from Goff in WRvsDB 1-on-1s. Darius Allensworth had a pick of his own (off Jared) in 1-on-1s.
- Trevor Davis was the standout in 7-on-7s today. He caught 2 long TDs - 1 each from Goff and Forrest.
- Kenny Lawler caught a long one from Goff in 7s as well, despite PI on Dozier.
- Treggs had an uncharacteristic drop during 7s, which was followed a few plays later by a Hudson drop. Lawler also had a lapse-of-concentration drop in 7s.
- Bowers threw his first interception as a Cal Bear during 7s -- an overthrown ball picked off by Trey Cheek.
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- The [two] Rubenzer interceptions on Goff passes, with Dozier involved on both plays -- PI on the first, and tipped pass on the second.
- Forrest quick bullet/dart/arrow to Davis outside, who shakes-and-bakes two defenders for ~16 yards. The downfield blocking -- which WR Coach Pierre Ingram has been emphasizing this spring -- was on point on this play.
- Davis had another nice catch on a perfect fade from Goff -- this one of the over-the-shoulder variety:
OTS GRAB BY DAVIS. WOW HE IS LOOKING GOOD TODAY. JARED HITTING HIM IN STRIDE.— Rob Hwang (@rob11hwang) March 17, 2015
- Kelly stuffing Lasco twice on the same series for negative yardage. Wilson had an assist on the second TFL.
- Goff's best ball today was a deep (~30ish yard) completion to Treggs along the left sideline. Forrest also completed long passes to Harris (~25 yards) and Lawler (~20 yards).
- Watson had the long rush of the day - ~18 yards. Enwere had one of his own for ~15. Powell's best run was a 0-yard rush that he turned into 6, by keeping his feet churning and falling forward after initial contact.
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Depth Chart Notes
- OL: Matt Cochran was the first center in with the 1s this afternoon, and Addison Ooms rotated in. Cochran had two bad snaps -- one roller, and one high and to the right -- while Ooms had one questionable snap that Forrest handled without incident. Dominic Granado continued to work exclusively with the 1st team at RT.
* 1st team OL: Farley, Borrayo, Cochran/Oooms, Rigsbee, Granado
* 2nd team OL: Johnson, Hinnant, Ooms/Trani, Trani/Bennett, Bennett/Cochran
- Defense: LB Maximo Espitia got his first extensive work of spring, lining up at SLB with the 2s and 3s. There was plenty of rotating on the 1st & 2nd team defense though, so take today's [very rough] 2-deep with a grain of salt:
*1s: Kragen, Kelly, Mekari, Lopa;
Barton/Coleman, Nickerson, Downs;
White, Rubenzer, Brown, Allensworth/Dozier
* 2s: Westerfield, Looney, Manley, Wilson;
Kearney/Coleman, Tongilava, Espitia;
Dozier, Garner, Walker, Greathouse/Grace
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Several former players were on hand to watch practice: Chris Harper, Mike Lowe, Kam Jackson, and Jason Gibson. Harper and Lowe are both scheduled to workout during Cal's Pro Day on Tuesday morning (at 10AM), along with Alejandro Crosthwaite, Vincenzo D'Amato, John Sheperdson and Harrison Wilfley.
A local recruit - Bishop O'Dowd linebacker Milo Eifler - was also in attendance this afternoon:
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And lastly, have a look at Cal football's official video from last Friday's practice: