Here are some quick highlights from Monday's practice. From the looks of the brief clips I see, there's a lot of technique work to be done before this team is ready to hit the field. But thankfully it's spring, not fall.
Practice was closed on Wednesday, but Cal had a scrimmage. Here are some quick notes from looking at the scrimmage stats:
- It sounds like (conjecture, not sure if this is what happened) Chase Forrest got the first team reps, as he played on the first drive and threw the most passes of all the Bears. Forrest was 8-12 for 89 yards, a touchdown to Brandon Singleton, and the interception to Evan Rambo.
- Ross Bowers is looking like the biggest challenger, throwing 7 for 8 for 101 yards and a 25 yard touchdown pass to Chad Hansen.
- Interestingly, Zach Kline threw a lot as well on the day, going 7-8 for 94 yards and a 36 yard touchdown throw to Melquise Stovall.
- Luke Rubenzer was only 1-4 for two yards. Still early to tell, but he looks like he'll have some catching up to do.
- Max Gilliam took only a few snaps and was 0-2 on the day. Unless something drastically changes, it's looking more and more like Gilliam redshirts.
- Tre Watson and Vic Enwere had modest days, with Enwere getting a touchdown and Watson averaging more yards per carry. Enwere also had a fumble. Billy McCrary (who I'd guess is getting second/third team reps with Khalfani Muhammad splitting time at track) led the team with 43 yards on four carries and a touchdown.
- Chad Hansen snared four catches for 70 yards and a score. Patrick Worstell and Greyson Bankhead also averaged 10+ yards per catch. Cal's Bear Raid is picking up right where they left off.
- Khairi Vanderbilt sounds as if he's game to replace Stefan McClure at the vacant safety spot. Vanderbilt managed six tackles, one for loss.
Observations from reading stat sheets
- I'm not sure what to make of how good those scrimmage stats are for the quarterbacks aside from Forrest and the backup running backs. Kline and Bowers had great days, but how much was that due to the defense being thin?
- Sonny's postgame practice quotes sounds like he's looking for more from the quarterbacks. The work continues on both sides.
- Melquise Stovall is emerging as the early impact freshman who is dressed to impress. Stovall had a 43 yard touchdown reverse and the catch from Kline, finishing with 4 catches for 66 yards. I feel pretty safe in pencilling in Stovall as a opening day starter down under (or at the very least, he will be heavily involved in the offense). Here's Stovall chatting after practice.
Melquise Stovall: "I like to make people look a little funny out there."— Tatavio (@OivatootaviO) March 17, 2016
What an awesome quote. Can't wait to watch him the next few years
- Derron Brown was the defensive standout, registering two sacks at the linebacker spot. It looks like Brown could challenge for a starting role as he transitions from safety. Here's Brown's post-practice interview.
- Aisea Tongilava and Cameron Saffle also sound like they could be two deep difference makers. Saffle had a sack and a TFL, Toniglava a forced fumble and 2 TFL.
Billy McCrary (4-43, TD), Melquise Stovall (1-43, TD), Tre Watson (5-29), Vic Enwere (7-25, TD, Fumble Not Lost), Fabiano Hale (4-24), Patrick Laird (5-18), Luke Rubenzer (2-12), Zach Kline (3-9), Chase Forrest (2-7), Ross Bowers (1-(-10), Max Gilliam (4-(-12)
Chad Hansen (4-70, TD), Melquise Stovall (4-66, TD), Patrick Worstell (3-40), Greyson Bankhead (2-26), bug Rivera (1-9), Brandon Singleton (1-8, TD), Carlos Strickland (1-8), Billy McCrary (1-6), Tre Watson (1-2)
Defense (Tackles, Big Plays)
Khari Vanderbilt (6; 1.0 TFL, -4 yards), Jacob Anderson (5), David Ortega Jr. (5), Aisea Tongilava (5; 1 FF; 2.0 TFL, -2 yards), Derron Brown (4; 2.0 SK, -21 yards; 2.0 TFL, -21 yards), Rusty Becker (4), Cameron Saffle (3; 1.0 SK, -8 yards; 1.0 TFL, -8 yards), Walter Jones (3), Marcus Manley (3), Jonathan McDonald (3), Hunter Abel (2, 1.0 SK, -3 yards), Ashtyn Davis (2), Damariay Drew (2, 1 PBU), David Garner (2), A.J. Greathouse (2), Tony Mekari (2), Hardy Nickerson (2), Chibuzo Nwococha (2), Cameron Walker (2), Raymond Davison (1), Kaodi Dike (1), James Looney (1), Trey Turner (1), DeVante Wilson (1), Russell Ude (1), Evan Rambo (INT, 20 INT return yards), Antoine Albert (1 PBU)