The Bears wrapped up Spring Football with a Spring Game. Actually, it was more of a Spring Experience. Actually, it was more of a practice with just a few extra segments of situational work. Let’s take a look at the headlines from the game/experience/practice.
- QB battle is a two-horse race, as of today. JR Chase Forrest and SO Ross Bowers are main contenders to become the starting QB.
- Offense was solid despite not having our top two options in Demetris Robertson and Melquise Stovall.
- Defense as a unit looks to be more cohesive. Communication is 24/7 and no longer just pre-snap. Every position is playing with a new found vigor, which pushes competition which in turn makes every guy elevate their level of play.
So with that let’s delve deeper into these headlines
QBs. Ross Bowers. Chase Forrest. Chase Forrest. Ross Bowers.
The two are just as similar as they are different. Now I understand what Coach Tui was trying to say about these two guys. Let’s look at their history. Ross is going into his 3rd year at Cal and just as many OCs. Chase is going into his 4th year at Cal and is with his third OC as well. So in terms of a play-book and what the OC and QB coach are asking of them, theyre both on level playing fields. Chase was the backup to Jared Goff and saw time against SDSU and Grambling State. Ross was the backup to Davis Webb and saw action by handing the ball of a handful of times. So Chase might have the edge in actual game experience. So let’s get back to the question at hand, who is going to be our starting QB?
Ross Bowers threw 18-29 for 168 and 3TDS. He also took some shots down field and tried to make some plays out of nothing.
Chase Forrest threw 15-29 for 189, 1 TD and 2 INTs. He was definitely calmer in the pocket and willing to go with his check downs.
So now tell me, based on just the stats, who you would choose. I am willing to bet a vast majority would choose Ross Bowers, but if you watch the whole of spring ball, I would feel more comfortable with the older guy in with the new system. All in all, we’re back to square one. All we can hope is that both of these guys continually raise their level of play to out compete one another for the starting QB role.
As for the offense as a whole? D-Rob is with the Track and Field team, Stovall is recovering from injury and some others are still on the shelf. Yet through the limited amout of 11’s the team played the O came up with a total of 6 Touchdowns. Two came on the ground, four came through the air. The Offense is stockpiled with so much talent that we might see growing pains with a new system but the talent might be able to mask some of those difficulties. I was actually worried about the drop off of production for the offense, but after watching all spring? It will not be a question of whether or not we will score, but how much we might score. The actual PPG might fluctuate more than the last few years.
Want some spring experience stats on offense? Here you go.
Kanawai Noa - 8 REC, 112 YDS
Vic Enwere - 8 RUSH, 38 YDS, 1 TD
Derrick Clark - 5 RUSH, 25 YDS
Jordan Duncan - 4 REC, 31 YDS, 2 TDs
Next up, the defense.
Ah. The bane of Cal Football the last few seasons and the one aspect the team desperately needs to improve quickly. And they are sure doing that. Let’s start with a few names...
And thats just to name guys that had a great spring game. Plenty more guys have had vastly improved and quickly evolving spring camps. Zeandae and Elijah were the two most impressive in my eyes. Zeandae has totally transformed himself into a disrupting DE. He has great burst off the edge and is able to get into the backfield, without over-pursing so that he is stuck behind the OL. At this point, I would be very surprised if he doesnt lock-in a DE spot on the 2-deep. On the back-end, Freshman Elijah Hicks is VERY IMPRESSIVE. We’ve had some great prospects on the back-end of the defense, but it is very evident that he has tons of natural talent playing at CB. Added to the fact that he committed and came as a mid-year enrollee without a HC in place? Elijah Hicks is going to be a fan favorite very quickly at Memorial Stadium.
Might as well go with some defensive stats too right?
Camryn Bynum - 6 Tackles, PBU
Russell Ude - Sack, FF
Elijah Hicks - 3 PBUs, INT
Gerran Brown - 2 HUR
And there you have it, Spring Ball 2017 under new HC Justin Wilcox is in the books. Other than recruiting this is the last we will get to see and hear about Cal Football until PAC-12 Media Days and Fall Camp. I’m excited. It’s never too early to start the hype train, and judging by the work this coaching staff has done, this season could surprise alot of people and I am not worried about the future of the program as well.