- On Friday, Rusty Simmons said we could find out who the No. 1 Quarterback is, but because of the great defensive play (?) on Saturday we still don’t have a clear idea who the best QB is.
If the idea was that Saturday’s spring game was going to inform observers on the state of Cal’s quarterback competition, the defense did everything within its power to muck up the premise at Memorial Stadium.
Cameron Goode recorded a sack on the first 11-on-11 play from scrimmage, setting the tone for a day on which the Bears had 10 sacks and allowed the offense to score only three touchdowns on 21 drives.
“Today, we just showed everybody what we’re trying to be about,” said senior Alex Funches, who forms a talented outside linebacker tandem with Goode. “We’re trying to play smashmouth football and be great tacklers.”
Goode led the way with 2½ sacks, including a strip sack against Brandon McIlwain for the game’s only turnover.
Incumbent quarterback Ross Bowers continued to take the majority of the first-team snaps, completing 9 of 15 passes for 86 yards and the day’s lone passing score. He completed a 70-yard drive by throwing a precise fade to Jordan Duncan for a 16-yard touchdown.
- Trace Travers’ spring game recap highlights the play of the defense, particularly Cameron Goode.
The old adage is that teams take on the identity of their coach. The final session of Cal spring football practice may have been emblematic of the identity of head coach Justin Wilcox. The Bears, with a number of players banged up, had to be adaptable. They limited big plays, the defense took care of their business, and did it in an under-the-radar fashion. By that, there was one turnover overall, a handful of tackles for loss and sacks, and a handful of well earned touchdowns.
”What you want to see in these situations is good football,” Wilcox said, “you want it to be an earned play, not a bust by the defense. And vice-versa, when the defense makes a good play, it’s a good play all around. I wouldn’t necessarily say we’re there yet, but there was some of that and the guys were competing.”
That’s how it felt, earned plays over everything. It’s all execution with this coaching staff, with productivity being the main focus for the group. From that, no one stood out more from a production standpoint then Cameron Goode
- Mike Lefkow with the East Bay Times noted the rise of freshmen running back Biaggio Ali Walsh.
While the defense looked pretty sound, the offense was inconsistent. It managed to score three touchdowns and connect on two field goals, but there were several missteps along the way.
The highlights were a 19-yard touchdown run by freshman running back Biaggio Ali Walsh, the grandson of Muhammad Ali, and a 1-yard smash by 295-pound tight end Malik McMorris.
“The offense had its moments, but it wasn’t as crisp as we’d like,” Wilcox said.
- Christine Aguilar of the Daily Cal also sung the praises of the defense.
DeRuyter — the Bears’ defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach — has taken Cal from the Pac-12’s worst defense to a group containing a strong, inspired core that is fun to watch on and off the field.
“I’ll say this — they was playing like some dogs,” said sophomore wide receiver Jeremiah Hawkins about his defensive teammates.
Starting with the outside linebackers, redshirt sophomore Cameron Goode is a 6’3’’, 220-pound force to be reckoned with. If he hadn’t been trying not to bulldoze his own quarterback, Goode would have had a few sacks on his stat line for the day, leading a defensive group that contained the offense all morning and afternoon. Goode also forced a fumble during live drills after he stripped the ball from redshirt sophomore quarterback Brandon McIlwain.
- Ryan Gorcey’s replacement has been named! Welcome back to the Cal media family, former Daily Cal writer Shannon Carroll!
- At the yearly end of season banquet for Men’s Golf, five players received awards. Congrats to: Collin Morikawa (MVP, Ben Furth Award co-winner), KK Limbhasut (Ben Furth Award co-winner), Kaiwen Liu (Freshmen of the Year), Joseph Chun (Most Improved Player) and Clayton Madey (Ed Arnold Coaches Award)!
Good luck to Softball as they look to sweep Stanford in a few minutes at the Farm! (But also, thank you to Stanford for the hospitality as I watched one of the wins on Friday, as well as Beach Volleyball in their tourney, and the baseball loss Saturday)