April 4, 2010
BERKELEY - Cal conducted a spirited practice Saturday at Memorial Stadium as the team's spring workouts neared the halfway mark with the seventh of 15 scheduled practices that will run through Thursday, Apr. 22.
"Our players have practiced hard and been very spirited every day that we've been out here this spring," said Cal head coach Jeff Tedford.
A fired up defense excelled, especially in the final team period when they held the offensive unit out of the end zone on all six of its possessions, each beginning from the 25-yard line of the defense. On one of the series, the offense drove the ball down to the two-yard line of the defense before being turned away when Ryan Davis broke up a Brock Mansion fourth-down pass in the end zone.
"The defense was certainly ahead of the offense today," said Tedford. "They were very stingy and did a nice job. They played very well, especially stuffing the run. I'm anxious to watch the tape to see if it was because they were playing really well and doing a good job, or it was because we weren't playing very well on offense. You always have mixed emotions as a head coach."
"Kendrick Payne played really well today," said Tedford. "He was in the backfield a bunch."
The brightest point of the team sessions for the offense came on three consecutive scoring drives after the ball had been placed on the five-yard line of the defense for goal line work. Kevin Riley connected with Michael Calvin in the back of the end zone for the first score while Covaughn DeBoskie-Johnson ran across the goal line on the next play, both from five yards out. On the next offensive drive, Dasarte Yarnway punched the ball in from the one-yard line on fourth-and-goal. But the defense stiffened on the last two sessions of goal line work, turning the ball over on downs once and then recovering a fumble in the end zone to end the final team session of the practice.
Tedford addressed the quarterback competition when asked by media following the workout.
"There's really no change," he said. "They're all getting equal reps and doing good things. Not perfect by any means, but I think all of them are progressing at certain things."
"We have a lot of work to do in all areas, but I'm happy with the work ethic and the attitude," added Tedford. "They're focused and I'm really pleased with what they're doing."
All spring workouts are closed to the public except for a scrimmage Saturday, Apr. 17 (8:45 - 11:00 a.m., PT). There is no admission for the event that will take place on Cal Day.
Cal opens its 2010 season vs. UC Davis on Saturday, Sept. 4. The upcoming campaign that will be the final season with the current configuration of Memorial Stadium also includes visits from Arizona State, Colorado, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA and Washington during a seven-game home schedule.
Cal fans can renew their football season tickets for the 2010 campaign by calling the Athletic Ticket Office at (800) GO BEARS or visiting CalBears.com.