April 11, 2009
BERKELEY - Going through a series of situational settings for nearly 70 plays, California conducted its second scrimmage during its spring workouts Saturday in Memorial Stadium.
Overall, head coach Jeff Tedford said he was pleased with the performance, but that there was still plenty of room for improvement.
"There was some good and some no so good," Tedford said. "I thought there were too many dropped balls today. Those are drive-killers.
"It's always bittersweet," he added. "When the offense does something well, you're worrying about the defense. When the defense does something well, you're worrying about the offense. There were a lot of great efforts. When we have that, we're going to continue to improve."
The Bear quarterbacks attempted more than 35 passes during the practice session, and all three players competing for the starting job connected for one touchdown toss.
Sophomore Brock Mansion was the first QB to reach the end zone when he hooked up with redshirt-freshman Ross Bostock for a 51-yard score. Redshirt-freshman Beau Sweeney later threw a 29-yarder to senior Nyan Boateng, and junior Kevin Riley had a nine-yard toss to redshirt-freshman Alex Lagemann during a late-game situation drill.
"Everyday's a new day and everyday is competitive," Tedford said of his quarterbacks. "It's a learning experience for them. We have one more week of spring ball to try to improve there. I'm really happy with their attitude and their work ethic."
During the 80-minute scrimmage, Cal practiced with a long field and a short field. The Bears also worked on scoring opportunities in a close game with less than a minute on the clock, as well as goal line situations and special teams.
Among the running backs, redshirt-freshman Covaughn DeBoskie saw the most action with eight attempts for 15 yards, while sophomore Shane Vereen ran five times for 14 yards. Only Peter Geurts was able to reel off a rush of at least 10 yards, going for 12 yards on one play.
Marvin Jones paced the receivers with four catches for 27 yards.
Riley finished the day 9-for-16 for 89 yards with 1 TD and 1 interception. Mansion was 4-for-11 for 68 yards and a score, while Sweeney was 6-for-12 for 61 yards with 1 TD and 1 interception.
The defense made a number of big plays on the day, led by safety Brett Johnson, who had a tackle for loss and several pass-breakups. D.J. Holt and Charles Amadi both recorded interceptions, and defensive end Tyson Alualu nearly had one when he batted down a ball near the line of scrimmage. Alualu, Syd'Quan Thompson, Ernest Owusu and Trevor Guyton all had a tackle for loss.
Cal wraps up spring drills with a final scrimmage open to the public at 12 noon Saturday, April 18 at Memorial Stadium. Because of the campus-wide Cal Day activities that are expected to attract 30,000 people to Berkeley, fans are encouraged to arrive early. Check out CalBears.com in the days leading up to the scrimmage for more information.
Alumni Reunion Weekend
Nearly 40 Cal alumni returned to campus for a reunion weekend. After playing a round of golf together and attending a reception Friday night, many stayed around for practice Saturday. Among those in attendance were Tony Gonzalez, Andre Carter, Dave Barr, Na'il Benjamin, Hardy Nickerson, Chidi Iwuoma, Justin Forsett, Dameane Douglas, Mick Luckhurst and Mike White.