Aug. 21, 1999
TURLOCK - Freshmen running backs Joe Igber and Joseph Echema each had a run of 51 yards as the Cal rushing game had an impressive outing in the final scrimmage of fall football camp in Turlock Saturday.
Echema, a 5-11, 185-pounder from Hawthorne, finished with 83 yards on seven carries, while the 5-8, 190-pound Igber ended the day with 79 yards on seven carries. In addition, junior Marcus Fields looked strong on his five rushes for 29 yards.
"The obvious highlight of the scrimmage was the play of our tailbacks," said head coach Tom Holmoe. "They showed some great moves in the open field, but there was also some holes for them and you have to credit our offensive line for that. Our running game is greatly improved from a year ago."
Many of the first-string players, including starting linebackers S?kou Sanyika, Matt Beck and Keith Miller and offensive line starters John Romero, Brandon Ludwig and Reid Diehl, were held out or had their playing time limited to allow younger players more time to prove themselves to the coaches. However, junior defensive end Andre Carter, who missed most of the practices this past week with a hamstring injury, did get in for a number of plays and registered two sacks.
With several of Cal's top receivers sidelined with minor injuries, quarterbacks Sam Clemons and Kyle Boller were left with a depleted group of players in the passing game during the scrimmage. Clemons was 2-for-5 for 36 yards, including a 15-yard TD pass to Joel Young, and Boller was 1-for-7 for five yards.
"I thought Sam and Kyle had really strong training camps, so we're happy with their progress," said Holmoe. "Today, the passing game struggled, because we had so many players out and the guys out there had reached a point of exhaustion, so they weren't getting open."
The Bears, who wrapped up their 10-day camp on the Cal State Stanislaus campus, returned to Berkeley Saturday afternoon. The team will participate in the annual KGO Family Funfest Sunday from 12-3 p.m. on Kleeberger Field. A free lunch by Everett & Jones Barbecue will be served to the first 2000 fans in attendance. The Bears will resume practice on campus Tuesday afternoon in preparation for their season-opener against Rutgers Sept. 4.