April 4, 2009
BERKELEY - California went through its first scrimmage of the Golden Bears' spring workouts Saturday afternoon in Memorial Stadium, and head coach Jeff Tedford came away with a good impression with the way his football team performed.
"For the first scrimmage of the spring, I thought there were some really good things," Tedford said. "I thought we protected the passer well, made some plays and had some good rushes from time to time. Overall, I thought it was pretty crisp - not a lot of penalties, not a lot of turnovers. It was a good first scrimmage."
Cal started the workouts with the ball placed on the 30-yard-line and the offense facing a 70-yard field. With Kevin Riley taking the first snaps at quarterback, the Bears marched into the end zone in five plays. Riley hooked up with wide receiver Marvin Jones on a 34-yard score to cap the drive. He was 3-for-3 for 62 yards on the opening possession.
"He made a couple of nice throws," Tedford said of Riley. "It was a very nice touchdown throw. He was very accurate and Marvin made a nice catch on it. It was nice to take the first drive and score."
Riley completed six of his first seven attempts and ended the afternoon 8-for-15 for 99 yards and two touchdowns. His second score was a 10-yard strike to wide receiver Nyan Boateng.
Brock Mansion struggled at times to connect with his targets during his turn at quarterback. His first completion was a 35-yard pass to wide receiver Alex Lagemann, but he finished 2-for-11 for 33 yards. Beau Sweeney also saw time behind center and was 5-for-8 for 55 yards.
Tailback Shane Vereen took most of the first-team snaps as Jahvid Best continues to recover from offseason foot and elbow surgery. He had seven rushes for 46 yards, including a 30-yard TD scamper in which he ran over safety Bryant Nnabuife on the way to the end zone.
Freshman TB Covaughn DeBoskie had four carries for 29 yards and caught a pair of passes for six yards.
Jones was the Bears' leading receiver with three catches for 47 yards, while tight end Anthony Miller had two receptions for 28 yards on the first series.
Defensively, end Tyson Alualu had a tackle for loss and a quarterback sack on consecutive snaps, while Trevor Guyton forced a fumble that Marc Anthony recovered near the goal line. Other big plays came from Mychal Kendricks, who returned an interception 40 yards and had a tackle for loss, and from end Cameron Jordan, who had one of three defensive sacks on the day. Cornerback Chris Conte also had several pass breakups.
"We're looking at everything," Tedford said. "We'll watch the tape and look at execution in detail and fundamentals. We should never have to coach hustle or enthusiasm. I was really happy with the way our team played today as far as that was concerned."
Cal continues with spring drills for the next two weeks, concluding with an open scrimmage on Saturday, April 18 at 12 noon as part of Cal Day on campus.
Notes: Tedford said Best has begun riding a stationary bike and jogging on a treadmill as part of his rehabilitation ... tight end Tad Smith broke his scapula in practice Thursday and will see a specialist next week ... all three place kickers on the roster made a field goal - Georgio Tavecchio (44 yards), Nick Demopoulos (26) and Joe Robles (33) ... 10 different receivers caught at least one pass and seven players recorded a rushing carry ... during punt return drills against the scout team, Jeremy Ross had an 86-yard return for a TD, but Marvin Jones had a 73-yard TD return called back due to a penalty ... in addition to working with a long field, Cal also practiced goal-line situations, short-yardage fields, punting and punt returns.