August 9, 2012
BERKELEY - The 2012 Cal football team went through an intense practice in full pads for the second consecutive day on Thursday, including live action during team sessions.
"It's always fun just going live," C.J. Anderson said.
"We've had two good days of work," head coach Jeff Tedford added. "We hit pretty good both days. With two hard days of hitting like that, we'll back off a little bit tomorrow and do a lot of situational stuff, more mental things tomorrow."
There wasn't any backing off Thursday as both the offense and defense had shining moments.
Offensive highlights of the first team session included a 57-yard touchdown run by Brendan Bigelow, a 40-yard run by Mike Manuel, and a pair of 30-yard catches by Richard Rodgers from Zach Maynard and Allan Bridgford. Lucas King had a fumble recovery for the defense, while Mustafa Jalil recorded a sack and Hardy Nickerson had a 10-yard tackle for loss.
The defense dominated during red zone work, keeping the offense out of the end zone for the entire session, while Vincenzo D'Amato ended the practice when he nailed a 27-yard field goal as the Bears worked on their hurry-up offense.
"There are a lot of good things going on, a lot of learning," Tedford said. "That's why we're practicing ... Every day is a learning experience, but I'm really pleased with the way they're working."
A lot of the post-practice talk was about the team's offensive line, where after a preseason injury to senior guard Dominic Galas has left the Bears with only two starters returning from a year ago in senior center Brian Schwenke and senior tackle Matt Summers-Gavin.
Tedford talked about the importance of the veteran Summers-Gavin becoming a leader of the unit.
"Absolutely, and he's assumed that role," Tedford said. "He's very comfortable at the right tackle spot and playing hard. He did a nice job this summer physically of getting his body in shape and coming in strong. He's a good leader on that front."
"The guys are looking good right now, they're just tightening things up," Maynard added. "That's the whole key to everything. Without the offensive line, nothing's going to work at all. You can't run the ball, you can't throw the ball."
Cal will open the 2012 season against Nevada at a renovated Memorial Stadium on Sat., Sept. 1 (Noon PT). The contest will be televised live by Pac-12 Networks, and the radio broadcast will be available on the Cal IMG Sports Radio Network with KGO 810 in San Francisco serving as the flagship station.
Tickets for Cal's return to a renovated Memorial Stadium in 2012 are currently on sale by calling (800) GO BEARS (800-462-3277), online at CalBears.com, or in person at the Sales and Service Center located in the Haas Pavilion Club Room Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. PT. More season-ticket information is available at CalBears.com. For updates on the progress of the renovation and retrofit of Memorial Stadium, visit californiamemorialstadium.com.
In addition to the Sept. 1 season-opener vs. Nevada, Cal's 2012 seven-game home schedule includes contests against Pac-12 foes Arizona State, Oregon, Stanford, Washington and UCLA, as well as a non-conference game against Southern Utah.