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Cal Football

Wednesday Practice: Wilcox Likes The Session

September 4, 2019

Cal went through a fairly long practice Wednesday as the Bears prepare for Saturday night’s game against Washington in Seattle. The Bears did a lot of situational work on the Memorial Stadium turf. 

In addition to working on third downs and red zones, the Bears were emphasizing being careful with the football. They had four turnovers against UC Davis last week. Against a quality foe like the Huskies, those could be devastating.

“We’ve got to eliminate the self-inflicted wounds,” head coach Justin Wilcox said. “We’ve got to take care of the ball. We’ve got to make great decisions with it, got to have ball security. We’ve got to create some explosive plays on offense and eliminate the explosive plays on ‘D’.

“It’s just fundamental football. We know Washington is an excellent team. We know it’s a helluva challenge for us, but our guys are excited for that. That’s why you do, that’s why you come to these conferences.”

The coaches were getting the players ready for the noise that the Husky fans can create. The stadium holds the noise well, which is why the Bears were blasting speakers during practice.

“You guys could hear it outside the stadium, we crank it up,” Wilcox said “So we can work on our mechanics non-verbal communication. Eliminate all those pre-snap issues. We worked on that all week. We worked on it all through fall camp.

“It’s different when you go on the road into an environment like that.”

Playing a conference opener in the second week of the season is unusual but Wilcox said that should not be a negative.

“We’ve had the schedule for a long time,” he said. “Our job is to prepare to play as best we can.”

Defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter likes the idea of an early start to the Pac-12 schedule. “Typically you’ve got a couple of weeks to get ready for league. But we’ve got to be ready for the challenge right away,” he said. “I liked the way our guys practiced. We’ve got a veteran group.” 

WIlcox said in preparing for UW, the coaches won’t spend a lot of time looking at last year. “New team, new season, both sides of the ball,” he said. “We can look at some schemes, other than that we don’t spend time talking about last year.”

The Bears will take on Washington Saturday night at 7:30 in Husky Stadium on FoxSports1.

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