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Cal Football

Fall Camp Practice Eight Features Pads and Refs

August 14, 2021

Though not an official full-contact scrimmage, the Bears strapped on the pads and had officials on the field for their day eight practice at Memorial this morning.

Wilcox noted that the team scrimmaged 87 plays at thud tempo rather than tackling to the ground.

“There were some good plays and some not so good,” noted Wilcox. “This early in camp, with officials, we usually don’t go that many plays that early but we have a veteran team so we felt tlike they were prepared and it gives a chance to really watch that tape. There are so many teachable moments on any given play with 22  players on the field. But we still have a lot of work to do. That’s obvious. But we would expect that at practice eight.”

Overall through day eight, the defense seems to be a bit ahead of the offense, as is often the case, including today but Wilcox added some caveats to that impression.

“When you go to thud and you're not finishing tackles, one of the hardest parts of the game is tackling a guy,” said Wilcox. “Thud can create a little bit of a false sense of security for the defense. I thought they had some really good moments but there’s a ton of variables with the playbook on what both the offensive and defensive groups have so I don't know if they’d be ahead right now by any means.

“There were some good plays on both sides but every unit has to get better. Defense, offense and special teams. Every unit. But it’s practice day eight and usually we wouldn’t have that many plays to assess.”

Wilcox was asked about the progress of the running game and how they try to keep guys healthy while gettiing them work.

“It’s not perfect,” said Wilcox. “It’s the balance of getting those valuable reps and keeping our team as healthy as possible. Is it possible to totally eliminate any injuries? No, it’s not. But you improve by playing football. Obviously we loved the summer workouts and 7-on-7 is great but you have to play to get better so that’s what we’re trying to simulate out there. Some of those tackles that are blown dead are actually going to be more difficult to make when it becomes live and we all know that.”

On the offensive line, Wilcox noted: “There’s a lot of guys getting valuable reps. Some vets who played a lot. You’ve got (Matt) Cindric, who’s played a lot and obviously Val (Daltoso). There’s a lot of guys getting a ton of work together. We need to get everyone healthy and on the field and for those groups to work together.

“But I see guys like Ben Coleman, who’s made a big jump. Ben has had a great camp so far. Everett Johnson has continued to improve. Brian Driscoll, the more plays he has, keeps improving. That's what we really need out of that group. I think it will really help the more they work together.”

Keeping in mind that the offensive plays were more situational in nature, often with short fields, with no tackling to the ground, here are some short highlights:

Christopher Brooks had a 1-yard td run up the middle to cap off a 12-play, 59-yard drive and speedy backup running back Ashton Stredick had an 8 yard td run to cap off a 14-play, 59-yard drive.

QB Zach Johnson had perhaps the best day at QB, going 10-for-15 for 64 yards, though junior Robby Rowell flashed with a 2-3 performance in a 46-yard td drive capped by a nice pass and reception by former De La Salle receiver Grant Daley late in practice, prompting a big celebration by the offensive unit.

Overall, the quarterbacks were fairly conservative with their passes and finished the session with no interceptions and two td passes.

Additionally on the receiving side, several young players flashed, with RS soph Justin Baker hauling in an 11-yard reception to go along with a jet sweep that also gained 11 yards. True frosh receiver Maven Anderson had three receptions for 14 yards while true frosh tight end Keleki Latu had two receptions for 17 yards. Walk-on frosh receiver Trond Grizell out of Utah had an impressive day with two receptions for 41 yards and looked very long athletic in the process. Senior receiver Trevon Clark made a nice play in tight coverage for what looked to be a 20 yard touchdown pass from Garbers but officials called the completion out of bounds.

The kicking unit did not have a good day, with junior Dario Longhetto going 4-6 with one miss and one blocked kick and transfer kicker Nick Lopez going just 1-4 including a block -RS frosh Tyson McWilliams’ second of the day- after some solid kicking earlier this week. Tightening up the kicking team is an absolute must this season after last season’s Big Game loss hinged on a pair of kicking miscues.

On defense, LB’s Cameron Goode and Myles Jernigan each had sacks in addition to a sack by RS frosh DE Ethan Saunders. Grad tranfer Marquez Bimage and OLB Orin Patu also shared a sack. Bimage also had a pass breakup along with safety Ray Woodie and CB Colin Gamble. Greyshirt frosh ILB Nate Rutchena led the D with 3 tackles, with a host of players adding a pair on the day.

The team will be off on Sunday and will return Monday. The remaining practices will be closed to the media and fans, with the exception being next Saturday's scrimmage, which is expected to be full contact.

Other stories:

Bears Add Commitment From Mater Dei CB Cameron Sidney

Fall Camp Day 7 -Sirmon and Anusiem on the Mic

Discussion from...

Fall Camp Practice Eight Features Pads and Refs

3,202 Views | 3 Replies | Last: 2 yr ago by calumnus
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Finally, a game where the refs don't scew us.
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bearsandgiants said:

Finally, a game where the refs don't scew us.
Well they did call back the TD from Garbers to Clark. Replay showed he was clearly in-bounds!!
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UrsineMaximus said:

bearsandgiants said:

Finally, a game where the refs don't scew us.
Well they did call back the TD from Garbers to Clark. Replay showed he was clearly in-bounds!!

Refs clearly trying to undermine us and create a QB controversy!
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