The CAL Defensive Line vs. Baylor's Offensive Line

When possession of the football is with the Baylor Bears, just what matchups will there be when the CAL defense goes up against the Baylor offensive line? Baylor's defensive front had much more experience than the CAL offensive line, but the gap has closed up quite a bit when possession changes hands. This segment of the contest could mean a lot in the final outcome, so taking a closer look is justified.

Sr-3L DE Tully Banta Cain, 6-4, 260 vs Sr-1L T.J. Helmcamp, 6-4, 301
A pass-rushing specialist who ranked among Pac-10 leaders in sacks and tackles for loss last year, Tully has pummeled opposing quarterbacks for 13.5 career sacks to rank No. 14 on Cal's all-time list entering his senior season. TBC originally came to Cal as an outside linebacker, but made the switch to rush end as a redshirt freshman. 1998 – redshirted. 1999 saw Tully playing on special teams and in spot duty behind Mawuko Tugbenyoh at DE, ending the year with five tackles, four of them, unassisted. In 2000, Tully finished eighth in the Pac-10 with six sacks among his 13 tackles for losses. He started in the season-opener against Utah and finished with a pair of tackles and a fumble recovery that led to a Cal touchdown in the third quarter. Had one of his best games against UCLA with 6 unassisted tackles, two tackles for losses and a sack, then at USC, Tully recorded 2 tackles for losses of 21 yards. He played particularly well in the season-finale against Stanford with 6 unassisted tackles, including 5 behind the line of scrimmage for minus 41 yards, and 2 sacks for a minus 31 yards. Tully received the Bob Tessier Award as Cal's most improved lineman. Last season, in 2001, Tully totaled 33 tackles - 18 of them coming in Cal's final four games. He ranked third in tackles for losses (17 for 80 yards) and 4th in sacks (8) among Pac-10 leaders. Tully punctuated his season in the Rutgers finale, ripping off six tackles (including five for losses of 31 yards and 4 sacks) against the host Scarlet Knights to earn Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week honors and won the Brick Muller Award as Cal's most valuable defensive lineman.
T.J. Helmcamp, likewise redshirted his first season in 1998. Then, as a squadman in 1999 and 2000, T.J did not play in a game. Then, during the spring and summer of 2001, a transformation came over T.J. Call it maturity, call it growth, or anything you like, but he gained size and strength in a few short months and stepped into two-a-days in August of 2001, ready to compete. He played in all 11 games, getting the start in the final game of the year. T.J., who saw the most action against Oklahoma State when he was in for 42 snaps, was a very versatile player, playing both guard and tackle.

Jr-2L DT Josh Beckman, 6-2, 280 vs. Sr-1L RG Antoine Murphy, 6-4, 324
Josh Beckman is a high intensity player who plays the run well and is developing into a solid pass rusher. He seems to overcome his lack of size with his steady permormance and ability to make plays. Josh, who's dad is a coach, has that "coach's son's mentality" of the game. Rehabbing from a back injury, 1999 was a redshirt season for Josh. In 2000, Josh played in all 11 games for CAL and became a starter in the second game, and then started the remaining 10 games. In seven different contests, Josh had at least three tackles, including a season high five tackles (4 of them unassisted) at Arizona State. On the year, Beckman had five tackles for losses and two sacks. In 2001, Beckman had 27 tackles on the year, 13 of them in the final three games of the season. Against USC, Josh bagged a team-high eight tackles and forced a fumble. In the season finale against Rutgers, Beckman had three tackles and one sack. Josh doubled as a deep snapper last season on field goal and extra point attempts.
Last season, in 2001, Antoine Murphy started the first 7 games at RG after having come to Baylor from Harper Community College in Palatine, Illinois. An injury forced Murphy to miss the Texas and Missouri games, but he wound up playing in 9 games. Murphy has had a tremendous off-season, losing 29 pounds in the process and increasing all his weight-lifting categories.

Sr-3L NT Daniel Nwangwu, 6-4, 290 vs. Jr-2L C Cedric Fields, 6-4, 277 and Sr-1L LG Derrick Pearcy, 6-4, 314.
Daniel is from Texas, having played his high school football near Houston, in Sugar Land, Texas. A fourth-year senior, Daniel was never afforded a redshirt season. In 1999, Daniel saw action in all 11 games, moving into the starting lineup for the final three games. Daniel had the distinction in '99 of being the only defensive lineman not to miss a single day of practice during the year. In that first year, Daniel played extremely well against he run, but also had an impact as a pass-rusher. He had seven tackles for losses for minus 25 yards, including a pair of sacks. He ended the season with 12 tackles, seven of them, unassisted. Nwangwu's performance suffered as set-back of sorts in 2000, as he began the season as a starter on the line, but moved into a reserve role later in the year. He played well at USC, making three tackles and returning a fumble four yards from the 11 to the 7-yard line, to set up a CAL touchdown. Then, last season, in 2001, Daniel dumped the QB four times for 27 yards in losses. That was the second-highest sack total on the team behind Tully Banta-Cain's eight. He also had five total tackles for losses of 29 yards. His best games came against Washington with 5 tackles, including two for losses of eight yards and one sack, and UCLA with four tackles and three sacks for minus-21 yards.
After redshirting his freshman year (1999), Cedric Fields played in all 11 games, starting 6 in his redshirt freshman season of 2000. All his playing was as a RG. Last season, in 2001, Fields started all 11 games at left guard, so you will be able to say after this season that Fields has started in all three spots in the middle of the offensive line, showing true versatility. That's because this past spring, Cedric was moved to offensive center and again, is the starter. Meanwhile, in a "flip-flop" Derrick Pearcy, who was the back-up center last season behind Sr-3L Joe Jackson, was moved in the spring to left guard. In the event Fields had to leave the field, you would most likely see Pearcy move over to the center position. Derrick redshirted as a true freshman, did not play the following season, and then, in 2000, he played in 8 games and earned his first career start in the season finale at Oklahoma State at left guard. He played in 9 contest in 2001, seeing time at both guard and center.

Sr-1L DE Tom Canada, 6-3, 260 vs. So-1L LT Quintin Outland, 6-5, 328
A high-energy DE who is intense and physical, not only made big strides during the spring, but he was singled out by new head coach Jeff Tedford for his leadership. He entered fall camp with a hold on one of the DE starting spots. He is a solid "run-stuffer" who also excels as a pass rusher. Last season, in 2001, Canada, who arrived for spring training from Hancock Jr. College, started three games - against UCLA, Oregon State, and Arizona. He had 22 tackles on the season, including five for losses totaling 27 yards. He also got credit for 2.5 sacks for another 25 yards in losses.
Quintin Outland, coming out of high school as one of the top offensive linemen in the state of Texas, played in all 11 games in 2001, and wound up starting the final two. He was named to the Big 12 All-Freshman team by The Sporting News. He played all 93 offensive snaps at left tackle against Oklahoma State.

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