Scrimmage to test Bears in the trenches

California seems to have settled on its starting five on the offensive line, while defense makes due with only five available linemen on Tuesday.

BERKELEY, Calif. – With Chris Adcock working at right guard Tuesday, California seems to have settled on its starting five on the offensive line.

Adcock has been competing with fellow redshirt sophomore Geoffrey Gibson to fill an opening created when projected starter Dominic Galas tore a pectoral muscle.

"I am finally getting the opportunity to show what I've learned and what I know, so I'm real excited about it. I've been building it up all this week," Adcock said.

"He's our right guard right now," head coach Jeff Tedford said. "He does a nice job at center as well, but he has really settled in at guard."

The Rowlett (Texas) native is actually pulling triple-duty right now, learning the nuances of playing guard, while also helping starting center Brian Schwenke and freshman Matt Cochran with their development.

Cochran is Adcock's roommate during fall camp and seems to be making an impression.

"It's just a whole new way of thinking that young guys aren't used to," Adcock said of Cochran's transition to college football. "I think he is really understanding everyday more and more what it is about and what you have to do to play the position."

The two high school valedictorians are also the current available options behind Schwenke, with Adcock listed on the post-spring depth chart as the backup center and Cochran seeing second-team reps during the open practice.

If Schwenke were to go down in a game, Adcock would replace him or could be asked to assist Cochran with making calls at the line. It is those sorts of decisions coaches will now be wrestling with, not the first five up.

Barring injury or any other dramatic development between now and Sept. 1, it appears likely Tyler Rigsbee will start at left tackle, Jordan Rigsbee at left guard, Matt Summers-Gavin at right tackle, joined by Schwenke and Adcock.

"That whole group, those five right there are very hard-working and competitive guys." Tedford said.

The challenge now is to find the next ones up, capable of playing guard or tackle in a pinch.

"The key is to find a top eight that may travel, that are pretty diverse in what they do," Tedford said. "They can move from guard to center or guard to tackle or tackle to guard, whatever it may be because you aren't going to travel 10 guys on the line."

Among the contenders for those swing spots are redshirt juniors Bill Tyndall and Matt Williams and redshirt freshman Brian Farley.

"I feel good about five, but we need to get to seven or eight," Tedford said. "At that point you feel good if you get in a game and something happens there is no weak link anywhere."

The Golden Bears' first scrimmage Wednesday morning at Witter Rugby Field will help the staff begin to make those decisions, assuming there are enough defensive linemen to work against.

During the situational-heavy warm up that preceded it, focusing on everything from executing the Hail Mary to recovering onside kicks, there were only five. That includes Antione Davis, the junior college transfer moved over from linebacker who will play defensive end this season.

Deandre Coleman had his left foot in a walking boot, the same for Puka Lopa. Viliami Moala (head) and Mustafa Jalil (knee) were also absent.

None of the ailments are particularly serious, Tedford said. Several players were rested specifically to make sure they would be ready for the scrimmage.

"Today wasn't tough at all," Tedford said of dealing with the limited numbers. "Yesterday was, in the afternoon, but today was situational. A lot of walk through, a lot of mental stuff."

Fortt Remains Out
Junior linebacker Khairi Fortt is unlikely to return to practice anytime soon as he recovers from knee surgery and could redshirt this season.

"I know he won't be ready for the first two or three games, based on what I'm hearing from the doctor," Tedford said of the Penn State transfer. "We're not going to put him in any compromising position with his health with his knee."

Dan Greenspan is the publisher of Cal Sports Digest and covers the Pac-12 for Fox Sports/ Follow him on Twitter @DanGreenspan. Top Stories