Notebook: Crash course for freshmen receivers

California freshmen receivers Chris Harper and Bryce Treggs combine for 121 yards and two touchdowns in debut.

BERKELEY, Calif. – In their first-ever game, wide receivers Bryce Treggs and Chris Harper experienced the highs and lows of college football.

Treggs started and his first catch was good for touchdown. Harper fumbled away the ball on California's last-gasp attempt to tie the game after being leveled by Nevada safety Bryan Lane Jr. But Treggs also several dropped balls, while Harper tied junior Keenan Allen for the team-lead with his five receptions, good for 58 yards.

In short, they played like freshmen.

"I thought they played decent for the first game," Cal head coach Jeff Tedford said.

Much like how fall camp began for the five-star recruit from Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco, Treggs needed some time to get comfortable, in this case a quarter. Once he settled it, he burst past the Wolf Pack secondary for a 37-yard score despite being quarterback Zach Maynard's second read on the play.

"It was something I've been working a long time for," said Treggs, who finished with 63 yards on three receptions. "I was thinking, ‘Just stay calm and let the game come to me. Don't press for the ball or anything like that.'"

Harper's rise up the depth chart was more of a surprise, so the Encino (Calif.) Crespi product made it a point to enjoy the moment.

"The excitement level was crazy," Harper said. "When I came out in walkthroughs, I saw my dad and the first thing I did was say hi to my dad, my family, my grandpa, my uncle. It was amazing to see how many people support us."

Harper also found the end zone, tying the game at 24 with 7:24 left in the fourth quarter with a 13-yard one-handed grab.

"I'm glad he hanged on," Maynard said. "It almost got away."

Facing plenty of one-on-one coverage with the defense focused on Allen, Treggs and Harper can't let those opportunities get away going forward and must continue to develop quickly.

"Keenan is our best athlete," Maynard said. "They are going to double him a lot, even triple-team him sometimes. Those guys have to find a way to get open and got to make plays so the defense can account for them as well."

Sofele, Anderson Split Time
During fall camp, Tedford often referred to running backs Isi Sofele and C.J. Anderson as being 1 and 1A on the depth chart. That proved to be more accurate than expected, as Sofele, who rushed for 1,322 yards last season as a starter, was largely a non-factor.

Instead, it was Anderson who saw the bulk of carries. The senior ran for a team-high 66 yards on 14 attempts.

Sofele had just five rushes for 21 yards, but did add 33 yards on three receptions, showing tremendous body control to adjust and bring in one catch.

The rotation was entirely the purview of associate head coach Ron Gould, Tedford said.

"C.J. played really well and Coach Gould kind of keeps his finger on that, how he substitutes those guys. It just matched up when C.J. was in there," Tedford said.

Quick Hits
A capacity crowd of 63,186 attended the season opener, marking the first sellout for Cal since an Oct. 3, 2009 visit from USC. … Defensive end Mustafa Jalil (undisclosed injury) participated in pre-game warm-ups but did not play. … Cal's record against Nevada dropped to 22-3-1 all-time, with the Wolf Pack notching their first road win in the series since Nov. 7, 1903.

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