With California head coach Sonny Dykes' announcement earlier in the day that Jared Goff was now the starting quarterback, the defense was already facing an uphill climb in terms of attracting attention during Friday's practice. When Goff and Kline both turned in first-string QB-worthy performances, that led to the defense being pretty much an afterthought, as Goff went 14-for-19 for 116 yards during team sessions, with two touchdowns on back-to-back throws of 25 yards to Chris Harper and a 12-yarder to Darren Ervin.
The offense scored TD after TD, but it wasn't like the defense was leaving wide receivers wide open. The quarterbacks simply put the ball right on the money. Zach Kline, for his part, went 9-for-10 for 104 yards during team sessions.
That's not to say the secondary didn't' have a rough day. As we mentioned in Three Up, Three Down everyone outside of Stefan McClure had a less-than-stellar performance, though the highlight of the day were McClure's one-on-one battles against Harper, as the two went tit-for-tat with touchdowns and breakups. Cameron Walker and Cedric Dozier -- specifically -- were repeatedly burned by Harper and Kenny Lawler. At the safety position, Alex Logan continues to look a step slow as he works his way back from an injury. He was absolutely blasted by Daniel Lasco at the end of a 35-yard Lasco TD run. Damariay Drew has moments where he seamlessly slides into Avery Sebastian's old role (the injured safety was all smiles on the sidelines while attending practice in dark sunglasses), but these are mixed with poor angles on the ball that have led to some big plays, especially by Lasco and Ervin coming out of the backfield.
The bright spot for the day on defense was the play of the defensive line. Kyle Kragen and Puka Lopa continue to wreak havoc in the backfield, with Kragen getting a non-contact sack on Goff, and Lopa dominating Alex Crosthwaite in one-on-ones. The two also accomplished an impressive feat when they teamed up to tackle Lasco for a loss. Todd Barr also had a nice day, bringing down the shifty Jeffrey Coprich in the backfield for a loss. Even coach Barry Sacks' punching bag (Marcus Manley) got in on a bizarre play at the end of 11-on-11s. Manley got to Kline, and knocked the ball away, but no one except Kragen seemed to go after it, as everyone stood there confused about how the ball ended up on the ground. With so many strong performances, it will be interesting to see what the two-deep is on the line for today's scrimmage.
The first-team defense on Friday was Stefan McClure, Kameron Jackson, Deandre Coleman, Mustafa Jalil, Dan Camporeale, Michael Barton, Jalen Jefferson, Isaac Lapite, Michael Lowe, and Damariay Drew. The second nickel unit was Viliami Moala, Gabe King, Kragen, Todd Barr, Nathan Broussard, Lucas King, Adrian Lee, Dozier, Logan, Jason Gibson, and McClure.
Sione Sina started the day in pads, but quickly took them off and spent the rest of his time on the sideline, not participating in drills
Barr no longer had a red no-contact jersey on, and was a full-go for contact.
Both Nick Forbes and Khairi Fortt continue to be held out of practice. The duo showed up to practice about two thirds of the way through, with Fortt wearing his jersey and no pads, while Forbes was once again in street clothes.
DAY 11: Big Mac
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