Spring Practice 7: Flipping the Script

BERKELEY -- We talk exclusively with Sonny Dykes after Friday's lengthy scrimmage saw tailback Daniel Lasco show up in a big way for the Bears.

BERKELEY -- The California football team flipped the script on Friday, running a nearly 70-play scrimmage that was originally scheduled for Saturday's Cal Day festivities. The star of the Bears' second straight practice in full pads? None other than tailback Daniel Lasco.

"I thought Daniel Lasco looked really good," said head coach Sonny Dykes. "It was kind of his first time back and he made a couple of really nice runs and did some good things."

Lasco had yet to participate fully in team drills or full-contact parts of practice for the first six practices of the spring, but on Day Seven, he was very much in the mix.

"He was productive," Dykes said. "He ran hard, had a couple of really nice runs and broke some tackles. He looked like a big-time running back."

Quarterback Jared Goff did not show any ill effects of his offseason shoulder surgery, as Dykes said his sophomore signal-caller was not fatigued.

"I don't think so. I think he's a little bit sore, at times, but nothing that we wouldn't expect," Dykes said.


Aside from Lasco, the highlights of the day came mainly on the defensive side of the ball.

"I thought Brennan Scarlett was productive. Every time we seem to go full pads, he shows up, so that's a positive," Dykes said. "I thought Puka Lopa ran around well, made some plays. Ray Davison was another guy that I thought made a play or two. I was really glad to see Trey Cheek perform at a high level. Darius Allensworth had an interception – a really nice break on the ball. It was encouraging. Those young guys are starting to pick things up and play a little bit faster, and become a little bit more productive."

Overall, Dykes said he was disappointed in the offense early, but the Bear Raid did get settled in and "made a couple of plays and started producing a little bit better," as practice wore on.

"We wanted to go full pads today after a day off, and so we decided to go with more of the live scrimmaging action today and go a little bit less of team things tomorrow. Just, basically, based it on having a day off and I thought our guys might be a little fresher," Dykes said. "I thought it was good. It was really competitive. I really liked what the defense did, particularly early in the scrimmage. I thought they played really well, I thought they tackled well. I thought they ran to the ball. I thought it was physical. That part was good."


Saturday's 10 a.m. practice will be mostly a normal everyday affair on the field, with several team period, but no live hitting.

"We'll have a little bit more of just a traditional practice. We'll have team period and all that, but we won't be live," Dykes said. "We'll have a good workout tomorrow. I talked to our players about the importance of coming back tomorrow and really having a good day's work with the short turnaround. We'll see how they respond."


After two days in pads, Cal is – remarkably – still relatively healthy, though wide receivers Chris Harper and Bryce Treggs were held out of contact and team work.

"We came out of it very healthy, so that's good," Dykes said. "We've really spent a lot of time to address changing the way we do the scrimmages, to split it up where guys don't get as fatigued. That's served us very well. We haven't had any injuries at all to speak of."

***** The Faculty Fellows program hosted by Cal football that welcomes faculty members to team activities each Friday afternoon during spring practices continued with visitors including Stephen Etter (Haas School of Business), Tia Madkins (Academic Coach) and Martha Olney (Economics). The trio was welcomed by head coach Sonny Dykes and members of the coaching staff before being introduced to the players at a team meeting. Later, they visited the training room, sat in on position meetings and met with football support staff member before taking in practice.


Kenny Lawler had a huge practice with unofficial numbers of nine catches for 160 yards and one touchdown reception during the two live sessions.

Lasco and Jeffrey Coprich each had touchdown runs.


The defense recorded several big plays highlighted by a safety, a fumble recovery by Michael Barton, the interception by Allensworth, a sack by Scarlett, a goal line stand, and pass breakups by David Garner and Cameron Walker.

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