THREE AND OUT: Cal vs. Colorado
BERKELEY -- On Sunday, the mood of the California football team’s practice was, according to head coach Sonny Dykes, “somber, disappointed,” but, by the end of that practice, he said, “I think guys had gotten over it. We talked about it, got over it.”
‘It,’ of course, being the Golden Bears’ 49-45 last-second loss on Saturday at the hands of Arizona in their first Pac-12 game of the season. On Tuesday, Cal was focused, determined and very, very sharp, with receivers Maurice Harris, Trevor Davis, Bryce Treggs, Kenny Lawler and Chris Harper making highlight grabs and quarterback Jared Goff looking as sharp as he has this season.
“We’re feeling pretty confident,” said Treggs, who caught a season-high five balls on Saturday for a season-high 119 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown. “We didn’t play perfect on Saturday, by any means, but we still put up 45 points, so that’s a good start, but there’s plenty of room to improve.”
“The thing that he does week after week is he gets comfortable,” Dykes said of Goff. “He made a couple of pretty remarkable throws. He threw a bender route to Treggs one time, which is about as good a ball as you can throw. He’s still working on being consistent. He’s still a young quarterback. A couple of throws, I’m sure he’d like to have back, that were short throws. The good thing about Jared is he knows that.”
Treggs and Harper, in particular, looked solid in blocking on Tuesday, which is a point of emphasis this week with Colorado looming on Saturday.
“I think we can finish our blocks better,” Treggs said. “If you watch the tape, our running backs could have gotten through and scored touchdowns if the outside receivers and inside receivers just finished their blocks, so that’s an aspect that we’re trying to work on this week.”
Speaking of running backs, Jeffrey Coprich was back in semi-action on Tuesday, as he continues to work back from a broken foot. Tuesday was his first day without a protective boot, and while he didn’t fully practice, it’s a huge step for the sophomore.
“I’m not practicing yet, but really soon,” Coprich said. “I’m going to be back for, I want to say, the U-Dub game. I’m praying I’ll be back for that game. It’s definitely good to be back walking, out of the boot. The sooner, the better. I’m trying to be smart about the situation. The sooner I can be back with my team, I can’t wait to run the rock.”
Coprich, on Tuesday, also found out that he was one of 22 players across all levels of college football named to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.
“It’s definitely an honor,” he said. “I got the text this morning, and I was excited. It was a good wake-up call, for sure. I’m definitely excited to be a part of it. I want to continue to help out the young kids out there, let everybody know that anything is possible, coming from where I’m from.”
The honor recognizes players’ dedication to community service, and the Watts, Calif., native certainly qualifies in that regard. Ever since losing his sister Essence in a 1996 car accident that he survived while coming back from a family function, Coprich has dedicated his free time to establishing the Essence K. Coprich Book Club at 116th Street Elementary School, which named its library after her.
“I wanted to help out young kids with reading,” Coprich said. “I had trouble reading as a kid, so I always wanted to give back to the young kids so they wouldn’t have that problem. It took off, and the Good Works Team heard about it, and now, I’m a part of the team. It’s great. It’s great to be a part of it.”
In 2012, Coprich also started the Unsung Heroes program along with father Jeffrey, Sr., which serves high school football student-athletes in the South Los Angeles area, recognizing their academic and athletic accomplishments, as well as their volunteerism.
“When you think about it, even when I was a kid, you look at people in the League, people in college, you look up to them, and you go, ‘Dang, I want to be like that one day,’ so any time anybody gets a chance to go out and talk to young kids, it can change their lives,” said Coprich. “This is a stepping stone for me. I’m able to go out and talk to kids any time I want, and fortunately, I’ve gotten a chance to see changes in some kids’ lives. The same thing that was done for me, I want to do for the young kids.”
The Good Works Team will assemble in New Orleans for this season’s Allstate Sugar Bowl – part of the College Football Playoff Semifinal -- to be recognized. It will be Coprich’s first time in the Crescent City.
“The Saints are my favorite team, so it’s going to be good to be in New Orleans for my first time,” said Coprich. “I’ve never traveled out there.”
Safety Stefan McClure was in full pads on Tuesday, but did not practice in full, after pulling a calf muscle during warmups before the Arizona game. Griffin Piatt and Michael Lowe took first reps at safety, while Avery Sebastian and Patrick Worstell took second reps.
“We’ll see later this week,” Dykes said about McClure’s availability for Saturday.
Also back was cornerback Joel Willis, who has yet to play a down, and has been practicing very, very lightly due to a shin injury. He was very physical in one-on-one work against Cal’s receivers.
Cedric Dozier was an absolute animal in one-on-one work today, after several ill-advised taunts on Saturday showed a bit of a lack of focus. He was as dialed in as can be on Tuesday, with two end-zone breakups.
Cornerback Darius Allensworth turned in a full-body field goal block on Tuesday, followed swiftly by a block, scoop and score on a 40+ yard field goal attempt by defensive end Puka Lopa.
James Langford hit a pair of 45-yard field goals in special team work.
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