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BERKELEY -- After two straight days where the defense got the better of the offense, the California offense hit back on Thursday, with the first unit went 3-for-4 on third-down work, the second unit went 3-for-5 in conversions in early 11-on-11 work.
The defense did, however, stack up the third unit, with freshman quarterback Ross Bowers's first drive starting 0-for-2 with two rare drops from Logan Gamble. On third-and-two, Aisea Tongilava came up with a stop on Fabiano Hale, before Hale, on the next play, converted with a long gain, shaking Ricky Walker -- the third unit's only conversion.
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1695189-sonny-dykes-nice-t... The offense then turned to red zone work, with Chad Hansen putting on a show. The redshirt junior started off the period by shaking off the Bears' best cornerback -- and perhaps one of the top returning corners in the conference, with six picks already this fall -- Darius Allensworth, for a 20-yard touchdown.
Allensworth, though, did get a touch of revenge, breaking up a two-yard would-be touchdown fade on the very next play.
Next, it was Vic Wharton's turn. After a strong day on Wednesday, the Tennesse transfer hauled in a one-handed seven-yard scoring grab from Chase Forrest in double coverage in the back corner of the end zone. That play followed an 18-yard strike from Forrest to Bug Rivera.
In seven-on-seven work, Allensworth again pestered Hansen, with an early breakup, but in the final drive of mid-field seven-on-seven, freshman Demetris Robertson pulled away from Ashtyn Davis for a 65-yard touchdown grab from Bowers.
The defense -- bolstered by Marloshawn Franklin playing both corner spots, and breaking up a pass from Webb to Wharton, and on from Webb to Robertson -- made a comeback in red zone seven-on-seven, allowing an early 10-yard touchdown from Khalfani Muhammad, who sidestepped Cameron Walker for the score, and a fade pass from Webb to Brandon Singleton for a touchdown on the final play of the period, but nothing else, with Allensworth breaking up a pass, and Devante Downs and Walker teaming for a breakup on a pass intended for Jordan Veasy.
Quentin Tartabull also added a breakup on a pass to Melquise Stovall, while Trey Turner -- in his first full practice back from Achilles tenderness -- added a stop on a ball intended for Matthew Rockett.
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1695183-bttv-running-man-o... Running back Vic Enwere, who sat out Wednesday, was fresh on Thursday, ripping off a 10-yard rumble to start full 11-on-11 work with Webb at the helm. Enwere then broke through the middle thanks to a block from Ray Hudson for another 10 yards but was stopped on third-and-one by James Looney.
Starting quarterback Davis Webb struggled in his 11-on-11 drive, sacked by Cameron Saffle and nearly picked off by Ray Davison on a ball intended for Singleton. That would have been Davison's third interception of camp, but he had to settle for the ball going in and out of his hands, and not into those of the dangerous Singleton. In full 11-on-11, between third-down and full-field work, Webb went 4-for-10 for 43 yards and one touchdown, and he ran for two touchdowns on the day, a goal-line scamper and
Forrest went 3-for-6 for 45 yards and one touchdown, adding a 20-yard strike to Singleton, who was left open on a corner blitz.
Bowers went 3-for-6 for 44 yards, stepping up in the face of a blitz by the second defense to find a leaping Singleton over Franklin for a 20-yard gain, as Singleton caught the ball behind the head of Chibuzo Nwokocha.
In offensive line-defensive line one-on-ones, Dominic Granado got reps at left tackle, but lost to Zeandae Johnson. Saffle was strong on the edge, using a bull rush to beat right tackle Steven Moore. J.D. Hinnant had the best rep I've seen out of him in two years, stoning Russell Becker. Tackle Kamryn Bennett turned in a superb technical rep, fending off Chinedu Udeogu with a punch, then re-engaging and re-directing him on a second effort by the freshman defensive end.
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1695186-webb-talks-roberts... Freshman tackle Jake Curhan continued his string of strong practices, with a technically perfect one-on-one rep against Udeogu, re-setting, punching and locking out, all while keeping his feet moving.
Linebacker Jordan Kunaszyk was a load to deal with on two specific plays in 11-on-11, halting a rolling Patrick Laird after an eight-yard gain, preventing the first-down conversion. Then, Nevada transfer Kaodi Dike stacked up Laird for a loss, before Kunaszyk finished the drive with a stop on Laird, well short of a first down.
Several drives later, Laird would rip off a 26-yard touchdown run.
Redshirt freshman defensive end Trevor Howard came up with a sack on Bowers in full 11-on-11 work.
With Noah Westerfield (ankle) back among the living, Saffle continued to rep with the first-team line, along with DeVante Wilson, James Looney and Tony Mekari. They were backed by Evan Rambo, Luke Rubenzer, Cameron Walker, Allensworth, Franklin, Downs and Davison.
Rubenzer had a breakup in seven-on-seven, and a strip in one-on-ones.
Linebacker Derron Brown was back in pads on Thursday, though he spent much of the day conditioning and working on agility.
Rockett was in his second practice back from injury, and made an impact in one-on-ones, catching a deep ball up the seam for a touchdown.
Running back Zion Echols was also back in uppers, but did not participate in any drills, instead working conditioning off to the side.
Cal Lutheran transfer Chas Peterson was in red on Wednesday, but worked out with receivers on Thursday, while wearing No. 30. The other No. 30 -- running back Billy McCrary III -- was sidelined and conditioning.