The losses of safety Evan Rambo on a kickoff cover with 9:56 left in the first half, and Darius Allensworth, who had an interception in the first half, loomed large in the second for California against Arizona State on Saturday, particularly over the middle of the field, where Jalen Harvey was able to run with impunity.
Harvey didn't have a single reception or target in the first half, but hauled in five passes for 83 yards with neither Allensworth nor Rambo on the field in the second.
"Allensworth is fine, Rambo, we're not sure. We have to hear back from the doctors," head coach Sonny Dykes said in his Sunday teleconference. "Allensworth wasn't feeling great [in the second half]. He had a thigh contusion."
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1710716-post-game-videos-c...Rambo has a sprained knee. Both of the injuries necessitated Jaylinn Hawkins and Jacob Anderson being pressed into service in the second half.
"We've had some issues at safety," Dykes said. "This year, our starting two safeties ought to be Griffin Piatt and Damariay Drew. They've been battle tested and played a lot of football. We don't have either of those two guys, and they were two of the better players on our team. We're a little bit young. Evan's young, Khari Vanderbilt has done some good things, but we need some of the young guys to step up a little bit. Jaylinn Hawkins is tarting to figure things out. He's a good enough athlete to be a player back there. Jacob Anderson did some good things back there last night and has been productive for us as well, but we've had issues with depth at safety."
Running back Khalfani Muhammad had a leg injury in the second half, and was not able to answer the bell, as well. He had only three touches after halftime, after nine carries for 74 yards in the first half.
"He was outstanding in the first half, and that hurt us when he went out," Dykes said. "This was one of those games where a smaller, quicker back was going to be effective based on the scheme and personnel. It really hurt us in the second half when he wasn't able to go."
Muhammad finished with 12 carries for 84 rushing yards.
More Notes From Sunday Teleconference
Inside receiver play "was a little inconsistent," Dykes said, with five drops in the first half, but play at the X is getting to the point where Dykes is confident in that position, as Davis Webb was comfortable going there with Chad Hansen bracketed.
“There was a lot of safety rolls over the top to his side, in particular. Arizona State’s corners are good," Dykes said. "They’re tough to get off press, they use their hands well they’re pretty physical guys. Chad, to catch 10 balls, versus when people are playing press, that’s kind of atypical. Normally, when corners are pressing a lot, you may not catch as many balls, but usually for a little bit more yards, because there’s a tendency to make a couple more big plays. But, I thought it was good to see Demetrius [Robertson] score two touchdowns, good to see Brandon Singleton score. I felt like we’re getting more consistent at the X position, for sure. I thought Patrick Worstell made two nice catches, that was good to see."