Spring Ball: Offense Struggles on Thursday

In one of the more highly energized practices thus far in spring ball, it was a day for defense at Memorial Stadium, as Cal's vaunted D proved dominant in 11-on-11 drills. Cal capped its sixth practice Thursday and resume drills this weekend…

Quarterbacks Kevin Riley and Brock Mansion struggled to find time and/or open receivers against the Bears first defensive unit.

Neither quarterback led a scoring drive, with Mansion coming closest against the second-team defense. But the second of back-to-back fumbled snaps out of shotgun on fourth and goal from the six-yard line led to a sack from redshirt freshman Chris Little, who recently moved to linebacker from his safety spot.

The previous drive saw Riley picked off by sophomore linebacker D.J. Holt inside the 30.

Cal's offensive line looked completely outmatched in just about every live contact drill on Thursday.

The Bears quarterbacks were continuously pressured up the middle and off the ends, and on multiple occasions, Riley's passes were tipped at the line of scrimmage. The first defensive line's surge seemed to rattle Mansion, who found himself holding onto the ball for far too long, even when he did have time.

Sophomore wideout Alex Lagemann continued to play more and more of a role on offense for the Bears on Thursday. When with the second team, it seemed as if Lagemann had become Mansion's favorite target, catching multiple passes while almost hauling in a fully extended corner route inside the five.

The Bears tight ends continued to impress as well. Redshirt freshman Spencer Ladner's hands look sure and senior Tad Smith showed a willingness to sacrifice his body across the middle, taking on a bone-jarring shot while maintaining possession of a Riley pass in 11-on-11.


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