But while some of the starters weren't in action, a few role players took the extra reps as opportunities to show the coaches what they could do in meaningful situations.
That said, Dasarte Yarnway was perhaps most advantageous.
With Best on the sideline, Yarnway saw a few first-team reps for the first time this fall, including a 60-plus yard off tackle in 11-on-11s that went for a score.
I talked with Yarnway after practice and he was encouraged by his performance on the day, as was Coach Jeff Tedford, who acknowledged after practice that having a good run game wasn't just about Best, but about the entire stable of backs being able to contribute.
Newly name-changed Covaughn Deboskie-Johnson, Yarnway's likely competition for the third slot behind Best and Shane Vereen, faired well most the day, but ended practice with a fumble in 11-on-11s; one that was returned over 50 yards for a score by D.J. Campbell.
Like Yarnway stepped up in Best's absence, junior Charles Amadi stepped up in Hagan's.
Amadi made one of the day's top plays when he batted a sure touchdown away from Marvin Jones in the corner of the end zone on 7-on-7s.
Likewise, safety Brett Johnson's pass breakup late in practice was borderline spectacular.
Redshirt sophomore Brock Mansion, however, led his team downfield and eventually scored in their two-minute drill, thanks to a long completion to tight end Skylar Curran and a one-yard Deboski-Johnson plunge.
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