One of the reasons Borbely thinks the offensive linemen are playing better as a whole than they were 12 months ago can be credited to simple experience. The group lost two starters to graduation.
"It's just confidence and knowing what you're doing with the system," he said. "So we should be better at this point and time."
Also, the Buffs have been able to get through 12 spring practices without any significant injuries up front. Senior Derek Stemrich, who is out the entire spring recovering from offseason knee surgery, is the only player to miss a big portion of time.
And without a bunch of injuries hampering them, the Buffs have been able to go after each other hard.
"I think we're coming off the ball better; I think we're more physical than we were last spring," Borbely said.
The coach said he's still tinkering with the depth chart. Saturday, the starters included Sam Wilder and Clint O'Neal at the tackles, Brian Daniels and John Guydon at guard and Mark Fenton at center. Senior Terrance Barreau played center with the second string.
"He played very well," Borbely said of Barreau, who is also battling for time at split guard. "He graded out very high. I thought he did a nice job in there. I'm real happy with his development because he's come a long way. A year ago he wasn't in a position to help us."
Borbely also said O'Neal, a junior, has come along from where he was in 2003.
"He's been doing a really good job in pass protection," Borbely said. "We're trying to get him to come off the ball a little better, but he's much improved over even a season ago."
Buffs complete practice No. 12
The team went through its 12th practice of the spring Monday. Interim head coach Brian Cabral said the team started out slow, but finished strong. The Buffs went through a 12 play scrimmage at the end of the session.
Cabral once again stressed the need for the team to continue to improve as it winds through its final two spring practices Wednesday and Friday, as well as Saturday's spring game, which kicks off at 1 p.m. at Folsom.
"We cannot afford to have any drop in our attitude and effort," he said. "We need to take advantage of the time we have left, and today we did that.
"If we can finish spring strong, we will have had a great spring. We have not yet had a bad day."
WR Dusty Sprague saw limited action in Saturday's scrimmage with an undetermined illness, but participated Monday. DT McKenzie Tilmon tweaked a knee Saturday but returned to action Monday. The trio of injured receivers -- Tyler Littlehales (back), Blake Mackey (foot) and Stephone Robinson (hamstring) -- did not participate, and Cabral said he thought only one might return before Saturday's spring game. RB Daniel Jolly was not in pads Monday. His injury, if any, is unknown. Also, RB Brian Calhoun continues to be held out of practice with a sore knee. Cabral wasn't sure if he would return before the spring game. ... Cabral pointed out the play of linebackers Thaddaeus Washington and Jason Ackermann, and NT Vaka Manupuna when asked who stood out on film from Saturday's scrimmage.