Cal practiced in a downpour Tuesday. It actually might be good preparation because the forecast for Fort Worth is calling for some rain during the week leading up to the game. You never know, it could rain during the game itself.
Tuesday’s practice looked more like a practice during the season, as the Bears started putting in the game plan for Air Force. The Armed Forces Bowl should provide a stiff test for Cal’s defense, as the Bears have had their struggles stopping the run and the Falcons rank second nationally in rushing (298.5 ypg).
It looks like defensive tackle Derrick Hill might start the bowl game. He’s been running with the first team recently. Matt Malele is out with the knee injury and Mika Kane has been banged up. Kane practiced with the second team Tuesday. Defensive line coach Ken Delgado said as of right now, Hill would be the starter. But that could change. I’m guessing it won’t. Giving Hill more snaps would be a boost for him going into spring ball. The Bears really need Hill to become a top-level play next season.
Right now, it appears Hill and Cody Jones are starting at defensive tackle with Tyson Alualu and John Allen on the outside. Rulon Davis has missed some practice time recently to attend to a family matter, but Delgado said he should return to practice Thursday (the Bears are off today).
It looks as though Greg Van Hoesen and Justin Moye will still start at linebacker in place of Worrell Williams and Anthony Felder.
Left tackle Mike Gibson is practicing again. He suffered concussions in each of the final two regular season games. He returned over the weekend. Tight end Cameron Morrah, who missed the Big Game with a knee injury, has also returned to practice in full capacity.
The Bears have two more practices — Thursday and Friday — before they break for the holidays. Players will be free to go their separate ways before they reconvene on the 27th to take off for Fort Worth. Cal will hold two full practices in Fort Worth — on the 28th and 29th — then hold a walkthrough on the 30th.