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Nyan Boateng

It looks like Cal may have got a break on the pass interference call on Colorado State cornerback Nick Oppenneer. Oppenneer hit Cal wide receiver Nyan Boateng, but after the overthrown pass was already past him. It appeared to be uncatchable.

That being said, a big moment on the next play for Boateng, who caught his first career touchdown pass from quarterback Kevin Riley. It’s been a long road for Boateng, the troubled Florida transfer,a nd he seemed to really relish the moment.

Wide receivers coach Kevin Daft was the first one off the sideline to congratulate Boateng. Daft is in Boateng’s ear a lot during practice, so the entire experience had to be rewarding for Boateng.

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Right place, right time

Bryant Nnabufie hasn’t progressed as a defensive back as quickly as the Bears would like, but he sure seems to know where to be on special teams. His 30-yard blocked punt return is his second blocked punt return for a touchdown this season. He had one for five yards and a score in the season-opener against Michigan State.

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Initial observations

No surprise here, but Mitchell Schwartz and Chet Teofilo indeed have switched on the offensive line, with Schwartz playing left tackle and Teofilo playing right tackle. Defensive end Rulon Davis is back in the starting lineup after coming off the bench against Maryland because of an injury.  Brett Johnson has started at free safety over Bernard Hicks.

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Update

Based on warm-up reps, it appears redshirt sophomore Mark Boskovich will indeed start at left guard. Chris Guarnero has a sprained toe, and coach Jeff Tedford only said that he was “available” to play. It seems to me that Guarnero will only play if absolutely needed. Guarnero himself probably would like to get into this game because he grew up about an hour away from Colorado State and played at Mullehn High School with Rams starting linebacker Ricky Brewer.

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Captains

Cal captains today are center Alex Mack, wide receiver LaReylle Cunningham, linebacker Zack Follett and safety Marcus Ezeff. Mack and Follett are captains every week.

Cal is wearing blue jerseys and pants today.

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Greetings from Memorial

Welcome to another gameday. We’re a little over an hour away from kickoff here at Memorial Stadium. It’s warm here in Berkeley, about 80 degrees, and it may warm up toward kickoff as we approach the hottest part of the day. But for those of you who have been here at night, it’s amazing how quickly the temperature can drop once the sun drops behind the rim of the stadium.

What does this all mean for the game? Nothing, really, but wasn’t it a nice weather report?

Here are a couple of links to kill some time before the game commences:

–Today, we looked at defensive end Tyson Alualu, who really has taken his game to a new level this season.

–The Coloradoan says the Rams are feeling confident they can pull off an upset.

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Thursday night update

Some thoughts as another week of practice comes to a close, and I try to figure out what USC’s loss tonight means for the Pac-10….

–Some pretty significant news tonight: Cal coach Jeff Tedford said freshman nose tackle Kendrick Payne is out for the season. Payne had knee surgery a couple of weeks ago, but Tedford characterized it as minor. Apparently, when surgeons got inside, they found that Payne had torn his medial collateral ligament.

Payne had opened some eyes with his play during training camp and early in the season, so much so that the Bears had him penciled into their plans despite the fact he is a true freshman. It would have been interesting to see just how much playing time he would have got now that Mika Kane is back healthy.

The good news is the Bears can still redshirt Payne and have him for four more years.

–Left guard Chris Guarnero missed another practice with a sprained toe. Tedford said Guarnero would be “available” on Saturday, but I wouldn’t count on him starting. Redshirt sophomore Mark Boskovich took all the first team reps this week and figures to make his first career start against Colorado State.

I’m sure Guarnero would love to play in this one. He is from Arvada, Colorado, which is about an hour away from Colorado State.

–Mitchell Schwartz continues to take reps at left tackle and Chet Teofilo at right tackle. Tedford wouldn’t comment if the Bears are going to line up that way in the game.

–Free safety Bernard Hicks (thigh bruise) shedded his red jersey but still didn’t practice much. Defensive coordinator Bob Gregory said Brett Johnson will start and was unsure how much Hicks would play. He also said redshirt freshman Sean Cattouse will probably see more action as a backup safety.

–Gregory also said defensive end Rulon Davis (foot) is back at full strength. Davis practiced with the first team and figures to return to the starting lineup. Davis didn’t start, but did play, in the Bears’ last game at Maryland.

–Tedford said he expects wide receiver Marvin Jones (sprained knee) to return after the next bye week, meaning he should only miss two games.