A few notes from Sunday night’s conditioning workout:
–Cornerback Syd’Quan Thompson appeared to be moving around fine after missing Saturday’s second half with a hip pointer. I talked to him after practice and he said he expects to practice and play this week. Jeff Tedford didn’t seem worried about his availability, either.
–Kicker Vince D’Amato’s status is a little bit more uncertain. D’Amato suffered a sprained shoulder during a kick return in the second quarter against UCLA. Tedford said he “wasn’t sure yet” if D’Amato could go this week.
–Tedford touched on the vast substituting the team did in an effort to keep players fresh in the heat. He said he makes it clear to his players that they won’t be looked upon negatively if they ask out of a game because they are physically spent. “If they tap their head to come out, we’re not going to look down on them like they’re not in shape,” Tedford said. “We know they’re in shape. We want them to play hard. We don’t want them to be in there and they can’t play hard. It’s being a team guy if you know you’re a little bit gassed and somebody fresher could help the team.”
–Tedford talked a bit about guard Brian Schwenke, who Tedford believes is the first offensive lineman he’s ever played as a true freshman. Tedford said Schwenke showed a lot of promise during camp and after the Maryland game they made the decision that he wouldn’t redshirt. Schwenke has quietly played in four of the first five games. Saturday marked the first time he was on the field when the game was still competitive. He and Mark Boskovich replaced starting guards Matt Summers-Gavin and Justin Cheadle for one possession as part of the widespread rotation of players.
Schwenke obviously isn’t seeing the field much, but the tradeoff is that he will be ahead of the curve once he does become a regular player because he’s still working with the offense this season rather than playing on the scout team.
“For him to be practicing our plays every day, get the experience of game planning and things like that is important for him,” Tedford said. “He really showed a lot of promise through camp. Coach Marshall really had a strong feeling that as the season went on, he would be making strides and earn some reps.”
A few other nuggets:
–Cal is back getting some votes in the Associated Press top 25. The Bears received nine votes to check in at No. 33.
–ESPN.com’s updated bowl projections have the Bears either staying home for the second year in a row or making a trip to San Diego — but not for the Holiday Bowl.
–Kickoff time for Cal’s Halloween excursion to Arizona State will be announced Monday. There’s a good chance it will be picked up as the ABC game at 12:30 p.m. If it isn’t, word is it will start no later than 2 p.m.