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Football: Wednesday night update

When Cal lines up against Arizona State on Saturday, there’s no guarantee Darian Hagan or Josh Hill will be playing the cornerback position opposite Syd’Quan Thompson.

Defensive coordinator Bob Gregory said tonight that he’s opened up the competition to include not only Hagan and Hill, but Chris Conte and Bryan Nnabufie. He said he did so based on the fact that neither Hagan or Hill played particularly well on Saturday, and also that Conte and Nnabufie have been improving.

Gregory acknowledged that Nnabufie did give up the 68-yard touchdown pass from Jeff Tuel to Johnny Forzani on Saturday, but said in general Nnabufie has been coming on of late. And Gregory has really liked the recent play of Conte, who has been seeing more and more reps during games.

Conte started three games as a freshman in 2007.

Other notes:

–Starting nose tackle Derrick Hill (shoulder) missed his second straight practice and his availability is in doubt for Saturday. Gregory said Hill’s absence wouldn’t affect Cal’s flexibility if and when it decides to play with four down linemen at certain times, something the Bears did last Saturday for the first time this season. Gregory said the Bears will continue to go with the extra lineman, depending on what they are seeing from the opposing offense.

–Left guard Matt Summers-Gavin continues to be bothered by the sprained shoulder that kept him out of the USC game. He practiced on and off the past two weeks but still played in the games, but didn’t practice at all today. Coach Jeff Tedford said Summers-Gavin is day-to-day.

If Summers-Gavin can’t go Saturday, it won’t necessarily be Mark Boskovich that takes his place again. Tedford indicated that junior Richard Fisher is now in the mix to challenge for playing time there.

–Good news for Cal: Thompson has practiced both days this week and is good to go for Saturday. Tedford said Thompson’s hip/back bruise isn’t completely healed and it’s just something he has to deal with. But Thompson has already practiced more than he did last week.

–Tedford still hasn’t decided on a kicker for Saturday and left open the possibility of using one kicker for kickoffs and another for field goals.

Jonathan Okanes

Jonathan Okanes is in his fourth year covering Cal's football team. Previously, he covered Cal's men's basketball team for four years. He can also be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/OkanesonCal.

  • ToparchiBear

    good that the defense coordinator take note on the secondary opposit side of thompson, and willing to change. And,

    It looks like the urgency to recruit a good kicker whom can kick the ball out in to the end zone, or at least to the 5 consistantly.

    Go Bears! Beat ASU. Because I want that Mo… disappear for a few days or for good. He really is annoying.

  • noduck

    hagan and hill have been disappointing. perhaps it’s not just their fault. perhaps the coach has something to do with it?

  • Pete Carroll

    I actually thought Conte played pretty well on Saturday but that was against a marginal opponent in a limited number of plays. At least he was near the receiver when they did make a catch. Hagan regained his starting job and then promptly lost it by being out of position on many plays. I thought WSU made a big mistake by not throwing the flanker screen which worked so well for Oregon and SC. That play is freakin’ nightmare for the Bears and a money maker for the opponents.

  • BearItAll

    I always thought Conte played solid off the bench and frankly I’ve been a little confused to why he hasn’t seen more time this year…

    Is it because he’s spent time at both safety and CB?

    Either way I think he should be on the field if we continue to struggle containing the pass…

    Should be a great one on Saturday, looking forward to hopefully another GB victory!

  • rollonubears

    that bomb we gave up last week was an absolutely perfect pass, and well defended. that will happen every once and awhile, but hagan, who used to get a hand (unfortunately just one hand) on everything, has completely regressed. not sure what happened there.

  • Robert

    J.O.
    Have the coaches ever thought this year of burning the redshirt of Steve Williams?

  • Jonathan Okanes

    Robert, no way. It’s too late in the season and Cal has some depth there. They would go with Conte, Nnabufie or Marc Anthony before turning to Williams.