“It was a good day for the defense.”
That was Cal coach Sonny Dykes’ glass-half-full reaction to Friday’s fifth practice of fall camp.
The flip side was that Dykes was not pleased with the offense.
“I thought we were a little sloppy offensively today. It wasn’t the offense’s best day,” he said. “I thought the defense had a better energy about them than they’ve had. They challenged the offense and the offense didn’t respond the way they’ve responded so far in camp.
“I wasn’t really blown away by anybody’s performance, much less the quarterbacks.”
At least Dykes could feel good about the defense. “I thought they flew around real well, competed, played a little more physical than they’ve been,” he said. “You could see they had a little bit of an edge that we didn’t have offensively.”
Dykes singled out defensive linemen Deandre Coleman and Gabe King for continued strong play. He also mentioned defensive end Dan Camporeale, freshman linebacker Johnny Ragin and cornerbacks Kam Jackson and Stefan McClure.
The battle for the starting center position remains open between junior Chris Adcock and redshirt freshman Matt Cochran. But Dykes said Adcock’s performance has been something of a surprise because he practiced very little in the spring.
“We didn’t really know what we were getting,” Dykes said. “He’s been really solid. You can tell he worked really hard over the summer. He reported in great shape and has worked hard on snapping.
“Typically in camp, there’s snaps going all over the place. Luckily, we haven’t had that. Both he and Cochran have snapped the ball well.
“He’s been good,” Dykes said of Adcock. “He’s a heady football player, he’s smart, he’s one of the strongest players in the program, he’s a tough kid, a good leader. He’s kind of what you look for out of the center position.”
Still, Dykes said the position is up for grabs. “We’re five practices in, we’ve got 20 more left.”
Safety Avery Sebastian skipped practice and was wearing a boot on his left foot. Dykes said he’s had a bone spur in his heel which is a little sore, but could return to practice Saturday.
Wide receiver Bryce Treggs sat out the end of practice after sustaining what Dykes called a mild sprain. He said it’s 50-50 whether Treggs would practice Saturday.
Cal practiced in shorts and shoulder pads Thursday and Friday and was originally scheduled to go to in full pads for the first time Saturday. Instead, Dykes said they’ll stay in shorts and hold off full pads until Monday, when they hold their first fall scrimmage.