Football: Secondary issues and misc. notes

The Cal defensive backfield knows what everyone is thinking: Too young, tooinexperienced, too injured.

“They’re doubting the whole secondary,” junior cornerback Kam Jackson said. “We have a little chip on our shoulder. We’re going to go out and prove people wrong.”

They’ll have to do it against a ferocious season-opening gauntlet. The Bears debut under new coach Sonny Dykes on Saturday night against No. 22 Northwestern, which features the tag-team quarterback duo of Kain Colter (872 yards passing, 894 yards rushing) and Trevor Siemian (1,312 yards passing).

In Weeks 3 and 4, Cal faces a pair of top-5 teams with Heisman Trophy candidates at quarterback: Ohio State with Braxton Miller and Oregon with Marcus Mariota.

Can this secondary, without a senior in the starting lineup, take a punch and remain standing?

“That’s the question of our football team, quite frankly,” Dykes said. “We’re young. How are we going to respond when things don’t go well? I don’t think anybody knows. We think we’ll respond well, but we’ll see how it plays out.”

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Football: Cal fans push back on proposed 2014 Big Game move to new Levi Stadium

A proposal to move the 2014 Big Game to the 49ers’ new Levi Stadium in Santa Clara has Cal fans and alums angry that their school seems to be willing to sell off their traditions.

“Pretty soon the value of tradition is lost and gone,” said former Cal quarterback and coach Joe Kapp. “The changes more and more recognize the money. There won’t be traditions anymore if money rules.”

Jeffrey Warren, who first took the story public Friday through his blog, “A Cal Fan’s Notes,” was told the one-time switch would earn each school perhaps an additional $100,000 over the gate receipts of a typical Big Game.

“What they really want is to get that high-tech world involved in Cal,” said Warren, a 1970 Cal grad. “It’s a chance to showcase our product in that neighborhood. It makes sense if everything you’re about is money.”

Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour remains out of the country with the women’s basketball team. An athletic department spokesman said there would be no comment from the school because the move is only a proposal at this point.

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Football: Bears elect team captains

Cal announced that seniors Jackson Bouza and Deandre Coleman and sophomores Freddie Tagaloa and Stefan McClure were voted team captains for the season.

Also, coach Sonny Dykes announced senior Mark Brazinski will serve as a game captain for Aug. 31 opener against Northwestern.


Before Friday night’s practice, Dykes announced to his team that walkons James Grisom and Isaac Lapite have been awarded scholarships.


Football: 49ers propose Cal, Stanford play 2014 Big Game at Levi Stadium — no deal set yet

The 49ers and the Santa Clara Stadium Authority have proposed to Cal and Stanford that the 2014 Big Game be played at the new Levi Stadium, a Cal athletic department official confirmed Friday.

No deal has been agreed upon and both schools would have to sign on. The move to Santa Clara would be a one-time arrangement.

The 2014 Big Game currently is scheduled to be played at Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium. If it’s moved to the 49ers’ new facility, it would be designated a neutral-site game, and the series would resume in 2015 at Berkeley.

There is no date yet for the 2014 Big Game. The Bears and Cardinal square off in this year’s Big Game on Nov. 23 at Stanford Stadium.



Football: Friday night practice

Just a reminder that Cal has moved its Friday practice to 7 p.m., in order to simulate conditions a week from Saturday when the Bears open their season against Northwestern.

I am off today and will not be attending either of this weekend’s practices because both coaches and players are off limits for interviews.

On Saturday, I will post a notebook, featuring a look at the Bears’ young defensive secondary.


TECH ISSUES RESOLVED: Our webteam informs me the problems we have experienced over the past week have been fixed. We were not hacked. Instead, the problem was internal and affected two of our sports blogs.

Thanks for your patience during all this and I encourage your feedback if you experience any future issues. Hopefully, that will not happen.



Football: Cal releases updated depth chart

Cal released its updated depth chart on Thursday.

Lots of names listed at the receiver spots, running back and defensive line because the Bears plan to rotate people through those spots. Absent from chart: Khalfani Muhammad at KR.

Note: Friday’s practice has been moved from to 7 p.m. in order to help the Bears become accustomed to playing under the lights prior to their Aug. 31 opener against Northwestern. Likewise, Monday’s practice will start at 7 p.m.


X  Bryce Treggs (5-11, 180, So)
    Drake Whitehurst (6-6, 215, Jr)
    Maurice Harris (6-3, 200, So*)

H  Jackson Bouza (6-0, 180, Sr*)
    Darius Powe (6-3, 210, So)
    Maximo Espitia (6-2, 210, So)

LT Freddie Tagaloa (6-8, 330, So)
     Brian Farley (6-7, 290, So*)

LG Jordan Rigsbee (6-4, 310, So*)
     Chris Borrayo (6-5, 290, Fr)

C  Chris Adcock (6-3, 305, Jr*)
    Mark Brazinski (6-3, 305, Sr*)

RG Matt Cochran (6-2, 300, Fr*)
     Alejandro Crossthwaite (6-4, 290, Jr*)

RT Steven Moore (6-6, 285, Fr*)
     Christian Okafor (6-6, 315, Fr*)
     Bill Tyndall (6-4, 280, Sr*)

Y  Richard Rodgers (6-4, 245, Jr)
    Steven Anderson (6-2, 210, So*)
    Bryce McGovern (5-10, 204, Jr)

Z  Chris Harper (6-0, 180, So)
    Kenny Lawler (6-3, 185, Fr*)
    James Grisom (5-11, 180, Jr*)

QB Jared Goff (6-4, 205, Fr)
     Zach Kline (6-2, 200, Fr*)
     Austin Hinder (6-4, 200, Jr*)

RB Brendan Bigelow (5-10, 180, Jr)
     Daniel Lasco (6-1, 200, So*)
     Khalfani Muhammad (5-8, 175, Fr)
     Darren Ervin (5-10, 195, So*)

Bone  Lucas Gingold (6-0, 235, Jr*)
          Jacob Wark (6-4, 250, Jr*)

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Football: Rebenzer makes leap in ratings

Cal quarterback commit Luke Rebenzer made a nice jump up the rankings of top dual-threat quarterbacks, just released by Rivals.com.

Here’s what Rivals had to say:

Notable riser: Luke Rubenzer, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro (From No. 18 to No. 14)
Comments: The position stayed mostly the same with five-star Clemson commit Deshaun Watson holding down the No. 1 spot once again. Future Cal Bears quarterback Luke Rubenzer turned a nice summer into a four-spot jump, while Arizona State commit Coltin Gerhart entered the rankings for the first time at No. 25.


NOTE: To all of those who have reported technical issues on the blog, thanks again for alerting us. The problem is being explored and we will resolve it. Hang in there.



Football: Dykes encouraged by defense

After practice Wednesday, with 10 days left until the season opener, coach Sonny Dykes expressed confidence that the defense — hindered through fall camp by a series of nagging injuries — is beginning to take shape.

“Defensively, I think we’ve made some major strides the past two or three days,” he said. “I think that’s starting to get more solidified out there. It’s cleaning up. It’s what you want.

“Guys are starting to settle into their position and understanding what we’re doing defensively. We threw a lot of stuff at them, and now we’re getting a little more focused and narrowed down now that we’re starting preparation for Northwestern.”


MLB Nick Forbes, after practicing the two previous days, was off. Dykes said he likely would be one on, one off through next week. Expect him to play against Northwestern.

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