Disclaimer: I did not attend Cal’s practice today. But here are some highlights from coach Sonny Dykes’ post-practice remarks:
Dykes said he’s been very pleased with practice all week, noting particularly that it’s “been our best week defensively, by far.”
He explained he spent much of Monday and Tuesday at the defensive end of the field, primarily to assist the scout team because he’s so familiar with Washington State’s Air Raid offense.
Quarterbacks Jared Goff and Zach Kline, sharing reps with the first team, both have practiced well this week, said Dykes, who expects to formally name a starter on Thursday. Figure it will be Goff.
“He’s pretty unflappable,” Dykes said of the true freshman, who has started every game so far. “Zach’s really had a good week of practice. I’m really happy with the way Zach’s responded, really happy with the way Jared’s responded.”
Running back Brendan Bigelow has had a strong week, and Dykes believes the reason is simple. “I think he feels better,” Dykes said. “I big part of him playing well, is the way he feels.”
Dykes said he expects RT Steven Moore (head) to be available for Saturday’s game, but said Bill Tyndall has done a nice job filling in at both RG and RT, and definitely also will play.
CB Kam Jackson (ankle) was back in pads and on the field, and Dykes also was pleased with improvement he’s seen this week in Isaac Lapite, Joel Willis and Stefan McClure.
“I’m liking what I’m seeing from all the secondary. I think they’re playing with a lot more confidence,” Dykes said. “They’ll get tested Saturday. This is how they make their living, throwing the ball.”
Perhaps nothing disappointed Dykes more Saturday at Oregon than surrendering two long punt returns for touchdowns to Bralon Addison.
“We had a bunch of issues. It was a combination of a lot of things,” he said. “The first one was a poor punt. The second one was the result of about 15 missed tackles — we had some guys miss tackles twice. Amd obviously the guys’s good. He’s a heck of a punt returner.”