The offense struck back Tuesday at practice.
Coach Sonny Dykes saw plenty he liked, although he said there remains a good deal of room for improvement.
“The last two days I thought the defense really got after the offense. Today the offense made some big plays,” he said. “Turned the ball over twice, but they made some big plays.
“It has a tendency to happen when you’ve got to tackle. That’s why we’re trying to get a lot of live tackling. We’ve got to improve that.”
Still, Dykes not a couple dropped passes on potential touchdowns and a couple missed easy throws.
“But it was good to see some big plays and some guys do some things with the football after they caught it,” he said. “It was progress.”
Jared Goff and Bryce Treggs connected on a long touchdown pass during the first 11-on-11 segment, and the practiced ended with freshman walkon Patrick Laird scooting 75 yards for a TD run.
The Bears continue to move cautiously on players with physical issues.
Left tackle Steven Moore sat out much of Tuesday’s progress, giving him a chance to rest a sore knee. Likewise, the coaches are limiting safety Avery Sebastian (Achlles) and defensive tackle Mustafa Jalil (knee), who had offseason surgeries.
But junior O-lineman Jordan Rigsbee (knee), who practiced sparingly the first week, was working out with the first team as right tackle, where JC transfer Dominic Granado has mostly played so far.
Dykes said Rigsbee, who played center and guard last season, is needed for his versatility.
“The thing is we’d like to leave him someplace and let him develop. Right now he’s pretty valuable being able to do that,” Dykes said. “We’ll keep bouncing him around and see where he settles in.”
Junior cornerback Darius White, projected as a possible starter after arriving as a JC transfer, remains in a red jersey after jamming his shoulder in the first practice of fall camp.
Dykes said White could begin to do more individual work, but isn’t sure when he’ll be cleared to do everything.
“I don’t know how much contact he’ll get before Northwestern,” Dykes said.
That doesn’t sound promising.
“We need for him to start getting in the mix,” Dykes said. “The good thing about corner is a guy can play that position pretty quickly.”
In the meantime, Cameron Walker, Cedric Dozier and Darius Allensworth are the top performers at the position.
Sophomore running back Jeffrey Coprich limped off the field Tuesday and after practice was taken off on a cart after injuring his left foot. Dykes said he believes the injury is nothing more than a sprain.
Coprich is in a battle for playing time, seemingly behind veterans Daniel Lasco and Khalfani Muhammad and freshmen Tre Watson and Vic Enwere.