For the first time since 2012, Cal football’s spring game will be a game.
The Bears will wrap up spring practice Saturday at 11 a.m. at Memorial Stadium with a game featuring teams drafted by the players this week.
A year ago, still battling depth and injury issues, the Bears held what they called the Cal Spring Football Experience. No one was quite sure what they were watching, but it sure wasn’t a football game.
Said quarterback Jared Goff at the time, “It wasn’t practice, it wasn’t a game, it was a little weird.”
This year, coach Sonny Dykes said, “We’re going to play a football game.”
Each team will feature an offense and a defense. Teams will get a predetermined number of offensive possessions; there will be no game clock. Field goals will be live action; otherwise, there will be little in the way of special teams play.
Dykes said the time is right to make the spring game something fans will recognize.
“It just means we’ve got more depth. It means we’ve got more quality players through the roster,” he said. “We’ve been trying to cover holes in the past, and now we’ve got enough guys to roll the ball out, go play and compete, and see what happens.”
The Blue team was drafted by and will be captained by three seniors, offensive tackle Steven Moore, linebacker Hardy Nickerson and defensive back Cameron Walker. Key players include quarterbacks Ross Bowers and Zach Kline, running backs Khalfani Muhammad and Billy McCrary III, and receivers Jordan Duncan, Raymond Hudson, Melquise Stovall and Patrick Worstell.
The Gold team was selected by three juniors, running back Vic Enwere, wide receiver Chad Hansen and defensive tackle James Looney.Their squad features quarterbacks Chase Forrest and Max Gilliam, running back Tre Watson, and receivers Greyson Bankhead, Carlos Strickland, Jordan Veasy and Vic Wharton III.
The first 2,000 fans will receive Cal football commemorative posters and the first 500 will be given mini-footballs. The Pac-12 Networks will telecast the event.