Cal did its final live tackling of fall camp during a 40-play scrimmage Wednesday, after which coach Sonny Dykes raved about the progress his team has made.
Acknowledging the loss of linebacker Nathan Broussard and safety Quintin Tartabull for the season, both to knee injuries, Dykes said the Bears have emerged from 2 ½ weeks of tough practices “remarkably healthy.”
Compared to a year ago, when the team’s season-long injury epidemic developed its momentum in August, this has been a major turnabout.
“For us to go as much live tackling as we’ve done in this camp — which is more in than any camp I’ve ever coached in — and to have as few injuries as we’ve had is a real testament to their work effort,” Dykes said. “Hopefully, it’s a sign we’re becoming a tougher team.
“Last year this looked like a M*A*S*H unit out here and we didn’t go live near as much as we have this year. I think we’re tougher, I think we’re bigger, I think we’re stronger, I think we’re more physical, I think we’ve got a better mindset.
“All of that has allowed us to get a lot of reps in practice. We have gotten a remarkable amount of work done to this point.”