By Matt Kawahara
The Cal football team continued Sunday to ratchet up the realism of its situational drills in preparation for its first scrimmage of fall camp on Tuesday. Coach Jeff Tedford brought officials out for the second day in a row and the Bears finished their 11th practice in 10 days with three situational team sequences: one with the offense starting on its own 33-yard line, one at the goal line and a two-minute (in this case 90-second) drill with the offense starting from its own 40. Quarterback Kevin Riley ran with the first-team offense in all three drills -- as he has done for the majority of fall camp -- while Brock Mansion quarterbacked the second team.
Mansion had a good practice highlighted by a nearly flawless touchdown drive on the final sequence -- getting some help from a 15-yard defensive penalty on a third down. The sophomore completed all six of his passes on the drive, including two to redshirt freshman receiver Ross Bostock and two to tight end Skylar Curran, and capped it with a sharp touchdown pass on a slant to tight end Tad Smith.
Mansion was on point during the earlier sequences and 7-on-7's as well. He threw consecutive touchdown passes to Curran and Jeremy Ross during skeleton offense and made possibly his best throw during the goal line exercise. He put a ball right in the crook of tight end Jarrett Sparks' right arm for a touchdown from about five yards out as Sparks was fighting off a linebacker with his left arm.
Riley struggled in the final hurry-up drill after being sacked by linebacker Jarred Price on the opening play. He completed a one-yard pass to Anthony Miller (cornerback Syd'Quan Thompson made a nice tackle to keep Miller in bounds), scrambled for eight yards and then overthrew a well-defended Miller on a wheel route on fourth down. Aside from that drive, Riley did not have a lot of opportunities to throw the ball during team sessions, although he did connect with Shane Vereen for a touchdown during the goal line set.
Tedford said after practice that the naming of a starting quarterback could happen "anytime" and not necessarily as late as the Wednesday a week and a half before the Maryland game -- the date by which he has said the depth chart will likely be finalized for the season opener. Tedford also said that Tuesday's scrimmage will not have a "great deal" of influence over his decision.