Wednesday, September 02, 2009

San Jose Mercury: Bracing for aggressive Maryland defense

Jonathan Okanes

It won't take long for Cal to get a good progress report on its new offensive line.  The Bears, with two new guards and an inexperienced center, will have to contend with Maryland's attacking 4-3 defense in Saturday night's season opener.  The Terps feature new defensive coordinator Dan Brown, who was known for an attacking, aggressive philosophy at Massachusetts.

"That's going to pose a huge challenge for us," Cal coach Jeff Tedford said. "They are a big pressure team and we have a couple of young guys up there. I have a lot of confidence in our guys as far as their talent level is concerned, but there's probably going to be an adjustment period to figure out what they are doing."

Redshirt freshman Matt Summers-Gavin will make his first career start at left guard, and sophomore Justin Cheadle will start for the second time at right guard. Chris Guarnero, who started three games at left guard last season, will make his first career start at center.

The good news for the Bears is they have sixth-year senior Mike Tepper at left tackle and sophomore Mitchell Schwartz at right tackle. Tepper has started 15 games in his career, although he missed last season with a pectoral injury. Schwartz started every game last year. The Bears also feature a new starting fullback, Brian Holley. "They have a great defense," Holley said. "They bring a lot of different looks at you, but I think our coaches have prepared us very well. We go over so many looks every day at practice. I'm sure they're not going to bring anything we haven't seen. I'm sure we're going to be prepared for whatever they have."

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