Cal Football: Bears RB DeShawn Collins Might Get More Playing Time vs. Washington State

Jake Curtis

You had to look long and hard to find any positive signs in Cal’s 35-0 loss to Utah last week, but there was a hint of something favorable among the running backs. That would be DeShawn Collins.

The Bears’ ground game has been lousy this season, especially recently. Cal is last in the Pac-`12 in yards per carry, averaging just 3.1 yards per attempt.

Over the past two games, the Bears’ top two running backs -- Christopher Brown Jr. and Marcel Dancy – have averaged just 2.61 yards per rushing attempt.

Collins had just one carry against Utah, and it came late in the game, but it was a run of 14 yards.

He might get some more chances in next Saturday’s game in Berkeley against Washington State, which ranks last in the Pac-12 in rushing defense.

“D.C. is someone at the tailback position that can potentially continue to add to that rotation, and you saw that late in the game,” Cal offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin said this week. “And even though it was against some of their backups, he still was able to break a long run and show some things.

“That would probably be the one guy that jumps out that maybe hasn’t taken a lot of snaps in games yet this year, but has the potential to be more involved in these last four [games].”

Collins isn’t going to transforms Cal’s offense by himself, but the expected return of center Michael Saffell as well as the possible return of one or two receivers who sat out the Utah game may aid the running game.

Collins, a junior college transfer from City College of San Francisco, was injured late in training camp, slowing his progress. He has carried the ball just six times this season, averaging 4.2 yards per attempt.

But he has shown signs of being an effective back, both as a runner and a receiver. He might get a legitimate chance to show what he can do against the Cougars, who are yielding 4.97 yards per rushing attempt this season, worst in the conference.

Comments (1)
No. 1-1

Against the porous Washington State defense it will be a good opportunity for him to establish a run game.