Cal doesn't have as much time as usual to get ready for its Nov. 7 opener against Washington, so Saturday's 11-on-11 work in game situations with officials on the field was important, especially with the Bears putting in a new offense.
Quarterback Chase Garbers was pleased with the pseudo-scrimmage, noting that senior wide receiver Kekoa Crawford and sophomore Makai Polk came up with some big plays.
"Makai had a big deep ball down the sideline," Garbers said. "Kekoa had two good deep balls. [Sophomore wideout] Ben Skinner's been playing real well; he had a nice grab over the middle. [Tight end] Collin Moore had a nice touchdown on a fourth down. Marcel Dancy's running really well. Had a big game with him."
**Garbers notes the highlights of Saturday's scrimmage
"Intense" is how Crawford described the scrimmage. "Practice is practice, and it definitely helps, but I feel the game prepares you the most," he said, "so once you go out there and do it in a game, in a game-like situation, that's probably the best thing and the closest thing to the real games."
Crawford reportedly had a spectacular 50-yard catch despite tight coverage on Saturday, a play that earned him a gash over his right eye when his helmet cut through his skin after he hit the ground.
"Still came down with it; that's all that matters," he said.
**Crawford talks about his 2019 season and Saturday's scrimmage
Crawford seemed like Cal's best receiver when he played last season, but injuries limited him to just six games. He had 16 receptions for 272 yards and two touchdowns in his first season with Cal after playing his first two college seasons at Michigan.
"I feel like [the season] was honestly a letdown for me knowing what I could do for the team and how I can help the team," he said. "It was a letdown getting nicked up and having to miss games and not being fully healthy even when I was out there."
Crawford is working with his fourth offensive coordinator in his four seasons of college ball, but his chief objective in 2020 is to stay healthy.
Cal's coaches have to find a happy medium between trying to keep their players healthy and having them physically ready to play. Because the preseason camp is taking place during the fall semester this season, there is a lot less preseason practice time than there would be in a preseason camp in August.
**Garbers discusses wide receivers Crawford, Nikko Remigio, Polk and the freshman wide receivers as well as the shorter preseason practices
"It's been different because a traditional camp you're there from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.; you probably have a two-hour break somewhere in the middle of the day," Garbers said. "You're football 24/7, where now you have a set amount of time from 2 to 6 during the week, and about 8 to 12 on the weekends, so having less amount of time to do what we want to do is a little different, but we get it done and we're effective in what we do."
Having less time to prepare is not ideal for a team that is installing a completely new offense.
Follow Jake Curtis of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jakecurtis53
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