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September 27, 2012

Practice report: Tipoti dinged up, Wark to start at TE



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BERKELEY -- With Spencer Hagan down for the season and Richard Rodgers still nursing a tender foot, California head coach Jeff Tedford announced on Thursday that sophomore Jacob Wark will be starting at tight end for the Bears this Saturday against Arizona State.

Rodgers and right tackle Matt Summers-Gavin both practiced on Thursday, but Tedford said that both are day-to-day.

"Each day, you see how they feel after the amount of work that they get -- Does the injury fatigue? Does it make him sore? -- so on and so forth," Tedford said.

Last year's starting center and - until he tore a pectoral muscle in late July, this year's slated starting right guard -- Dominic Galas also practiced on Thursday.

"He's doing more and more each day. Next week, he'll start to have a little bit of contact. He hasn't had any contact yet," Tedford said. "We have to see again how he would respond to contact and things, but he's been working really hard. We've got to make sure he's got good enough strength in that arm."

Though he's played sparingly on offense -- primarily seeing time on field goal protection -- since coming in against Southern Utah, Tedford does not regret pulling the redshirt of true freshman offensive tackle Freddie Tagaloa.

"It's a long season," Tedford said. "We've got a lot of games left. He played a little bit last week for one or two plays, I think. Given the health of our offensive line, when you have people go down like that, you've got to get guys ready to go, and they need game time situations. It's still a long season."

Tedford compares the situation to that of current senior starting center Brian Schwenke, who played as a true freshman.

"Schwenke didn't play very much. It depends on week to week. You get a lineman go down, so he'd better be ready to play," Tedford said. "If nothing else, I'm not wishing for injuries by any means, but you have to be prepared for it. If nothing else, the thing that I think Schwenke benefitted the most by was game preparation, travel, understand how game plans change, understand the different fronts, different things, so the preparation of game is as important as physical play. Schwenke was really much further ahead his sophomore year than he would have been if he would have been on the scout team."

Defensive end Aaron Tipoti -- the most veteran member of the Cal defensive line -- was sporting a heavy knee brace on Thursday, but Tedford said the health of the defensive line is the same "as it's been," throughout the course of the season.


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