BERKELEY, Calif. – Like everything else in the 35-28 loss at Ohio State, the performance of California’s inexperienced offensive line was a decidedly mixed bag.
The Golden Bears had 224 rushing yards and averaged 5.5 yards per carry, but allowed quarterback Zach Mayanrd to be sacked six times and take numerous other hits.
“We got beat in a couple different places,” head coach Jeff Tedford said. “It wasn’t one guy. We kind of took turns. We knew it would be a challenge going in.”
But reinforcements could be on the way, in the form of starting right tackle Matt Summers-Gavin and right guard Dominic Galas.
Summers-Gavin hurt his knee in the season-opener against Nevada and has missed the last two games, but practiced some Tuesday morning and is nearing a return. The senior had started 26 of the last 33 games for Cal.
Galas, a projected starter who tore his pectoral muscle lifting weights shortly before the start of fall camp, has been able to resume some football activities.
“I actually saw Dominic today punching a bag and pass setting, so he is making progress. He looked like he has some force and some strike to him,” Tedford said, also praising his conditioning work while he was sidelined. “Those guys are on the mend.”
There is also a chance reserve lineman Mark Brazinski, who tore his ACL in April, could contribute this season, Tedford said.
Youngsters Needed At Tight End
Junior college transfer Harrison Wilfley and freshman Maximo Espitia will see an increased role at tight end as Cal deals with injuries at the position, Tedford said.
Redshirt junior Spencer Hagan is expected to miss significant time after suffering a right knee injury at Ohio State, but has yet to undergo an MRI to determine the extent of the damage.
“Typically when something like that happens, you let the swelling go down first and then you MRI it. He won’t be playing this week,” Tedford said.
Redshirt sophomore Jacob Wark said the team was shaken by seeing Hagan carted off the field.
“Oh that was terrible,” Wark said. “Hagan has worked so hard. He has put the most work in of anyone on the team, he’s one of those guys that has worked so hard to improve his game. It was tough. After that happened, all of us were talking about trying to get that win for Hagan.”
Wark is the only available tight end on the roster with a catch this season, though sophomore Richard Rodgers (foot) could return this week, Tedford said.
Explanation Not Given
Looking for an explanation regarding the shaky officiating Saturday at Ohio Stadium? So are Tedford and Wark, who was called for a holding penalty that negated a 47-yard touchdown catch by Anderson.
The second-quarter drive would subsequently end with a missed 40-yard field goal by Vincenzo D’Amato.
“I can’t really comment on officiating,” Tedford said. “It’s part of the game. The holding, the best way to say this is it could have went either way.”
“I didn’t have a chance to talk to an official,” Wark said. “I wish I could know what the explanation was, why they called it so I can stay out of that situation again, but I felt like I had my hands inside and I didn’t do anything that would bring up that call.”
Tedford also expressed confusion at a catch by Anderson in the fourth quarter that was ruled incomplete on the field and was not reversed by video review when Cal challenged the play, despite the senior clearly getting both feet inbounds along the sideline.
“That was the first thing I looked at when I got home,” Tedford said. “You get a better angle on TV, and I saw that. I don’t know how that happened, why they didn’t call him in bounds. I don’t know what to say about it.”
Linebacker Khairi Fortt (knee) is unlikely to play this week, Tedford said. … D’Amato, who missed three field goals at Ohio State, remains the starting kicker, Tedford said. … Cal’s Sept. 29 home game against Arizona State will kickoff at 1 p.m. and be broadcast nationally on FX.
Dan Greenspan is the publisher of Cal Sports Digest and writes about the Pac-12 for Fox Sports Next. Follow him on Twitter @DanGreenspan.