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Spring scrimmage gets off to explosive start

BERKELEY, Calif. -- Cal football's new offense paid off
quickly Saturday when DeSean Jackson took an inside screen pass
from Nate Longshore and went 70 yards for a touchdown on the Bears'
first play in a controlled scrimmage at Memorial Stadium.

"I think it went just fine," head coach Jeff Tedford said
afterward. "We got a chance to learn some of the concepts. The
biggest thing was adjusting to the shotgun. We'll take a look this
summer how much of that we want to do and how much of the
traditional offense we want to do."

Tedford's first four Cal teams were fairly potent. The Bears
finished 26th in the country last season in total offense, ninth in
rushing offense.

Tedford wanted more following an 8-4 record in 2005, finished off
with a Big Game victory over Stanford and a 35-28 triumph over
Brigham Young in the Pioneer PureVision Las Vegas Bowl.

Enter new offensive coordinator Mile Dunbar from Northwestern.
His Wildcats last year were only the second team in Big Ten history
to average 500 or more yards a game, running many plays out of the
spread offense.

All that remains is to select a quarterback out of four
candidates to run the show. Longshore is in the lead to reclaim the
job he lost in the season opener last year when he broke an ankle
in the first half against Sacramento State.

Also in the hunt are senior junior college transfer Joe Ayoob,
who started nine games last year, and senior Steve Levy, at the
helm for the final two games. Ayoob was restricted to holding for
placekicks in the scrimmage because of a high ankle sprain.

"We'll make a decision on who's best for us offensively,"
Tedford said about the preparation for the Sept. 2 opener at
Tennessee. "Nate will take the first snaps of the fall, but it
really doesn't matter. Joe sat out today but did a great job
throughout the spring and will definitely be in the mix during the
fall."

Later in the scrimmage, Longshore connected with tight end Craig
Stevens for an 11-yard score. Redshirt freshmen, quarterback Kyle
Reed and tight end Cameron Morrah, teamed up for a five-yard
scoring play.

Running back Marshawn Lynch ran into the end zone from three and
five yards out. His backup, Justin Forsett, scored from 11 yards
out.

"We have the personnel to run the new offense well," Longshore
said. "This definitely will be an asset for our team. We're
learning it slowly, but were getting a grasp of it. It can only get
better."

Using Lynch the way Southern California utilized Reggie Bush
also will be a big part of the Cal offense.

"We want to throw different types of passes to Marshawn as well
as hand him the ball from the spread and create running lanes,"
Dunbar said. "We want to get him out in space where he can do his
thing one-on-one against matchups."