Holmoe Plays Musical O-Line

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Another week, another game. Another player making his first start of the season and still another starter out with an injury. Such is life on the Cal football team's offensive line.

Saturday against Fresno State, right guard Scott Tercero will likely make his first start of the season for the Bears, while left guard Brandon Ludwig will miss the game due to an injury he sustained this past weekend against Illinois.

Ludwig suffered a high ankle sprain in the third quarter of Saturday's game and Cal head coach Tom Holmoe said yesterday that the junior will be out four to six weeks.

The injury came just when the line was starting to heal itself. Tercero saw his first action of the season against Illinois, and played about half the game. The 295-pound, 6-foot-5 Tercero is coming off arthroscopic knee surgery this summer.

Meanwhile, center Reed Diehl, who suffered a nerve palsy in his left leg in Cal's opener two weeks ago, is listed as questionable for FSU.

Since Diehl, a fifth-year senior and the vocal leader of the Bears offense, went down two weeks ago, redshirt freshman Nolan Bluntzer has been the starting center with true freshman Marvin Philip backing him up.

"Reed Diehl will practice at full speed in pads (this week)," Holmoe said. "That's going to determine how we're going to play the rest of our line - how he does."

Regardless if Diehl does play against the Bulldogs, the left guard position will be shuffled to deal with the loss of Ludwig.

"Now that Ludwig's gone, one of those guys will have to play the other guard," Holmoe said. "Robert Truhitte is a guy that started the first two games (at right guard). We can always play Nolan or Marvin at the guard if (Diehl) is playing."


One of the biggest problems for Cal offensively against Illinois was dropped passes. In the past, the rifle-arm of quarterback Kyle Boller has taken some of the heat and he has been working on toning down some of his throws.

But after two of Boller's passes hit receivers in the chest and fell to the ground against Illinois, the too-hot-to-handle complaint will fall on deaf ears.

"I'm getting tired of that ball coming in pretty hard," Holmoe said. "If the ball hits him in two hands - that's what the receiver does. Pretty soon we're going to have a JUGS gun out on the quarterback to measure his velocity. When they're in their hands, you've gotta catch that ball."


Starting cornerback and kick returner Chidi Iwuoma suffered bruised ribs last week and will likely play Saturday at corner but will not return kicks. The Bears' other kick returner, LaShaun Ward, will be joined by Joseph Echema, Jemeel Powell and James Bethea, who will see reps at punt and kick in practice this week. . . Holmoe said outside linebacker Calvin Hosey will play against FSU. Hosey has not played this season due to a foot injury . . . Wide receiver Chad Heydorff may play the first game of his Cal career against the Bulldogs, after suffering a hamstring injury in fall camp. Holmoe said he will make a decision Wednesday based on how Heydorff performs in practice.


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