With the NCAA tournament in full effect, including the Cal Golden Bears pushing for a Sweet 16 berth, the spring game of a football team coming off a 3-9 season could fly well below the radar.
But the first series of practices under Sonny Dykes ends with a particularly noteworthy moment. Former Golden Bears and current Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch scored a touchdown in the Cal spring game. You did not misread — Lynch donned pads and carried for a score in the scrimmage.
Marshawn Lynch just went into the backfield for Cal in pads and scored a touchdown at the #BearRaid13 Spring Game.
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) March 23, 2013
Lynch rushed for more than 3200 yards in his three seasons at Cal, scoring 29 touchdowns on the ground. He reached the end zone another six times via the pass. Lynch was one in a long run of Golden Bear backs to eclipse 1000 yards. Others included J.J. Arrington, Shane Vereen, Jahvid Best and most recently Isi Sofele.
A nod to the success of predecessor Jeff Tedford’s tenure is a nice touch from Dykes, who comes to Cal off a successful run at Louisiana Tech. Dykes led the Bulldogs to 17 wins in the past two seasons and a Western Athletic Conference championship in 2011.
Dykes is a product of the Mike Leach coaching tree, and his system in Berkeley has gained the nickname “Bear Raid.” But running backs typically flourish under Dykes, whether it’s Nic Grigsby at Arizona, where Dykes was offensive coordinator, or Kenneth Dixon at Tech, who led the nation in rushing touchdowns a season ago.
Dykes’ style could reinvigorate a Cal offense that has needed a jump-started for a few seasons. Included in that is a continued run of standout running backs like Marshawn Lynch, pictured below from his Twitter account at Cal on Saturday.