Cale will be absent from the defense line Aaron Maldonado and Stanley Mackenzie on Sunday morning. The nose shield was expected to be a major contributor – Maldonado was included on the starting roster – and their absence meant sophomore Brett Johnson would start in the position instead.
The bears will begin their unprecedented season in many unexpected ways. The COVID-19 outbreak pushed Arizona, Utah Cal and the University of California together in an unexpected competition.
A positive COVID-19 test among Cal’s defensive lines was the culprit in a no-competition match against Washington a week earlier. Their quarantine, as a result of contact tracing commissioned by the Berkeley City Department of Public Health, deprived bears of the players in the position.
Johnson, who will replace Maldonado, is no stranger to the center – he played nine games on the defense line last season. He turned to a defensive finish in 2020, and his absence there would put sophomore JH Teves right away. Three defensive fronts are rounded for Cal vs Bruins by veteran Xiandai Johnson.
Jasper Kenzo Sundin covers football and is deputy editor of Special Issues. Call him at [email protected].