Cale will miss 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 second-year student Brett Johnson would start the position instead.
The bears will begin their unprecedented season in many unexpected ways. The COVID-19 outbreak propelled Arizona, Utah, and UCLA together in an unexpected contest.
A positive COVID-19 test among Cal’s defensive lines was the culprit in a non-contest match against Washington a week ago. Their quarantine, as a result of contact tracing mandated by the Berkeley City Department of Public Health, left the bears deprived of 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. The defensive front three are rounded off 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].