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August 11, 2012

Touchdown Run by Brown Highlights First Scrimmage of Preseason Camp

UPDATE ON FOUR FORMER MUSTANGS IN THE NFL

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Redshirt freshman quarterback Chris Brown ran seven yards for a touchdown Saturday in a brief scrimmage signalling the end of the first week of preseason football camp at Cal Poly.

The scoring run was set up by a 40-yard halfback pass from Kristaan Ivory to Josh Swaney.

The defensive highlight was an interception by senior linebacker Kennith Jackson (pictured at right).

"We played fast on both sides of the ball and we were able to get in about 77 players on both sides of the ball -- 37 on offense and 40 on defense," said fourth-year Mustang head coach Tim Walsh. "Seventy-seven guys got opportunities today and I was real pleased with that.

"I am also pleased from the standpoint of speed with our skill position players," Walsh added. "In particular, (sophomore wide receiver) Lance Castaneda is understanding who he is as a football player. He played physical and fast today."

Several of the team's newcomers earned several reps in the scrimmage Saturday and Walsh singled out slot backs Kori Garcia and Elias Stokes, "both of whom are doing some real legitimate things out there."

Jackson spearheaded the Mustang defense which held the offense on three of the four drives.

"The defense is starting to get the concept of what we're trying to do," noted Walsh. "They played real physical defense today and made some good open-field tackles.

"I'm not sure if our offense is ahead of the defense, but we'll get a better idea of where we stand next week," Walsh added.

The kicking game also has received a lot of attention in camp this week. Punter Paul Hundley returns but placekicker James Langford's transfer to Cal opened up several slots.

"(Former Mustang soccer player) Stephen Pyle and (Arkansas State transfer) Bobby Zalud have practiced very well so far," said Walsh. "I feel very good about our kicking game. We will start charting the kicking game responsibilities next week."

After a brief afternoon practice session in shorts and helmets later Saturday, the team will not practice Sunday, resuming preseason camp Monday. Single practice sessions are scheduled for Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 3:45 p.m., with double-day sessions slated for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

All practices are open to the public and held on the upper artificial turf fields of the Cal Poly Sports Complex.

Five transfers and 19 freshmen were welcomed to the practice field by 18 redshirts, seven walk-ons and 46 returning lettermen at the team's first practice session of preseason camp last Monday afternoon.

First two days of practice were held with helmets only, followed by shoulder pads on Wednesday and Thursday and full pads on Friday.

Cal Poly, which captured four of the eight Great West Conference championships from 2004-11, plays its first season in the 13-team Big Sky Conference this fall, beginning Sept. 1 against the University of San Diego at 4:05 p.m. in Alex G. Spanos Stadium.

The preseason camp runs through Aug. 25 and, after a day off, the Mustangs begin preparations Monday, Aug. 27, for the season opener against the Toreros. Cal Poly was picked by coaches and media to finish fifth in the Big Sky while San Diego has been tabbed to win the Pioneer Football League.

Cal Poly football, presented by French Hospital Medical Center, claimed Great West titles in the conference's inaugural season, 2004, followed by conference titles in 2005, 2008 and 2011, sharing the final crown with North Dakota.

Cal Poly, Southern Utah, UC Davis and North Dakota have moved to the Big Sky Conference -- Cal Poly and UC Davis as affiliate members in football only and Southern Utah and North Dakota as full members -- while South Dakota enters the Missouri Valley Football Conference this fall.