A crucial shortcoming in Cal's last two games -- both defeats -- was the health of freshman wide receiver Keenan Allen, who played sparingly because of a high ankle sprain.

After a bye week to get healthy, Allen says he's back at 100 percent and eager to produce as he did during the first two weeks of the season, when he caught nine passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns. The Bears host UCLA on Saturday.

"It was tough. I felt like I could have helped a lot," Allen said. "But they just held me back, trying to get me 100 percent."

Allen played only a handful of snaps during a 52-31 loss at Nevada. The Bears still rolled up more than 500 yards of offense against the Wolf Pack, but the offense could have been even more explosive if Allen had been available on every down. He played a bit more at Arizona -- primarily on third downs -- but his talents were clearly missed in the 10-9 setback.

Even though Allen, a true freshman, has been fully healthy for only two games, it's apparent he has the potential to have a major impact on Cal's offense.

"It puts such another great weapon out there for our offense," Cal quarterback Kevin Riley said. "Even in practice, he looks so much better, kind of like when he first got here. You could tell it was really limiting his play, especially the explosiveness he has as a player. So it's going to be exciting to see him back out there at full strength, making plays."


Advertisement

  • Cal entered the 2010 season with some significant questions on defense, but safety Sean Cattouse wasn't supposed to be one of them. The Bears' only returning starter in the secondary, Cattouse was named to a handful of preseason All-Pac-10 teams.

    But after a broken thumb forced him to miss most of spring practice and a hamstring injury sidelined him for a big chunk of training camp, Cattouse found himself slipping down the depth chart. As a result, Josh Hill overtook Cattouse to earn the starting role at free safety, relegating Cattouse to a backup role.

    "It's been really hard on me," Cattouse said. "I just have to bounce back. Two injuries came at horrible times. You just have to learn from it and keep being a leader. I know my time will come. The guys are doing a great job, so I can't be mad."

  • Wide receiver Marvin Jones leads the Pac-10 in catches per game (6.25). Running back Shane Vereen ranks third in rushing (106.5 yards per game).

    saturday's game

    UCLA ( 3-2) at Cal (2-2), 12:30 p.m., CSNBA