The bye week in Cal's football schedule has brought competition, not vacation.

Coach Sonny Dykes has opened up position battles this week as the Bears (1-2) begin preparation for their Sept. 28 Pac-12 opener at No. 2 Oregon.

That includes offensive line, where starting left tackle Freddie Tagaloa has a fight on his hands.

"If we were 3-0 and ranked fifth in the country, we'd be challenging our guys," Dykes said. "If you have a guy like Freddie, who has got tremendous potential, you want him to play to that potential. You don't want him to be satisfied. He's played adequate, not as well as he can play."

Christian Okafor and Bill Tyndall are among those getting a chance at the spot, while Tyndall and Alejandro Crosthwaite are in the mix at right guard, where starter Matt Cochran will be sidelined for at least a month after ankle surgery set for Thursday.

Also, linebacker Nick Forbes, sidelined for more than a month with a lower back injury, believes he'll be ready to play soon. He wouldn't predict he'll start at Oregon but said. "I am preparing as if I am that guy."

  • Stanford starting cornerback Barry Browning was ruled out of the fifth-ranked Cardinal's Pac-12 opener against Arizona State on Saturday, coach David Shaw said. Browning is suffering from multiple injuries. Also, the availability of starting fullback Ryan Hewitt (bruised knee) won't be determined until Thursday. "I'm not ready to rule him out just yet," Shaw said.

  • Danville's Brendon Garcia was named Big Sky Special Teams Player of the Week for the second straight week after kicking three field goals in Idaho State's 29-3 win over Western State.

  • Not quite a month after undergoing surgery for a broken right foot, Cal senior point guard Justin Cobbs said he's running on a treadmill with no pain. "Everything's feeling good," he said. "Just taking my time." Practice begins Sept. 27, and Cobbs wouldn't speculate on how extensively he'll be able to participate at first. Cal's season opens Nov. 8 against Coppin State. Cobbs, who averaged 15.1 points a game last season, was injured during a San Francisco Summer Pro-Am League game Aug. 12.

    NBA D-League

    In preparation for the 2013-14 season, the Santa Cruz Warriors will hold open tryouts Oct. 6 at the Kaiser Permanente Arena in Santa Cruz (140 Front St.) and Oct. 19 at the Golden State Warriors' practice facility in Oakland (1011 Broadway). Register at www.santacruzbasketball.com or at the Santa Cruz Warriors' headquarters (903 Pacific Ave.). The fee to secure a tryout spot is $100 for pre-registration and $125 on the day of the tryouts.

    Staff writers Jeff Faraudo and Elliott Almond contributed to this report.