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Football: Lots of changes, same results

All the changes Cal made during the week — and the one that didn’t happen — had no impact on the bottom line Saturday night at Husky Stadium.

Bishop Sankey ran for a career-best 241 yards and two touchdowns and Keith Price passed for 376 yards and two TDs as Washington dominated the Golden Bears 41-17 in front of 62,328 fans.

***** Click here for game stats

Coach Sonny Dykes shuffled his offensive line and let freshman quarterback Jared Goff compete all week for his job, but none of that prevented the Bears from losing their 12th straight game to a Football Subdivision opponent and their 10th straight to a Pac-12 rival.

“It feels similar … frustrating,” Dykes said afterward. “We certainly don’t ever don’t want to get used to losing. They all sting badly.

“It’s tough because you play good in spurts, but that’s not good enough against the people we’re playing against.”

Cal (1-7, 0-5) has not even held a lead at any time during a six-game losing streak since a Sept. 7 win over FCS opponent Portland State.

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Football: Cal-UW game thread

FINAL: Washington 41, Cal 17. Khalfani Muhammad’s 73-yard TD run with 5:06 left capped the scoring. The Bears (1-7, 0-5 Pac-12) have lost 12 straight to FBS opponents and 10 in a row in the conference. They haven’t held a lead at any time during their six-game losing streak. Goff finished 32 of 54 for 336 yards with a touchdown and no turnovers. The defense allowed 40 points-plus for the sixth time and the Huskies (5-3, 2-3) totaled 642 yards. 

THIRD QUARTER: UW 38, Cal 7. Not getting any better, is it? The Huskies are two points shy of becoming the sixth team to crack 40 against the Bears. UW has 557 yards through three quarters. Price is 18 for 29 for 365 and a pair of TDs. Goff is 28 for 48 for 279.

HALFTIME: UW 24, Cal 7. The Bears got on the board with a 13-play, 75 yard drive spanning the first two qtrs, with Goff going 8 for 9, including a 6-yard TD strike to Harper. The teams then exchanged eight punts, a nice stretch of defense for the Bears. But Sankey’s 59-yard TD run with 1:08 left in the half pushed the Huskies’ lead to 17 points. Goff is 20 for 35 for 180 yards in the half. Sankey has 16 carries for 188 yards. Cal does not have a turnover.

FIRST QUARTER: Huskies draw first blood, moving 97 yards in 11 plays, capped by Bishop Sankey’s 3-yard TD run with 8:48 left. QB Keith Price, who supposedly has an injured thumb on his throwing hand, was 6 for 6 for 74 yards. Price’s 68-yd TD pass to Jaydon Mickens makes it 17-0 with 1:41 left in Qtr. Bears now outscored 127-34 in opening period. Qtr stats: UW 219 total yards, Cal 66. Goff was 7 for 11 for 38 yards.

COIN FLIP: Cal wins the toss and will take the ball first.

Game time weather: 54 degrees. Cloudy, but still no wind.

*****

Greetings from Husky Stadium. A cool evening here in Seattle, but dry and windless. A good night for football, even if the game figures to end close to midnight.

A few depth chart changes for Cal:

– Puka Lopa will start in place of Kyle Kragen at rush end

– Joel Willis for Adrian Lee at cornerback

– Michael Lowe for Damariay Drew at free safety

And, the offensive line will look like this:

– Redshirt freshman Christian Okafor at LT

– True freshman Chris Borrayo at LG

– Sophomore Jordan Rigsbee at C

– Junior Alejandro Crosthwaite (over Freddie Tagaloa) at RG

– Redshirt Steven Moore at RT

And, yes, Jared Goff will start at quarterback.

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Football: Cal-Washington preview

CAL VS. WASHINGTON

RECORDS: Cal 1-6, 0-4 Pac-12; Washington 4-3, 1-3.

KICKOFF: 8 p.m., Husky Stadium, Seattle.

TV: Fox Sports 1

RADIO: 810-AM

SERIES HISTORY: Washington leads 50-38-4. The Huskies won 21-13 last season, Cal’s only single-digit defeat during their ongoing 11-game losing streak to FBS teams. The Bears have won just three of 14 matchups in Seattle since 1976.

STORYLINES: Freshman Jared Goff will be back at quarterback after coach Sonny Dykes announced Friday he has retained the job in a week-long competition with redshirt freshman Zach Kline. … UW quarterback Keith Price, nursing a injured finger on his throwing hand, was announced as the starter. … The Bears have shaken up their offensive line, with Jordan Rigsbee moving from OG to C and freshman Chris Borrayo coming out of his redshirt year to start at OG. … The game matches teams with the longest current losing streaks in the Pac-12. Cal has dropped five in a row and UW three straight since starting the season 4-0. … Cal will wear helmet stickers honoring UW coaching legend Don James, who died Sunday at the age of 80. James was 12-2 against Cal, winning 12 in a row through his retirement in 1992.

INJURY UPDATE: Cal – RB Daniel Lasco (shoulder) and OG Matt Cochran (ankle) are out. Washington –  LB John Timu (ankle), OG Dexter Charles (shoulder) and Saf Kevin King (arm) are questionable.

MATCHUP TO WATCH: Cal’s front seven vs. Washington RB Bishop Sankey. The Bears have faced a series of prolific passers, but now engage the Huskies’ star junior, who has rushed for at least 100 yards in 12 of the past 18 games. His 921 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns are more than the total of all of Cal’s backs. Sankey had 189 yards and two TDs at Cal last season, but last week at Arizona State was held to a season-low 22 yards on 13 carries.

STATS THAT MATTER: The combined record of Cal’s first four Pac-12 teams is 22-6, 12 in the conference. The record of their next four Pac-12 foes is 15-11, 3-10. … The Bears have not beaten an FBS opponent in 378 days. … Cal ranks last in the Pac-12 in sacks allowed (22) and turnover margin (minus-11).

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Football: Dykes’ decision to make no change at quarterback is bolder than you think

First-year coach Sonny Dykes, who has reshuffled the hand dealt him regularly this fall in hopes of reversing the Golden Bears’ fortunes, made perhaps his boldest move yet Friday.

He changed nothing at the most important position on his team.

After nearly a week of speculation, Dykes announced that freshman Jared Goff has retained his starting quarterback job entering Saturday night’s game at Washington.

Goff and redshirt freshman Zach Kline shared first-team reps in practice and the stage seemed set for Kline to get his first chance to take the reins as the starter.

The Bears are 1-6, winless in Pac-12 Conference play and there was a bit of a “why not?” feel to the prospect of a change at quarterback.

It would have been the easy call, perhaps the popular one among Old Blues dying to see some tangible results from a season whose initial promise largely has drained away.

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15

Football: Defense chases historically bad numbers

Cal nose tackle Deandre Coleman, who attended Garfield High perhaps five minutes from Husky Stadium, expects to have 40 friends and family members at Saturday night’s game against Washington.

“It’s my senior year,” he said. “I’ve got to come out with a bang.”

Seven games into coach Sonny Dykes’ debut season, the Golden Bears have yet to make that kind of noise on defense. Cal ranks third-to-last nationally in total yards allowed, second-to-last in scoring defense and last among 123 FBS schools in passing yards surrendered.

“We’ve seen signs in practice,” Dykes said. “We haven’t seen a whole lot in a game up to this point.”

If there’s no improvement, the Bears are on target to field the statistically worst defense in Cal’s 131-year football history.

Having already given up at least 40 points in five games, the Bears are allowing 44.4 per game. They are on pace to give up 533 points — 102 more than Tom Holmoe’s 1-10 team of 2001 surrendered in one less game.

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0

Women’s basketball: Brittany Boyd ready to shine

Courtesy of Stephanie Hammon of our staff, a report on the Cal women from Thursday’s Pac-12 media day:

From halfway around the world, Brittany Boyd showed this summer that she is ready to take the lead for the Cal women’s basketball team.

Coming off their first ever trip to the Final Four, the Bears will attempt to maintain their elite status in the women’s basketball world.

And with standout guard Layshia Clarendon now showing off her silky jumpshot and clutch scoring in the WNBA, Boyd knows it’s her time to take more of a starring role for Cal.

The junior point guard played “at a whole different level” during the team’s August tour in China, Cal associate head coach Charmin Smith said at Thursday’s Pac-12 media day.

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18

Football: Still no word on starting QB

Cal completed its preparation for Saturday night’s game at Washington, but coach Sonny Dykes was taking one more day to decide who his starting quarterback will be.

Freshman Jared Goff, the starter for seven games, and redshirt freshman Zach Kline continued to share first-team practice reps Thursday.

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* The latest on Cal’s struggles to reach graduation day

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Afterward, Dykes said he plans to announce a starter on Friday. “I don’t see any reason to wait ’til game time,” he said.

“I think they both practiced well this week,” Dykes said. “I thought particularly Zach has picked it up the latter part of the week.”

Dykes reopened competition at the position this week after the Bears (1-6, 0-4 Pac-12) lost 49-17 to Oregon State, their fifth straight defeat. Kline replaced Goff in the third quarter of that game, throwing two late touchdown passes.

Whoever gets the call to face the Huskies (4-3, 1-3) is likely to go the distance.

“The last thing we want to do is somebody gets into a flow and another quarterback comes in,” Dykes said. “I’ve never found that to be particularly effective.”

*****

Washington senior quarterback Keith Price, nursing a thumb injury on his throwing hand, is expected to be available for Saturday night, but coach Steve Sarkisian didn’t specify whether Price would start against Cal.

 

 

45

Football: Gabe King leaves to focus on academics

Junior defensive tackle Gabe King has left the football team to concentrate on his work toward graduating next spring with a degree in African American studies, Cal announced.

King, in his fourth year in the program, will remain on scholarship for the remainder of the academic year.

He played in 17 games for Cal, all off the bench, recording six tackles.

5

Academics: Cal football, men’s basketball hit with poor graduation marks by NCAA

Cal’s football and men’s basketball team received low marks Thursday, when the NCAA released its latest Graduation Success Rate (GSR) scores.

The football team’s score was 44 percent while the basketball team was at 38 percent.

The NCAA average for FBS football programs was 71 percent, the highest ever. The men’s basketball national average was 73 percent, down one point from last year’s all-time high.

Cal athletics had an overall GSR of 78 percent, based on a four-year average for freshmen who entered school between 2003 and ’06. The NCAA national average was 82. Student-athletes are given a six-year period to graduate for purposes of the GSR.

Athletic director Sandy Barbour said the results are disappointing, but that steps already have been taken to potentially improve scores in the future.

“Although we still have a lot of work to do and have put systems in place that we believe we raise the success rate for under-achieving teams, we are proud of what we gave accomplished over the past year,” Barbour said in a statement.

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10

Football: No decision on QB expected until at least Friday; O-line moves likely permanent

Coach Sonny Dykes said after practice Wednesday he probably won’t name a starting quarterback until Friday, and didn’t say whether that information would become public at that point.

Dykes also said the moves made along the offensive line are not short-term fixes but expected to be permanent position changes.

Freshman Jared Goff, the starter for seven games, and redshirt freshman Zach Kline continued to share first-team reps Wednesday in preparation for Saturday night’s game at Washington.

The coach will meet with reporters, as usual, after Thursday’s closed practice, but it didn’t sound like a decision on the starting quarterback would be forthcoming by then.

Dykes said he is not entertaining the notion of playing both Goff and Kline on Saturday.

“It’s not what we want to do,” he said. “Typically, we want to play somebody, let him get a feel for the game, let him go. The last thing we want to do is somebody gets into a flow and another quarterback comes in. I’ve never found that to be particularly effective.”

There is less mystery along the offensive line, where sophomore Jordan Rigsbee has been moved from left guard to center, freshman Chris Borrayo is being pulled out of his redshirt year to play left guard, and tackle Freddie Tagaloa is being shifted from left tackle to right guard.

Dykes also said redshirt freshman guard Matt Cochran, sidelined the past four games because of ankle surgery, could be ready to return by next week’s home game against Arizona.

Asked about the offensive line shuffling, Dykes said, “Just trying to find some things that work. We think it’s a way to get some guys in positions we think they can excel in.

“They’re long-term moves as well. We’re going to develop those guys at those positions — all of them. They’ll stay there for the forseeable future.”

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