Football: Arizona game thread

Click here to read my game story and for Ray Chavez’s terrific photo of Kenny Lawler’s left-handed, diving touchdown catch.

FINAL SCORE: Arizona 33, Cal 28: Competitive for the first time in Pac-12 play, the Bears (1-8, 0-6) nonetheless lost their seventh straight game and extended losing streaks to Pac-12 opponents (11) and FBS foes (13). Goff threw a career-best four TDs — three of them to Kenny Lawler — but was intercepted twice. Goff finished with 289 yards. Lawler became the first Cal player with three TD receptions in a game since DeSean Jackson in 2006. Arizona (6-2, 3-2) won its third straight game.

END OF THIRD QUARTER: Arizona 33, Cal 21. Goff’s third TD of the game — a great one-handed catch by Kenny Lawler — got Bears within 26-21. But Goff gave it back with an INT, the first turnover by Cal, and Arizona cashed in with a 27-yard scoring drive. Denker’s 14-yard keeper makes is 33-21. Bears have now given up 30 points or more in all nine games, although last TD was only sort of the fault of the defense. Total yards after 3 Qtrs: Arizona 393, Cal 294.

HALFTIME: Arizona 19, Cal 14. Dare I say it, we’ve got a game. Arizona’s defense giving Jared Goff some trouble — 5 DBs and targets aren’t often open. Still, Goff improved late in quarter and is 15 for 29 for 132 yards with two TDs. Cal has 212 yards of total offense, no turnovers. Lasco gave run game some punch with 5 carries, 48 yards. Denker is 18 for 28 for 168 yards. Carey, after being controlled early, has 18 carries, 104 yards. Arizona has 269 yards. Cats also without a turnover.

END OF FIRST QUARTER: Arizona 9, Cal 7. The closest Cal has been after the 1st quarter since the Northwestern game, when it was 7-7. Cal even trailed Portland St in the 1st quarter. Arizona has 135-77 yardage edge. Goff has thrown 8 straight incompletions, although his second-down pass on most recent series was a drop by Muhammad that would have been a 30-yard gain.

A CAL LEAD: Jared Goff’s 11-yard TD pass to fellow freshman Khalfani Muhammad on a first-down play gives Cal its first lead since Sept. 7 against Portland State. The Bears move 75 yards in 12 plays. D’Amato’s PAT kick makes it 7-0 with 10:38 left in 1st Q. Ends streak of 244 minutes, 22 seconds without a lead.

COIN TOSS: Arizona wins the toss, defers. Cal will receive the opening kickoff.

Welcome to sunny Memorial Stadium where the Golden Bears (1-7, 0-5 Pac-12) take on Arizona (5-2, 2-2) in an attempt to break losing streaks of six games (overall), 10 games (to Pac-12 foes) and 12 games (to FBS opponents).

Cal has not held a lead in a game since Sept. 7.  A little hard to believe, but true.

Not sure what the over-under is on Arizona running back Ka’Deem Carey’s rushing yardage total would be, but Washington’s Bishop Sankey had 241 against the Bears a week ago.

We’ll set it at an even 200. Are you going over or under?


Jeff Faraudo

  • Juancho

    Hes made that mistake all game. It was time that was picked off. Two or three times hes thrown at double coverage. And his arm just doesnt show the zip right now. Hes throwing kevin riley ducks when he has to throw over 15 yards.

    Kids a kid though. They need to monitor this guy like a pitcher in his rookie year.

  • Juancho

    Goff shows a lot of promise. A lot of promise. But i dont think hes the star we thought he might be early in the year. Hes clearly trending the wrong direction.

    One more year though will be a world of difference. Im not sure where goff ranks with current pac 12 qbs.

  • Juancho

    13 tds, 9 ints, 6 fumbles.

    If you look at those numbers theyre scary. But goffenstein is going to be another guy next year. Hell be a man.

  • Juancho

    By the way, I bought a Google Chromebook 11 this past week. Holy mackerel do I recommend it to any of the brethren who may be considering an affordable tech option. It was only about $303 all said and done and I love it.

    This technology segment brought to you by your brother Juancho.

  • Mike

    I am tired of Cal coaches… Tedford stuck w/ Maynard who really really sucked and now after I was really rooting for Dykes, he is sticking with Goff who is really sucks. I do not understand it…. some players play better in games than in practices so why do these idiot coaches not give Kline a chance? How bad can that affect the team, they will go winless in the Pac-12 this year so why not. Goff is a joke… he is just another Maynard wasting another season for us.

  • Daredevil fan

    Who is special teams coach? Not impressed.

  • Juancho

    Guess your Cal QB:

    Who do each of these seasons belong to? Hint, these are 6 different QB brethren.

    12 Tds, 10 Ints

    13 Tds, 6 Ints

    24 Tds, 13 Ints

    15 Tds, 14 Ints

    24 Tds, 8 Ints

    28 Tds, 10 Ints

  • rotfogel

    Based on what I’ve seen, in my opinion if Kline would have been given a chance to come in to start the second half we’d have scored more than with Goff.

    He doesn’t look good, he looks less than average.

    I hate to play arm-chair QB but this is frustrating to watch.

    I’ll say again, I thought/think Kline is the better QB, short term and long term. I believe Dykes is very wrong on this one.

  • Juancho

    My devilish brother. The bright side from a business stand point is that none of the staff has a job at the end of the year. They literally are all on 1-year contracts, except for Dykes, Buh, Franklin.

    Expect some changes to the staff. I think the two young bucks, Ingram – the RB coach – and Yenser the O-line coach were in a way auditioning for their job with recruiting being their biggest asset.

    Ingram unfortunately couldn’t snag Mixon.

  • rotfogel

    Lawler is the man

  • Juancho

    Son of a birmingham buttermilk biscuit. Kenny “I vindicate Juancho for advocating that recruiting stars matter” Lawler is having a heck of a game.

  • 1brsfan

    Offense turnovers cost us this game. Feels like Northwestern game.

  • Juancho

    Did you hear the commentator “at some point you have to stop the dinking, and the dunking”.

    This gives us all cart blanche to embrace the dink dunkery. I’ll embrace anything to win.

  • Juancho

    Offensive turnovers? Or Goff’s turnovers?

  • Daredevil fan

    Get me the ball d

  • Daredevil fan

    53yard fg and safety the diff. Not bad.

  • rotfogel

    If Kline had started the game, there is little doubt Cal would have won.


  • Juancho

    Let’s take a minute to day dream about next year. Based on today’s positive showing.

    Projected starters:

    QB – Goff. Will be better.
    WR – Treggs, Harper, Lawler, Powe, Rodgers. We’re set here. These guys are good.
    RB – Lasco. (Bigelow is going pro and Khalfanni I don’t think will be given the full-time job due to size). Lasco can be alright. But this is an area some of the recruits will need to contribute.
    O-Line – Cochran, Borrayo, Moore, Rigsbee, Okafor or Tagaloa. These guys have actually been okay. Especially Borrayo. He’s impressed me. I don’t think any of the recruits will step in and start.

    D-Line – Moala, Lopa, Kragen, Hunter. I don’t include Jalil. I chalk him up to being a guy you can’t count on due to these chronic injury issues. This would be an area a stud recruit could help us immediately.
    LBs – Forbes, Fortt, Jefferson. Again, I don’t include Scarlett b/c I think he’s a chronic injury guy we can’t count on. We could use some recruits here.
    CBs – Kam Jackson, Dozier, Avery Sebastian, Cameron Walker. I don’t include McClure b/c of the chronic knee problems. I don’t think he’s a guy we should pencil in and count on. Another area we need recruits to help immediately.

  • Juancho

    Chalk this one up to a moral victory. Which usually is BS. But the way things have gone this year, the team and fans needed this. We were able to get an entire game that was competitive.

    The great thing about close games is it makes it easy for the players to spend the week looking to see what they need to do better immediately b/c they will each have things in their mind regarding how they think they were the reason we lost. And that’s a good thing, from my 8th grade baseball coaching perspective.

  • Rollonubears

    Bigelow personal foul and the. Standing around on that muffed punt beCause the bears had already given up. Unacceptable. Should have recovered it at the 50 and had the ball with 5 min left. The late running plays? This team is competing but their coach is clueless.

  • Juancho

    Can’t wait for Cal Athletics to upload the post game press conference to Youtube.

    I can imagine the Kline questions now from the reporters. Especially given the INTs being an ongoing issue for Goff.

  • Juancho

    JEFF the cat FARAUDO – weight in here, what is your opinion on the “why don’t we see what Kline can do” debate that keeps creeping in every week?

  • Mike

    Anyone supporting Goff now is an idiot. He’s been given the entire season….. just win one game against a descent team! It IS about the QB, not the entire team. Blaming others is getting old.
    Sticking with Goff forces me to start it now….. FIRE DYKES NOW!!! I gave you my support for close to a year now… you are a joke.

  • Steve W

    Anyone want to say this was a moral victory? I think it was. It’s the first time I have watched with any level of interest in the second half since the Northwestern game. Cal is a obviously a different team at home. Lawler was sensational, but the rest of the Cal offense is still a bore. I thought last year that a quarterback with a quick release could succeed in this system, but it seems more clear now that Sonny needs a QB who is a running threat. That kid from Scottsdale can’t come soon enough.

  • Juancho

    Esteban W, the only problem is Rubenzer is another guy there’s scuttle butt around decommitting from Cal.

    Sadly there’s noise that Jaleel could decommit tonight (at UCLA), and Rubenzer could be next.

  • Easy Ed

    Not happy with the result but a damn fine effort. I suddenly feel better about the torture this fall has been, I believe we saw the team grow up just a little today. Not the signature win we’re looking for but it’s coming.

  • Juancho

    Easy you able to visit Moscow today?

  • Easy Ed

    I don’t have the PAC 12 network, damn you Direct TV! I listened over the internet, maybe things are so bad I actually saw hope today. I made it through the game with nothing stronger than a Diet Pepsi!

  • covinared

    Advance scouting the buffs at rose bowl. Will report later.

  • wehofx

    Mike = woj = amy/moron = coward = punk (because it always disappears when wrong.)

    Juancho, Lazurs from Berkeley HS? Wadood deC would really, really bum me out.

    But Rubenzer? I thought he was a lock. Who’s making the push for him?

    I thought ZK shoulda gotten a shot last week. But he didn’t. in tf’s words, “Goff’s the guy because he was the guy.” Zk or Goff, 1 year starter, you have to live w int’s. The first pick seemed like it was on harp. The 2, however, was all on goff. on 2 int, g parker said if he zipped it in there, coulda been a td. To me, it was a bad decision. jg didn’t see the underneath safety. again. freshman.

    my iphone isn’t showing post #’s.

    RE: positions for next year. RB: agree. Although I am optimistic about enwere and watson. KM? Ya. He needs to put 10 to 15 pounds at least.

    Even in the slot, Bigs cannot break a tackle to save his life. Not only is he a step slower but he’s going down at first contact. If I’m advising him, I say stay. It seems like he hasn’t fully recovered from his knee surgery. No way he gets drafted. Why leave only to be a free agent?

    OL: Agree. I think this unit is going to be very good next year. Don’t forget the redshirt who was 4 star before car accident. I think he’ll be in the mix.

    DL: Agree. Need help esp w deandre leaving.

    Juancho, given a choice, I’ll take 4/5 stars who can succeed academically at Cal every time. Unfortunately, at the moment, we don’t have that luxury. I think these coaches can evaluate. J Hunter is already contributing and he was – I’m pretty sure – a 2 star. I think he’ll turn into a force. All Pac type dl.

    LB: Don’t forget ragin, barton and whitener – another 2 star??. They can ball!

    cb: dozier and jackson looked good. Not sure what happened to willis???

    safety: Like lowe and walker. agree about avery. not sure if they’re going to move walker back to cb. at 5’10” 180, I don’t know if he can put on enough weight to be a pac safety but he keeps getting better and better.

    Regardless we need help in the secondary. WADOOD!

    …RE: 3-4. I won’t see the dvr till tmrw but I’m pretty sure it’s variations on the 4-3 Over w 2 down 2 up or 3 down 1 up used since ucla the post wisdom ignored, just like he ignored moron admitting its using “woj” as sn alias. Regardless, glad to see the (new) starters have finally spent enough time together – injury free – to learn the D to the point they can now blitz EFFECTIVELY on passing downs.

  • Juancho

    Thank you covinius. Please reort back on the fighting macintyres.

  • Gobears49

    A new wrinkle to the Goff/Kline debate is that, for a spread offense to really work, it needs a QB who can run on plays designated for the QB (or at least where there is an option for the QB to run – generally called the “read-option.” The really effective college offenses are those that add another dimension for them to worry about — a direct QB run using a read option play. Oregon has been running those type of plays for a few years now and look how well they are doing with it. Cal needs players who can add an “Oregon” dimension to their offense to make them much less predictable.

    Did you see that the Arizona QB had at probably three runs for touchdowns? One of them was on a read-option play where he kept the ball and nobody from Cal was within 5 to 10 yards from him the entire play.

    Kline is a better runner than Goff but I’m not sure he has had any practice running the read option. The best example of a college QB who can run as well as throw is Johnny Manziel, who can run the read-option well and also a QB draw. Just started watching him this year and boy is it fun. I’m sure Dykes would love to put in those type of plays if he had a QB who could execute them well. Problem is we don’t have a QB who can execute direct runs except for Hinder, and I guess he doesn’t pass well enough to make it worthwhile to play him. As important as a QB who can execute read-option type plays, having someone who can pass well is more important. But you hope that someday you’ll get a player who can do both things well.

    Cal has a potential Johnny Manziel type coming in next year, Luke Rebenzer, who can run from scrimmage as well as he can throw. Short, too, just like Manziel. Hope he arrives early, for spring practice, so we can see what he can do.

  • SteveNTexas

    CBS Sports had made an error and I thought we had won.

    We did come close.

    I doubt Sykes is either a very bad or very good coach-probably mediocre.

    Recruiting becomes even more crucial because if we finish near the bottom of the Pac12 and we don’t have a decent class ( top half of the Pac 12) then we risk staying at the bottom -perhaps for years.

  • SteveNTexas

    WHy Kline should get some snaps.

    1. Goff is erratic – he’s not as good as his stats because he gets opportunities because other teams score so quickly and the game is usually out of reach quickly.

    2. Kline was a heralded QB who may be better in game situations than practice.

    3. Its only fair – usually we get blown out- it can’t hurt us in the win-loss column.

    4 He could transfer and with our porous defense along with extra motivation, this could make for am embarrassing revenge story.

    5 Goff is getting enough experience – he might gain some perspective watching a few plays.

  • 707 Bear

    Back from Memorial.

    Glorious fall afternoon. Near upset. The difference was a mobile quarterback; would be nice if we had one.

    We have the worst student section in college football. Why we give them the 50 yard line is beyond me. Left the shady west side and sat in the middle of the student section for the second half; fewer than 10 rows of students. The mic man was begging–i say begging–for noise. Sad.

    Students who don’t care about football will grow into alumni who don’t care about football.

  • Juancho

    Wehofx, I can’t find the name of the school that is coming after Rubenzer. But there was an article on Rivals or Scout a couple weeks ago about how he has a new big program coming after him, and whether he will waiver.

    I just looked at his twitter though. Doubt he waivers. He seems to bleed blue & gold. Like Kline.

    707. You know you are my brother. And as brethren I must ask you to not take it out on the students. Cal students are first and foremost smart. The product on the field has been garbage all year. And they, unlike the football players, may actually have studying to do so they can graduate.

    That being said, I agree we do not have an ardent student fan base. We don’t have an alumni one either. And in my lifetime, we never have. I don’t think football is in Cal alumns top 5 concerns. Unlike an SEC school. And I commend you for making it out to the game. I wish I did more of that. But I frankly spend my money on the baseball team.

    Esteban en Tejas – the funny thing is, Goff’s stats are not that good. 13 TDs, 9 INTs, 6 Fumbles. He gets treatment like he’s Montana, when he’s been closer to Riley & Maynard than Rodgers & Boller. Sure he’s a freshman. But as Dennis Green once said, if you want to crown him, then crown their ass. But it seems like Goff has been annointed the next great QB without really showing it on the field. I think he can be pretty good. I don’t think he’s an elite QB. I think he’s a Trent Dilfer type game manager who can succeed with a strong running game and time to do the short dump offs, with the occasional deep ball for the big strike.

    Who the heck knows if Kline could do any better. Maybe not.

    12 Tds, 10 Ints – Maynard

    13 Tds, 6 Ints – Riley

    24 Tds, 13 Ints – Longshore

    15 Tds, 14 Ints – Ayoob

    24 Tds, 8 Ints – Rodgers

    28 Tds, 10 Ints – Boller

    Goff is somewhere in the middle of these guys so far. Maybe he can be Rodgers in two years. The guy is 19 and skinny and doing his best behind a mediocre line and playing with no running game.

    But let’s not kid ourselves, Mariota, Mannion, Hogan, Hundley, Price, Wilson he is not.

  • Juancho
  • Juancho

    Got to eat some crow today regarding the Sonny Money Man, and the Buh Bird. Sonny did a great job of keeping the team motivated. I didn’t think they’d show so much fight. He doesn’t come off as a great motivator on the tv show. But that’s just a tv show I suppose. Guy impressed me.

    Same for Buh. He has been changing his approach over the past few weeks. Less vanilla, more mixing between 4-3 and 3-4, and different blitz packages.

  • Daredevil fan

    I find myself optimistic again. Young defense learning via trial by fire will benefit from that next year. Oline better and with balance this offense is very different. Unles mixon is diff than I think I no longer wAnt him. We have enough small speedy guys who can catch the ball in space w dykes offense. For this offense we need bigger north south runner. Lasco and Ervin made huge diff today. If goff had played better we win. We need more dimensions from qb so I 100 want Kline in. This season is now just making a pitch for recruits and learning how to run new offense and defense. Funny today felt like a game 2 of a season. We r just starting to see what we can do w the right parts. Unfort other team on game 8. But I feel like we have come out of jungle and found path again. Couple recruits new coaches qb change better health and next season much diff.

  • Hard to get excited about next year given progress other Pac-12 team are making and the year we are having. The word is out on the coaching staff now. Look at the assistants Dykes fired and who he hired to replace them at such key positions at RB, DB, OL and WR. I would expect a recruiting class in the bottom half of the Pac-12> It is hard to imagine we will be bowl eligible next year.

  • 707 Bear

    More on the lame student section—yes, I called them lame.

    What else could they be doing on a Saturday afternoon? They’re not all working three jobs to put themselves through school.

    The student section was packed for Northwestern and full for Ohio State. What’s different?

    Oh yeah, they’re losing. So what. Get to the game. Meet a girl/guy. Get a date/hookup/whatever the young people call it for tonight. Be a college student for God’s sake.

    Thanks for listening.

    I await your abuse.

    PS On two occasions, some AZ fans with red shirts sat in the student section looking for trouble. Why in my day…..

  • Gobears49

    This game reminded me of the Nevada game a few years ago when Kaepernick looked like he was on the field by himself, the Cal defenders wete so far away from him. The Oregon quarterback is light years in talent from Kaepernick, yet he reminded me of Kaepernick because the Arizona scheme, running the read-option, allowed him to separated so much from the Cal defense. One could argue that the Oregon QB runs were the difference in this game.

    Goff has the arm and, ultimately, the accuracy, to play pro ball. He’s suited for the pro game because of his very quick release and strong arm, and because the pro’s really don’t want their QB to run (they could get hurt). But the college game is more wide open than the pro game. I’m going to try to find the Sports Illustrated article at the start of the season stating that the team Alabama feared most this year was Texas A&M because of the difficulty of defending all the things that Johnny Manziel can do to you. That difficulty is, in large part, because of the offensive scheme the the Aggies run.

    That type of offense, along with Oregon’s, is what we should aspire to. Dyke’s offense is easily suited to it. We just need to get the QB to run it. Goff probably is not that guy. Kline is more of a runner and has more chance of running it. Maybe Rebenzer is that guy. In any event, I hope in the future we recruit QB’s with running ability and, ideally, somebody who has experience in running the read-option. The scheme that makes the QB a running threat, making the defense’s job much more difficult, is the new wave of college football and the teams that run it the best will tend to do better than those who don’t.

  • Juancho

    When i was a student i would miss games to “watch” the game with a girl from class. Thats one thing i can think of right off the bat. Id rather be at home with a babe.

  • 707 Bear


    As always, you are wise, but couldn’t you find a girl that:

    a. wanted to be with you and
    b. liked to be in the stands at Memorial.

    There are women like that, I drove back to the 707 with one.

  • Juancho

    Brother seven hundred and seven. I tried. But i got more bang for my buck with the girls at home. I learned early that a womans comfort with you goes up according to the easy access to a clean restroom. So i got more bang for my buck at home.

    That being said i was at most games as a student.

  • 707 Bear


    You are wise.

    My better half would prepare for games at Memorial like she was having surgery: no liquids 12 hours before kickoff in order to avoid having to use the B room.

    However, the west side B rooms are now numerous and clean; as an added bonus, Joe Starkey’s play-by-play is piped in.

  • Larry

    Just got home from the game today. Wow, what a difference today compared to the past 8 games. We actually played well. The thing that stuck out to me was the refs totally INCONSISTENT calling of penalties. Some hard hits were penalties, some were not, for both teams. I didn’t understand the 2 blocking out of bounds calls that went against CAL. The only thing I could guess was that once the AZ player was knocked out of bounds, maybe the CAL player kept hitting him? Anyone have some insight on that one?

  • Steve W

    Back in the days when I attended most Cal home games, I always thought the Cal student section was fantastic. They were into the games and loud at the right times. I remember them bowing in unison to Russell White when he made a great run, which was often. I don’t blame them one bit for bailing on this year’s team. For the most part, they haven’t been fun to watch. For a 20-year-old kid who is studying most of the time, it’s got to be about the fun on a Saturday afternoon.

  • 707 Bears

    Steve W, as Juancho says, you are my brother, but…

    Many of these students don’t care about football. That’s fine. Times change. The student body is very different than it was 30 years ago when I was at Cal.

    My point is the 50 yard line should not be reserved for students who don’t care. Put seats in and let the alumni who are there year after year have the option of paying a bit more for a better game day experience.

    Go Bears