Football notebook: Dykes optimistic about recent changes to offensive line

Coach Sonny Dykes defended his decision a couple weeks ago to reshuffle his offensive line at midseason.

“There’s going to be some growing pains, but it’s a group we think we can grow with,” Dykes said after practice Wednesday.

The Bears moved guard Jordan Rigsbee to center, pulled freshman Chris Borrayo out of his redshirt year to start at left guard, and gave redshirt freshman Christian Okafor the starting left tackle job.

Left out of the equation for the time being were redshirt guard Matt Cochran, who was sidelined after ankle surgery, and sophomore tackle Freddie Tagaloa, voted a team captain prior to the season.

Cochran is now back and working out at tackle. Tagaloa has been moved to guard.

Dykes said both players still are a big part of Cal’s O-line plans.

“We’re hoping as Freddie learns a new position, he’ll become a factor at the guard spot,” Dykes said. “He’s practiced better this week, getting more comfortable.”

Cochran was cleared to play last week against Arizona, but did not get on the field.

“I think he’s more comfortable this week — moving better, more sure of himself,” Dykes said.


Saturday is designated as the annual Joe Roth Game, honoring the former Cal quarterback who died of cancer following his senior season.

Dykes said he talked to his players about Roth’s significance to Cal.

“It’s a great message, Joe’s resilience and unselfishness. It’s really a remarkable story, one of those stories everybody needs to know about,” Dykes said. “He exemplified everything that represents college football and specifically Cal.”

But Dykes said the Bears will not wear 1975 throwback uniforms on Saturday.

“I like those throwback uniforms. They’re pretty cool,” Dykes said. “At some point down he road you might see those. Not this year, though.”


Walnut Creek native Morgan Breslin, who had 3.5 of his 13 sacks last season against Cal, will undergo hip surgery that will sideline him for the remainder of the season.

Breslin, moved from defensive end to standup linebacker this fall, has missed the past three games and five altogether because of foot and hip injuries.

Interim head coach Ed Orgeron, who called Breslin one of his favorite players ever, said Breslin’s only shot at playing again this season is a bowl game.

“There is a chance he may be back if there is a later game down the road,” Orgeron said.


Saturday marks a return to Memorial Stadium for USC defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast, who served in that same role for three seasons under former Cal coach Jeff Tedford.

“I enjoyed my time up there,” Pendergast told the Los Angeles Times. “I had a lot of fond memories and I’m looking forward to going up there and playing.”

Pendergast’s Cal defenses ranked first in the Pac-12 in 2010 and 2011, then slipped to 10th in 2012.

USC’s defense currently is ranked first in the conference, allowing 323 yards a game.


Cal had made scholarship offers to a pair of 2015 offensive prospects, according to ESPN.com.

The Bears are courting quarterback Blake Barnett, a 6-foot-4, 195-pounder from Santiago High in Corona. Barnett, rated as a four-star prospect by Scout, also has offers from Arizona, Colorado, Notre Dame and UCLA.

The Bears also made an offer to wide receiver Malik Lovette, a 5-11, 185-pounder from East Valley High in Redlands. Boise State and Texas Tech also has offered Lovette.

Jeff Faraudo

  • Gobears49

    If USC ends up as the top Pac 12 defense this year, that will make it three times Pendergast has done that in the past four years, which shows his talent. Cal should have kept him, even though I understand Dykes wanted to have his own guys or at least not any carryovers. A partial contra to that is that Buh was a new guy for him, just as Pendergast would have been.

  • wehofx

    per twitter: also offered 4 star qb at Upland HS – who had great convo w TF.

    So, BTBers, if you love college football, you gotta love tonight’s games – ya, I know bitter rivals etc. “But they good. They fun to watch.”

    Baylor -13 vs Ok // O/U 74 Me: Baylor/Over

    pku -7 vs furd // O/U 65.5 Me: furd/Under

  • Juancho

    Im rooting oregon.

    Fellow public schoolers. And id love to see them against alabama for the title.

  • Larry

    Oregon for sure

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Take it to them Stanford and then crush the staters in the Little Game

  • Woj

    It’s 515pm. Is Stormy Dykes camped out in front of the TV already to watch Stanford-Oregon as he said he would?

    Ironic since I’m still at work and will be for several hours trying to improve my company like HE should be doing for CAL. What’s Cal paying per win this year considering Stormy’s team hasn’t beaten a FBS team. Just a suggestion for Dykes – you can always get the UO-SU game film for later dissection. How aboutspending a few of the hours tonight focusing on watchign USC game film like you should be doing.

  • Woj

    @5.MoreNCsarecoming Says:
    November 7th, 2013 at 5:27 pm
    Take it to them Stanford and then crush the staters in the Little Game

    The Stanford-Golden Doormat game will not be little in 1 respect at all. I expect Stanford to win by 35 at least.

  • Woj

    Dykes said. “It’s always difficult going through a coaching change,” “Sometimes it has a tendency to revitalize a team. I think that’s what’s happened with USC.”
    “Sometimes it provides a spark. The players like him and their level of play is different.”

    ….and sometimes the team utterly collapses, gets blown out every game, looks dysfunctional on defense, and has players fighting ther players on the the team like Cal 2013.

  • Eric

    Anyone know what is the economics of having two BCS teams versus only one playing for the NC?

    Was it better economically for the Pac-12 to have Stanford beat Oregon? Assuming Oregon wins out now, it will go to a BCS bowl, and the winner of Stanford v. Pac-12 South will go to the Rose Bowl. Had Stanford lost, I am not sure a 2-loss Pac-12 team goes to a BCS bowl.

  • 707 Bears

    Yes, that primal scream is coming from the Oregon fans—-couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch.

    On an obnoxious scale, Duck fans are off the charts. They make SC fans seem rather civilized.

  • Steve W

    Tagoloa is another in a long line of recent O and D line recruits who hasn’t lived up to expectations. That more than anything explains the team’s demise in the last several seasons. Someone from Cal needs to steal the Stanford recruiting hand book.

  • 707 Bears

    Steve W….good point.

    Our O and D lines need help. We can’t run the ball and we can’t pressure the passer.

    Stanford wins with no stars in the skill positions–it’s lines are awesome.

  • 707 Bears

    Its lines…memo to self: no beers when typing.

  • Josh

    Steve W: a bit too early to make that conclusion about Tags… only a sophomore…takes some time to develop

  • object lesson re what usually happens when gimmick meets irresistible force.

  • Woj

    Note to Dykes – did you watch Stanford? That’s how good defense is played. Watching your team is a clinic week in and week out on terrible defense. How many Buhs will Colorado score this week?

    I’m in total football misery. Cal cannot win a game over an FBS opponent, the Raiders are headed for yet another losing season and Stanford is a top 5 in NCAA team. Anyone have a toaster I can plug in next to my full bath?

  • Daredevil fan

    Arrrrggggg. Qb and wr. Wow that will really make an impact to our woes. I know we have to constantly backfill to some extent but come on.