Football: USC game preview

The equation appears problematic for the Cal football team: USC has sacked the quarterback more than any team in the Pac-12 Conference and the Golden Bears have allowed more sacks than anyone.

“It’ll be a challenge,” Cal coach Sonny Dykes conceded.

Still in search of their first conference victory, the Bears (1-8, 0-6) face a USC team (6-2, 3-2) that might have improved more over the past month than any in the Pac-12. And a USC team that owns nine consecutive wins over Cal.

“I don’t know if we’re concerned as much as about beating USC as getting a win for ourselves,” freshman quarterback Jared Goff said. “Beating anyone in the Pac-12 would be a big game at this point.”

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RECORDS: Cal 1-8, 0-6 Pac-12; USC 6-3, 3-2.

KICKOFF: Noon, Memorial Stadium.

TV: Fox


SERIES HISTORY: USC leads 65-30-5. The Trojans have won the past nine meetings — their longest streak vs. Cal since winning 11 in a row from 1959 through 1969. USC has allowed the Bears a total of just 38 points the past five games.

STORYLINES: Thirteen Cal seniors play their final home game, although only DE Dan Camporeale, NT Deandre Coleman and PK Vincenzo D’Amato are first-line players. … Cal hasn’t beaten USC since a 34-31 triple-overtime win in 2003 fueled by quarterback Aaron Rodgers. … The Trojans, playing a 13-game schedule, need one more victory to become bowl eligible. They are 3-1 since coach Lane Kiffin was fired, replaced on an interim basis by Ed Orgeron. … Saturday is coach Sonny Dykes’ 44th birthday.

INJURY UPDATE: Cal – LB Khairi Fortt (biceps), RB Daniel Lasco (shoulder), RB Daniel Ervin (shoulder), OG Matt Cochran (ankle) and WR Richard Rodgers (thumb) are probable. USC – DE Morgan Breslin (hip), Tre Madden (hamstring), TE Randall Teller (knee) and CB Anthony Brown (ankle)  are out; DE Leonard Williams (shoulder) is doubtful; OT Kevin Graf (ankle) and Saf Su’a Cravens (groin) are probable.

MATCHUP TO WATCH: Cal’s front seven vs. USC’s run game. After surrendering a combined 393 rushing yards to Washington’s Bishop Sankey and Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey the past two weeks, Cal tries to stop USC’s running back by committee. Tre Madden (4), Silas Redd (2), Javorius Allen (1) and Justin Davis (1) have combined for eight 100-yard rushing games, although Madden is out. Redd and Allen totaled 273 last week against Oregon State.

STATS THAT MATTER: It’s been 2,191 days since Cal held a lead against the Trojans. Justin Forsett’s TD run in the first quarter on Nov. 10, 2007 put Cal in front 7-0 in a game USC won 24-17. … USC allowed 93 points in games vs. Arizona State and Arizona, and just 75 total points in its other seven games. … Cal has surrendered 385 points, more than in all but three full seasons in a football history that dates to 1886. … Freshman Jared Goff needs 119 passing yards to become just the third Cal QB to reach 3,000 for a season. With 141 yards, he will move into the No. 2 spot on the school’s single-season list.



Jeff Faraudo

  • wehofx

    Art Briles record at Baylor

    2008 Baylor 4–8 2–6 T–5thSouth
    2009 Baylor 4–8 1–7 6th(South)
    2010 Baylor 7–6 4–4 4th (South)L Texas
    2011 Baylor 10–3 6–3 T–3rd W Alamo 12 13
    2012 Baylor 8–5 4–5 T–5th W Holiday
    2013 Baylor 8–0 5–0

    They looked pretty good last night with hurry up spread AND Dominant D. Their Holiday Bowl win was against UCLA.

    The Instant Gratification-Fire SD crowd here, faced w Briles’ record after 2 years, would have been demanding his head after going 1-7 in conference.

    Go Bears! Beat $c.

  • joshiemac

    1-7 in conference sounds pretty good right now.

  • Juancho

    I don’t see a 1 win season in there for Briles.

  • Juancho

    Let’s be real, if we had about 3 wins right now, just about everyone would still be sipping the Sonny Delight. With the exception of our Bovine Brother.

  • Daredevil fan

    Sonny delight sounds like a Bond girl.

  • 707 Bear

    The view in the rear view mirror is always 20/20, but we Cal fans were WAY too optimistic at the beginning of the year. Here are the totals from Jeff’s August 31 blog that asked Cal fans for their predictions for 2013.

    1) 70 percent (21 of 30) predict Cal will beat Northwestern.

    2) 41.4 percent (12 of 29) believe Cal will average at least 35 points this season.

    3) 58.6 percent (17 of 29) expect Cal to score at least 50 points in one game (not counting Portland State).

    4) Just 10.3 percent (3 of 29) believe Cal will be held without an offensive touchdown in a game this season.

    5) 58.6 percent (17 of 29) expect the Bears to change quarterbacks before season’s end for a reason other than injury.

    6) A whopping 63.3 percent (19 of 30) predict Cal will beat USC in Berkeley.

    7) Just 23.3 percent (7 of 30) were bold enough to suggest Cal will beat Stanford on the road.

    8) Only 20 percent (6 of 30) believe the Bears will win four games or fewer.

    9) 30 percent (9 of 30) are confident Cal will win eight games or more.

    10) And 60 percent (18 of 30) predict the Bears will play in a bowl game.

    My favorite is #8.

    Still, will get up early, go to March-to-Victory, cheer on the seniors and hope for an upset.

  • Ray Finkle

    I wonder what Baylor’s defensive numbers and penalty numbers were in Briles first year? 4 wins is a HUGE difference from 1 win. Hopefully Cal can pull off a miracle tomorrow(spread is 17). CAL has covered 2 straight games after not covering any of the first 7…..

  • 707 Bear

    Speaking of wildly optimistic predictions for 2013…

    Just removed tomorrow’s tickets from the season ticket packet for the last time for 2013, Brendan Bigelow was on the cover. He was also on the 2013 poster given away at Memorial. Just didn’t happen this year.

    Any ideas why?

    More importantly, will Blondie’s open early for tomorrow’s noon start? The regular 11AM start doesn’t work for me.

    Go Bears

  • http://Aol.com PeteBear

    Let’s be realistic. Our offense against the u$c will be a lot like Oregon vs furd last night. It will be ugly. I’m looking for the team to keep its collective head up, keep pushing and score a few in the 2nd half.

  • 707 Bear

    wehofx…good stats on Baylor…you get the Fiat Lux award tonight…by the way the band has been spelling out Fiat Lux during their pre-game show (I’ll award myself the TMI award)

    Question: Does Baylor have a mobile QB?

    I don’t pretend to know the X’s and O’s, but it sure helps to have a mobile QB.

  • covinared

    Will be in house tomorrow. Drove up w/family. TT row 50. Stop by.

  • 707 Bear

    Still waiting for the “10 years ago Cal defeated SC in triple overtime” article.

    Fox, now Comcast, used to replay that game during the week before the SC game.

    That 2003 season was terrific….the feelings of better things to come.

  • wehofx

    707, Baylor qb had 45 yards rushing vs Ok – on read option.

    In previous 5/6 games 73 yards total rushing. imo, limiting qb carries so he doesn’t get the crap beat outta him is the smart way to run qb read option. See former Baylor qb RG3 at Washington.

  • Woj

    @ wehofx Says:
    November 8th, 2013 at 4:26 pm
    Art Briles record at Baylor
    2008 Baylor 4–8 2–6 T–5thSouth
    2009 Baylor 4–8 1–7 6th(South)
    2010 Baylor 7–6 4–4 4th (South)L Texas
    2011 Baylor 10–3 6–3 T–3rd W Alamo 12 13
    2012 Baylor 8–5 4–5 T–5th W Holiday
    2013 Baylor 8–0 5–0

    And then the inevitable idiotic comparison to Stormy Dykes! Oh my goodness – where to start?

    I read each of your posts with incredulity. As in, how could someone be a combination of both incredibly dumb and incredibly optimistic? I question whether you even watch the rout after rout after rout after rout after rout after rout after rout after rout after rout after rout after rout after rout after rout that has occurred since the middle of last season? I conclude that you don’t.

    Now you are comparing a head coach who BARELY had an over .550 winning percentage at Timbuk Too University football-wise (LA Tech in the WAC) with an incredibly successful Baylor coach who won 4 games each in his first 2 seasons in the Big XII and then 7 the third year.

    Odds are overwhelming that Stormy Dykes’ 2013 Cal team will not win A SINGLE GAME OVER AN FBS SCHOOL IN HIS FIRST YEAR. Any!! of us could do that well. Anyone. You and Juancho and 707Bear needs to stop rocking in the corner and make baseless polyanna like devoid of reality comparisons of Dykes to someone successful and wake up to the fact he is finishing up coaching the worst Cal team in 30+ years.

  • Woj

    Prediction – another blowout loss to USC.
    USC 48 Cal 17

  • Woj

    @707 Bear Says:

    8) Only 20 percent (6 of 30) believe the Bears will win four games or fewer.

    I was in the 6 out of 30 people who firmly believed Cal would win less than 4 games. All you needed to do is look at Dykes’ weak pedigree and resume and especially the choice to bring in Buh as DC. Freshman starting at QB was questionable too.

    I said 8 weeks ago the Cal season record would come in at 1-11. And the polyannas said I was too negative and my favorite quip, a ‘moron’.
    LOL – well after this loss and 2 more coming up (cover your eyes folks – Stanford is going to rout the golden doormats, DAmato better start practicing 55 yard FGs), I will have proven to be spot on along with Wisdom Cow and a few others that weighed in.