It was exactly 1,400 days earlier – when Jared Goff was 17 years old and Sonny Dykes was coaching at Louisiana Tech – since Cal’s defense held an opponent to fewer than 10 points.
“That’s the first look at the new and improved Cal defense,” Goff, the junior quarterback, said after the Bears held San Diego State scoreless on their final 13 possessions in a 35-7 win in front of 50,830 fans at Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
“I look forward to a lot more of that coming up,” Goff said.
No one could have been happier – or perhaps more relieved – than Dykes, whose defense delivered its best performance during his tenure as Cal coach. In 22 games against Football Bowl Subdivision teams his first two years the Bears held just one opponent under 30 points.
“It was almost like an old-fashioned football game. I had to pinch myself,” Dykes said. “It was great to see our defense play this way. I’m really proud of those guys. It’s amazing what confidence will mean to a young person.”