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Football: RB Daniel Lasco predicts Golden Bears are ready to ‘shock the world’ at Oregon

Running back Daniel Lasco said the Golden Bears are more than excited about this weekend’s first road trip of the season.

He said they are confident they can play with the No. 2 Oregon Ducks.

Asked after practice Monday about the Ducks’ defense, Lasco said, ”They’re fast, they swarm to the ball. Other than that, they’re just another football team. Nothing special, nothing we can’t handle.

“In my mind, I know we’re going to go in there and we’re going to win.”

Lasco, told by the coaching staff he could get more opportunity to play on Saturday night, said the Bears feel good about their Pac-12 schedule opener.

“If we’re trying to go to the Rose Bowl, this is the game we have to win,” he said. “I feel this team is focused and we’re about to go in there and shock the world.”

Oregon, averaging 61.3 points per game this season and a winner in 33 of its past 36 home games, is favored by more than five touchdowns.

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Football: Want points? Cal @ Oregon has promise

UPDATED

The betting line on the Cal at Oregon game on Saturday — Ducks by 36 or 36.5 — isn’t the real news. The spread already is inching higher: Betonline.ag and SportsBetting.ag now have the Ducks as 37-point favorites, and Bovada and Fantasy911.com set the line at 38 points.

Then there’s this: The over/under total for the game, as set by those four sites along with 5Dimes.eu, is now 84 points.  

That’s the third-highest in college football since 2000, according to the website OddsShark.com.

Will the Bears and Ducks exceed that total or not? Over or under?

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Football: Bears get some live action in scrimmage, ready for two-day break from bye week

The Bears wrapped up three days of workouts this week with a scrimmage on Thursday, giving them some live action during a bye week.

“We wanted some of our starting defensive players to tackle live. That’s obviously something we’ve got to work on,” Cal coach Sonny Dykes said. “Feel like we need to stay fresh, so that was good. Saw lots of positive things from that.”

In particular, the Bears continued the process of mixing in freshmen. Linebacker Edward Tandy had an interception for a touchdown, and Chad Whitener earned praise from Dykes. Both will play more and more, he said.

“That’s something we’ll continue to do with the young players, now that they know what they’re doing to an extent,” Dykes said.

The team will take Friday and Saturday off, then return to practice Sunday in preparation for its Sept. 28 road game vs. No. 2 Oregon.

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Football: At 1-2, Bears encourage competition

The bye week in Cal’s football schedule has brought competition, not vacation.

Coach Sonny Dykes has opened up position battles this week as the Bears (1-2) begin preparation for their Sept. 28 Pac-12 opener at No. 2 Oregon.

That includes offensive line, where starting left tackle Freddie Tagaloa has a fight on his hands.

“If we were 3-0 and ranked fifth in the country, we’d be challenging our guys,” Dykes said. “If you have a guy like Freddie, who has got tremendous potential, you want him to play to that potential. You don’t want him to be satisfied.

“I think he’s played adequate, not as well as he can play.”

Christian Okafor and Bill Tyndall are among those getting a chance at the spot, while Tyndall and Alejandro Crosthwaite are in the mix at right guard, where starter Matt Cochran will be sidelined for at least a month after ankle surgery scheduled for Thursday.

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Few positions are secure on defense, where the Bears rank 116th nationally, allowing 42 points per game. Dykes said he expects several true freshmen who have played sparingly so far to get increased opportunity.

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Football: Cochran to have surgery; out a month

Matt Cochran, Cal’s starting right offensive guard, will undergo surgery Thursday to repair a high ankle sprain and is expected to be sidelined for at least a month.

“They’re going to fuse the bone back together,” Cal coach Sonny Dykes said.

Dykes said Alejandro Crossthwaite and Bill Tyndall will be among those competing for the spot while Cochran, a redshirt freshman, recovers.

“We’re going to have some competition at a bunch of spots on the offensive line,” Dykes said. “They’re all up for grabs,” Dykes said.

That includes left tackle, where sophomore Freddie Tagaloa has started the first three games.

“If you have a guy like Freddie who has tremendous potential, you want him to play to that potential. You don’t want him to be satisfied,” Dykes said. “I think he’s played adequate, not as well as he can play.”

Tyndall and Christian Okafor will be in the mix for for the left tackle spot, Dykes said.

“If we were 3-0 and ranked fifth in the country we’d be challenging guys,” said Dykes, whose club is 1-2 after a 52-34 loss to Ohio State. “I don’t know if we were fourth we would be.”

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Dykes also confirmed that defensive end Sione Sina, a junior college transfer, has undergone ACL knee surgery and will redshirt this year. Sina, a junior from College of San Mateo, has not played in a game this season.

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Cal is practicing Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday during this bye week, then will return for a Sunday session in preparation for its Sept. 28 game at Oregon.

 

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Football: Goff at head of class after 2 games

Peyton Manning came off the bench in his first game at Tennessee in 1994 and made three handoffs before sitting for the rest of the afternoon. Colin Kaepernick didn’t start until the fifth game of the season as a freshman in 2007 at Nevada.

Those two NFL stars are among a long list of college quarterbacks whose names rank below Cal’s Jared Goff among freshmen with the most passing yards in their team’s first two games.

No one matches Goff’s total of 935 yards.

Not Andrew Luck from Stanford, Robert Griffin III of Baylor nor reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, now a sophomore at Texas A&M.

Not Cal legend Joe Kapp, who never passed for 935 yards in any full season at Berkeley.

Follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/JeffFaraudo.

Click here to read the rest of my story.

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Football: Treggs practices, will play

Sophomore receiver Bryce Treggs, who dislocated his right pinkie finger in practice on Monday, was back on the field a day later and is expected to play against Ohio State on Saturday.

Treggs is tied for second nationally in receptions per game at 10.5.

Also back at practice Tuesday was fellow receiver Chris Harper, who rested his shoulder the day before.

Follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/JeffFaraudo

3

Football: Bigelow has fans in Columbus

Cal running back Brendan Bigelow has at least two fans in Columbus, Ohio.

One of them is the man who mailed him a handwritten letter last year after Bigelow ran for 160 yards, including touchdowns of 81 and 59 yards, in the Bears’ 35-28 loss at Ohio State.

“He said, ‘Good game. You almost beat us.’ It was a pretty good letter, from a fan of Ohio State,” Bigelow said. “It’s on my wall.”

Bigelow also has an admirer in Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer, who would prefer not to see a repeat performance by the Cal junior when No. 4 Ohio State visits Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

“I certainly do remember Bigelow. He had incredible speed when he got in the open field, made us look silly as far as missed tackles,” Meyer said. “We’ve tackled every day since then because of our (poor) tackling on him that day.”

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Football notebook: Dykes `re-evaluates,’ Meyer talks Bigelow, Treggs OK, 150 recruits coming

For Cal’s football team, the young season already has created a buzz after a opening-night loss to a ranked opponent, then a minor gasp after a near-upset loss to an FCS foe.

Next up on the rollercoaster is No. 4 Ohio State, which visits Memorial Stadium on Saturday, closing out the Bears’ three-game nonconference schedule. Two weeks later, Cal dives into the Pac-12 with a trip to face No. 2 Oregon.

“Our schedule’s not getting any easier,” first-year coach Sonny Dykes said. “We’ve got to raise our level of play.”

After the encouraging loss to Northwestern and the uncomfortable win over Portland State, Dykes stepped back to reassess.

“In some ways, I’m re-evaluating where I thought we were probably and where we are,” he said.

Click here to read the rest of this Cal notebook.

Follow Jeff Faraudo on Twitter at twitter.com/JeffFaraudo

 

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Football: Late night at Memorial Stadium

Cal’s practice Monday ended at exactly 10 p.m. — and would have gone longer but the timer shut off the lights at Memorial Stadium, so players ran jubilantly into the north tunnel to escape darkness.

A Reader’s Digest version of Monday’s highlights:

– Receiver Bryce Treggs dislocated the pinkie finger on his right hand early in practice and sat out the rest of the night. But coach Sonny Dykes said Treggs will be fine and will play Saturday against Ohio State. “I don’t think it’s any big deal,” Dykes said. “I think they’ll put him in a cast or splint. I expect him to practice tomorrow.”

– Defensive end Chris McCain (head) sat out practice and likely will miss his second straight game, Dykes said.

– Linebacker Michael Barton could miss the Ohio State after spraining his knee against Portland State. Dykes said it’s “nothing major” and that Barton doesn’t have much swelling, but he classified him as questionable for this week.

– Linebacker Nick Forbes (back) participated in limited drills, but did no contact. Dykes said he will get more practice time each day, but won’t be rushed back. His status for Saturday sounds doubtful still.

– Likewise, defensive end Brennan Scarlett (hand) and defensive tackle Mustafa Jalil (knee) remain out. No real progress with either.

– Receiver Chris Harper (shoulder) sat out, as he has done routinely at times the past couple weeeks, but will play Saturday. Receiver Kenny Lawler (head) was back at practice after missing the Portland State game. No. 2 running back Daniel Lasco (hamstring), who sat out Saturday, returned to practice.

– The status of safety Damariay Drew (head) is uncertain after he took a blow on Saturday. He skipped Monday’s workout. Linebacker-turned safety Jason Gibson got some reps with the 1s and will compete this week for a possible starting job, Dykes said.