The setting will be merely a subplot when Cal faces No. 6 Oregon on Friday night in the first college football game at Levi’s Stadium.
Quarterback Jared Goff said the Bears haven’t given much thought to playing in the 49ers’ fancy, new digs. But he acknowledged, “When we walk on the field it’ll be, ‘Wow, this is pretty sweet.’ ”
A year ago at Eugene, Oregon, the environment wreaked as much havoc as the Ducks. Relentless sheets of rain and swirling winds contributed to Cal losing four fumbles in the opening nine minutes on the way to a 55-16 loss.
Even the home team was astonished.
“As a native Oregonian, growing up in an area where storms are frequent, that was unbelievable,” Ducks coach Mark Helfrich recalled. “I’ve never seen that before or since.”
Neither had Goff, who arrived at Autzen Stadium as the nation’s passing leader, averaging 435 yards through his first three collegiate starts as a freshman. He lasted only 14 snaps before being pulled.
“I couldn’t control the weather and I couldn’t control the way the ball was coming out of my hands,” said Goff, who lost two fumbles in the splashy conditions.
“That game was rough. It wasn’t a good one for me or anyone else, really. It’s in the past. I’ve got a chance to prove myself again against them.”
Cal coach Sonny Dykes said there’s little connection between last year’s game and what might happen Friday night.
“Obviously, last year was a disaster,” he said. “We anticipate playing better.”
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