Football: Bears hope to be faster in 2015

Sonny Dykes wants Cal’s “Bear Raid” offense to be faster still in 2015.

The Bears ran off 87.2 plays per game in Dykes’ debut two seasons ago – nearly matching the pace of his 2012 Louisiana Tech team, which led the nation in scoring.

The Bears backed off a bit last year, averaging 81.3 snaps to rank fourth in the Pac-12 in that category. But they made that work for 38.2 points per game – second-best in the conference.

“It wasn’t close to where we wanted,” Dykes said of last season’s tempo. “We’d obviously like to get faster and more efficient. At times in camp we’ve been close to what we want to see.”

The slower pace a year ago was by design, Dykes said. The Bears added layers to their offense, and the coaching staff wanted quarterback Jared Goff to feel comfortable and function efficiently.

“We felt like at times we rushed him a little bit the first year,” Dykes said. “We were incredibly simple (the first year), then year two we become a little bit more diverse. That slowed us down a little bit, and required Jared to think a little bit more. Now you hope you can be more diverse and still be faster.

“The good thing now is I think he’s probably more comfortable the faster we go.”

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Football: Goff in the record books

Most passing yards by a Pac-12 quarterback through his sophomore season:

1. Jared Goff, Cal (2013-14) 7,481 yards
2. Marcus Mariota, Oregon (2012-13) 6,342
3. Matt Barkley, USC (2009-10) 6,255
4. Andrew Luck, Stanford (2009-10) 5,913
5. Sean Mannion, OSU (2011-12) 5,774
6. Rudy Carpenter, ASU (2005-06) 4,796
7. Andrew Walter, ASU (2001-02) 4,423
8. Steve Stenstrom, Stanford (1991-92) 4,252
9. Alex Brink, WSU (2004-05) 4,196
10. Cade McNown, UCLA (1995-96) 4,122

Most career passing yards by Cal quarterback:

1. Troy Taylor (1986-89) 8,126
2. Kyle Boller (1999-02) 7,980
3. Jared Goff (2013-cur) 7,481
4. Pat Barnes (1993-96) 7,360
5. Rich Campbell (1977-80) 7,174

Most career passing TDs by Cal quarterback:

1. Kyle Boller (1999-02) 64
2. Pat Barnes (1993-96) 54
3. Jared Goff (2013-cur) 53
4t. Troy Taylor (1986-89) 51
4t. Nate Longshore (2005-08) 51


Football: Jared Goff’s only 2015 goal — winning

By the end of September, Jared Goff should own nearly every significant Cal passing record. But in two seasons as the Bears’ starting quarterback, Goff’s record is 6-18, and that’s not what he nor those around the gifted junior want to see this season.

“I don’t want to be a guy who came here and got a bunch of stats and didn’t win a bunch of games,” Goff said. “I want to bring Cal a winning culture.”

The Marin Catholic High grad has passed for 7,481 yards — more than any quarterback in Pac-12 history through his sophomore season — and 53 touchdowns, so Goff is hardly to blame for the .250 winning percentage he and coach Sonny Dykes have assembled in their two years together.

Being asked in 2013 to lead the team as an 18-year-old freshman hasn’t helped. A defense that ranked as the nation’s worst last year, when it surrendered 61 touchdowns, has been another problem.

Cal’s offense, which scored 59 touchdowns last season, should continue to flourish in 2015 with Goff surrounded by seven returning starters, including senior running back Daniel Lasco, an all-Pac-12 honorable mention last year, and three experienced receivers.

The next step for Goff?

“Now you want to see his leadership,” said Bucky Brooks, a media analyst for the NFL Network. “Does he have the ability to put them on his back and kind of turn around the program by his performance?”

Said ESPN game analyst Brock Huard, “When it matters the most, in those moments when you have to do it, he has to deliver. On those third downs, in the fourth quarter, on those game-winning drives, you don’t have to be super human but you have to be at your sharpest. That’s how you become a first-rounder.”

That’s also how Goff can achieve his goal of joining the pantheon of Cal quarterback greats such as Aaron Rodgers, Joe Roth and Joe Kapp, all of whom directed successful teams.

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Football: Who will be Cal’s captains?

Coach Sonny Dykes said players will vote Saturday to determine team captains.

Dykes and his assistants will consider the votes, and choose those who are consensus picks on the ballots. There could be two captains. Could be five or six.

They likely will be announced Sunday.

Here’s my guess: Jared Goff, Daniel Lasco, Jordan Rigsbee, Stefan McClure and Mustafa Jalil. Should I also include Bryce Treggs?

Who do you think should get the assignment?


Football: Carter convinced coaching is his passion

When he was a player for 13 seasons in the NFL, becoming a coach someday was not Andre Carter’s idea of a second career.

“Nah, because we see the coaches come in at 4 in the morning. I’ve seen coaches fall asleep in their chair. Some coaches have a cot in their office,” Carter said.

But Carter was on the field at his alma mater on Thursday, beginning his career in coaching as a Cal student assistant. Now 36 and two years removed from his playing days, Carter is convinced this is his calling.

“It’s a commitment and you’ve got to love it. For me, do I love it? I will love it,” he said. “I’m positive. I’m 100 percent firm this is what I want to do.”

Carter’s wife Bethany saw how he analyzed games he was watching on TV. His father, Rubin, also a former NFL player who went on to coach in college and the pros, recognized the same thing,

“Playing almost 20 years of football . . .at the end, I finally came to the truth of who I am. And that’s being a coach,” he said. “This is my passion.”

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Football: New student assistant Andre Carter excited to impact Cal players and finally earn his degree

Andre Carter, officially hired as a student assistant coach, said returning to his alma mater to complete his degree “has been a life-changing event,” and he’s excited to work with the Bears’ players.

“I feel I can impact the current players with the right way to play the game and the desire you need to have to be successful,” said Carter, who played 13 seasons in the NFL after his days at Cal.

“There’s no greater satisfaction than becoming a coach.”

Carter was the No. 7 pick by the 49ers in the first round of the 2001 draft after his career at Cal, where he was a consensus All-America defensive end as a senior and a two-time All-Pac-10 selection.

Carter, who will help coach the defensive line, enrolled at Cal earlier this year to complete his bachelor’s degree in American studies.

“Returning to Cal to earn my degree has been a life-changing experience,” Carter said in a statement. “I have already accomplished what I wanted to in football by playing at the highest level but there will be no greater feeling than earning my degree from one of the nation’s top universities.

“That’s why I’m back.”


Football: 5 Questions heading into 2015

Five questions that loom over Cal as the 2015 football season nears:

1) Can the defensive secondary hold up?
No group of DBs in the nation had a tougher time last season than those playing in Berkeley. The Bears signed five freshman and two JC players to help in the secondary, but so far the starters appear to be three players returning from last year (Stefan McClure, Darius Wright & Darius Allensworth) and one returning from 2013 (Damariay Drew). There is better depth and, presumably, more talent. But this group is going to have to show it on the field – and not just against Gramling State – before most people will forget they surrendered an NCAA-record 42 touchdowns passes last fall.

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Football: Cal’s 1st fall depth chart



Brian Farley (6-7, 290, Sr)
Aaron Cochran (6-8, 340, So)
Chris Borrayo (6-3, 310, Jr)
Patrick Mekari (6-4, 290, Fr)
J.D. Hinnant (6-4, 290, So)
Dominic Granado (6-4, 290, Jr)
Addison Ooms (6-4, 295, Fr)
Ryan Gibson (6-2, 280, Fr)
Jordan Rigsbee (6-5, 300, Sr)
Semisi Uluave (6-5, 345, Fr)
Benji Palu (6-0, 280, Fr)
Michael Trani (6-3, 290, Fr)
Steven Moore (6-6, 305, Jr)
Kamryn Bennett (6-3, 290, Fr)
Vincent Johnson (6-5, 285, So)
Jared Goff (6-4, 214, Jr)
Chase Forrest (6-2, 200, Fr)
Ross Bowers (6-2, 190, Fr)
Cole Webb (6-0, 180, Sr)
David Maaghul (6-4, 220, Fr)
Daniel Lasco (6-1, 205, Sr)
Vic Enwere (6-1, 230, So)
Tre Watson (5-10, 195, So)
Jeffrey Coprich (5-9, 175, Jr)
Khalfani Muhammad (5-9, 170, Jr)
Lonny Powell (5-10, 210, Fr)
Fabiano Hale (5-11, 225, So)
Trevor Davis (6-2, 185, Sr)
Maurice Harris (6-3, 195)
Patrick Worstell (6-2, 190, Jr)
Brandon Singleton (6-0, 165, Fr)
Stephen Anderson (TE, 6-3, 230, Sr)
Raymond Hudson (TE, 6-3, 235, So)
Bug Rivera (WR, 5-8, 185, Jr)
Kyle Wells (TE, 6-3, 230, Fr)
Aaron Austin (WR, 6-4, 210, Fr)
Bryce Treggs (6-0, 185, Sr)
Darius Powe (6-3, 220, Sr)
Matt Rockett (5-9, 180, So)
Patrick Laird (6-0, 205, So)
Kenny Lawler (6-3, 195, Jr)
Jack Austin (6-3, 210, So)
Chad Hansen (6-2, 195, So)
Carlos Strickland (6-4, 200, Fr)

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Football: Few surprises on first depth chart but a familiar name to join Bears’ coaching staff

Coach Sonny Dykes released his first fall depth chart and also announced that former Golden Bears star Andre Carter will join the coaching staff as a graduate-student assistant after classes begin Wednesday.

Carter, a consensus All-America defensive end as a senior at Cal in 2000 who retired two years ago after 13 NFL seasons, is returning to campus to complete his undergrad degree.

Dykes is excited by what the San Jose-Oak Grove High graduate can bring.

“Where do you start? He’s obviously a heck of a football player, a great NFL player,” Dykes said of Carter, who played his first five NFL seasons with the 49ers and was a Pro Bowl selection in 2011.

“Probably most impressive is he’s just a good guy. A very humble person, just wants to help, loves Cal. A great role model for your players and the kind of guy you want to have around your program.”

Carter was a two-time All-Pac-10 pick at Cal and totaled 80.5 career sacks after being a first-round NFL draft pick. Dykes said the 36-year-old looks like he could still play.

“We’ll have to try to sneak him in a ballgame if we can,” Dykes joked.


There were few surprises on Cal’s first depth chart, and Dykes said things will remain fluid at some spots.

He named junior Noah Beito the No. 1 placekicker after a training camp but said sophomore Matt Anderson will continue to compete with a chance to win the position.

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Football: Daniel Lasco gets some ESPN love

Who is the best NFL running back prospect in the Pac-12 right now?

ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay suggests it’s Cal senior Daniel Lasco.

BTW, check out No. 5 on the list — Sonny Dykes coached him as a freshman in 2012.

Here is McShay’s list top 10 running backs for the 2016 NFL draft:

1. Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State*
2. Derrick Henry, Alabama*
3. Corey Clement, Wisconsin*
4. James Conner, Pittsburgh
5. Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech
6. Josh Ferguson, Illinois
7. Daniel Lasco, California
8. Devontae Booker, Utah
9. Russell Hansbrough, Missouri
10. Storm Woods, Oregon State

* – denotes underclassman