Sep 7, 2013; Berkeley, CA, USA; California Golden Bears quarterback Jared Goff (16) passes the ball against the Portland State Vikings during the second quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Getting to Know the Cal Bears: Talking Goff, Dykes and More with Fansided's GoldenBearLair

Earlier this week we caught up with Daniel Abella from Fansided’s California Golden Bears site, Golden Bear Lair  to discuss the team, who started the year 1-2, their head coach Sonny Dykes and Freshman Quarterback Jared Goff who currently leads the nation in passing with an average of 473 yards per game. So let’s get to the questions.

Cal has a new head coach in Sonny Dykes and a new Freshman Phenom – so it seems in Quarterback Jared Goff. What is it that makes this duo special?

 Sonny Dykes has always been a coach who runs face paced offenses that put up a gargantuan amount of points per season. In his three season at LA Tech, Dykes had offenses that averaged 462.1 ypg in 2010, 376.5 ypg in 2011, and 526.1 ypg last season. In addition, these offense scored 30 ppg, 23 ppt and 38 ppg respectively. In those offenses, the quarterbacks tended to be a big part of the offensive attack, always passing for more than 3,000 yards per season (and last years LA Teah quarterback, Colby Cameron threw for over 4,000 yards). In summation, Dykes loves quarterbacks and high octane offenses.

When it comes to why Jared Goff works so well, I guess it’s because Dykes has seen that Goff has the ability to run a complicated offense. In high school career at Marin Catholic, he led that team to a 39-4 record in his three-season career. He threw for 93 touchdowns and over 7,600 yards.

Goff has clearly had some ‘growing pains’ in his first few starts for the Golden Bears. Is there any chance he can mature quickly and make it a game on Saturday?
Goff has been great overall this season. Personally, I believed he outplayed Kenny Guiton two weeks ago when Ohio State came to town, and he really made the Ohio State secondary look silly for long stretches of the game. That said, he has yet to have an interception-less day against an FBS opponent, and honestly I doubt that trend ends against Oregon.
He is still a freshman, no matter what he looks like when he’s out here, and thus he makes some bad mistakes. I think he’d have to play a better game than he did against Ohio State, he’d have to play mistake free, and he’d have to not try to thread the needle into tight coverage (something he’s done quite a bit this season) in order to play a game worthy of beating a team like Oregon.
This game will be the first real test for the Oregon Defense – currently giving up only 9 points per contest. What does it mean for a young quarterback when you have Wide Receivers – one being Chris Harper, with experience.
Goff gets a lot of publicity for being one of the best freshman quarterbacks in the nation, and rightfully so. However, he has looked good because his receivers have made some amazing catches this season. Bryce Treggs, Chris Harper, Richard Rodgers and even Maurice Harris (who’s only catch was this amazing catch against Portland State) have all made great plays that really have helped Goff out. I guess, the best way I can put it is, if Oregon wants to stop Jared Goff, is to take away his receivers, because without them, he isn’t nearly as effective. Eventually, he will find a way to be a winner no matter what the other teams do against him, but he hasn’t gotten there yet.
We know all about the Oregon ground game – talk about the Cal ground attack. What should Duck fans know?
Cal has a lot of talent at the running back position, but they have underachieved this season. Brendan Bigelow, who is coming off offseason knee surgery hasn’t quite built up the trust in his knee to make the kinds of quick runs that made him so explosive last season. Khaifani Muhammad has played really well in his opportunities, playing like a faster and just as sharp version of Bigelow in his appearances. I haven’t seen enough of Daniel Lasco to have a full opinion on how he is playing, as he was not available for the Portland State game (though he really looked good against Ohio State) but I get the feeling you’ll probably see a Bigelow/Lasco tandem and not get too much of Muhammad. That said, if Bigelow/Lasco are on their game, they could be trouble for Oregon to defend, but I think both men will play a little of due to their recent injuries.
Finally had a little fun with a question about the Dykes family. Sonny Dykes fathers name is Spike..Spike Dykes – what football position should his dad have played to live up to that name?
I would assume that Spike would have been an offensive lineman, but a dirty one who loved to dig his spikes into the foot of the defensive lineman who was tasked with getting past him. Spike just sounds like a dirty player’s name.

I do know one thing about the game, the weather will certainly be a factor on Saturday night. Bring your rain gear if your heading to Autzen for the game. Kickoff set for 7:30PT on the Pac 12 Networks. My thanks again to Daniel for giving Duck fans some insight into a football program that is young and working toward the goal of being competetive and remaining healthy now and into the rest of their season.

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