The Bears lost their fifth straight game yesterday - their 11th consecutive loss to an FBS opponent. ICYMI, check out Avi's game recap, and please also take a minute to visit CGB's tribute to Cal Band Great.
The big story developing from last night is the potential QB controversy:
The Beavers were well on their way to a 49-17 victory when Dykes made the call with 8:31 left in the third quarter to lift starting freshman quarterback Jared Goff in favor of redshirt freshman Zach Kline.
Dykes said there likely will be competition in practice this week, but wasn’t prepared to say which quarterback will start next Saturday at Washington.
"Moving forward, we’ll see," he said. "I don’t know what the answer is."
Here is a sampling of Coach Dykes' comments from the postgame press conference:
Not a good night tonight. We didn’t play well, didn’t coach well.
We felt like we needed to make a switch. We put Zach (Kline) in, and I thought he did some good things. He gave us a spark of energy. Moving forward, we’ll see. I don’t know what the answer is. We’ll need to talk about it.
We just have to keep working. They will generate their confidence from us as coaches. I’m extremely disappointed, but I’ll get over it and show up tomorrow and roll up my sleeves and keep working. That is where they will generate their attitude, how we handle this.
"i dont think we played well on defense or offense" ... no new injuries to report today— GoldenBlogs (@GoldenBlogs) October 20, 2013
"They pretty much lined up and kicked our tails," is the quote of the night from Dykes. #CALvsOSU— Ryan Gorcey (@RGBearTerritory) October 20, 2013
Dykes says he thinks they came out of the game injury free. There's the one positive for Cal!— (@HunterHewitt) October 20, 2013
Coach Dykes added that Kline provided a spark off the bench - Zach led the Cal offense on two touchdown drives - but stopped short of naming a starter for next week's game against Washington:
"We put Zach in and I thought he did some good things," Dykes said. "He gave us a little spark of energy."
"We will look at the tape and see how they did," he later added. "We are going to go with the guy who gives us the best chance to win. I was proud of Zach, I thought he came in and did a good job."
another QB question: "all spots are open for competition" but no decision to be made until staff reviews the tape, said Zach did well— GoldenBlogs (@GoldenBlogs) October 20, 2013
In slightly less than a full half of play, Kline went 11 of 16, for 71 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT. At the postgame presser, he remained positive despite the loss:
Kline: "It's been tough losing, that's always tough. When you lose you see the guys who care."— Cal Rivals (@CalRivals) October 20, 2013
Kline: "There's gonna be guys that show they wanna be here. I committed here for a reason."— Cal Rivals (@CalRivals) October 20, 2013
Kline: "We have to play for something more than ourselves. We have to play for the University. It's the biggest thing: It's pride."— Ryan Gorcey (@RGBearTerritory) October 20, 2013
"I wanted to go out there and show the energy I play with, show my leadership. I wanted to show that we have to play for something more than ourselves, more than just the game of football..."
In addition to Kline, several players received significant playing time and recorded notable stats. According to Cal's official game notes:
Darren Ervin scored his first career touchdown on a seven-yard pass from Kline. It was Kline’s second passing touchdown of the season. Ervin was Cal’s leading rusher on the night with 11 carries for 40 yards, both career highs.
In the fourth quarter, Kline secured his second touchdown pass of the night, third of his career, to Jacob Wark. The touchdown reception was the first TD in Wark’s career.
Cameron Walker paced the Bears in tackles, picking up a personal best for the second straight week. Walker tallied nine takedowns against the Beavers after totaling eight last week at UCLA. Walker also notched two pass breakups.
Puka Lopa picked up his first career forced fumble, second career sack and fourth career pass breakup – first of this season. Lopa’s forced fumble was recovered by Michael Lowe, his second career fumble recovery.
Viliami Moala notched his first career sack in the second quarter, and Chad Whitener notched his first career fumble recovery in the fourth quarter.
The overall numbers from the game paint a pretty bleak picture (infographic courtesy Cal Athletics):
The full stats for the game don't look very promising either. Cal averaged an anemic 2.5 yards per rush, and turned the ball over 4 times. Oregon State QB Sean Mannion was 35-of-45 for 481 yards and 4 TDs, while WR Brandin Cooks logged 13 catches for 232 yards. Per some number-sleuthing by the Chronicle's Hunter Hewitt:
Cal had eight penalties for 100 yards. The Bears entered the game ranked 120th out of 123 FBS teams with 8.57 penalties per game.
Cal now ranks last in the country with 346.7 passing yards allowed per game. It ranks second-to-last in points (44.4) and total yards (525.4) allowed per game.
And then there's this:
The recent downward trend is disheartening, but this excerpt from Avi's recap might help ease the pain and keep things in perspective:
When you're trying to build something that's unique and not at all aligned with the way things were, a turnaround can't come instantly. You have to rid yourself of the rot and instill something that will last beyond one season. It might be painful in the short term, but it pays off in huge dividends in the long run.