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Sam Fielder: I am still pretty happy with the hire of Sonny Dykes as head coach because we knew this team would struggle and it is still way too soon to call for anyone's head. Look, we all said that the open stretch of the schedule was brutal and that we were young, inexperienced, and thin. Well, we've been competitive in all the games we've played, we're playing tons of new players, and we've had some devastating injuries. I think the hire of Buh definitely should be under scrutiny but it isn't a total loss yet and I believe that Buh should get at least a full year to work things out. The Dykes/Franklin offense looks good in the first year, so let's give them at least 2 more years to see where we are at that point. If we're still struggling early and not competitive with the top tier teams, then we look to make a change. I still love the attitude and enjoyment that Dykes and Co have brought to Strawberry Canyon and the feeling aroudn the program seems vastly improved versus what it was the past few years. We just need to give it some time.
atomsareenough: I am relatively satisfied with the hire of Sonny Dykes as head coach because the team is at least watchable now, and he seems to understand what needs to happen. I like the spirit of the team, I like that the offense is able to keep us in the game, and the games have been nothing if not entertaining, right? Anyway, Dykes continues to say the right things, and acknowledges that the defense is the missing link and needs to improve. He doesn't like "moral victories", which is a sentiment I share. Now we'll just have to see whether the improvement actually starts happening. It's a long season, and you can't really make a full evaluation based on 3 games with a makeshift defense, but... I'll put it this way, I'm still feeling patient and hopeful about Dykes, but with some worries beginning to crop up. Obviously Tedford is not necessarily the proper baseline, but at least I still definitely feel like we're better off with Dykes.
Ruey Yen: Based on the first three games I've seen, I am content with the hire of Sonny Dykes as head coach because he is willing to run trick plays. Call me a sucker for gimmicks and trickery but the Cal Offense has been pretty entertaining to see even with its inconsistency. The first TD of the season from the fake FG and the fake punt with Goff instead of Leininger (was it already a sign that Goff was going to be the starter when he changed his number from 9 to 16 or did Leininger changed his number after Goff has been named?) were exciting plays. Of course, at some point Sonny would need to start delivering wins but he's got more time to turn things around. By the way, I was talking to former Cal kicker David Seawright at the DC game viewing, and I asked him about how much he has practiced throwing a pass. His reply was that he didn't practice that much since everyone knows that Tedford wouldn't fake a FG. More than the playcalling, Dykes got my vote for confidence (for now) from the way he has spoke in interviews and in the first episode of The Drive.
Leland Wong: Ruey, I believe Leininger wore 16 for his freshman year in 2012. Goff came into the program wearing no. 9, but switched to 16 when Bridgford left. Goff wore 16 in high school at Marin Catholic, so the fake punt was probably designed based on the coincidental sharing of numbers, not the other way around.
NorCalNick: Based on the first three games I've seen, I am feeling the same as I did prior to the season with the hire of Sonny Dykes as head coach because three games isn't remotely enough time to meaningfully grade a head coach.
TwistNHook: NorCalNick, we can start to identify some trends, positive or negative, even in 3 games. For example, despite number of palys being up, penalties are way down! So, that is a great positive. Solid, fundamental play is so important. How many penalties were there in the OSU game? Like 3?
NorCalNick: I mean, I don't want to be that annoying, statistically inclined guy who responds to everything with small sample size, but . . . small sample size.
ragnarok: I'm pretty much with norcalnick here, in that a 3 game sample size, especially against the extreme of 2 ranked teams and 1 FCS opponent, is not nearly enough to fairly judge a head coach. Dykes seems to be saying the right things, and the team isn't quitting when they're down (something that wasn't the case last year), but there's still plenty of room for improvement, and we're definitely going to want to see some of that if 2013 will eventually be considered a success.