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Cal vs. Arizona: Postgame Notes

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Cal lost to Arizona 33-28, in a close game that was competitive until the end. Several young players - including WR Kenny Lawler, DB Cedric Dozier, DB Cameron Walker, and RB Daniel Lasco - all made significant contributions in the hard-fought loss. Let's take a look at some game notes, stats, and selected tweets.

Kenny Lawler with one of his 3 TD catches
Kenny Lawler with one of his 3 TD catches
Cal Bears Online

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Despite Saturday's tough loss [infographic courtesy Cal Athletics] there were a number of encouraging signs.  CGB's own Vlad Belo summarized it well in his game recap:

In the end, it was a loss, and losses never feel good. But for a Cal team that was uncompetitive in most, if not all, of the losses during the current losing streak, being in the game with a chance to win was a refreshing change.

The Bears played hard all game and were competitive from the start.  The opening drive touchdown - on an 11-yard pass from Jared Goff to Khalfani Muhammad - gave Cal its first lead since the Portland St. game:

Cal kept it close through late in the 4th quarter - with significant contributions from Kenny Lawler, Daniel Lasco, Cameron Walker, and Cedric Dozier - but the Bears couldn't come away with a W at the end:

[Kenny] Lawler finished with six catches, 72 yards and three touchdowns, all career-highs.

After missing the last two games with a shoulder injury, Daniel Lasco returned Saturday and rushed 12 times for 71 yards. ... Lasco leads Cal with 47.3 rushing yards per game.

Cameron Walker led Cal with a career-high 13 tackles. He has set a career-high in tackles in the last four games.

Cedric Dozier, a redshirt freshman, started at cornerback. He was the sixth different cornerback, 11th different defensive back and 45th different player to start a game for the Bears this season.

Despite an early 7-0 lead and a valiant 60-minute effort, Cal dropped its seventh straight game in a 33-28 loss to Arizona in front of an announced crowd of 41.874 fans at Memorial Stadium.

Lawler was indeed Cal's breakout performer, and his 3 TDs - including a highlight reel catch - earned him a helmet sticker from Uncle Ted:

So who deserves a helmet sticker for a job well done? ...

Kenny Lawler, WR, California: Lawler only caught [six] passes for 72 yards in the Bears loss to Arizona, but he accounted for three touchdowns, one of which was an absolutely spectacular one-handed grab.

Lawler's touchdown receptions were the first of his career, and his one-hander made ESPN's Top 10 plays:

Redshirt freshman Kenny Lawler had touchdown receptions of 17, 3 and 29 yards to become the first Cal player with three TD catches in a game since DeSean Jackson in 2006. They were the first three touchdowns of Lawler's career.

During the postgame press conference [quotes here], Coach Sonny Dykes and QB Jared Goff both complimented Lawler for his efforts:

Per Cal's official postgame notes, Goff marked a new career-best with 4 TD passes - despite 2 costly INTs - and is now one spot behind a Cal legend on the single-season passing list:

Jared Goff ended the day 34-for-56 for 289 yards and a personal-best four touchdown passes. In addition, Goff was not sacked once. Now with 2,881 passing yards this season, Goff ranks fifth on Cal’s single-season top-10 list for passing yards. Aaron Rodgers is fourth (2,903 in 2003).

Coach Dykes also had good things to say about the secondary and the defense in general:

Sonny remained optimistic while giving a candid assessment on the team:

This season's been difficult so far, but like our players, our fans - including Chancellor Dirks - haven't quit:

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