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Golden Nuggets: How happy is Coach Dykes with the Bear Raid pace?

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Sonny Dykes gives one more interview before the season opener, discussing the Bear Raid's current pace and cultivating the right environment at Cal.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

Sonny Dykes, who basically works for KNBR at this point, gave another interview for the Gary and Larry Show, with Cal great Kate Scott joining in.

She brought the heat early, asking Coach Dykes how satisfied he is (on a scale from 1 to 100) with the current pace of the Bear Raid.

At times, I've been 100% satisfied, honestly. Other times, probably 75 or 80%. We had a scrimmage about a week and a half ago and I thought out guys played at a really fast tempo. I thought it was the fasted I've ever seen them play, quite frankly. ... The key for us is making some first downs, getting some momentum, and getting started. Any time you're a fast-paced offense, the most important thing is making that [initial] first down.

Speaking of the Bear Raid's signature up-tempo offense, how many plays would Dykes like to run each game?

We'd like to run 90--90 is a good number for us. Any time you get over 100 is a good thing. Right around that high-80s/low-90s number usually means things are going your way.

The conversation moves to the true-freshman starting quarterback, Jared Goff, and the youth on the O-line that has been tasked with protecting him.

[The offensive line] stayed healthy up to this point. We're very young--both starters on the right-side of the line are redshirt freshman. ... It's a young, inexperienced group, but a group we think has talent. A group that's starting to jell, and a group that's pretty athletic.

Beyond the usual questions, we get some insight into the atmosphere and environment Dykes would like for the Cal program, referencing the prank executed by Nebraska's football team.

We try to keep it light. [As coaches], you're always demanding more from your players. You want to push them and motivate them and figure out ways to make them better. You have to show them you care about them, too, and we think we do a good job of that. Our players know we have their backs and that we care about them more than as just football players. That's really important and that's how you build trust in a program.

Coach Dykes also discussed Avery Sebastian's recovery, the troublemakers on the Northwestern squad, former player Quinton Patton and which Cal receivers are similar to Patton.

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