For those wondering about why the Bear Raid seems to have abandoned tempo in favor of a more traditional offense, Sonny Dykes discusses how Jared Goff taking control of the offense at the line of scrimmage has caused some of those issues. Jeff Faraudo has more.
"A few weeks ago we kind of realized it was slowing our tempo down. So I tried to either limit it a little or do it quicker," he said. "Most of the time if I am making a change it's for a good reason because I feel like I can get us into a better play. Sometimes you want to just go and keep the tempo up."
Of even greater interest is the idea that Goff could become more of a running quarterback the next few weeks to take pressure off the defense. Connor Letourneau of the Chronicle:
"There were a few (designed runs), definitely, and there were a lot of plays that I just took off on because of the coverage they were playing," Goff said. "When the defense plays two under, it's a good chance for the quarterback to pick up some yardage. I kind of recognized that, so I took off sometimes."
Here are the latest Cal football injury updates.
For the umpteenth week in a row, Sonny Dykes says that Daniel Lasco is all systems go. His health has been a frustrating point of contention, because Lasco hasn't been held out of games but has seen very limited snaps as part of a huge running back rotation. Goff seems to think that Lasco is trying to gut it out through an injury he just can't shake. Faraudo again.
"I think he's done a great job. I'm really encouraged by his attitude so far with what he's been dealing with," Goff said. "He hasn't wavered at all. For him to continue to keep his head down and keep working and not say anything, just waiting until he's ready to go, I'm really proud of him."
Jordan Rigsbee and Patrick Mekari are currently listed as co-starters at right guard on the depth chart. Brian Farley (who is recovering from an ankle injury) continues to battle Aaron Cochran at left tackle, although both were seen at practice displacing Steven Moore for some reps as well.
Linebacker Michael Barton is doubtful for USC with a sprained knee. Expect Devante Downs and Jalen Jefferson to eat up more snaps right beside Hardy Nickerson.
Safety Stefan McClure has a shoulder injury that kept him out for most of the UCLA game but Sonny seems confident he'll play against USC. Luke Rubenzer and Griffin Piatt split safety snaps in McClure's absence last Thursday.
Bryce Treggs is struggling with a toe injury but is good to go for Saturday. Chad Hansen is expected to get more snaps at the Z receiver position as the backup for Kenny Lawler. Kanawai Noa could also insert his way into the rotation.
Additional quotes and video below.
- On returning to weekly schedule: "We're back on a regular schedule thankfully. ... I walked around literally for two weeks and had no idea what day it was."
- On the California flag: We're the flagship university of the state of California, so I think it made sense for us to carry the flag proudly.
- On JuJu Smith-Schuster and Adoree' Jackson: "Those are the two most explosive receivers I've seen in a long time on the same football team."
- On post Steve Sarkisian era: "It seems to me they're a little more settled in as a program."
- On Pac-12: "We're disappointed to be 5-2, but we also realize that there's two 6-1 teams in the league, so we're right there with everybody else. There's no question in my mind that (the Pac-12) is the deepest league in college football."
- On playing Cody Kessler: It'll be our 3rd game together (USC's QB). He's gotten the first two- I'd like to get this one.
- On Patrick Mekari: "Patrick's a freshman and has not even flinched at all. he's really stepped up."
- On USC: USC definitely has some talent. They can throw and have a good running game. I'm looking forward to seeing how we play Saturday
- On creating turnovers: In any game, a turnover is a huge momentum swing. It gets us off the field and keeps us fresh- plus a big confidence boost. We didn't get the turnovers we'd been getting [against UCLA] and just didn't match the intensity we should've brought. Hopefully this Saturday we can get back to our ways of creating turnovers.