Aside from the status of Cal running back Daniel Lasco, the other major news from Sunday night for the Golden Bears was the departure of wide receiver Erik Brown. Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that it was personal reasons. Brown has not appeared on any Cal fall depth chart and it seemed like he wasn't going to make an impact this season due to reported academic issues. Now it appears if he wants to play Division 1 football, it'll have to be elsewhere besides Cal.
Brown was a four-star wide receiver commit at from Summit High in Fontana and one of the highest ranked commits from the 2013-14 recruiting class (a class that committed to the Bears after the tortuous 1-11 campaign), and he was the only wideout of that class. But Brown has already been passed by on the depth chart by true freshman like Kanawai Noa (who played in the season opener), Carlos Strickland and Brandon Singleton. With another big class of wideouts incoming, it seems like Brown decided that it wasn't going to work out at California (I do not know if he'll end up transferring or not).
Additionally, Sonny Dykes was quick to mention that position battles will continue at many spots. He's pretty comfortable with Darius White and Darius Allensworth at cornerback, but aside from that battles will continue everywhere else. Dykes was pleased with Ray Davison, who is trying to win snaps from Jake Kearney at the SAM position.
The thing to watch out for the most is left tackle. Dykes singled out Aaron Cochran as playing very well, which could be his subtle way of trying to light a fire under Brian Farley. Farley had the shakiest moments out of all the offensive linemen on Saturday.
For those who missed it, here are some quick notes from the Cal vs. San Diego State press conferences. Leland did all the reporting here, credit goes to him!
- Dykes calls the start "shaky". Says the team was steady--not panicked--in reaction to SDSU's early TD.
- Dykes credits the team with "fighting through" the challenge. "Never got into a great flow offensively" and credits SDSU w/ that.
- Dykes calls the 1st-half INT and scoring drive "critical". Very proud of the "great" defensive performance.
- Dykes praises the backs for "running hard", even when SDSU was expecting the run. OLine was "physical".
- Dykes says the offensive line was mostly good in pass protection and jokes about the old-timey style of running football.
- Dykes is glad that we have the depth to stay fresh, especially in the defensive front.
- Dykes says it's "fun" to run at will. Important to get in a rhythm and be fast.
- To close the first half, Dykes didn't call a timeout because he wanted the SDSU defense to stay unsettled and on their heels.
- Dykes: "Our guys like playing on the road". Like being together as a team.
Dykes thinks the team would be split if choosing between a road or home game.
Dykes calls Jared Goff "one of the great ones to ever play here." Dykes says it's hard to compared Goff to other QBs b/c game is different and offense is different. Wouldn't trade him for anyone in CFB.
- On the Cal defense: "That’s the first look at the new and improved Cal defense." Mentioned how they responded after the first score.
- On Texas: "Going to be a good game vs. Texas. Good Texas team, nationally televised, good test."
- Goff credits Hudson with recognizing the defense that led to their big pass connection.
- Goff on quick minute touchdown before halftime: Maurice Harris made a great play at end of first half. Coaches decision to run tempo.
- Goff on the Cal passing record, only 15 yards away: Hopefully I can get it next game. Focusing on beating Texas.
- On the Trevor Davis touchdown: Made a check at the line, looked for someone to be out there, saw Trevor wide open...
- Wide receiver Trevor Davis was "rattled a bit" after UCLA injury.
- Davis saw the safety come down, which opened up the field. "Weren't really looking at me while I ran the post".
- Davis thinks being too open can make you nervous. "It's a lot better when it's contested b/c adrenaline pushes you through".
- Davis says it's a "rush" to see so many takeaways from our defense. "Total change". INT means no punt and go straight into offense.
- Davis and the team gets "pumped up" after takeaways.
- White credits defensive line pressure when it comes to his interception.
- Barton calls it a "confidence booster" to finally show that the defense is better.
- Barton: "We just did our job. We carried the game and the offense fed off our energy instead of the other way around."
- Barton: "Pumphrey is a great RB" but the D "just stays calm and made adjustments to what they did. They came out w/ some different stuff".
- Barton attributes the first SDSU TD to their new "gadgets". Right after that, they made their adjustments.
Barton echoes Dykes's praise about not panicking.
Barton says he and defense worked harder than ever this offseason. The defense grew closer. White agrees.
Barton also credits the 2nd year in this system and veteran leadership. "We know what we're doing" and are "synchronized".