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Cal freshman QB looking to build off first game

Published on NewsOK Modified: September 6, 2013 at 9:03 pm •  Published: September 6, 2013
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BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Freshman quarterback Jared Goff needed just one game to work his way into California's record books.

Getting the rebuilding Golden Bears a win might be a bit more challenging.

After hosting Portland State this Saturday, Cal faces four ranked teams in a six-week span that includes back-to-back games against No. 3 Ohio State and No.2 Oregon.

That's why Goff doesn't understand what all the fuss was about after he passed for 450 yards and two touchdowns in his Cal debut, a season-opening 44-30 loss to No. 19 Northwestern.

"The main job of the quarterback is to win," Goff said. "It was helpful getting my first game under me, but at the same time I wanted to finish that game out on top. We didn't, so it was disappointing."

The passing yardage was the second-most in school history, topped only by Pat Barnes' 503 in a quadruple overtime game against Arizona in 1996.

That was an encouraging sign for a team that hasn't had much stability or production at quarterback over the past decade.

It wasn't all clean, however.

Goff was intercepted three times, twice on tipped passes. Two were returned for touchdowns, accounting for the final margin on the scoreboard. He also had 64 attempts after Cal's running game was shut down.

First-year Bears coach Sonny Dykes believes Goff has just scratched the surface.

"The good thing about Jared is we're all going to have a chance to watch him improve every day," Dykes said. "That's what is encouraging. He set the bar relatively high Saturday and I think he'll continue to build off that performance."

The Bears will need all the offense they can get against Portland State, which thumped Eastern Oregon 57-17 in the opener for both teams.

At least Cal has history on its side.

Portland State has never beaten a team from the Pac-12 and is just 2-28 against FBS schools.

Dykes, however, has had to caution the Bears against overlooking the Vikings.

"When you have a young team like we do, every practice is important, every game is important," Dykes said. "You hope that your kids have that competitive spirit where they're going to play hard for 60 minutes every play no matter what. How we perform on Saturday will say a lot about our program and where our guys are mentally."

The Bears will go into the game without safety Avery Sebastian, who was scheduled to undergo season-ending surgery on his right Achilles tendon Thursday.

Defensive end Brennan Scarlett, who missed the opener, remains sidelined while recovering from a hand injury. Linebacker Nick Forbes (back) and nose tackle Mustafa Jalil have also been out with injuries.

"We have to do a good job of having guys step up," Dykes said. "We've lost some pretty key guys."

Portland State put up 672 yards in total offense against Eastern Oregon while running a variation of the Pistol. More than 400 yards came on the ground, as running backs D.J. Adams and Shaq Richard both went over 100 yards.

"They're very well coached in the fundamentals of the Pistol and how it's run," Dykes said. "We're going to need to get off blocks, tackle well and stay gap sound."


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