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Cal needs more from its running game

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 26, 2014 at 9:32 pm •  Published: August 26, 2014

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — California quarterback Jared Goff sent multiple school passing records as a freshman in 2013. He's looking forward to a lighter workload this year.

Coming off a season in which their running game ranked 101st nationally, the Golden Bears hope to be more balanced to alleviate pressure on the rest of the offense.

"If the run game is what we need to do to win, then that's what I'm all for," Goff said Tuesday as Cal prepared for its season opener at Northwestern this weekend.

Cal's defense was largely to blame for the team's 1-11 record in coach Sonny Dykes' first season, but the lack of production on the ground was also at fault. The Bears didn't have a single back run for more than 450 yards. As a team, Cal was held to fewer than 90 yards in four of its 12 games and scored just 10 touchdowns on the ground.

With no relief from the running game, Goff ended up breaking school single-season records for passing yardage (3,508), attempts (531) and completions (320).

Goff's season was one of the best ever by a Cal freshman quarterback, but left him essentially on an island as defenses loaded up to stop Cal's air game.

The Bears were still fairly successful throwing the ball as part of Dykes' Air Bear offense, but still finished winless in the Pac-12.

"We put a lot of pressure on our quarterback through the year last year not being able to run the football," Dykes said. "That's been a huge point of emphasis for us really from the day we came back in January and started working in the weight room. We've done some things schematically to help ourselves out a little bit, we think.

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