FIFTH QUARTER: All Washed Up

EUGENE, Ore. -- We take a look at the five most significant points from Saturday's loss to Oregon, including a season-worst spate of penalties, Tommerdahl talking special teams breakdowns and just what each quarterback thinks will happen this coming week in our Fifth Quarter.

EUGENE, Ore. -- We take a look at the five most significant points from Saturday's loss to Oregon, including a season-worst spate of penalties, special teams breakdowns and just what each quarterback thinks will happen this coming week in our Fifth Quarter.

1. Discipline, discipline, discipline.
California simultaneously allowed the most points it has all season long (55), and scored the fewest points (16) it has all season long, but those weren't the only two numbers to stick out from Saturday's thrashing at the hands of No. 2 Oregon.

Reminiscent of the lack of discipline last season, when the Bears led the Pac-12 in penalties, Cal committed 11 infractions for 97 yards against the Ducks – both season highs.

In the opener against then-No. 22 Northwestern, Cal committed 10 penalties for 79 yards. Against Portland State, those dropped to 6 and 60. In Week Three, against No. 4 Ohio State, the Bears had just five penalties for 28 total yards.

"In a lot of ways, this was just about as bad a performance as you could have in a lot of different ways," said head coach Sonny Dykes. "That's my responsibility. That falls squarely on me, and we've got to get it fixed."

At one point, Dykes made his way out to the hash marks to argue a call with the head referee, who eventually wiped out a fake-punt catch by linebacker Lucas King because of an illegal receiver down field, early in the third quarter. At that point, the Bears were down, 41-3.

"We showed some signs of being a little bit undisciplined," Dykes said. "I was very concerned with that. We had an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, had a late hit penalty, did some things that are uncharacteristic of us. We'll get that addressed and get that fixed. Again, that falls on me. I've got to do a better job of making sure our guys understand what's acceptable and what's not."

Another discipline-related concern: At least two instances of receivers giving up on routes, low-lighted by Drake Whitehurst.

Whitehurst's transgression resulted in an interception in the end zone. Ekpre-Olomu jammed Whitehurst off the line at the Oregon 15, and stayed engaged with the 6-foot-6 receiver well into the end zone, after which Whitehurst disengaged, and did not continue his route, instead peeling off to his right, looking for a flag. That left Ekpre-Olomu right where Whitehurst should have been to catch a pass from Zach Kline.

2. Turn, Turn, Turn
Speaking of turnovers, over the first three games, the Bears committed six turnovers. On Saturday, Cal coughed the ball up a season-high five times, and while Oregon only scored 14 points off of those turnovers, the defense was very stressed very early on, with three of the first five Ducks scoring drives coming on fields of 38 yards or fewer.

Almost as damning for the Bears was the fact that early on, Oregon had plenty of ball security issues of its own, and Cal could not capitalize. On the first Ducks drive, Oregon coughed the ball up three times, with none recovered by the Bears.

"Oregon put the ball on the ground six times tonight, and we recovered two of them," Dykes said. "We put it on the ground four times, they recovered four. That was a big difference in the ballgame, especially early in the game. We just gave them short fields and put the defense in some binds early in the game."

3. There is no controversy.
True freshman starter Jared Goff was lifted after just six pass attempts – and two fumbles (not including a ball he dropped and then picked up again to throw an incomplete pass) – in the midst of monsoon conditions with 2:57 left in the first quarter, and did not return.

"The noise didn't do anything at all; it was really just the grip," Goff said. "I was having trouble gripping the wet ball in the rain, and they made the decision to put Zach in at the time, and it was probably the best decision. He did a good job, came in and did his thing, and I supported him as best I could."

After going 3-for-6 for 11 yards, Goff was pulled in favor of redshirt freshman Kline, who was neck-and-neck with Goff throughout the first part of fall camp for the starting gig.

"Jared was just having a really difficult time holding on to the football, and the ball was just slipping out of his hand," Dykes said. "We're not quite sure why, but it was, so we just felt like we were having a hard time getting anything done. We couldn't throw it at all, so we needed to make a change, and we felt that gave us a better chance to move the football and score some points."

Goff had played the Div. III NCS title game against El Cerrito as a senior in similar conditions – though not quite as biblical – and ran for over 70 yards that night last year.

"It was an energetic atmosphere, it was raining really hard, pretty good wind, but that's no excuse," Goff said. "We knew that coming in, it was going to be something like that. Throwing with a wet ball is something that I need to get a lot better at, and it's just something that I'm going to have to work on during practice, maybe after practice, throwing a wet ball or something like that. It's just something I need to work at."

On Saturday, Goff did not use his legs at all. Goff generally does not run early in games, and only does when the defense is spread out enough to allow him a clear lane. That was not the case on Saturday, particularly after the Ducks sprinted out to a quick 13-0 lead.

"We had the same thing as Ohio State –we went down early, 21-0, and we were fine, started chipping away," Goff said. "That game, we chipped away, and this game, we really didn't."

The Ducks clogged the middle to take away the short screen and swing passes, daring Goff to beat them deep. When he couldn't find the handle on the ball, Oregon was able to pin its ears back and bring the house.

"They did get pressure early, but that really didn't affect me," Goff said.

With that pressure, though, the Ducks effectively choked off the run game (Cal averaged 2.9 yards per rush on a season-high 51 attempts), limiting the options for the freshman passer.

"We were really trying to come out fast this game, and it was just super disappointing to come out the way we did," said Goff, who saw the Bears' first eight possessions end in four fumbles, one punt, two turnovers on downs and a punt return for a touchdown. "That's mainly on me. Full responsibility is on me for that, and I'm going to take it and get better from it."

Kline completed his first three passes as the Bears marched from their own 18 to the Oregon 15, but Kline's fourth pass fell right into the hands of Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, who had jammed receiver Drake Whitehurst off the line.

"I thought I played well, I hit some routes, but I definitely thought I could have played better," Kline said. "Obviously, the score, me going in and playing QB there, my job was to put the ball in the end zone and move the offense and have other guys catch the ball and run with the ball, just be a gear in the machine, so we have a lot to work on, for sure, but I think we're definitely going to move in the right direction."

Kline played for the rest of the game, and went 18-for-37 for 165 yards and one interception, but the usual zip we've seen from Kline was a bit uneven. That extra loft that he had to put under the ball was good early – and he showed much better touch than last year – but as the game went on, that extra loft got him in some trouble, particularly on a deep ball with just over a minute left in the third quarter, 50 yards down field to Chris Harper. If the defensive back had been looking, it would have been a pick.

"They scouted us well, but I think that a lot of it was weather – it was tough to get a good grip on the ball – but we still had shots," Kline said. "There was a lot of stuff that was there. We just have to capitalize on the deep balls that were there and the crosses that were there.

"Guys were like, ‘OK, don't throw this one like you usually throw it,' so I had to take a little bit off on a bunch of them to help the guys out and help me out, because I got in there pretty amped up."

Kline was uneven, and had one would-be pick-six called back because of a pass interference penalty. On the other hand, though, Kline did have to contend with four drops in the first half alone. Though he had his moments, Kline did not overtake Goff, according to Dykes, though if the heavens open again, the decision could be revisited.

"I would think it's not," Dykes said of whether the starting quarterback job is up for grabs. "If we get into a rain situation again, we'll have to evaluate it at that point, but I would think Jared would be our starting quarterback."

Without speaking to Dykes on the subject, Goff was similarly confident that he would still be the No. 1 when Cal resumes practice on Monday.

"My mindset next week is that I'm the starter, like I've been," Goff said. "I just had a little hiccup."

"Every week's a quarterback battle, really," Kline said. "That's one thing that coach [Tony] Franklin told me. It's never secure. Really, every week's going to be a battle. I don't see this week being any different. I have to go in, play 100 percent and do well every single day."

4. Not so special anymore
The Bears started the day as the no. 2 punt unit in the Pac-12, averaging 42.5 net yards per boot. On Saturday, the ghosts of last year's Utah game reared their spectral heads, as Cal surrendered two punt return touchdowns to Bralon Addison.

"He truly is one of the best punt returners in the country," said special teams coordinator Mark Tommerdahl. "But, we make no excuses. We've got to cover punts. It's pretty obvious that we gave him too much room to work with."

The first came after a three-and-out by the Bears midway through the second quarter, when Addison took a Cole Leininger punt at his own 25, went left, got a block on the sideline and then sprinted towards daylight.

The second came after the Bears botched fake punt with an illegal receiver down field. After Cal lost five yards, Leininger lined up to punt again, this time to Addison at the 35. Addison stepped back at the 35, broke left, probing the coverage, found no hole, then went back right, broke a tackle by Kyle Kragen, broke the ankles of Dan Camporeale at the Bears' 43, and crossed back all the way across the field to the front left corner of the end zone for a 67-yard punt return score.

"With a guy like that, if you're going to kick to him, you've got to hang him up," Tommerdahl said. "We're trying to establish ourselves in this league, so we've got to play with people in this league. I think you've got to be smart, but we're trying to establish a program here in this league. We're going to play ball in the Pac-12."

5. This is starting to look like a gypsy curse in a Stephen King novel …
Cal's secondary got just a little bit Thinner on Saturday, with starting cornerback Kameron Jackson going down midway through the first quarter.

Jackson went down on the 14-yard TD pass from Marcus Mariota (11-for-25, 114 yards, 2 TDs, 1 sack, 0 INT) to Daryle Hawkins. Jackson was cut blocked by Josh Huff in the left knee while the ball was in the air.

Jackson was wearing a walking boot with a trash bag around his foot as he went into the locker room after the game. Dykes said the X-rays were "good."

"To what extend, I don't have any idea, yet," Dykes said. "It's way early. We probably won't know until Monday."

Jackson had not yet allowed a catch to his side of the field this season.

Of the 11 starters listed on the preseason depth chart, the Bears have now seen Jackson, Avery Sebastian, Khairi Fortt, Nick Forbes, Brennan Scarlett and Chris McCain miss time, with Sebastian out for the season, Fortt missing parts of two games, Scarlett and Forbes still having not yet seen a defensive snap and McCain losing a game and a quarter due to an ejection and a head injury.

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