Jalen Jefferson is ahead of schedule and Jared Goff dons gloves once again

BERKELEY -- We've got the latest from Memorial Stadium where the linebacking corps gets an unexpected boost ...

BERKELEY -- Earlier this week, California head coach Sonny Dykes said that veteran outside linebacker Jalen Jefferson would start practicing later in the week due to a shouler injury, but, on Tuesday, hours after Dykes said that, Jefferson was on the field during defensive skeleton work, and, Dykes said on Thursday, he'll play against Oregon this Saturday.

"We think he'll play; he's a little bit ahead of where we thought he'd be," Dykes said.

As for Michael Barton, he feels good after dealing with a knee sprain, and he will make the trip. The Bears will see how he feels before the game and make the determination as to whether he will play at that time.

This week, Cal quarterbacks have been wearing gloves, in preparation for a wet weekend.

"Any time a quarterback has balls that have a little bit of a sheen on them, I think it's good for a quarterback to wear 'em," Dykes said. Last time at Oregon, Jared Goff went 3-of-6 for 11 yards with two fumbles, and was pulled in the first quarter. 

Dykes said that turnovers will be important, and pegged the Bears' 22 turnovers gained as a reason why Cal got off to a 5-0 start.

"We didn't turn it over much ourselves," said Dykes, whose team has gained just one turnover in its past two games. "That's been the difference between wins and losses."

Cal has also managed just four sacks over the past three losses, after tallying 18 in the previous five games.

"People have done a pretty good job keeping us off balance and trying to run the ball," Dykes said. "I think you look at USC, they didn't drop back and throw much. A lot of the stuff was screens and a lot of run game, kind of the same thing that Utah did. They're not a real big dropback team. A lot of it has to do with style of play."

The Ducks have allowed 24 sacks -- 114th in the Football Bowl Subdivision -- but quarterback Vernon Adams is a tough one to bring down.

"There were probably five times, when you look at their last game against Arizona State, five times there was somebody unblocked, and they couldn't get him on the ground," Dykes said. "That was the difference in the ballgame. The fouth-down play he made, he had two guys he eluded and made a great play. If we have opportunities to get him on the ground, we need to be able to tackle him. Nobody's been able to do it much, up to this point, but we need to do it on Saturday."

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