Cal head coach Sonny Dykes recaps the Bears' loss to Stanford in the 118th Big Game, talks officiating and Christian McCaffrey

STANFORD, Calif. -- Cal head coach Sonny Dykes notes that penalties and red zone inefficiency spelled the Bears' end in the 118th Big Game against Stanford ...

On quarterback Jared Goff:

"I thought it started with protection up front. I thought we protected well. That's what always begins for us is for the offensive line. And I thought they gave him a chance to complete passes and get the ball out. It's just one of those -- I thought he performed well. He missed a couple of passes here and there. He dropped a couple of balls here and there. We would like to have, we would liked to have played better. I told the guys, I thought we played very hard, we just didn't play quite well enough to win and we couldn't overcome some of the things that were out of our control." a run game have helped in the red zone?

"Yeah, any time you run the ball, it's good. That's a good thing for you. You're winning the line of scrimmage. And when you typically win the line of scrimmage you typically win the game. So, we ran it okay. I think Tre [Watson] averaged over six yards a carry, so we ran it good. We ran empty a lot. We thought that was a good set for us. You're not going to get much run in when you don't have a back in the game. We felt like that was a pretty good formation for us. But overall, I thought we ran the ball decent."

You converted two red zone chances for touchdowns pretty consistently this year. What was the difference here?

"Dropped the ball the first series, missed a throw, one of them Kenny [Lawler] was open in the end zone and we missed him. Maurice [Harris] dropped a pass early. Just little miscues, that was the kind of difference really for us is we had opportunities to make plays, to give ourselves a chance to win and we just weren't quite good enough tonight there to do it."

Was there anything Stanford's secondary was doing to get the receivers out of rhythm?

"Not really. No, I thought that we executed pretty well throwing the football. There was some times when we had some guys open, Jared did a good job getting them the ball. I thought that -- overall, I thought the offense played pretty well. But it came down to not finishing drives. Again, the penalties killed us. We were moving the ball real good, we converted a third down and they called an offensive pass interference. That really hurt us. Huge. We had five series in the first half and two of them were stopped by penalties."

Lawler played just that one snap?

"Yeah, he played very few snaps. He's banged up. Yeah, he just didn't play. We thought [Daniel] Lasco might play. He didn't feel good in warm up. So he didn't play either. Khalfani [Muhammad] didn't either, so I don't know. He was going to be very, very limited if he ever got into the game."

Any of those field goal attempts in the red zone, did it ever cross your mind to go for it or were you always thinking field goal?

"We wanted to get points. We went for it a bunch on fourth down. We went for it early in the game because we felt like we had to. We were trying to play aggressive. But at the same time we didn't want to get -- we didn't want to miss opportunities to get points. We felt like if we could keep getting field goals, that was better than not getting anything. All of a sudden we looked up in the third quarter and we were back in the ball game. We didn't get a couple of stops we needed to get down the line to give us a chance to win. But it was -- I thought our guys really played hard. I was proud of how hard we played. I thought -- defensively, I thought we really did a good job containing the passing game. I thought our guys were aggressive, broke on the ball well, made some plays on the ball. When you have almost 500 yards of offense, against a good defense, it's a little bit frustrating when you score 22 points and don't win the game. But as I said, the penalties really, really hurt us. It killed numerous drives."

Is Christian McCaffrey any different in person?

"He's obviously good. Even though he's a physical runner. I think I think that's the thing that, you know, after you play him, he bounces off runs and runs behind his pads very well. It's not hard to see on film either."

When you sent the offense out on fourth and short and then wound up having to punt it. Usually you said you like going for it when it's fourth and short kind of middle of the field. What was the thinking there?

"We went for it, like I said, the first second or second possession of the game. And converted. A lot of it had to do with it was a check with me and if we get a look we like we're going to play and if we don't we'll punt the ball. We lined up, we looked at the look, the look wasn't what we wanted to run a play into, so we punted the ball." Top Stories