Cal upends Fresno State at 'Stick 36-21


Cal upends Fresno State at 'Stick 36-21

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Zach Maynard overcame a rough start to his California career to throw for 266 yards and two touchdowns to Marvin Jones to lead the Golden Bears to a 36-21 victory over Fresno State on Saturday.Isi Sofele ran for 83 yards and two touchdowns, Jones had 118 yards receiving and defensive end Trevor Guyton scored on a 22-yard fumble return to give the Bears an emphatic start to the season a year after posting a losing record.The Cal defense harassed Derek Carr in his first start at quarterback for the Bulldogs as the Golden Bears won for the first time in three meetings between the schools.The game was at a neutral site, Candlestick Park, with Fresno State bringing a larger contingent of fans in the crowd of 31,563.The Cal fans had much more to cheer about - especially after Maynard recovered from the early interception that helped give the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead.Maynard, a transfer from Buffalo, struggled with his accuracy, completing just 16 for 35, but had a knack for the big play as he capitalized against a Fresno State defense missing injured safety Phillip Thomas.Keenan Allen, Maynard's half-brother, added eight catches for 112 yards. Allen and Jones became the first Cal duo to top 100 yards in the same game since DeSean Jackson and Lavelle Hawkins did it against Minnesota in 2006.Maynard's mobility helped him win the job, and he showed it off with a couple of long runs, including a 48-yarder on Cal's opening drive of the second half that set up his second TD throw. The 23-yarder to Jones made it 26-14, and the Bears put the game away with their defense.Steve Williams intercepted Carr on the next drive to stop a scoring chance, and Cecil Whiteside knocked the ball out of Carr's hands on a sack on the next drive. Guyton scooped up the loose ball and went in for the score.Carr is the younger brother of former Fresno State star and 2002 No. 1 overall draft pick David Carr. His debut was highly anticipated among Fresno State followers, but the Bulldogs' entire offense struggled behind four new starters on the offensive line.Carr finished 21 for 33 for 142 yards and was sacked four times. The Bulldogs didn't top 200 total yards until a meaningless drive late in the fourth quarter.The day couldn't have started off much worse for Maynard and the Bears. After an illegal formation penalty negated the first offensive play for Cal, Maynard threw his first pass right to Fresno State cornerback L.J. Jones, giving the Bulldogs the ball at the 16. Three plays later, Robbie Rouse ran in from 9 yards for the opening score.Cal answered with a 67-yard drive that included two big third-down conversions by Maynard, who hit Keenan Allen for 23 yards on third-and-3 and Marvin Jones for 11 on third-and-10. That helped set up Sofele's first TD fun from 1-yard out. Giorgio Tavecchio's point-after attempt was blocked.Sofele scored on a 39-yard run and Jones caught a 42-yard TD pass to make it 19-7 after the first quarter.Despite outgaining Fresno State 310-122 in the first half, the Bears only led 19-14 at the break after a botched snap by Dominic Galas led to a fumble in the end zone by Sofele that Christin Wilson recovered for a touchdown.

Cal’s Sonny Dykes: Quick turnaround ‘not ideal’ for Bears


Cal’s Sonny Dykes: Quick turnaround ‘not ideal’ for Bears

BERKELEY  — Two days before California plays its second game in less than a week against a well-rested USC team, coach Sonny Dykes was still trying to figure out why the Golden Bears were put in this position.

The quick turnaround and short week following Friday's double-overtime win against Oregon forced Cal to condense its normal schedule, something that wouldn't bother Dykes so much if there weren't so many other factors involved.

The Bears already had to trim a day off their regular routine because Thursday night's game is on the road. On top of that, several Cal players are in the middle of midterm exams, reducing their availability for practice even more.

It's a topic that Dykes has been simmering over for a few weeks now and one he wasn't ready to back off of Tuesday.

"When you sit down and look at the schedule, clearly it's not ideal," Dykes said "It's one of those deals where you just go, 'How in the world did this ever happen? How could somebody let this happen?'"

Cal (4-3, 2-2 Pac-12) was coming off a 12-day break when it beat Oregon in Berkeley on Friday night in a game that lasted nearly 4 ½ hours and didn't end until almost midnight local time. The Bears ran 118 plays offensively against the Ducks, which Dykes said was the equivalent of playing two games.

On the other hand, USC (4-3, 3-2) hasn't played since thumping Arizona 48-14 on Oct. 15.

While some team would have had to play the Trojans coming off a bye, Dykes can't understand why the Bears were selected to do it on short rest — and on the road.

"We've had to make a lot of schedule changes and do a lot of different things out of the norm," Dykes said. "It's one thing to do it on six days' notice. It's another to do it on the road. But our guys have handled it well."

The Bears shortened their work week to try to get everything in.

Players were given Saturday off but were back on the field Sunday afternoon. Cal practiced on its normal day off, Monday, but several players were unable to attend due to academic responsibilities.

"The challenge you always face is making sure that you balance keeping them fresh with getting enough reps and developing your young players," Dykes said. "Just teaching them all the things you need to teach them about your opponent in a limited amount of time. We've got to balance getting some work done but at the same time making sure we're fresh."

Cal's players don't seem bothered by the quick turnaround.

Defensive back Cameron Walker and left tackle Aaron Cochran said the short week means more emphasis on studying USC and doing extra film work.

Quarterback Davis Webb, on the other hand, doesn't think it will be much of an issue at all.

"It's a challenge but I think it's a mindset at the same time," Webb said. "We understand that's how the schedule rolled for us this year and there are no excuses. We have to play a tough team on Thursday night and we look forward to the challenge. If you don't know the game plan and what they're going to do by Thursday then you're in trouble."

Chryst to make his first career start for Stanford


Chryst to make his first career start for Stanford

STANFORD  — Stanford junior Keller Chryst will make his first collegiate start at quarterback at Arizona on Saturday, coach David Shaw said Tuesday.

He'll replace senior Ryan Burns, who went 4-3 (2-3 Pac-12) in his seven starts. Burns completed nearly 63 percent of his passes for 1,058 yards and five touchdowns. He's also thrown seven interceptions.

"I hate to get to this point," Shaw said. "But it's the best thing for this offense. We need more production at that position. It's our challenge to support Keller."

Burns led the Cardinal to wins over Kansas State, Southern California and UCLA to open the season but has struggled ever since, averaging 11 points in Stanford's last four games, punctuated by Saturday's 10-5 loss to Colorado.

"It can't just be about the quarterback," Shaw said. "We need to help Keller be more effective. We need to be able to score points with this personnel."

Chryst, the son of former 49ers offensive coordinator Geep Chryst, has appeared in 10 games over the past two years, throwing for 122 yards on 12-of-27 passing. He's thrown for one touchdown and one interception.

"I've been working with both all year and they're both great people," Cardinal receiver Trent Irwin said. "Sometimes you just need a change. We'll see where it goes and have fun with it."

Stanford ranks last in the Pac-12 in scoring (17.0) and total offense (299.1). The offense has scored just 10 touchdowns all year, fewer than Washington's John Ross and Arizona State's Kalen Ballage, the conference co-leaders with 11 touchdowns.

"Both quarterbacks are good," Stanford safety Zach Hoffpauir said. "Maybe it does stimulate the offense a little bit."

NOTES: CB Elijah Holder will miss the rest of the season due to an unspecified injury. ... OL David Bright and Johnny Caspers are questionable. ... FB Daniel Marx is out