Sonny Dykes thought Northwestern was faking injuries and was livid (Video)

Sonny Dykes

Cal football coach Sonny Dykes lost in his debut with the Golden Bears on Saturday night, and he was upset with Northwestern for seemingly employing some shady tactics.

The No. 22-ranked Wildcats won 44-30 in a game that was much closer than the score indicates. A number of Northwestern’s defensive players kept getting hurt and leaving the game with injuries, only to return later and get hurt again. It seemed like an obvious attempt to slow down Dykes’ fast-paced “Bear Raid” offense, and it worked.

Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald brushed aside the faking accusations, but Dykes spoke openly about what he thought was going on.

“It affected it a lot,” Dykes said after the game of Northwestern’s constant injuries, via the AP. “You know it was just unusual, it seemed like every time we had a first down they would have an injury. I hadn’t seen that, didn’t expect to see that, was disappointed that I saw that but that’s the way it goes sometimes.”

In the video below, you can see Northwestern players go down with supposed injuries on four occasions. In one Cal drive with around three minutes left in the third quarter, Northwestern went down in three of four consecutive plays (all seen in the video). First it was No. 92 Will Hampton. Two plays later No. 44 Chi Chi Ariguzo went down. On the next play, Damien Proby went down. In a 4th-quarter drive, Hampton went down again with a supposed injury.

You can watch it all below, along with Dykes’ fiery reaction:

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Cal football sends Rocky Road candy bar in awful mailer

Rocky Road candy bar

A friend of LBS who canceled his season tickets to Cal football prior to the season received one of the worst mailers we have seen. Cal’s ticket department is trying to get him back, so they sent him a mailer to invite him to the team’s home opener against Northwestern on Aug. 31.

In the letter, the ticket department talks about the direction of the program under new head coach Sonny Dykes. But for some reason, instead of sending a candy bar associated with the optimism of the program under the new leadership, they sent a candy bar to remind fans of the “rocky road” the program has gone through (they went 3-9 last season and have gone 15-22 over the past three seasons). What the fungus were they thinking?

Below is the letter they sent:

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California RB Brendan Bigelow somehow stays on feet for sick TD run (Video)

California running back Brendan Bigelow has made some memorable runs already this season, but he probably won’t top the one he had against Ohio State on Saturday afternoon. It appeared that Ohio State had Bigelow in the backfield for a five-yard loss before he was able to turn the corner and gain positive yardage. He then broke another tackle and took it to the house.

But how did he stay on his feet? One of the reasons Bigelow was able to score was because some of the Ohio State defenders gave up after he was clearly down. The only problem was he wasn’t. The sophomore pulled off a couple of amazingly acrobatic spin moves and somehow kept his balance.

We’ve seen some amazing runs through the early part of the college season and while Bigelow’s is up there, we’ll still give the nod to Jawam Jamison for his crazy spin move earlier this week.

Cal Memorial Stadium Construction Coming Along (Pictures)

Cal football is in transition this year. Their home stadium is under construction so the football team is playing its home games at AT&T Park this season. As for Memorial Stadium, it’s undergoing a $321 million project that will redo the entire stadium. There will be a club level as well as a new press box and concession stands. In the bowels of the stadium, there will be locker rooms, offices, and meeting rooms. They’re having trouble selling seats for the stadium in order to pay for the project, but a 3-0 start to the season could help their fund raising efforts.

Anyhow, a friend of LBS was recently in Berkeley and stopped by Memorial Stadium to see how the construction project is coming along. They sent us pictures of the progress and it looks like they’re not too far off:

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Cal Security Guard Chokes a Fan (Video)

Even in the age of the cell phone camera, we see a lot of physical force used by security guards at sporting events.  There has been plenty of controversy regarding when and when not to use a Taser to control a rowdy fan.  We’ve also seen security guards throw some respectable big hits on fans when they rush the field.  But choking?  That seems like a little much.

Security guards at the Stanford-Cal game tried to control students when they were rushing the field after Stanford beat Cal in The Big Game.  I’m not sure why fans were charging the field considering Stanford is a significantly superior team, but that’s beside the point.  It doesn’t appear that the situation got out of control in any way, but a certain security guard treated it like it did.  Check out this video of a Cal security guard choking a fan, courtesy of YouTube user jkromp:

I’d be surprised if that security guard keeps his job.  That has police brutality written all over it.  Seems like there was no need.

Video Proof Cal Faked Injuries Against Oregon Based on Coach’s Directions

Oregon squeaked by Cal on Saturday in Berkeley, getting shutdown offensively for the first time all season. We wrote about Cal’s tactics to slow down Oregon’s “Blur Offense,” explaining how they faked several cramps. You figure they had to be playing dirty to hold down Oregon’s offense given that they allowed 52 points to Nevada and 48 to USC.

Well luckily for us YouTube user Russell Arch put together this excellent video which shows a Cal player faking an injury after getting instructed by his coaches to do so:

Many thanks to The Big Lead for sharing the video. Next time I want to see referees putting a stop to those shenanigans — there is no place for bullcrap like that in college football. If you want to stop someone, do it legitimately.

Cal Defense Fakes Cramps to Slow Down Oregon Blur Offense

Oregon has developed a reputation for being a second half team this season. They were tied at 13 against Tennessee at halftime before outscoring the Vols 35-0 in the second half. They were down 31-24 against Stanford at halftime but outscored the Cardinal 28-0 in the second half. It was 18-6 against Washington at the half and then the Ducks got rolling outscoring the Huskies 35-10 after halftime. Even with all their slow starts and second half comebacks, no defense shut them down in a half the way Cal did.

The Golden Bears’ defense held Oregon’s offense scoreless in the first half allowing just 149 total yards and 43 total plays (the lone touchdown came on a punt return). Oregon leads the country averaging 567 yards per game and 54.7 points per game so to say they were shut down is an understatement. Many critics felt someone would figure out how to stop Oregon’s offense at some point during the season, but nobody figured the team to do it would be Cal, much less utilizing the strategy Cal employed.

At least a half dozen times in the first half a Cal player faked an injury and stayed on the ground after a play in order to slow down Oregon’s offense. Oregon prides itself on playing fast, running play after play without pausing. Their style tires out defenses and makes it difficult for defenses to swap out personnel for fresher bodies. That is as long as the opposing defense doesn’t fake cramps in order to stop play:

So was Cal’s strategy clever or dirty? The ploy worked perfectly in the first half but it would hardly qualify as an example of model sportsmanship. I think it’s a pretty dirty strategy and one the officials should have warned against, threatening delay of game penalties. What Cal did is not within the spirit of the game even if it was effective. Maybe someone will figure out how to legitimately stop Oregon’s offense, but that’s not the way to do it.