Game 1: Northwestern Wildcats (0-0, 0-0 Big Ten)
Saturday, Aug. 30 |2:30 p.m. CT/12:30 p.m. PT
Ryan Field | Evanston, Ill.
TV: ESPN2 – Mark Jones (Play by Play), Rod Gilmore (Analyst), Jessica Mendoza (Sideline Reporter)
Radio: KGO 810 AM – Joe Starkey (Play by Play), Mike Pawlawski (Analyst), Todd McKim (Sideline)
Live Stats: Click Here
Live Audio: TuneIn – calbears.com/tunein
Sirius XM Satellite Radio: Sirius (92) and XM (195)
Cal Student Radio: KALX 90.7 FM
Series History: Northwestern leads, 2-0
Last Meeting: Northwestern 44, at Cal 30 (Aug. 31, 2013)
For the first time since 2006, Cal will open the season as the visiting team when the Golden Bears face Northwestern on Saturday, Aug. 30, at 2:30 p.m. CT/12:30 p.m. PT on ABC/ESPN2. The meeting will be the third in the series history with the first matchup occurring in the 1949 Rose Bowl. The Wildcats have won both of the previous two contests, including a 44-30 win in Berkeley last season.
Second-year head coach Sonny Dykes brings back an offense that ranked fi fth in the Pac-12 in total offense (460.0 ypg) and ranked 11th nationally and third in the Pac-12 in passing (333.4 ypg) in 2013. Quarterback Jared Goff, who set multiple school single-season and single-game passing records a year ago, will have three of his top four receivers back - Chris Harper, Kenny Lawler and Bryce Treggs.
• Cal has three fi rst-year coaches on the defensive staff. Art Kaufman was hired as the team’s defensive coordinator after leading Cincinnati’s defensive unit to a No. 9 national ranking in total defense (315.6 ypg) for the Bearcats last year. Defensive backs coach Greg Burns and defensive line coach Fred Tate, both with years of high-level college experience, are also on board. The remainder of the coaching staff has returned from last season.
• During Sonny Dykes’ first season as head coach in 2013, Cal set school records for single-season passing yards (3,977), pass completions (368) and total plays (1,046). The passing offense fi nished the regular-season third in the Pac-12 and 10th in the nation with an average of 331.4 yards per game, a figure that also stands as the best in school history.
• Last year against Northwestern, Jared Goff threw for 450 yards and two touchdowns in his collegiate debut. Chris Harper caught both touchdown passes, part of his 11 receptions for 148 yards on the night. Bryce Treggs hauled in 13 catches for 145 yards. Cal’s fi rst touchdown came on a fake field goal when placekicker Vincenzo D’Amato threw a touchdown pass to Jackson Bouza.
• In addition to having three of the top four wide receivers back from a year ago, Cal also has four of its starting offensive linemen back and two of its top three running backs in Khalfani Muhammad and Daniel Lasco.
• Heading into the season, five Bears were named to preseason award watch lists. The list includes Jared Goff (Maxwell and Davey O’Brien Award watch lists), Chris Harper (Preseason Biletnikoff Award watch list), Daniel Lasco (Doak Walker Award watch list), Cole Leininger (Ray Guy Award watch list) and Khalfani Muhammad (Paul Hornung Award watch list).
• After an injury-plagued 2013 season, some of the returning key defenders include defensive ends Brennan Scarlett and Mustafa Jalil – both of whom missed the entire 2013 season – and safety Stefan McClure – a converted cornerback who missed the majority of last season. In addition, Austin Clark is returning for a sixth season at defensive tackle after missing the majority of the last two seasons due to injury.
• ESPN ranks Cal’s schedule as the third toughest in the nation. Five of the six toughest schedules belong to Pac-12 teams.