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Struggling Cal keeps chins high against USC
It's been a decade since a Cal football team defeated USC, a rousing 34 31 triple overtime victory against the No. 3 Trojans in 2003 that stands as former coach 's signature win.
How much has changed in 10 years?
In coach ' first year, Cal is the worst team in the Pac 12 by far and USC is unranked, though favored by more than two touchdowns to defeat the Bears at Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Despite a 1 8 record in what could turn out to be the first 11 loss season in school history on the actual playing field the 1999 Cal team forfeited four wins for using ineligible coach outlet online sale players and had an amended mark of 0 11 Dykes insists his players are still motivated to break a seven game losing streak.
"I thought we practiced hard. The team has done that all year," Dykes said this week. "We haven't been successful this year, and you'd think this is a day when we have to coach outlet stores online shopping jump start them. But the guys practice hard and continue to do so."
Though seemingly beat down by a season's worth of bad news, both on the field and off, the players went through a spirited midweek practice and gathered afterward to sing happy birthday to 78 year old Bud "Dog" Turner, a Cal football institution now in his 44th season with the team in the operations department.
"I think the attitude is good," linebacker Jr. said. "Of course we're disappointed the season isn't going bags from coach outlet the way we wanted. We want to win these games. We're focused on USC and want to get after them."
Nickerson played his best game of the season a week ago against Arizona with 13 tackles and a sack, and the defense as a whole turned it its most encouraging showing of 2013. All for naught, as it turned out, in a 33 28 defeat.
"We want to win," Nickerson said. "Things haven't outlet coach store gone our way. It's been disappointing losing all these games. We play to win every Saturday. I think it's going to pay off real soon."
Nickerson is one of a few rays of sunshine slicing through all the gloom surrounding the team. is another. The freshman wide receiver last week became the first Cal player to catch three touchdown passes in one game since in 2006 against Minnesota.
This week's depth chart shows Lawler starting ahead of at the "Z" wide receiver spot even though Harper is the team's leading receiver with 62 catches for 821 yards and five coach backpacks outlet touchdowns.
"We saw it all spring," Dykes said. "I came out of spring thinking he was the best we had. He's learning how to work and he's maturing more and more."
It's taken Cal most of the season to arrive at a starting offensive line it is happy with, even though it includes three freshmen and a sophomore. Christian Okafor was installed at left tackle and fellow freshman at left guard two weeks ago, typically a risky move so late in the season.
But the Bears averaged 5.0 yards per carry against Arizona and quarterback was sacked just once.
"It was something we needed to do," Dykes said. "We felt we needed a change. We tried to get our best five, that was the idea. There's going to be some growing pains."
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