Pac-12: Vince D'Amato

California Bears season preview

August, 19, 2013
8/19/13
10:30
AM ET
We continue our day-by-day snapshots of each Pac-12 team heading into the 2013 season in reverse alphabetical order with the California Golden Bears.

California

Coach: Sonny Dykes 22-15 (First season at Cal)

2012 record: 3-9 (2-5 Pac-12 North)

Key losses: WR Keenan Allen, C Brian Schwenke, CB Steve Williams, DE Kendrick Payne, RB C.J. Anderson, RB Isi Sofele

[+] EnlargeSonny Dykes
Norbert von der Groeben/GoldenBearSports.comSonny Dykes will look to true freshman Jared Goff to lead a revamped Bears offense.
Key returnees: DE Deandre Coleman, RB Brendan Bigelow, LB Nick Forbes, K Vince D’Amato, WR Chris Harper

Newcomer to watch: We’ve been hearing some buzz around this true freshman quarterback named Jared Goff.

Biggest games in 2013: Take your pick. The Big Game (Nov. 23) is always the biggest, but there are plenty more with Northwestern coming for the opener (Aug. 31), No. 2 Ohio State a couple of weeks later (Sept. 14) and then Oregon two weeks after that (Sept. 28).

Biggest question mark: Regardless of who was going to take over at quarterback, he was going to be a rookie. But Dykes went with the youngest of the young in tapping Goff to be his guy. Considered the jewel of the 2012 recruiting class, Goff now becomes the face of the new-look Bears and their “Bear Raid” offense. And with youth and inexperience come questions. How will he handle Cal’s brutal schedule? How does he handle the highs and lows of the position? Can a true freshman be a leader? Perhaps the biggest question of them all: Did Dykes make the right call? Wins and/or competitive performances against some top-notch teams will go a long way to answering that. This decision will likely define Dykes’ first season as Cal’s head coach.

Forecast: A look at the schedule shows a potentially gloomy forecast. Northwestern and Ohio State paired with a Pac-12 North docket and USC and UCLA from the South seems daunting even if they had a veteran-heavy team, which they don’t.

But bear in mind it took Dykes some time to get things moving at Louisiana Tech. In his first season, the Bulldogs were 5-7 and ranked 59th nationally with 29.1 points per game. In 2011, they improved to 8-5 and jumped to 42nd in scoring offense (30 points per game). Last season, they were 9-3 and led the country with 51.5 points per game, and they were two points shy of knocking off Texas A&M.

And this is a team loaded with potential -- especially at the wide receiver spot, at which Goff will have a host of talented young playmakers at his disposal. From Harper and Kenny Lawler to Darius Powe and big-bodied Richard Rodgers (and about four or five others), there is no shortage of talented pass-catchers for Goff to target. And many are excited to see what Bigelow can do at running back with more opportunities and touches.

Defensively, the Bears are going against the trend in the conference and switching to an even-front defense under Andy Buh. Coleman is an A-list defensive linemen, though his contributions often get lost in the shuffle in a league with other A-list defensive linemen. The return of Stefan McClure -- a highly touted cornerback who missed last season with an injury -- quietly boosts what could be a sneaky good defense.

A new coaching staff brings hope and excitement, and that’s a good thing for a program that could use a little of both. But expectations are best tempered as the Bears undergo a complete overhaul on both sides of the ball and grow with their true freshman quarterback.

Pac-12 2012 awards announced

November, 26, 2012
11/26/12
5:50
PM ET
The Pac-12 conference has announced its 2012 individual honors and all-conference first and second teams as voted on by the coaches.

Offensive Player of the Year: Marqise Lee, WR, USC.
Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year: Will Sutton, DE, Arizona State.
Freshman Offensive Player of the Year: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon.
Freshman Defensive Player of the Year: Leonard Williams, DE, USC.
Coach of the Year: David Shaw, Stanford.

FIRST-TEAM OFFENSE

QB Marcus Mariota, Fr., Oregon
RB Kenjon Barner, Sr., Oregon
RB Ka’Deem Carey, So., Arizona
WR Marqise Lee, So., USC
WR Markus Wheaton, Sr., Oregon State
TE Zach Ertz, Sr., Stanford
OL Hroniss Grasu, So., Oregon
OL Khaled Holmes, Sr., USC
OL Brian Schwenke, Sr., California
OL Xavier Su’a-Filo, So., UCLA
OL David Yankey, Jr., Stanford

SECOND-TEAM OFFENSE

QB Matt Scott, Sr., Arizona
RB Johnathan Franklin, Sr., UCLA
RB Stepfan Taylor, Sr., Stanford
WR Austin Hill, So., Arizona
WR Robert Woods, Jr., USC
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, So., Washington
OL Jeff Baca, Sr., UCLA
OL David Bakhtiari, Jr., Colorado
OL Sam Brenner, Sr., Utah
OL Kevin Danser, Sr., Stanford
OL Sam Schwartzstein, Sr., Stanford

FIRST-TEAM DEFENSE

DL Scott Crichton, So., Oregon State
DL Dion Jordan, Sr., Oregon
DL Star Lotulelei, Sr., Utah (2)
DL Will Sutton, Jr., Arizona State
LB Anthony Barr, Jr., UCLA
LB Trent Murphy, Sr., Stanford
LB Chase Thomas, Sr., Stanford (2)
DB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, So., Oregon
DB Jordan Poyer, Sr., Oregon State
DB Ed Reynolds, Jr., Stanford
DB Desmond Trufant, Sr., Washington

SECOND-TEAM DEFENSE

DL Henry Anderson, Jr., Stanford
DL Morgan Breslin, Jr., USC
DL Ben Gardner, Sr., Stanford
DL Datone Jones, Sr., UCLA
LB Kiko Alonso, Sr., Oregon
LB Michael Clay, Sr., Oregon
LB Brandon Magee, Sr., Arizona State
DB Deone Bucannon, Jr., Washington State
DB Alden Darby, Jr., Arizona State
DB T.J. McDonald, Sr., USC
DB Nickell Robey, Jr., USC

FIRST-TEAM SPECIALISTS

PK Vince D'Amato, Jr., California
P Jeff Locke, Sr., UCLA
RS Reggie Dunn, Sr., Utah
ST Jordan Jenkins, Sr., Oregon State

SECOND-TEAM SPECIALISTS

PK Andrew Furney, Jr., Washington State
P Josh Hubner, Sr., Arizona State
RS Marqise Lee, So., USC
ST David Allen, Sr., UCLA

ALL-PAC-12 HONORABLE MENTION
NOTES
  • By School: OREGON and STANFORD placed the most players on the first team with five selections each, followed by OREGON STATE with four.
  • By Class: Of the 26 first-team selections, 14 are seniors, five are juniors, six are sophomores and one freshman.
  • Unanimous: Only one player was named on the first-team ballot of all 12 head coaches--WR Marqise Lee of USC.
  • Two-time selections: Two players are repeat first-team selections from last year--DT Star Lotulelei of Utah, LB Chase Thomas of Stanford.
  • All-Academic: Two players were named to the first team on both the All-Pac-12 Team and the Pac-12 All-Academic Football Team--P Jeff Locke of UCLA, OL Khaled Holmes, USC. In addition, OL Kevin Danser of Stanford, DL Ben Gardner of Stanford and Michael Clay of Oregon were named second-team All-Academic and second-team All-Pac-12.
Tags:

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Pac-10 All-Freshman team

December, 14, 2009
12/14/09
4:30
PM ET
Which freshmen or redshirt freshmen stood out in 2009?

A lot of them. And a lot of them already have familiar names.

The quality is very high here, which speaks well of the future.

Went with three receivers and no tight end, by the way.

Offense

QB Andrew Luck, Stanford

RB LaMichael James, Oregon

RB Chris Polk, Washington

WR James Johnson, Washington

WR Gino Simone, Washington State

WR Brice Butler, USC

OL David DeCastro, Stanford

OL Michael Philipp, Oregon State

OL Carson York, Oregon

OL Jonathan Martin, Stanford

OL Xavier Su'a-Filo, UCLA

K Vince D'Amato, California

Defense

DL Nick Perry, USC

DL Travis Long, Washington State

DL Aaron Tipoti, California

DL Chase Thomas, Stanford

LB Vontaze Burfict, Arizona State

LB Shayne Skov, Stanford

*LB Devon Kennard, USC

DB Desmond Trufant, Washington

DB John Boyett, Oregon

DB Sheldon Price, UCLA

DB Josh Hill, California

P Jeff Locke, UCLA

*Kennard started the final three games of the season at linebacker after playing end most of the season.

Pac-10 players of the week

September, 8, 2009
9/08/09
5:46
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller


California quarterback Kevin Riley, Arizona State linebacker Mike Nixon and Stanford kick returner Chris Owusu have been named Pac-10 Players of the Week.

Riley, a junior from Portland, Ore., directed California to a 52-13 win over Maryland. He completed 17 of 26 passes for 298 yards and a career-high four touchdowns with no interceptions. His touchdown passes covered 3, 39, 42 and 15 yards. The Golden Bears offense piled up 542 yards of total offense (244 rushing, 298 passing) with no turnovers.

Nixon, a senior from Phoenix, had three interceptions, returning one of them 34 yards for a touchdown, in the Sun Devils' 50-3 win over Idaho State. The Arizona State defense limited Idaho State to four first downs, minus-5 yards rushing, 37 yards total offense and just 1-of-13 on third-down conversion attempts.

Owusu, a sophomore from Westlake Village, Calif., sparked Stanford in a 39-13 win at Washington State. Owusu returned three kickoffs for 143 yards (47.7-yard average), including an 85-yard return for a touchdown.

Also nominated for offensive player of the week honors were Stanford running back Toby Gerhart, Arizona running back Nic Grigsby, Oregon State running back Jacquizz Rodgers and freshman quarterbacks Kevin Prince of UCLA and Matt Barkley of USC. Also nominated on defense were linebackers Vuna Tuihalamaka of Arizona and Chris Galippo of USC; safeties Rahim Moore of UCLA, Lance Mitchell of Oregon State and Delano Howell of Stanford; and end Cameron Jordan of California. Nominated for special teams play were kickers Alex Zendejas of Arizona, Thomas Weber of Arizona State, Justin Kahut of Oregon State and Vince D’Amato of California, punter Reid Forrest of Washington State and return man Terrence Austin of UCLA.

Pac-10 lunch links: California has a new kicker

September, 3, 2009
9/03/09
2:30
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller


Being perfect is not about that scoreboard out there. It's not about winning. It's about you and your relationship with yourself, your family and your friends. Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye and know that you didn't let them down because you told them the truth. And that truth is you did everything you could. There wasn't one more thing you could've done. Can you live in that moment as best you can, with clear eyes, and love in your heart, with joy in your heart? If you can do that gentleman -- you're perfect!

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