Sonny Dykes is not the Problem

October 12, 2013; Pasadena, CA, USA; California Golden Bears head coach Sonny Dykes watches game action against the UCLA Bruins during the first half at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The argument that Sonny Dykes is the wrong man to lead the Cal Golden Bears forward is imbecilic. This past weekend, Cal lost to a top-ten team in the UCLA Bruins (who features two projected top-ten picks in the upcoming NFL Draft and a gang of other mid-to-late round talents). The game, a bore-fest on both sides, was a bad showing. I don’t disagree with that. But to say the loss of both the game and the season is on the first-year head coach who is coming into a situation without a full cupboard is ludicrous. Sonny Dykes is in his first opportunity at a head coaching post at an AQ-Conference school; he can’t be held accountable for everything.

 

The injury bug has bitten Cal hard this season. The defense has been the unit that has been dealt the brunt of it, leading to Cal being without their best player, safety Avery Sebastian. They also had to dismiss their best linebacker in Chris McCain due to his consistent rule breaking. There are a rash other injuries, leading to the idea that Biletnikoff Award hopeful Bryce Treggs could play both receiver and corner if the situation becomes even more dire than it already is. These things have led to guys who have no business starting playing on almost a weekly basis, it has also lead to the depth being an issue in Berkeley.

 

And now people want to blame Sonny Dykes, a guy who came here with the expectation of revamping a rusty offense and drawing good talent to Cal, after he’s done what he was expected to do?

 

Dykes came here as the man who was going to bring along the offense after it started to sputter under former head coach Jeff Tedford. He’s done that. Cal has the fifth best passing offense in the nation (368 yards/game), Jared Goff (a true freshman who is playing without a good offensive line and with an underachieving running back tandem) is the sixth best passer in the nation (336 yards/game) and has thrown the fifth most yards this season (2016). These numbers can be built upon.

 

The trouble this year is that Cal was left a mess by the last regime, and Dykes needs more than six games to fix that. To blame him for the injuries, the bad play on the defense and the losses (which isn’t surprising considering that Cal is playing the 3rd toughest schedule this season) aren’t on him.

 

To make Cal relevant again he needs more than six games, a broken defense and an unenthused fan base. I believe this man will change Cal into at least a formidable team going forward in the soon-to-be best division in football. Cal will be good again. Losing to UCLA, a top-ten team, doesn’t change that. But blaming the blameless head coach will.

Topics: Avery Sebastian, Bryce Treggs, Cal Golden Bears, Jared Goff, Jeff Tedford, Published, Sonny Dykes

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  • Poppabear209

    I think all this bad line play talk is unwarranted. The also have a new scheme in the new offense. The zone scheme of Coach M is not what Coach Yenser is teaching. They miss assignments true, but no one pays attention to line play unless QB’s are on their backs. Him being a top passer speaks to at least a sufficient job of the line. How many passing yards are gained if they don’t block at all. Give Yenser and his line the same allowance you just offered Dykes.

    • danabella

      I can’t completely disagree with you. I think the line has potential, and they have their moments, I just think when it comes to assignments while run blocking, they leave something to be desired. That said, I will concede that this offensive line could be dealing with the new scheme. They will be a lot better next season and I think talent-wise they eventually will be one of the better lines in the conference. I also don’t think Coach Yenser should get a bunch of the blame.

  • Steven Resnick

    Sorry Dan will have to disagree with you. It’s all on Dykes he has done everything he has in his power to have his defense fail and his offense fail. He has shown an unwillingness to change his approach as well.

    Fans want to blame injuries for the defense, if you’re in the business world there’s no such thing as excuses. The show must go on. So how does a young defense get better? It’s not by being on the field a majority of the game it’s by being kept fresh.

    How does this happen by running the football and sustaining drives. Oh wait can the Bears even get a yard running the football? Nope. Why is that? Cause Dykes got rid of the fulback position and tight ends. Richard Rodgers does look good at wide receiver as he’s a load to bring down, yet that hardly means anything if the ground game isn’t doing anything.

    What it means is that the offensive line has to create the holes and defenses shred that easily. This isn’t Louisiana Tech there’s far superior talent on defenses in the Pac-12 and it has shown in every game.

    Since Cal can’t run the football or maybe went backwards it means throwing the football and three-and-outs, punts or maybe one or two first downs before having to punt. Putting the defense back on the field.

    It’s simple Dykes is the problem and he doesn’t deserve a second season. Do not even believe that Cal has ever led in the first quarter this season and even worse had to comeback to beat Portland State.

    Players are already frustrated with his ineptitude and fans can barely even stomach seeing him on the sidelines. He’s done. Worst coaching decision in Cal history.