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Sideline Faces Of The Pac-12

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Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

SONNY DYKES

CAREER COACHING RECORD: 22-15, Louisiana Tech

YEAR AT CAL: 1

Once an offensive-minded team, always an offensive-mind team.

That seems to be the sentiment in Berkeley where California is replacing offensive genius Jeff Tedford with offensive-minded guru Sonny Dykes.

Dykes brings his 22-15 record at Louisiana Tech to a young, talented Golden Bears program.

The 43-year-old coach paced the Bulldogs to the nation’s top offensive in 2012 — but had the country’s worst defense. The result was a 9-3 record and what should have been a berth in a prominent bowl game, had the school not been shutout of the bowls all-together while holding out for a better game.

The son of legendary Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes inherits a young team that saw its win totals slide from eight to three in just four years as Tedford failed to develop the same level as talent as he did in the beginning of his 11-year-tenure in Berkeley.

First up for the quarterback expert is settling on one of the three QB’s — Austin Hinder, Jared Goff and Zach Kline — best suited for his Air-Raid-style offense.

There are plenty of talented playmakers on offense, but they’ll likely take their lumps the first year. The key for a long tenure at Cal, as the current roster matures, will be luring in-state recruits back from Stanford, who capitalized on the Bears recent slide.

And that will only happen via wins in the recently revamped Memorial Stadium, especially conference wins where the Bears have struggled mightily the last few years. A turn around at Cal is possible once Dykes is able to implement his offense, which has been described as the “Bear Raid.”

Hey, Jeff Tedford once took over for a 1-11 Golden Bear team and took them to prominence. Like they say in pass-happy Berkeley: the sky’s the limit.

FOURTH DOWN: Dykes will square off against former mentor Mike Leach, co-architect of the Air Raid offense at Texas Tech, when Cal plays host to Washington State in an Oct. 5 homecoming match-up. Expect a high-scoring affair.