It's safe to say that a 62-28 loss to the USC Trojans was not what Sonny Dykes wanted for his birthday. The Cal Bears are now 1-9 and have no wins over FBS teams. A leaky defense has been the issue all season long, and allowing the Trojans to score 62 points epitomized the Bears' struggles.
The last time USC scored more than 60 points was in 2008, when Pete Carroll's team put up 69 against Washington State. With the loss to the Trojans, Cal has now allowed opponents to score a total of 447 points this season.
Since the 1916 season, the unofficial beginning of Cal football, no Cal team had given up more than 431 points in a season. The former record was held by the 2001 Cal Bears team, which finished their season with a 1-10 record. Now, having played only 10 games so far, the 2013 Cal Bears have already broken that record. Sonny Dykes' team still must face Colorado and Stanford to finish off the season.
Throughout Sonny Dykes' first season as head coach of Cal, the Bears have consistently allowed opponents to score more than their season average. The only exceptions are Arizona and Portland State, an FCS team that still managed to put 30 points on the board.
|Cal's Scoring Defense|
|Opponent||Points Against Cal||Season Average|
|Portland State (FCS)||30||33.6|
It doesn't stop there for the woeful Cal defense. Out of 125 Division I FBS football programs, the Bears rank among the worst in the nation in several defensive categories.
|Cal's Defensive Rankings (Out of 125 Teams)|
|Scoring Defense||44.7 Points/Game||123rd|
|Rushing Defense||195.60 Yards/Game||96th|
|Passing Defense||331.1 Yards/Game||125th|
|Total Defense||526.7 Yards/Game||123rd|
|Opponent First Downs||24.9 First Downs/Game||120th|
|Opponent 4th Down Conversion Rate||60.00%||93rd|
|Opponent Red Zone Touchdown Rate||67.44%||96th|
|Opponent Red Zone Scoring Rate||86.05%||90th|
|Opponent Rushing Plays of 20+ Yards||25 Plays||122nd|
|Opponent Passing Plays of 50+ Yards||9 Plays||123rd|
Statistically, this year's Bears team may be the worst in school history; however, injuries have plagued the defense. Furthermore, having an extremely difficult schedule doesn't help their cause. According to Jeff Sagarin's strength of schedule rankings, Cal's schedule is currently the fifth toughest in the nation.
Despite the historical low that Cal reached against USC, the Bears have one last chance to salvage their 2013 season. As unlikely as it seems, an upset over what will likely be a Top Five Stanford team in the Big Game on November 23 would turn a forgettable season into one of the most memorable in school history.