Correction: Cal-Player Death story
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — In a story Jan. 5 about the death of California football player Bryce Turner, The Associated Press reported erroneously Turner's age based on information from the school. He was 20, not 19.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Cal defensive back Bryce Turner dies at age 20
California defensive back Bryce Turner has died after being hospitalized for a medical emergency during a non-team workout
Cal’s Hawkins shines as defensive MVP in Cheez-It Bowl loss
PHOENIX (AP) — Jaylinn Hawkins wasn't on the makeshift stage when his name was announced as the Cheez-It Bowl Defensive Most Valuable Player. He'd already left the field with his Cal teammates after TCU's 10-7 overtime win.
California faces TCU in Cheez-It Bowl in Phoenix
PHOENIX (AP) — Cheez-It Bowl: California (7-5) vs. TCU (6-6), Dec. 26, 9 p.m. EST (ESPN)
Line: Cal by 1.
Series Record: First meeting.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
Cal is looking for its first bowl win in its second season under coach Justin Wilcox after becoming bowl eligible for the first time since 2015. TCU had to win its final regular-season game just to become bowl eligible and is vying for its 10th win in its last 13 bowl games under coach Gary Patterson.
Cal coach Justin Wilcox gets new 5-year deal
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — California coach Justin Wilcox has signed a new five-year deal to stay under contract with the school through the 2023 season.
The deal signed Thursday adds two more years to the original contract signed in 2017. Wilcox also gets a raise and more money for his assistant coach pool.
Wilcox went 7-5 in his second season at Cal and is taking the Golden Bears to the Cheez-It Bowl later this month. He has a 12-12 record at Cal.
Cheez-It Bowl Matchup
California (7-5, Pac-12) vs. TCU (6-6, Big 12), Dec. 26, 9 p.m. EST
California: LB Evan Weaver, 142 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 2 interceptions.
TCU: WR Jalen Reagor, 72 catches, 1,061 yards, 9 touchdowns.
California: Second-year coach Justin Wilcox has overseen the building of one of the nation's top defenses. The Bears are allowing 200 fewer yards and 21 fewer points per game than they did two years ago.
Big Game features winning teams for a change
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — The annual Big Game between Stanford and California always comes with the pageantry and intensity befitting a rivalry between two schools less than an hour apart.
This year's showdown features something that has been a little unusual over the past few decades: two successful teams.
California’s defense scores twice in 33-21 win over Colorado
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — California coach Justin Wilcox has come to accept his team's inconsistencies on offense. It's been much easier to handle with the way the Golden Bears have been on the other side of the ball.
Elijah Hicks and Ashtyn Davis scored on interception returns for touchdowns in the first quarter as California forced a season-high five turnovers and rolled past Colorado 33-21 on Saturday night.
Cal-Stanford Big Game postponed because of wildfire smoke
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — The annual Big Game between Stanford and California scheduled for Saturday was postponed two weeks because of the unhealthy air quality in the Bay Area from a wildfire some 150 miles to the north.
Cal announced Friday that the game would be played Dec. 1 with a noon kickoff at Memorial Stadium.
Cal hoping to end 8-year skid against Stanford in Big Game
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — California coach Justin Wilcox has always emphasized to his players the importance of keeping an even-keel approach every week.
With a pivotal Pac-12 game against rival Stanford coming up, Wilcox is relaxing his approach a little.
"It's one of the greatest rivalries in college football," Wilcox said. "I want them to enjoy that and appreciate it and how much energy it brings. They all feel it and know it. You can walk around campus and tell. It's a good thing."
Cal’s improved defense looks to end losing streak to USC
LOS ANGELES (AP) — As Southern California piled up one victory after another in a 14-game winning streak against California, defensive supremacy has always been on the side of the Trojans.
But the Golden Bears have the far sturdier defense going into the Coliseum on Saturday, and with it comes their best chance at victory since the two programs emerged as the dominant forces in the Pac-10 during the mid-2000s.
Wildcats take advantage of turnovers to beat Cal 24-17
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — California, searching for its first Pac-12 road victory in three years, dominated Arizona statistically on Saturday.
But turnovers doomed Cal in another loss to the Wildcats in what Arizona coach Kevin Sumlin called "a really gutty performance" by his team.
No. 24 Cal puts improved defense to test vs. No. 19 Oregon
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Improving the defense has been the top task for coach Justin Wilcox since he arrived at California in 2017.
The Golden Bears showed significant improvement in his first season and have taken another big jump forward to start this year, helping power Cal into the AP poll for the first time since 2015.
Garbers passes for 3 TDs in Cal’s 45-23 win over Idaho State
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — California's offense got off to a slow start and the defense struggled to finish for a third straight game. Three big plays by Ashtyn Davis in between helped tilt things in the Golden Bears' favor.
Davis scored on an 89-yard kickoff return, made his second interception of the season to set up another score, then chased down a receiver from behind to prevent a touchdown as Cal overcame a sluggish start and beat FCS-level Idaho State 45-23 on Saturday.
Cal secondary not satisfied with interception total so far
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — The fact that California leads the country with six interceptions through two games isn't all that surprising to cornerback Elijah Hicks.
California and BYU both searching for turnaround seasons
PROVO, Utah (AP) — California and BYU are traveling a similar road in search of a turnaround this season.
The two teams come into their game Saturday in Provo with renewed confidence after impressive season-opening wins. California dominated North Carolina on defense in a 24-17 victory. BYU held Arizona's offense in check long enough to pull away for a 28-23 win.
For both teams, improved defense played a critical role.
Cal looking for repeat vs UNC; Tar Heels looking for players
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — A year after a surprising defensive turnaround under rookie head coach Justin Wilcox, California is looking to do the same with its offense. North Carolina is just trying to make it through the start of the season after losing 13 players to suspension.
The two schools kick off the season against one another for the second consecutive year Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
California looks to take next step in year 2 under Wilcox
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — California took big strides in coach Justin Wilcox's first season at the helm.
The Golden Bears featured a competent defense for a change after struggling to stop anybody in Sonny Dykes' four years as coach and fell just shy of making a bowl game when they lost on a late field goal in the season finale against UCLA.
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BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — California incoming freshman linebacker Chris Fatilua has suffered a serious spinal cord injury.
Fatilua's family issued a statement through the school on Tuesday. The family says the injury stemmed from an accident Monday afternoon in San Diego and that Fatilua's long-term prognosis is unknown.
The family says its appreciative of the support and asks for privacy to focus on recovery.
Cal signs 18 players on opening day of early signing period
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — California signed 18 players on the first day of the early signing period led by a pair of four-star players in offensive tackle Will Craig and tight end McCallan Castles.
Fifteen of the players who joined the Golden Bears on Wednesday are either from California or played in the state in 2017.
The class includes five offensive linemen led by Craig as coach Justin Wilcox aims to build a foundation from the line.
Bowl bid at stake when UCLA faces Cal without Mora
LOS ANGELES (AP) — California wants to kick-start head coach Justin Wilcox's tenure by reaching a bowl game in his first season.
UCLA wants to close out the Jim Mora era, which unceremoniously ended with the sixth-year head coach being fired on his birthday Sunday, by reaching a bowl game.
Only one team will be able to accomplish its goal when the Golden Bears and Bruins meet at the Rose Bowl on Friday night.
Stanford seeks 8th straight win vs. California in Big Game
California (5-5, 2-5 Pac-12) at No. 20 Stanford (7-3, 6-2, No. 22 CFP), Saturday, 8 p.m. ET (Fox)
Cal set to face Oregon State in home finale
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — California first-year coach Justin Wilcox spent much of the season talking about the parity in the Pac-12, a point the Golden Bears seemed to take to heart when they upset then-No. 8 Washington State last month.
Since then, things have gone south for Wilcox's team.
Cal (4-5, 1-5) has lost two straight and heads into Saturday's home finale against Oregon State with little margin for error as it attempts to become bowl eligible for the second time since 2011.
Montez returns in big way, leads Buffs past Bears 44-28
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — California coach Justin Wilcox wasn't the only one cringing at Colorado junior safety Nick Fisher's 100-yard return for a touchdown in the closing minutes of the Buffaloes' 44-28 win over the Golden Bears.
Flip out: Bowers’ TD leap leads Cal past No. 8 Wash. St 37-3
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Ross Bowers found a way to overshadow California's opportunistic defense that forced seven turnovers and had nine sacks.
An acrobatic flip into the end zone will do just that.
Bowers scored on the touchdown leap and the Golden Bears used a dominant defensive performance to stun No. 8 Washington State 37-3 Friday night for their first win in 14 years against a top 10 team.
California looks to reverse slide vs. No. 8 Washington State
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — The fast start to the season under first-year California coach Justin Wilcox is a distant memory.
Three straight losses against some stiffer competition after a perfect nonconference slate made sure of that. The task only gets harder this week when the Golden Bears (3-3, 0-3 Pac-12) try to snap their skid Friday night while hosting No. 8 Washington State (6-0, 3-0) in their third game against a top 10 team in four weeks.
Deep coaching ties between No. 6 Washington, California
SEATTLE (AP) — California coach Justin Wilcox is on his own little reunion tour through the Pac-12 Conference.
Seeing old faces is the least of Wilcox's concerns at this point, with California having lost two straight and facing another major challenge on Saturday at No. 6 Washington.
Ties abound as No. 6 Washington hosts California
California (3-2, 0-2 Pac-12) at No. 6 Washington (5-0, 2-0), Saturday, 10:45 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Cal and Oregon meet after losses in their Pac-12 openers
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The introduction to Pac-12 play wasn't so great for Oregon's Willie Taggart and Cal's Justin Wilcox.
Each new coach lost his first game of the season in his league opener, setting up Saturday night's meeting at Autzen Stadium.
The Golden Bears (3-1, 0-1 Pac-12) fell 30-20 at home last weekend to USC when the Trojans forced four turnovers and outscored the Golden Bears 17-7 in a frenzied fourth quarter.
For Wilcox, who replaced Sonny Dykes at Cal, it was a teaching moment.
Pac-12 picks: Washington State vs. USC highlights a tough week of pick-making
Batting .500 against the spread isn’t always easy, but we managed to do it last week. It appears we have a few gimmes on this week’s slate, but the games in Pullman, Eugene and Pasadena all feel like they could go either way.
Cal’s improved defense gets tough test vs. No. 5 USC
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Three games into Justin Wilcox's tenure as coach at California, the once-maligned defense has turned from a major liability into the strength of the team for the Golden Bears.
Cal is allowing 20 fewer points a game this season and has held its last two opponents scoreless in the second half. But shutting down Weber State and Mississippi isn't the same as doing it against quarterback Sam Darnold and fifth-ranked Southern California (3-0, 1-0 Pac-12).
No. 5 USC looks for 14th straight win vs. California
No. 5 Southern California (3-0, 1-0 Pac-12) at California (3-0, 0-0), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
Line: USC by 16 ½.
Series record: USC leads 69-30-5.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
After being taken to double OT at home a week ago against Texas, the Trojans look to extend their 12-game winning streak when they hit the road for the first time this season. The Bears are off to a surprising start under first-year coach Justin Wilcox and are seeking to be 4-0 for just second time in past 10 seasons.
California gets defensive in 27-16 win over Ole Miss
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — California has followed a consistent formula in getting off to a 3-0 start under first-year coach Justin Wilcox. The Golden Bears have managed to overcome shaky starts with dominant second halves with help from a vastly improved defense.
Ross Bowers threw a touchdown pass on the opening drive of the third quarter and Cameron Goode added a game-sealing interception return for a touchdown in the Golden Bears 27-16 victory over Mississippi on Saturday night.
California prepares for life without running back Tre Watson
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — California's Patrick Laird had already considered 2017 a success after the former walk-on running back was awarded a scholarship in the offseason.
With Tre Watson out for the season with a right leg injury, Laird's season is taking on even more significance.
California loses running back Tre Watson for rest of year
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — California running back Tre Watson will miss the rest of the season because of an apparent right leg injury.
The senior got hurt after catching a screen pass from Ross Bowers late in the first quarter of California's 33-20 win over Weber State on Saturday. Watson limped off the field but returned in the second quarter and carried once before going down again, this time for good.
Laird’s 3 TDs help California rally past Weber State 33-20
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — About the only thing California can feel good about was the final result and the play of former walk-on Patrick Laird.
Everything else needed a lot of work.
Laird ran for 191 yards and three touchdowns to help the Golden Bears overcome a lackluster performance with a late rally to beat lower-level Weber State 33-20 on Saturday.
Bowers leads California past UNC 35-30 in Wilcox’s debut
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Nothing felt foreign for Justin Wilcox in his first game as California's coach. The same was true for first-time starting quarterback Ross Bowers.
Neither seemed surprised by winning their debuts, either.
Bowers threw for 363 yards and four touchdowns, while Cal rallied from an early deficit during a game-changing sequence and beat North Carolina 35-30 in Saturday's opener.
California names Ross Bowers as starting quarterback
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — California coach Justin Wilcox ended six weeks of speculation and named redshirt sophomore Ross Bowers as the Golden Bears starting quarterback Monday.
Bowers had been competing with Chase Forrest, Chase Garbers and South Carolina transfer Brandon McIlwain.
Cal seeks to get defensive under new coach Justin Wilcox
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — For California, this past offseason was about far more than changing coaches. The Golden Bears have undergone a complete overhaul in philosophy.
After four seasons of a spread offense under Sonny Dykes that was prolific at times but was too often overshadowed by a porous defense, the Bears are rebuilding with a defensive-minded coach in Justin Wilcox.
By promoting Lincoln Riley to head coach at age 33, Oklahoma locked up one of the most promising coordinators in college football and took a likely hot candidate off the job market.
Riley replacing Bob Stoops makes 11 former assistant coaches who will be making their head coaching debuts in 2017, including Justin Wilcox at California, Luke Fickell at Cincinnati and Tom Allen at Indiana.
Former Eastern Washington coach Beau Baldwin to make $570,000 annually as Cal OC
By moving up to the Pac-12, former Eastern Washington football coach Beau Baldwin also moved up a few tax brackets.
Not counting bonuses, California’s new offensive coordinator will make $570,000 annually – a big step up from the $224,000 base he earned last year in Cheney.