BERKELEY -- External elements won't gang up on the Cal football team Saturday. There will be no rain and no Top-25 opponent at Memorial Stadium.

The rest is up to the Golden Bears (1-3, 0-1 Pac-12), who will try to beat an FBS opponent for the first time since last Oct. 13 when they take on Washington State (3-2, 1-1) in a 1 p.m. kickoff. That last FBS victory came against the Cougars.

"You're always happy when there's no rain as a football player," said freshman quarterback Jared Goff. "That's why I went to Cal."

Goff was pulled late in the first quarter at Oregon last week, with Cal trailing 27-0 in a spectacular downpour. The Bears lost 55-16, but Goff held off Zach Kline in practice this week to retain his starting job.

He and the Bears will face a merely mortal opponent after the Bears' first four foes included the No. 2 Ducks, No. 4 Ohio State and No. 16 Northwestern, who boast a combined record of 13-0.

So, it's fair to say the Bears badly need to experience some success?

"I think a lot of teams after they play Oregon and Ohio State are going to badly need some success," said Cal's Sonny Dykes, who will match wits with Washington State's Mike Leach, his coaching mentor.

Goff, who was leading the nation in total offense before last week, said the Bears are looking at this as a fresh start.

"We just went through a part of the schedule that was really tough," he said. "Now we're going to hit league play after Oregon and see what we can do."

"We need this one," Kline said. "We need this win for morale, energy, confidence."

A faster start would help. The Bears are being outscored by an average of 10 points in the first quarter, allowing opponents 9.9 yards per snap. They have been particularly susceptible to big plays early in games.

Defensive coordinator Andy Buh said the lack of continuity because of injuries -- especially in the secondary -- has been difficult to overcome.

"It's all about them knowing what they're doing and playing fast and trusting each other," he said. "They're gaining confidence every day."

For more on Cal sports, see the Bear Talk blog at ibabuzz.com/beartalk.