BOULDER, Colo. -- Now, after 10 losses in 11 games, things get especially tough for the Cal football team.

Fifth-ranked Stanford and the 116th Big Game loom next Saturday.

"We're going to go in there with a nothing-to-lose mentality," Cal freshman quarterback Jared Goff said. "It's the Big Game. Everyone's going to be excited for it.

"We're going get better this week and we're going to come in ready to go."

Cal coach Sonny Dykes, asked how he could remedy the Bears' tackling woes in four more practices before facing one of the nation's most physical running games, groped for the right words.

"We'll try, we'll try," he said. "We're going to take every opportunity to get better."

Backup quarterback Zach Kline, who played two second-half series, said a win over Colorado would have provided a huge confidence lift entering Big Game week.

"It's disappointing," he said, "but it puts some logs on the fire going into the Big Game to finish up the season on a high note."

  • If there was any encouring sign for the Bears it was the play of junior Brendan Biglow, returned to running back after a month-long stint playing primarily as a slot receiver.

    Bigelow rushed 15 times for 107 yards and two touchdowns to become the first Cal back to crack 100 yards this season. He entered play Saturday averaging 29.7 yards per game and without a touchdown.


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    "I've struggled during the season, and I've been constantly just working every week and trying to get better at the things that we need to get better at," Bigelow told a pool reporter after the game. "It's great that I'm able to finally click, contribute to the team and try to help them."

    Bigelow said he tried to be patient and read his blocks. "I couldn't have done it without my line. It really helped me get a tug and everything. I owe it to those guys."

    Goff said the Bears welcomed Bigelow's breakout performance.

    "That was encouraging," Goff said. "He's had a little bit of a down year, but he had the no-quit mentality there at the end. It was good to see that."

  • Kline, the redshirt freshman from Danville, relieved Goff for the third time, was 3 for 7 for 41 yards and took a sack in his two series. He hit Richard Rodgers with a 20-yard completion for a first down.

    And then he was back on the sideline.

    "Obviously, me being a guy that wants to be a starter, whenever you get put in and get pulled it is pretty disappointing," Kline said. "But you have to trust what the coach is doing even though you might disagree.

    "I wasn't going to let any frustration show to my teammates. That's a time when you've got to pull together as a team and fight to win."

  • Goff finished 23 for 45 for 173 yards, and needs 176 against Stanford to break Pat Barnes' single-season Cal record of 3,499 set in 1996.

  • Cole Leininger punted four times for an average of 54.2 yards after having one blocked and two returned for touchdowns against USC last week.

    For more on Cal sports, see the Bear Talk blog at ibabuzz.com/beartalk. Follow Jeff Faraudo on Twitter at twitter.com/JeffFaraudo.