Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald and Cal’s Sonny Dykes bury the hatchet

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Given what transpired last year, one might have expected a somewhat tense, maybe a bit uneasy post game exchange between California Head Coach Sonny Dykes and Northwestern Coach Pat Fitzgerald today. When NU beat Cal 44-30 in the 2013 season opener, Dykes accused NU of faking injuries, in order to stall time and slow down the fast paced Bear Raid offense.

Fitzgerald responded to those comments as any one of us would, had someone questioned our professional integrity.

He wasn’t happy about the flopping accusation.

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Today, was a very different story though. Now, all is well.

The two coaches hugged it out at the end of this one, and I asked Dykes afterward in the postgame press conference what he said to Pat Fitzgerald after the game.

“I just told him good luck, stay healthy. I have a lot of respect for Pat. I like the way he runs his program,” Dykes said.

“I think Northwestern is lucky to have him, and he’s lucky to have Northwestern. It’s a great marriage, and a great fit.”

In the other press conference, Fitz said he saw Dykes at a coaching convention this offseason: “It was fine then, it was great pregame and it was great postgame.” (h/t Inside NU, of SB Nation)

“Southwestern Sacramento’s Pac 12 Team” went up 31-7 in Evanston by the third quarter, as there were “Bear Raid” sirens going off all over Lake Michigan airspace. The Cats came all the way back to cut it to a one possession game, but Trevor Siemian got picked off inside the final two minutes, to seal a win for the Bay Area Bears.

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Walnut Creek’s Pac-12 Team won by a final score of 31-24; as NU showed a much better effort in the second half. The first half was a pretty poor showing all around.

“I knew that Northwestern was a team that didn’t have any quit in them, and that’s a tribute to Pat and the job that he does there, they’re going to fight, and that’s a credit to him and his coaching staff,” said Dykes.

One coaching tactic that very much contributed to the outcome today was Cal integrating a second quarterback. No one really saw this coming from Dykes.

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Pat Fitzgerald on On California’s integration of a second quarterback…

“We knew he was a running quarterback, we just didn’t fit the plays well. We didn’t tackle well. We expected to have a running quarterback but just didn’t know what plays they were going to run. You’re fitting some things you haven’t practiced. I thought once our guys settled in, we handled it okay. But earlier, we weren’t very good at it. ”

Today was also perhaps the coming out party of California QB Jared Goff. For much of the game, he made plays some of the most fabled Cal signal callers: Aaron Rodgers, Kyle Boller, Pat Barnes, etc.

Paul M. Banks owns and operates The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with Fox SportsYahoo! and the Chicago Tribune RedEye edition. He’s been a guest on news talk shows all across the world and been featured in hundreds of media outlets including NFL Network, Fox Sports 1 and ESPN2. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)

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