BERKELEY -- It didn't produce a victory, but Cal's players and coaches saw a change in the team's attitude midway through the UCLA game that they hope will spark a change in fortune for the rest of the season.

"We came together in the middle of the game and definitely felt the unity," freshman quarterback Jared Goff said. "I think the confidence level was a little shaken early in the year, but it's back to where we want it to be."

Cal lost 37-10 at UCLA, dropping to 1-5 on the season, 0-3 in the Pac-12. But after falling behind 17-0, the Bears fought back to within 17-10 before the unbeaten Bruins gradually pulled away.

"There was definitely a different mentality on the sideline. He's definitely right," said slot receiver Richard Rodgers, echoing Goff's remarks. "Toward the middle of the game we came together and started clicking a little bit.

"We haven't seen that. Sometimes guys get their heads down. But UCLA was different. We came together and were really battling and fighting to stay in the game."

Coach Sonny Dykes, whose team is home Saturday to face Oregon State, said there are numerous issues still to address, but he likes the progress he saw Saturday on the mental side.

"There's a little bit better sense of mental toughness. I'm not sure we're as fragile as we were earlier in the year," he said. "I think our guys are a little more confident and believe in themselves more than they did. That shows a maturity from those kids."

Rodgers said the offense felt responsible for the loss on a night when the defense was a bit more stout than it's been in weeks.

"Obviously our red-zone issues have to be fixed," he said. "We can't leave our defense out to dry like that. We have to score."

  • Second-string running back Daniel Lasco will be out "probably two weeks at least," Dykes said, after injuring his shoulder at UCLA. With Brendan Bigelow having been moved to receiver, redshirt freshman Jeffrey Coprich will get second-team reps behind freshman Khalfani Muhammad.

    Dykes said linebacker Nick Forbes, who saw his first real action of the season at UCLA due to a lingering back injury, may have suffered a setback. "I don't know that he felt great Saturday," Dykes said. "Right now, I don't know if we can count on him 100 percent."

  • Rodgers, moved from tight end to slot receiver this season, got his first game action as a power running back at UCLA. In addition to catching three passes for 34 yards, he carried six times, including three attempts that produced first downs.

    "I don't know if I'm that comfortable at all with running back," Rodgers said. "Whatever I can do to help the team, that's what I'm going to do."

    Dykes doesn't think Rodgers' long-term NFL stock will be affected by all the position changes he's gone through.

    "In a weird sort of way it'll probably help his draft status," Dykes said. "So many of the tight ends in pro football are guys who have never played football. A lot of those guys were basketball players. What they're looking for is a big body who can run and catch the ball."

  • Eight Pac-12 quarterbacks are on pace to throw for 3,000 yards, including Goff, who will flirt with 4,000 if he can duplicate his numbers over the final six games.

    Dykes believes it's a result of so many teams now using pass-oriented spread offenses.

    "It's almost like the steroid era in baseball," he said, referring to the huge home run numbers produced during that time. "It's like comparing apples and oranges."

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

    Saturday's game

    Oregon State (5-1, 3-0 Pac-12) at Cal (1-5, 0-3), 7:30 p.m. ESPN2