The California Golden Bears (aliases include Berkeley, Cal, etc) will welcome our Washington State Cougars down in Berkeley tomorrow. Key elements that Cal brings to the table: a 4-4 record, with equal winning and losing at home vs. away, and a creepy looking mascot. No offense to Oski the Bear, but really- if you don’t want to sleep tonight, I suggest giving him a quick Google, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
It’s not really fair to cite their average existence as a sleeper-fest, so I remind myself with each new dawn comes a new challenge. Even if that challenge becomes sifting through the same drive attempts. Shall we take a gander at what/who tomorrow might bring? I think so!
The offense- Cal loves a short pass to work their way down the field, no matter who their QB is. Or at least, short in comparison to the gunslingers we’re used to. Even the running plays are shorter than we’ve seen, but we’re currently spoiled with Max-My-Feet-Are-Actually-Wheels Borghi. I believe his full legal name is actually Massimiliano I’m Super Fast-imo Borghi.
But, back to business. I want to take a peek at Cal’s scoreless game against Utah because I’m hoping we can manifest something similar into existence. This was true freshman quarterback Spencer Brasch’s second game playing for Cal. Standing at a lanky 6’4” and an intimidating 180 lbs, he was only sacked twice! Remember, it’s the smaller victories to keep in mind. He threw for 60 yards, which made up 78% of the 83 total yards obtained in game. I’ll let you come to your own conclusions about that, but I too can hear Anthony Gordon’s 252 passing yards against the same team chuckle softly. Just because they do things differently doesn’t mean they’re bad. It just means they’re a little boring.
However, taking a vague page from Leach’s book (not Swing Your Sword, although that would be fascinating), head coach Justin Wilcox has yet to announce who the starting QB will be. In turn, it’s become less about who is throwing the ball and more about who is catching it.
Let’s begin with Jordan Duncan. He leads the team in yards per reception with a whopping season average of 14.7. Against Utah, he stood out with an incredible 2 receptions for 16 yards. Now, I don’t want to be too mean- he has 235 receiving yards this season! Which is really cute. He’ll be at the game, probably.
Another frontrunner is Christopher Brown Jr., who could actually intimidate a little. His credits: 504 rushing yards this season and 99 receiving, which I don’t love.
Nikko Remigio has 251 receiving yards but only 3 rushing, which is the dichotomy of most offense systems in a nutshell. However, Remigio might be injured, and is also listed as “week to week” so while he’s the leading receiver on the team, Coach Wilcox is being equally as vague in that regard.
Let’s just hope our defense gets on the plane, because if they do, I think this could be pretty fun!
So that’s that on that for the offense.
The defense- Utah’s defense did an effective job at keeping Cal’s runs short and sour, but Cal’s defense on the other hand? A team total of 3 interceptions, 578 tackles, and 20 sacks. Evan Weaver (LB) leads the team in tackles (126), Camryn Bynum (CB) leads the team in passes defended (6, I’m shaking in my boots), and Cameron Goode (LB) is the sack front-runner (4.5). Provided our offensive line arrives on time, I am not too worried.
While I am new to this writing staff, I am not new to rooting for the Cougs. And I know that without fail, if I say they’ll do one thing they’ll turn around and do a completely different thing. Jinxing is real. No matter how hard I observe, they’ll always be two steps behind and somehow four steps ahead- but one thing I can say for certain: this is going to be an interesting game. And Butch could definitely take Oski.
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