The Cal Golden Bears (1-7) are set to host the Arizona Wildcats (5-2) tonight.
Last weekend, the Golden Bears lost Washington. Then, the internet went out, and I was cut out of the information superhighway for a week. I guess its for the best. I get bad to the internet to find Cal has a new cornerback in the rotation, some new defensive packages and Khairi Fortt was named a semi-finalist for the Butkus Award. Here is the information for tonight’s game.
Location: Memorial Stadium (Berkeley, CA)
Television: Pac 12 Network
Radio: KALX 90.7 FM
Gameday Stream: Here
Kickoff Time: 12:30 p.m. PT/3:30 p.m. ET
Odds: Arizona, -14
Wether: 64 Degrees, Mostly Sunny
Preview: The Cal Golden Bears are not favored in this matchup. NCAA rushing leader Ka’Deem Carey (who averages 153.3 yards per game) is looking to continue running roughshod over the Pac-12. There’s no reason to think he won’t continue to do it against Cal. Arizona is in the middle of a win streak (winning their last two games and looking progressively better over the last month) and most of that has come on the heals of their rushing offense (ranked 11th in the nation and led by the aforementioned Carey) while the passing game has been horrendous (ranked 109th in the nation and really has been nonexistent).
Cal will be dealing with a one-dimensional offense. They run well, and more often than not that leads to a decent amount of scoring chances. However, if Cal can somehow take away the run (or at least subdue it a little) they may have a chance to steal one. Arizona is not a bad team (they’re a surprisingly competitive one which is in the thick of the race right now), but they can be beaten.
Defensively, Arizona will pose a lot of problems to Jared Goff and the Cal passing attack. Cal has done poorly against the top-notch passing defenses they’ve taken on this year (UCLA and Washington come to mind) and have done nearly as bad against middle of the road pass defenses (Oregon, Oregon State, Washington State, Northwestern). Now, they take on an Arizona team that features the 19th best pass defense in the nation. So, I fear that the offense will be playing at a deficit all game long
This game comes down to the running game. If Arizona does what they do best, they win. If Cal stops them, they have a chance. I doubt Cal comes out on top today, but Cal can notch a win if they can somehow make this game come down to a field goal game. I doubt this happens, but I guess I can dream. Look for Cal to make the score look close on some late field goals, but Arizona will ultimately be the winner tonight.
Prediction: Arizona 31, Cal 19