Cal Players to Watch this Weekend

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Brendan Bigelow – Running Back

September15, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; California Golden Bears running back Brendan Bigelow (5) is tackled by Ohio State Buckeyes cornerback Travis Howard (7) and defensive back C.J. Barnett (4) at Ohio Stadium. Ohio State won the game 35-28. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Like I wrote earlier this week, Brendan Bigelow is the key to this game. Bigelow had a big night last year against the Buckeyes, going for 160 yards with two touchdowns in a 7-point loss in the Horseshoe. He’ll need to do something similar to give Cal a fighting chance against the third-ranked team in the nation on Saturday.

Bigelow has had a disappointing season so far, at least from a statistical standpoint. Bigelow is still getting over off-season knee surgery, and that probably has something to do with his lack of production so far. He still has shown an ability to burst through defenders, specifically towards the end of this past weekend’s game. Overall, he has 165 yards on 33 carries, but has yet to find the end zone.

If Bigelow can go and double his yardage for the year in Saturday’s game (something he can easily do), the team should have a good chance at winning the game. He’ll have to get past the Ohio State front seven, which includes Noah Spence and Curtis Grant. No easy task.

Cal will need to hold the ball for as much of the game as they can, and if they do that, the game should be closer than people think. Bigelow must also be sure not to turn the ball over. The name of the game is ball control.