College Football Pick
The College Football season gets started in… Australia? The season opens with a Game roughly a 14-hOur non-stop flight from California and 10 hOurs from Hawaii. Both teams have some hurdles to climb, maybe more so the Golden Bears with a limited amount of starters returning. That said, the Rainbow Warriors went 3-10 overall last year and didn’t win a Game in the MWC. That leads to an opening -20 line for California as seen at 5 Dimes Sportsbook.
The most glaring need for California going into this season was quarterback with top draft pick Jared Goff now in the NFL. That need quickly disappeared when former Texas Tech QB Davis Webb transferred over the summer to give the Bears valuable experience under center. LUckily for Webb, he gets to face Hawaii in the opener.
That said, Hawaii won’t be a complete walkover. In Games last year against big-Conference teams, the Warriors lost 38-0 to Ohio State and 28-0 to Wisconsin. After dealing with injuries and inexperience a year ago, Hawaii’s defense should be a step better. Covering the spread for the underdog will come down to the offense. While they couldn’t Scoreagainst OSU and Wisconsin a year ago, California’s defense is definitely not on the same level as those teams.
The Golden Bears improved defensively last year, but still weren’t great, allowing just over 450 yards per Game and they only return five starters from that unit. With a new coach, Hawaii will hope to improve on a dreadful season scoring 17.6 points per Game.
OUtside of a question at quarterback, the Rainbow Warriors actually have a decent amount of talent returning on the offensive side. That starts along the line and extends to running back and wide receiver. The QB race was a three-man battle, but last year’s starter Ikaika Woolsey won the job a week before this Game. Woolsey has 19 career starts with 18 TDs and 19 INTs through his first three years.
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California got out to a 5-0 start last year and are hoping to do so again with an offense that doesn’t take a step back and a more well-rounded defense. against MWC competition early in 2015, the Golden Bears beat San Diego State 35-7. The Aztecs in turn beat Hawaii 28-14 on the road.
Playing so far away in Australia, this will be a hard Game to predict. California is the obvious team to back, but how good will their offense be this year? Can Webb lead them to close to 38 points per Game again?
With a new coach in former QB Nick Rolovich, the Rainbow Warriors are hoping to get out to a better start and at least be competitive. Cal’s offense probably won’t be as good this year and that should help Hawaii’s chances in covering this Game. Not to mention, Hawaii is more familiar with playing thousands of miles away from home.
No telling what you’re going to get when you have a bunch of kids traveling all this way to play a football Game. For that reason alone, we won’t play this Game in any serious way. We will however offer an opinion.
If this Game were played at the end of last season, we would have Cal reaching the posted total of 63 all by themselves. So we’ll go OVER 63 in this spot.