California Golden Bears
By Jason Green
After a couple of down seasons Texas is back in the top 25 and after a HUGE upset at Notre Dame in their season opener they throttled UTEP last week. This Game facing Cal is their last before Big 10 play begins and oh what a beginning to the Conference season it is facing Oklahoma State on the road and then facing their biggest rival Oklahoma in the Red River rivalry.
After winning their season opener at Hawaii Cal lost their last Game falling to San Diego State 45-40. While the Golden Bears are adjusting life after the departure of #1 NFL pick QB Jared Goff the defense is the main issue for the team so far, as in their first couple of Games they only rank 109th in the nation giving up an average of 38 ppg.
In the loss to San Diego State Cal shot themselves in the foot with Four turnovers. On top of that while they had 522 passing yards they only had 82 rushing yards while giving up a whopping 334 rushing yards to the Aztecs.
After two Games the Longhorns are showing balance averaging over 260 passing yards per Game and over 200 rushing yards per Game.
These teams met last season at Texas with the Golden Bears beating the Longhorns 45-44. Cal has lost their previous 4 meetings with Texas.
The Cal offense is all about QB Davis Webb, who in only two Games has 963 yards with 9 TD and 3 INT, which all came last week facing SDSU. Chad Hansen is, by far, his leading target with 350 receiving yards while the next two leaders have 133 and 100 receiving yards respectively. Webb and company may have to put up sick numbers in this Game since the Cal defense has been less than impressive to say the least.
The Cal RB duo of Vic Enwere and Khalfani Muhammad have combined for 246 rushing yards this season and they need to help Webb out. It is key the Golden Bears do not get down big early or Webb will have to do it all with his arm.
Shane Buechele has been solid on the season under center for the Longhorns, especially facing Notre Dame where he went for 280 yards with 2 TD and 1 INT. He has a deep WR corps and in the backfield Chris Warren III and D’Onta Foreman each have rushed for at least 131 yards. With the Cal run D getting torched last week look for the Longhorns to establish the run early.
The Golden Bears have not been impressive so far on the season and Texas is flying high. However, the Longhorns cannot overlook the Golden Bears, who have an offense that can put up some big numbers.
Texas has only covered the spread in one of their last Four road Games, but that one Game was the season opener at Notre Dame. Cal has not been a good betting team at home in the last several seasons only covering in seven of their last 27 Games in their house. Even in the loss last week Cal covered the spread, but they have failed to cover after doing so in their previous Game.
Jason’s Pick: Texas will run ragged over Cal and while the Golden Bears will put up some points the Longhorns will put up many more easily winning and covering the 8-point spread.