Here is another edition of Q&A this time it is for Cal, so check out the questions below and definitely check out California Golden Blogs
1. How good is this Cal's offense? Is it more like the Washington State performance, the Maryland, or is it somewhere in between.
We'd like to think its WSU, but it's more likely somewhere in between. Clearly, the humidity affected the OLine in Maryland, leading to lesser-sized holes for Jahvid Best to run through. But even if the OLine (led by All World C Alex Mack) is playing up to its potential, there are still some concerns. Riley has shown flashes of brilliance, but also seems to have problems with the deeper ball. And our WRs are talented, but green. They sometimes don't make Riley's job any easier, not getting open for him.
The upside on this offense is uber-high. However, most players are still very young. So, growing pains are to be expected. We saw them in Maryland. Hopefully, we won't see them going forward!
2. What is Cal's offensive philosophy that want to use to start the game?
Run run run run run run. Then, run some more. Even with injuries to both Shane Vereen and Jahvid Best, Cal will most likely look to run the ball a lot. As previously mentioned, there is a lot of talent, but not a lot of experience at WR. The QB, Riley, is also talented, but young. Admittedly, Best and Vereen are just as young, but they seem to play with more maturity. And the OLine opens holes for them with more maturity. Tedford has been relying on the run a lot in the early going and that gameplan probably won't change much to start the game.
If Riley starts showing dart on the ball and the WRs are getting open, then I'm sure it'll change.
3. What weaknesses do you see on this Cal team?
Definitely the youth and lack of experience on the offensive side of the ball. We must sound like a broken record here, but the biggest problem so far has been the inexperience of the WRs. They don't make it easier on Riley, which allows Ds to key in on the run. Hopefully, the WRs can get open against CSU and force the CSU D to respect the passing game.
4. Who is the big time play maker for Cal this year.
Many would point to Jahvid Best, the stud RB. But another key player to look at is SydQuan Thompson, DB. Leading the team with 3 interceptions already, SydQuan had a rough start to his Cal career. But through his trial by fire, he learned and blossomed into the stud DB he is now. The Michigan State QB barely threw to his side. He has some of the most amazing handwork when it comes to pass defenses. And he returns kicks and punts, too, so he is a VERY talented athlete.
5. Who do you expect to win and why?
Ultimately, if Cal is anywhere near their expectations, they should win this game. However, the last time Cal faced CSU, it was a very close game. And the time before that CSU won! Plus, Cal was supposed to steamroll Maryland and we saw what happened there.
Of course, I think with 2 weeks to stew over the embarrassing performance in College Park, the Cal team is going to come out looking for blood. We shall see. Either way, it should be a spirited contest this weekend. Go Bears!