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2011 California Preview

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Washington has beaten the Bears three out of the last four seasons. California didn't go bowling in 2010 and the main reason they didn't go bowling was because they couldn't beat the Huskies. Washington just seems to line up well against the Bears and they have also been catching them at the end of the season.

This year the Bears and the Huskies play early in the season and that might bode well for Cal because that is when they usually are at their best. That being said the game will be played at Husky Stadium which is never an easy place for the Bears to play.

Jeff Tedford is taking over the reigns of the offense and will be calling plays this season. Tedford called plays the first four years he was at Cal and the offense just happened to have been more productive. The biggest problem the Bears have had in recent years is getting a consistent performance out of the quarterback position.

Brock Mansion lost the starting job this spring to Buffalo transfer Zach Maynard. Beau Sweeney fell to third on the depth chart and decided to transfer. Maynard racked up some decent stats at Buffalo. 2,694 yards, 7.1 per pass, 58% completion, 18 TD, 15 INT; 411 pre-sack rushing yards. 

For Maynard to flourish Cal's receivers need to become more consistent. They haven't really helped out whoever the QB was by being sure handed. Marvin Jones and Keenan Allen will be the main receiving targets. Anthony Miller and Spencer Ladner need to step up the production at TE.

RB Isi Sofele fills the big hole left by the early departure of Heisman candidate Shane Vereen. Sofele is a good looking back but he doesn't have the world class break away speed we have been used to seeing in the Cal backfield over the past few years.

The Bears return some good looking talent on the offensive line. Guards Brian Schwenke, Matt Summers-Gavin, and Justin Cheadle return. Mitchell Schwartz is a load to handle at left tackle. 

Cal plays a 3-4 defense and the unit had some pretty good games in 2010 despite the 5-7 record. They even came close to knocking off the Oregon Ducks. Up front DE Ernest Owusu, DT Trevor Guyton, NG Kendrick Payne provide a solid three man front. Garfield HS grad Deandre Coleman has played his way into the two deeps.

Mychal Kendricks and DJ Holt return at the linebacker positions. The Bears need to pick a couple of new starters to join them. As of this spring it looked like Robert Mullins had nailed down one of those two spots. Mark Anthony returns to start at CB and Steve Williams should be the starter on the other side. Josh Hill  and DJ Campbell are slated to be the starting safeties.

Washington Vs California

These two squads are pretty similar at the moment. Whoever gets the best play out of their quarterback is going to win the game. Observers who have saw Price and Maynard this spring probably would give Keith the edge at this point. Price is way more comfortable in his offense as he starts his third year on campus.

Defensively the Bears are going to be pretty good. They brought in a monster recruiting class and a lot of those kids are going to play right away. I still think a steady dose of Chris Polk, Jessie Callier, and perhaps Deontae Cooper will be a little too much for them...of course that would have to be predicated by Washington's offensive line being able to muscle the Cal defensive line.

UW 27 California 17