Seattle, WA - The California Golden Bears are coming to town today, sporting a 3-0 record, after just barely scraping by a young Texas team in Austin, TX. They boast one of the best college quarterbacks in the country, and a spotty defense that, at least for the past few years, has really enjoyed giving up bunches of points on the road:
Where: Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium, Seattle, Washington
When: Saturday, September 26, 2015
2:00 p.m. Pacific Time
TV Info: Pac-12 Networks, Ted Robinson (play-by-play), Glenn Parker (color) and Jill Savage (sidelines)
Radio: KOMO AM-1000/FM-97.7; Sirius (137) and XM (197)
The Huskies lead the series over the Cal Bears 53-38-4. The Huskies have won 60% of their home games against the Bears, and 53% of their away games. Currently the Dawgs have a six game winning streak, and have won seven of their last 8 matchups against the Bears. Their last loss to the Bears was a 48-7 drubbing in Berkley. You might remember that game ... Jahvid Best ran all over the Huskies, getting 311 yards on 19 carries and four touchdowns.
From 1916 to 1976 the Bears seemed to get the better of the Dawgs more often than not, with the Huskies winning 24 and the Bears winning 32 games (with a few ties thrown in there occasionally). However, then 1977 happened. The Huskies went down to Berkley, with Warren Moon at the help, and the Huskies blew out the Bears 50-31. (They also beat the Ducks that year 54-0 at Autzen Stadium.)
Last year the Huskies went down to Berkeley to play the Bears, who were 3-1 at the time, and coming off of a 1 point victory over the Cougars in Martin Stadium, a score that wasn't too different from their game against Texas last week. Thanks to some great awareness by Shaq Thompson, and the speedy legs of John Ross III, the Huskies cleaned up the Bears 31-7.
0 - The number of passing TD's the Huskies have allowed this season
1 - The total number of field goals Cal opponents have attempted this year
2.56 - The total yards per rushing attempt the Huskies have allowed this season
5.42 - Cal's average yards gained per rushing attempt this season
5.3 - Washington's opponent's average yards per passing attempt this season
9 - Cal's total rushing touchdowns this season
9.7 - Cal's average yards gained per passing attempt this season
10 - Cal's total passing touchdowns this season
37 - Cal's average passing attempts per game this season
39 - Cal's average rushing attempts per game this season
50 - Cal's completion percentage in the 4th quarter this season
75 - Cal's longest completion so far this season
91.85 - Washington opponents' average QB rating when playing the Dawgs
100 - Cal's 4th down conversion rate (in 5 tries)
100 - Cal's opponents' red zone scoring percentage
Questions Needing Answers
Will the Huskies finally be able to run the ball this week? What trick plays will we see this time around? Can Jake Browning take three steps forward, without a step back? Will we continue to see Jeff Lindquist run some more package plays?
Will there be some sacks this week? Will the pressure be enough from the UW front to negate the need to send blitzers? Can the secondary hold it's own, once again? Will Kevin King be able to get his 4th interception? How many times does Sydney Jones get targeted? How long will the defense be able to keep Goff out of the endzone?
What's with all the quarterbacks having names that start with the letter "J?" Can the streak continue? Can we get some of the games somewhere other than the Pac-12 networks?
I'm stumped as far as expectations go for this game. So, I'm going to put myself out on a limb here and say I don't know how this game will end. I'm excited to see the Husky strength, their pass defense, go up against the Bears' strength, their passing offense.
However, just looking at the stats, it's pretty clear that the Bear are doing a great job keeping their offense very balanced. Hopefully the Huskies can make Cal's offense a one-trick pony, by keeping their run game completely out of the picture. That should allow the Huskies to have a whole lot more chances to get after Mr. Goff.
While I don't expect to see a ton of sacks, I am expecting a lot of QB hurries by this front 4. They should harass Goff all game long, and force him into making bad decisions with his throws. I imagine the Husky secondary will come up big and get at least 2 picks on the day.
The Husky offense, on the other hand, is going to probably need to score some points. I don't imagine this game to be a low scoring affair. This will all come back to the offense. I want to see at least 2 things from the offense this week. First, I want to see the Huskies sustain some really long drives, effectively keeping the Cal offense off the field. Second, I want to see the Huskies establish a decent run game. This could come with a lot of groaning from you homers out there, but I expect the Huskies to try and run the ball early and often. This will probably result in some stalled drives. Just be patient, as the run game continues to develop this season.
- Here's a nice feature on Cal wideout Kenny Lawler, who is apparently called "circus freak" by his teammates.
- Apparently somebody is getting rid of their E1 parking pass for the game tomorrow.
- Here is yet another article comparing Jared Goff and Jake Browning. If only the Huskies played UCLA this year ...
The Huskies are 3-0 against the spread this season, and have been under the point total in the first two games this season. However, last week they went well over. As I write this article, which is about 11:30 p.m., the Golden Bears are currently 2.5 point favorites. Who knows what the spread will be come game time. The over/under is sitting at 60 points. This is courtesy of Vegas Insider.
Get ready for what is sure to be a rowdy gamethread. I can just imagine the numerous threads of negativity as soon as Cal scores a touchdown, the calling for Jonathan Smith's head the moment the offense stalls, and the continual annointment of Jake Browning. You'll be in for a wild ride this week. Come on over to the gamethread, if for no other reason, than to have some good laughs.