Not In Seattle – In the Pac-12 North, Cal is tied with Washington, Stanford, and Washington St., and Stanford is #1 just in front of The Golden Bears. That’s not going to last because The Washington Huskies (14th ranked in America) play host to Cal (not in the Top 25) in a late game in Seattle, tonight.
Given what Cal Football showed against the UC Davis Aggies, and what Washington Football produced against Eastern Washington, its going to be a long night for this blogger’s Golden Bears. (Full disclosure: yours truly earned his master’s degree in city planning from Cal and served on the California Alumni Board from 1998 to 2003. Go Bears!)
The reason for the undesired prediction that this is going to be a long night for us Golden Bears Backers, is simple: the Washington Huskies play a brutal brand of football. Against Eastern Washington last Saturday, the Huskies philosophy under Head Coach Christ Peterson was “We’re better, stronger, and faster than you, and our play calling will reflect that.”
It sure did.
Under 21-year-old Junior Quarterback Jabob Eason, Washington was not afraid to challenge Eastern Washington defensive backs downfield. If it wasn’t throwing the timed skinny post for a touchdown, then it was throwing a full-out, 50 yard bomb on a go route. Sure, Washington had its share of off-tackle, fake-read-option runs, but then it also used star running back Richard Newton in a Wildcat Formation during the first drive of the contest and in the red zone. Newton ran up the middle so fast you’d have though he was The Flash, and scored the first touchdown of many to come in that 47 to 14 route. By contrast, Cal was down right sickening to watch against UC Davis.
Cal Played To The Level Of UC Davis And Could Have Lost
That’s the God’s honest truth. Maybe it was a case of looking over UC Davis to Washington, but what ever the reason, Cal’s first half was bad. Cal’s Offense showed every sign of looking like it was going to pick up where it left off last year: last in the Pac-12 North in offense statistics. If you didn’t know better, you’d think UC Davis’ Air Raid Offense was Cal and Cal’s Sorry-Excuse-For-A-Read-Option Offense was UC Davis.
Everything Cal tried in the first quarter failed: a halfback motion swing pass was downed for a loss, while runs off tackle or up the middle were routinely stuffed. Passes downfield? Chase Garbers asked to scare The Aggies with a Long Bomb Throw? Never done. Cal presented an offense that looked like it’s offensive coordinator was afraid to show his best stuff. It wasn’t until the second half that Cal OC Beau Baldwin realized he had a line that could give Garbers time to throw downfield. That, and Christopher Brown Jr picking up 136 yards rushing, was the diffence in Cal’s 27 to 13 win.
With that performance, it’s no wonder Washington’s favored to win at home by 13 points. The one hope in all of this is that Cal’s Defense remembers to blitz early and often, and we give the ball to Christopher Brown Jr and then use play-action passing – then, Cal could escape Seattle with an upset win.
Zennie Abraham is the CEO of Zennie62Media