I’ll admit when I write this, I searched high and low for a replay of the Northern Illinois loss to Iowa this weekend, but alas, Husky fans, Hawkeye fans, and the Big Ten Network have been slow to throw a replay out their available to the public.
So, I turned my attention to BYU’s next opponent, and that is another PAC-12 team in the Cal Golden Bears, who won their season opener against North Carolina, the conference’s only win over a fellow Power Five Opponent.
Under Justin Wilcox, entering his second season as head coach, has taken on a defensive mindset that was absent under Sonny Dykes. The Bears reflected that with four takeaways in their opener, all four on interceptions. While North Carolina certainly played their part in over throwing wide receivers leading to those picks, it was obvious the Cal defense was dialed in.
However Cameron Goode, the sophomore linebacker who might be Cal’s best player overall, and is a playmaker coming off the edge, is likely out for this week’s game, as he was seen after practice in a walking boot on a push scooter.
Cal is likely to continue their quarterback competition against BYU, with both Ross Bowers and Chase Garbers getting reps, and it was a pretty even battle against UNC. Bowers is more of a drop back passer, but is a capable scrambler, while Garbers is better on the ground. I wouldn’t be surprised if Garbers ends up winning this job due to the fact that the Cal offensive line is porous, and will have to find ways to keep defenses from focusing solely on last year’s thousand yard back Patrick Laird.
Outside of the run game, Cal is a mediocre passing team, but will likely challenge BYU’s unproven defensive backfield. The Bears recorded just 119 passing yards in their opener.
BYU is a 3 point favorite over Cal at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
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