The sun has not yet set on Cal football. Apparently there is still some sunshine yet to be pumped. I'm not talking about a full slate of win predictions--don't be silly. However, most of this week's predictions anticipate a much closer game than some of us expect.
The Bears (1-4, 0-2) need this game to begin rescuing their season, but it seems like a bad matchup for them. This is Cal’s fourth opponent in six games that utilizes some form of the spread offense, and the Bears haven’t stopped the first three. UCLA (4-1, 1-1) will sent TB Johnathan Franklin and QB Brett Hundley against a Cal defense ranked last in the Pac-12 against the rush. UCLA 31, Cal 24.
Kevin Gemmell: The young Bruins showed a great deal of maturity in their efficient dismantling of Colorado. Memorial Stadium isn't having the 12th man effect that many were hoping. The Bruins are the hotter, more confident team. UCLA 35, Cal 24.
Ted Miller: There is every reason to believe UCLA will win this game, based on the play of both teams so far. Call this one a hunch. California 31, UCLA 28.
UCLA (minus-1) at CAL: I keep thinking the Bears have a breakout game in them that will change the trajectory of their season. But it sure doesn’t seem like they’re equipped to match the Bruins touchdown for touchdown. Pick: UCLA. (Which means this will, in fact, be that breakout game.)
- Phil Steele has begun making predictions again. He picks UCLA as a narrow victor over Cal.
Last year at home UCLA was playing without 4 suspended WR’s as well as a suspended DT and OG. They still led 17-7 at the half and won it on homecoming, 31-14. The last time here Cal led 28-0 at the half (246-58 yards) and won 35-7. UCLA has lost their last six trips to Cal by an avg of 16 ppg. This year these teams look to be heading in opposite directions as UCLA under new HC Mora is 4-1 after last week’s 42-14 win over Colorado (29-14 FD edge) while Cal is now 1-4 after last week’s 27-17 loss to ASU and HC Tedford’s seat continues to warm. It is their worst start in his 11 years while the Bruins are off to their best start s/’07. UCLA will continue Cal’s woes.
PHIL’S FORECAST: UCLA 27 CALIFORNIA 24
|Score||Cal 26.0, UCLA 29.2||Cal 26.1, UCLA 23.5||Cal 26.3, UCLA 32.7|
UCLA, 31-24 UCLA, 27-21 UCLA 34-24 UCLA, 28-10
- 2 of 7 CBS writers pick Cal to beat UCLA.
- Vegas has settled on UCLA as 2.5-point favorites. With the under set at 55.5, Vegas expects UCLA to win 29-26.5.
Color me surprised. Unless our offensive line and defense make big turnarounds, this one is looking like a disaster.
- Wilner delves into the financial details of what it would cost to dismiss Tedford. He also looks into how keeping him another season may harm the ESP revenue stream.
- Uncle Ted looks at what has gone wrong this season and how this may bring an end to the Tedford era.
- Faraudo details the Bears' third-and-long woes. In other notes, Tedford says Bigelow will get more carries this weekend and it looks more and more likely that Khairi Fortt will redshirt.
- Keenan Allen stays put at 17th in Mel Kiper's latest Big Board.
- Keenan moves up a spot to #30 in Todd McShay's latest list of top NFL prospects.
- John Breech highlights Avery Sebastian as one of three Pac-12 under-the-radar players.
- In the understatement of the century, Chris Foster of the LA Times says Tedford "might be on the coaching hot seat."
- Jim Mora says his team had to pay careful attention to how it budgeted time for the defense to prep, as the Cal offense forces opponents to prepare for a variety of looks and plays.
- Three-star point guard Sam Singer out of Coconut Grove, FL has committed to the Bears.
- The women's team is ranked no. 14 in the Lindy's and Athlon preseason polls.
- Yuri Suguiyama has been hired as an assistant coach for the men's team. He had been the highly regarded coach of the Nation's Capital Swim Club and mentored gold medalist Katie Ledecky.