Men's Water Polo
Goals came fast and furious for the No. 2-ranked Cal men's water polo team and the Bears turned in a strong performance from start to finish as they defeated a shorthanded Pepperdine squad 26-3 to wrap up the 2015 home schedule at Spieker Aquatics Complex.
California Golden Bears: Unfortunately, the Golden Bears will be without David Kravish, as he played his final game for the team last season. However, his loss isn't going to affect Cal too much, as they posses quite possibly the best recruiting class in the Nation.
Ivan Rabb and Jaylen Brown are both five-star recruits, and will bolster the teams frontcourt. You can also add potential All-Pac 12 point guard, Tyrone Wallace, to the talented pool of players coach Cuzono Martin has at his disposal.
Once a McDonald's All-American, Jabari Bird hasn't flourished like many thought he would. The 6-6 junior only amassed 10.5 points per game last season, and wasn't much of a factor for the Golden Bears. But with more talent surrounding him, and the emergence of Wallace, the pressure might be taken off Bird's shoulders. He could develop into one of the most prolific bench options in the Pac-12, maybe even all of America.
BERKELEY - California won its fourth straight conference title in the Olympic style of rugby Sunday on Witter Rugby Field, where the Golden Bears completed a 6-0 sweep of the PAC Rugby 7s Championship with a 17-5 win over UCLA in the cup final.
The Bears' win over the Bruins was preceded by a 34-10 cup semifinal victory over Arizona State on Sunday, giving Cal a two-day total of 253 points on 41 tries with +238 differential, each of which more than doubled the numbers posted by any other team in the competition.
It took a gritty effort to get past the Bruins in the final, where UCLA knocked on the door several times but could not get past the Cal defense until the last minute of play, when Seb Sharpe scored for the visitors to avert a shutout.
"This was the most highly contested PAC 7s we've ever had. It was a collective effort by all the teams that was impressive, and though we didn't play the greatest 7s ever, when we had to dig in, we did," said Anthony Salaber, who scored a try in the semifinal but found his best chances to score against the Bruins stymied. "It was special to be able to compete for our university in front of our friends and family. We wouldn't have wanted to do it any other place than here."
Oregon State @ California
Cal so far the season: After starting 5-0 and climbing into the national polls, Cal is in the midst of a downward spiral. The Golden Bears have lost four consecutive contests, including a 44-28 decision against Oregon Saturday night in which the Ducks racked up 777 yards. As expected after that result, the Golden Bears dropped 111th nationally in total defense (458.2 yards per game). Cal ranks seventh in the Pac-12 in scoring offense (34.9 points per game). Cal's results against common opponents include a 34-28 home win over Washington State, a 30-24 loss at Utah and a 40-24 defeat at UCLA.
Star power: Quarterback Jared Goff is regarded as a top-notch NFL prospect, ranking second in the Pac-12 and 11th nationally with 2,866 yards (318.4 yards per game) to go with 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Kenny Lawler has been Goff's favorite target, picking up 558 yards and nine touchdowns, while Bryce Teggs has added 493 yards and four scores. Linebacker Hardy Nickerson leads the Golden Bears with 65 tackles, while end Kyle Kragen has totaled five sacks. Cornerback Darius White has snatched three interceptions.
Did you know: The Golden Bears have compiled 24 "explosive" plays (30 or more yards), along with nine plays of 50 or more yards and three plays of 70 or more yards. By comparison, OSU has totaled 12 plays of 30 or more yards and one play of 50 or more yards (Jordan Villamin's 74-yard catch against Utah).
Threat level (1-5 scale): 4. Cal is reeling and continues to struggle defensively. But can the Beavers' anemic offense -- which has scored just 25 points over its past three games -- take advantage? The Golden Bears also have the overwhelming edge at quarterback, and Goff should particularly feast on OSU's depleted secondary.
Early prediction: Cal 41, OSU 16
CORVALLIS - As you might expect on an Oregon State football team residing at the bottom of the Pac-12, not everyone is on the same page.
First-year coach Gary Andersen reinforced that point following Saturday's 41-0 drubbing against No. 23 UCLA at Reser Stadium.
Andersen said his team competed, but not everyone displayed the toughness he demands.
"The tough guys will survive and the weak ones won't," Andersen said. "That's where we're at, and if we don't think we're at that point then we are all sadly mistaken."