Cal is known as a passing team, but those of us who follow the program know that they seek balance. They found this balance in 2014 with a stable of talented running backs, led by 1,115 yard rusher Daniel Lasco.
Spread offenses are known for relying heavily on inside and outside zone running plays. Cal's run game is more diversified than this stereotype. Cal often pairs creative personnel groupings with "old school" run concepts.
Below is one such example. Cal brings three extra offensive linemen into the game - two at tight end, one at fullback. Lasco aligns in a pistol formation behind Jared Goff, while Chris Harper is the lone receiver to the right.
Cal runs a variation of the "power" scheme. The power scheme utilizes down blocks and double teams at the point of attack, a kick out block by a fullback, and a pulling guard to lead the play. The goal of the play is to wall the defense to the inside, kick the end man on the line of scrimmage, and follow the puller's lead block. Cal executes the play well - when USC's outside linebacker slants to the inside, Cal adjusts and blocks him in that direction (known as a "log" block), and the play bounces to the outside.
The play doesn't go for huge yards. But it is a 4-5 yard gain on first down. Such runs are essential to success. It won't make the highlights, but executing these plays is the foundation for offensive success. Doing so with consistency against the "big boy" defenses on Cal's schedule would be another sign of Cal's development.