LeonPowe: This one I'm completely unsure about. Last season was the narrowest of narrow escapes and that was with the #1 pick at QB. Coin flip?
Avinash: What to make of Texas. They look like they'll be a complete mess offensively (no quaterback of note yet, new offensive coordinator), but can be terrifyingly good defensively. I doubt the Bears are capable of running off 31 points in a row like they did last year, but I also don't think Texas has 44 more points in them with whoever eventually suits up for them (likely true freshman Shane Buechele).
The likely annoying news is it's likely to be split 50-50 Cal and Texas fans, because the Longhorns travel about as well as any fanbase, and Cal fans historically have not travelled well to late night games. So the Bears can't really count on much of a home field advantage during the game. The Horns should make themselves at home like the Buckeyes.
This actually is a game where the Bears might be better off suited to ground and pound, because Texas didn't have a good run defense last season.
What do you think will be the biggest trouble spots for the Bears in this game, based on what you saw last year?
Nik Jam: Second straight non-conference game where we play a team we beat in 2015, at the opposite home field. Back to back games where there may be a revenge factor. I don't think the Longhorns, nor the likely 20,000+ Texas fans have forgotten about last year. However, plenty of the fans in Blue and Gold may still have grudges against Texas for the 2004 story we all know, and assuming they didn't go to the games in 2011 or 2015, this will be their first time really getting to give the team all they can handle noise-wise and hopefully it'll help the Bears.
Both SDSU and Texas are huge swing games we probably can't afford to lose if we want a good season. It'll be a big chance for the new offense to show that they belong in the Pac-12 upper-tier discussion, and a chance for the defense to redeem themselves for nearly giving up the game last year. A 1-2 start going into Pac-12 play would be really bad given the opponents don't get much easier.
HydroTech: I am really hoping to not see the Texas QB run for a gazillion yards against our defense this year. That would be nice.
Avinash: Heard is not likely to start. He was not impressive post-Cal game when defenses learned he wasn't very good at throwing the football.
TwistNHook: But at least we made him look good!
Nam Le: We really wouldn't have even had THAT level of trouble against Heard if Drew hadn't gone down during the game.
Twist: Anybody ever doubt whether God hates Cal?
Avinash: ...But we won.
Twist: PRAISE BE TO ALLAH
boomtho: I am more intrigued than worried about the Texas game. The downside of a loss isn't as severe as compared to a game like SDSU. Texas has some offensive talent but the pieces may not fit super coherently, so it may give our young, inexperienced D a chance to stop them (I'm glad we're playing them early in the year). The game experience itself should be a ton of fun - packed house, night game, and a chance to return the wonderful hospitality Texas fans showed us last year.
I'm obviously hoping for a win, but more than that, I'm intrigued to see how the team looks against an athletically superior, likely more (raw) talented team - that'll give a good preview of how we'll compete with teams like UCLA, USC, and Oregon.
Piotr Le: This will be the "keynote" game for us. Texas, at home, is going to show what we're made of as a team. It is Texas, one of the members of the college football royalty. The same royalty that beat the college football playoffcontenders Oklahoma last season. Furthermore, in 2015 we only performed at a 51st percentile level against them.
I think Cal will have to go all out. As long as the offensive players get comfortable with the Spaviffense, as long as the QB internalizes the necessary timing and the WRs get the passing concepts not only from a "how to run a route" and in a "what is the role of my route in this concept" we cal light them up. We will miss Kenny Lawler's body control on the outside, however, we're gaining the unnatural agility and skill of Stovall on the slot. How Texas adjusts to the mature running game, and the Stovall/Robinson combo on one side will dictate the rhythm of the offense.
After the dust settlers after this game we will know what this team is made-off. We can either be a 5-7 team that is coming-off a Goff high, a team that has potential, or we can be a 9/10 win team that contends till the last game for the Pac-12 North championship.
From both of these statements you can sense that in my mind the Stovall/Robinson duo will be the key for our team. If they thrive and prosper, the defenses facing us will have to shift towards their side of the field, opening 1-on-1 matches for our other players. Furthermore, our RBs will set the tone for our offenses. I can picture a 50/50 run/pass split unless the QB (Webb/Forrest/Bowers) light the world on fire.
Ruey Yen: I am fairly concerned about the Texas game, even if that program is currently vulnerable right now. Since my Cal fandom predates 2004, I still hold some bitterness toward that program. Being able to see the Golden Bears triumph in person last year and then having a great time in Austin do make me feel better. But the friendly Austinites that I talked to afterward were all eager to see Texas outguns a Jared Goff-less Cal team this year. I am concerned about Longhorns fans taking over Memorial Stadium like the Ohio State games few years back. Even if Texas plays a lot of inexperienced guys, they are bound to be quite athletics. The Cal defense has yet to show me the discipline and ability to stop athletic opponents, although this could obviously be the year when that changes.
The optimistic side of me would like to think that this game would be a coin flip; however, I can easily see this contest turning into a disappointment akin to those forgettable Cal vs. USC or Stanford games in recent years.