boomtho: Cal needs to beef up its run defense, stat. It's going to come from a combination of better interior penetration by Looney, Manley, and Mekari, bolstered by better tackling from the LBs (and safeties).
I also expect a much stiffer challenge from the SDSU secondary than we saw vs Hawaii. It'll be a great test for the WRs to see if they can make people miss and hold blocks on the screens with the same efficiency that they did vs Hawaii. I believe we can get a win—GO BEARS!
KWBears: I expect to see more of the same against SDSU. Very good offense (that might be a little boring at times unless the Webb-Hansen combo tones it down a bit, but there's no real need to for an opponent like SDSU), coupled with oft-horrid defense. In all the recent years, I've never seen Cal's defense improve within-season on their tackling, particularly their open-field tackling—so I don't expect that again this season. Cal will get the win, but it will be closer than the Hawaii game—we will get some nice receiving highlights as well as some head-shaking defensive mishaps.
Andrew G Miller: The story is the same as it has been for the last three years: score a lot of points and hope for the best. San Diego State is going to play us a lot tougher than Hawaii, so the offense will have to find its rhythm quickly. Fewer dumb penalties, cleaner execution—the kinds of things coaches always talk about in press conferences. I’d like to see Davis Webb get in some rhythm with downfield passes, as compared to last week where most of the scheme called for screens and short routes. Execute in the passing game and summon whatever magic Art Kaufman used to stifle Pumphrey last year and everything else will be okay.
Nik Jam: I expect the offense to put a lot of points on the board. They may have to have a better start to avoid the upset. Don't want San Diego State to get a big lead before halftime. The defense will hopefully have had a lot of time to figure out what went wrong against Hawai'i and adjust their scheme and techniques. Do I think they will be improved? Probably not. I'm slightly pessimistic about the game now. I can see the defense letting the Aztecs score almost every possession in the first half, then improving in the second half. Hopefully Cal can stay in the game and match scores.