Time: 11 am Pacific, 2 pm Eastern
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Preview: California Golden Bears fans will get their first look at what Justin Wilcox has been able to do in a month with this Cal team. Most practices have been closed, so even most beat reporters haven’t been able to gain too much insight out of the regular spring reports.
Avinash Kunnath: Some things worth looking at this Saturday
- How the quarterbacks are throwing. There is no clear picture yet of who is emerging as the starter, and it might not be revealed until the fall. Chase Forrest and Ross Bowers appear to be the incumbents, with Max Gilliam lurking. This will be our only public glimpses of how our signal-callers are faring until Cal plays North Carolina—unless a quarterback ends up transferring.
- What the defensive rotations and scheme will look like. Will Cal switch entirely to a 3-4 with not much linebacker depth? Will there be more hybrid looks? Which players have moved to entirely new positions?
- How is the offensive line performing? Cal is losing three regular starters up front in Chris Borrayo, Aaron Cochran and Steven Moore. Can the Cal offense still win battles with their defensive counterpart on a regular basis with the new faces?
- Is the offense still winning regular battles with the defense? At this point, that side of the football is holding onto a disproportionate amount of the talent, and also a good coordinator as well to lead them. As good as Wilcox might be as a defensive coordinator, this might be his most challenging job—to get a defense that was among the nation’s worst for four years back to league average. Obviously the quarterback situation will force the offense a step back, but it’s probably critical for both units to be on equal footing.
boomtho: Things I'm interested to see, in no particular order:
- Beau Baldwin's new offense, and who takes the reigns at QB: We're apparently using TE's now, which is new - and running the ball a lot more. Our receivers were recruited for the Bear Raid, and it'll be interesting to see how they adapt to a new offense, where presumably more blocking and read/option routes will be used.
- What Wilcox can do with this defense: Wilcox was hired on the basis of his defensive success, but I don't really think he has enough to compete with in year 1. It'll be the toughest turnaround of his career to make this defense competitive in the Pac-12.
- What kind of recruiting inroads our staff (especially Tui) can make in the short term: cheating a bit (in that this question was about the Spring Game), but we're starting to see early promising signs that Wilcox & Co will fight to win the Bay Area. Can they do that and land local elite talent?