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Cal Advanced Stats: UNC & Weber State

The Start of the Wilcox Era Looks Good

NCAA Football: California at North Carolina Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Week 1 through Week 5 are roughly the time where there is the most volatility happening in college football. Data is useful when there is enough observations and relevant observations to make deductions. Quantity allows us to tease out the signal from the noise, and to figure out whether or not something is the trend or an outlier performance. The coming weeks will show us if this version of the Bears will be something we will see regularly or is this just a 1 time deal.


Offense Defense Points Plays Yards Yards Per Play Drives Trips PtsPerTrip AvgFP Success Rate TO Margin Exp TO Margin Diff
Offense Defense Points Plays Yards Yards Per Play Drives Trips PtsPerTrip AvgFP Success Rate TO Margin Exp TO Margin Diff
California North Carolina 35 73 469 6.42 13 7 5 29.8 0.41 1 0 1
North Carolina California 30 89 440 4.94 14 7 4.43 31.6 0.47 -1 0 -1
Cal v. UNC Advanced Stats Bill C.

We can see here that Cal had the advantage on the yards per play and points per trip within the opponent 40 as well. One worrying aggregate stat is the fact that the success rate of UNC’s offense despite the poor QB play through the air. For the first time in a while Cal’s offense has played fewer snaps than the Cal defense.

Facing Weber State we will not have S&P+ data on the match-up against Weber. The FCS school dropped 76 points in a shut-out against Montana Western.

76 points against any team is hard to achieve. Heck, I can’t get that many points on Madden on rookie! Weber is now ranked 20th in the FCS coming into Strawberry Canyon.

Currently S&P+ doesn’t have the full team level stats up so I will use the aggregate ones for now.

California Golden Bears, 1-0 (0-0 Pac-12 North): S&P+ Overall Ranking: #61


Team Rec. S&P+ (Margin) Rk Off. S&P+ Rk Def. S&P+ Rk ST S&P+ Rk Last Wk Change
Team Rec. S&P+ (Margin) Rk Off. S&P+ Rk Def. S&P+ Rk ST S&P+ Rk Last Wk Change
California 1-0 3 61 36.9 24 33.4 95 -0.5 97 53 -8
Cal - Week 1 S&P+ Bill C.

Surprisingly we fell 8 spots from the #53 ranking. From the looks of it Cal’s understandable decline in the offensive production was not fully off-set by the defensive increase. Furthermore, the S&P+ have declined due to the missed FG and lack of returns on KOR and PRs.

Cal will most likely do well against Weber. It won’t move the S&P+ needle a lot due to the FCS nature of the team and the lack of comparison against others.

Weber State

Weber State only threw the ball 16 times for 11 completions, 168 yards and 2 TDs. Efficient but not a big game through the air. Most of the yards and points came from the ground where they ran the ball 59 times for 317 yards (5.37 YPC) with 8 TDs on the ground. Which means that Cal will probably play the same formations on defense with a single high safety and play the run.

Weber is an efficient run offense with 12 for 16 on 3rd downs. This seems like they like to grind out the ball on small runs and force the issue. Their leading rusher, Freshman David Jones, went 15 carries for 86 yards with a TD, the second rusher was Sophomore Kevin Smith with 16 carries for 61 yards with 2 TDs. (Here are more stats I found).

Worth noting that despite the high quantity of yards gained by the team no player had more than 100 yards from scrimmage! This probably was caused by the fact that Weber was up 20 in the 1st Q. Which means that a lot of players got touches in the game on both sides of the ball with the top tackler at Weber St. had 6 tackles.

Finishing Thoughts

Cal has to shut down the Weber run game and the game is over. This means stacking the box with the SS and keeping FS high daring Weber to beat us through the air. On offense there is not much to expect. Bowers should go without INTs or any other SNAFUs, Robertson ought to run all over the DBs and I peg Vic for at least 1 carry where he bulldozes two Weber DLs for a big boy gain.