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Golden Nuggets: Some Questions for Pac-12 Media Day

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Find out how veteran Cal student athletes are mentoring the incoming freshmen across Cal Athletics.

NCAA Football: Oregon State at California Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Football

  • What are the biggest questions for Cal entering Pac-12 Media Day? Here’s a few from our friends at GoldenBearReport.

3. Quarterback and Wideouts, and how will they open things up for explosive plays?

At this point, Ross Bowers is the assumed front-runner for the Cal quarterback job, and barring an absolute melt-down in fall camp, it’s likelier than not that he’ll be the starter when North Carolina comes to town on September 1st. He’s not going to be the only QB to play this year, it’s easy to see Beau Baldwin putting in a couple packages for Brandon McIlwain to take advantage of his abilities.

With the transfer of Demetris Robertson, there’s been a fear that the Bears have no true deep threat. That’s not entirely the case, as both Vic Wharton and Kanawai Noa have enough speed to break open big plays, as they did on a couple occasions last year. It’s also on the Bears offense to open things up underneath to force the safeties and corners, who in the Pac-12 are frequently playing cover four, to come down and overcommit to the tight end or the slot receiver. Plenty of the Bears routes are predicated on what the defense gives them with zones, something that Noa has excelled with. If he, Hudson, Bunting, Jeremiah Hawkins, Jordan Duncan, and others can continue to draw attention there, that opens things up for Wharton and Taariq Johnson on the outside in one on one coverage. Explosive plays (plays of over 15 yards) are what the Bears are looking to create.

  • Some Pac-12 wide questions here from Jon Wilner, but Cal isn’t mentioned (Intrigued by the section on bowl games though)

Several bowls affiliated with the Pac-12 are likely to undergo changes, either to the matchup or their placement in the conference lineup.

The Las Vegas Bowl, for instance, is reportedly looking to move up in the pecking order and possibly match the Pac-12 against the SEC.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Bowl at Levi’s Stadium, which has matched the Pac-12 against the Big Ten in recent years, could be adversely affected by a new game at Wrigley Field, which would invariably involve the Big Ten.

The Pac-12, which already extended its deal with the Alamo Bowl through ’25, must increase the overall heft of its postseason lineup in order to remain competitive with Power Five peers.

  • The dead period will be over soon, meaning more Golden Blogs articles, including Golden Nuggets! Here are some random thoughts from Trace Travers to pass the time for now. (A biased source maybe, but hey, someone picked Cal to finish higher than 4th in the North!)

Three reasons for putting the Bears at number three ahead of Oregon, though admittedly it’s a toss up from 2-4 in my mind

- Continuity, with 18 returning starters and the same head coach returning, with the position coaches relatively unaffected

- Offensive line growth, the group that had all of 16 starts combined going into last season returns every single one.

- DB depth, Cal’s group of defensive backs may be the second best in the conference behind Washington’s. Cam Bynum could be a star for the Bears this year.

Misc.

Jacobi Gordon is a guy who we see as the energy guy in the weight room. He’s been pushing the freshmen, but also pushing the vets too. Jacobi is accustomed to working out, so he’s out there pushing everyone. He’s pushing Darius. That’s two guys who have known each other for a while. I like what he’s bringing, and he’s down 10 lbs. also. He’s really putting the work in, and it’s good to see him dropping that weight and it’s a healthy 10 over the last three weeks. [- S&C coach Jordan Jackson]

  • One of UCLA Softball’s greatest pitchers, Anjelica Selden, is now a Cal SB assistant pitching coach!
  • The women’s lacrosse team was tabbed an IWLCA Academic Honor Squad as the team posted a 3.0+ GPA!
  • Justin Dunn, recently graduated Rugby great, is also a fine athlete off the field and was recognized with the Walter A. Haas Community Service award. Find out more about him here. (Includes quotes from his dad Steve, a participant in “The Play”).
  • Find out how some veteran Cal student-athletes, like Olympian Toni-Ann Williams and Football’s Jaylinn Hawkins, mentor incoming freshmen with Friday summer classes at the Athletic Study Center.

“It’s been a great experience as far as knowing what resources you have, whatever you may need, and just being able to ask questions,” said Marcel Dancy of the football team, a transfer from Laney College. “It’s more of a personal relationship because it’s not teacher-student. They’ve all been through it so you can ask about real-life scenarios.”

Earn It.