UCLA Bruins vs Cal Golden Bears: Four Things To Watch
This weekend at Kabam field in Berkeley, we will see a battle of the “Sons of California” as the UCLA Bruins faceoff against the California Golden Bears.
UCLA and Cal are both coming off of devastating home losses and are looking to get back on the winning track.
UCLA has lost the past two weeks, and has dropped out of the top 25 due to their recent poor play. Cal has been a surprise this season, and looked to be taking the next step towards a possible bowl berth until they were derailed last weekend against a fiery Washington Huskies squad.
Both teams are in need of a strong performance if they are to have any chance at a bowl berth this season.
Here are four things to watch for on Saturday:
Who will stand out, Jared Goff or Brett Hundley? Cal Sophomore Quarterback Jared Goff has been a pleasant surprise for Bears fans this season as he has progressed leaps and bounds over his freshman year performances and has led this young Cal squad to an early 4-2 record. Goff leads the Bears with his strong arm and mobility, to having one of the top offensive systems in the PAC 12. Goff will be challenged this weekend by the strong UCLA defensive secondary, and will need to be smart with his passing. UCLA Quarterback Brett Hundley was an early season Heisman Watch candidate, but due to injuries and uneven play, he has dropped off the map. Hundley is a solid professional prospect, but now there are doubts about his leadership and ability to stay healthy. There is no doubt that Hundley is extremely athletic and talented as a dual threat Quarterback, but he is need of a strong performance against the Bears to get back into the national viewpoint.
Can Cal stop anyone on defense? Cal has been highly effective on the offensive side of the ball, but they have had to play “backyard rules” games because their defense cannot stop anyone right now. Cal has talent on the defensive side, but they have not been able to put a complete game together all season. UCLA has the weapons to make it a long day for the Bears, and if the Bears are unable to stop Hundley, there will be a large number put up on the board by the explosive Bruins offense.
Will the Bruins strong linebackers be a factor? The Bruins have arguably two of the most talented linebackers in college football with Sophomore Myles Jack and Senior Eric Kendricks. However, due to the Cal offensive style with the “Air Raid” offense, this may neutralize these two talented linebackers and keep them on the sidelines. Jack and Kendricks have great speed, but the Golden Bears run offensive sets with four receivers on the field most of the time. This may land the two linebackers on the sidelines, and may give a slight edge to California. The Bruins and Defensive Coordinator Jeff Ulbrich will have to figure out a way to involve his defensive standouts.
Who will be the difference makers? UCLA has one of the most dynamic Running Backs in all of college football with Sophomore Paul Perkins. The young back has been solid all season for the Bruins, and has carried the Bruins to victory on several occasions. Perkins is getting better by the week and look for him to have an outstanding week against Cal’s young defense. The difference maker for Cal could be Junior Bryce Treggs who has been an outstanding piece of the Bears offensive explosion. Treggs is a legacy for Cal as his father was a standout in the early 90’s, and he has taken on a role similar to his father as a leader on the offensive side of the ball. Treggs has great speed, and tremendous hands around the ball. Treggs will be featured throughout the game.