2013 California Spring Football Analysis
California Golden Bears 2013 ...
Head Coach: Sonny Dykes
Why To Get Excited … there are few guarantees with Sonny Dykes and his staff, other than the fact that they’re going to install a high-flying, up-tempo offense that eventually challenges defenses in all directions. Jeff Tedford took the Bears about as far as they could; the hope is that Dykes can elevate the program, much the way he did with Louisiana Tech last season.
| 2013 Schedule|
9/7 Portland State
9/14 Ohio State
9/21 OPEN DATE
9/28 at Oregon
10/5 Washington State
10/12 at UCLA
10/19 Oregon State
10/26 at Washington
11/16 at Colorado
11/23 at Stanford
11/30 OPEN DATE
Why To Be Grouchy … Dykes didn’t exactly inherit a championship-caliber roster in Berkeley. The Bears need to anoint a new quarterback, replace last season’s top runner and receiver and fix a defense that gave up 181 points over the final four games. It’s entirely possible that Cal will take a step back before even thinking about moving forward. A lot of pivotal openings will be up for grabs in the spring and summer.
The Number One Thing To Work On Is … fix the O-line so that the new quarterback has a prayer of not being annihilated in the pocket. Zach Maynard was bounced around last year as much as any passer in the country. Enter unproven contenders Zach Kline, Allan Bridgford and Jared Goff, who will be protected by a blocking unit that’s missing three starters, including All-Pac-12 C Brian Schwenke.
Non-Conference Games: Northwestern, Portland State, Ohio State
Games Against The South: Arizona, at Colorado, at UCLA, USC
Realistic Best Case Record: 8-4
Worst Case Record: 3-9
Likely Finish: 5-7
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: Portland State, Washington State, Oregon State, Arizona, at Colorado
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: Northwestern, Ohio State, at Oregon, at UCLA, at Washington, USC, at Stanford
Schedule Analysis: It’s probably going to take an upset or three to get to six wins, and with nine games against teams that went bowling last season, it’s not going to be easy. The Sonny Dykes era starts out with a bang with Northwestern and Ohio State coming to Berkeley in the first three weeks, and with Portland State in between, going 2-1 is a must before getting a week off to prepare for a road trip to Oregon. There aren’t many breaks in the Pac-12 schedule outside of getting Colorado from the South. Arizona, UCLA and USC are the three other interdivisional games, and the toughest North games – Oregon, Stanford and Washington – are all on the road.
The only slight breather is at home against Washington State, but that’s sandwiched in between the road games at Oregon and UCLA. Taking advantage of home games against Oregon State and Arizona is a must, and any reasonable hope of going bowling is gone without a win at Colorado.
Team Concerns For 2013: The Bears have plenty of work to do under new head coach Sonny Dykes, and it's not a plus that the guy who led Louisiana Tech's nation-worst defense inherits a group that has to be far more physical and far stronger in the secondary against the big play. The secondary had an awful year, and now it has to replace two starters. The offense has to convert yards into points - that's what Dykes should be able to help with - but holding on the ball is a must after giving it away 30 times. It will all start with a porous offensive line that couldn't pass protect.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Offensive linemen. So
Sonny Dykes can't put together good defenses, huh? That remains to be
seen, but he's getting his share of good prospect bringing in
linebackers Chad Whitener, Ray Davison, Johnny Ragin and Edward Tandy
along with corners Cameron Walker, Darius Allensworth and Travellous Cheek. The defensive line got a huge boost with JUCO transfer Sione Sina for the end along with prep prospect Takkarist McKinley and Garrett Hughes. However, it's Dykes, so offensive players are going to want to play for him. He needs the line to be in place to make it all go with J.D. Hinnant and Erik Bunte leading the way at tackle.
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 25. That Class Was Heavy On ... Receivers. The work was done over the last few classes to improve the lines as much as possible, and now the payoff is about to come. The receiving corps is fine for this year, even with Marvin Jones gone to the NFL, but head coach Jeff Tedford is looking to make the big push now with a potentially special class of targets coming in. Landing Scout.com’s No. 1 safety Shaquille Thompson already makes the recruiting season a success for the defense.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 14. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. Kyle Boehm, with some work, could be one of the better Cal quarterbacks in recent years, and Daniel Lasco is another fast Bear running back, but the stars are on defense. Stefan McClure is one of the nation’s top corner prospects and Jason Gibson might soon be the leader of the linebacking corps. The linemen are phenomenal with Viliami Moala, arguably the nation’s best tackle, a class-making pickup while Mustafa Jalil and Todd Barr aren’t far behind. Brennan Scarlett and Puka Lopa are could be terrors on the end with a little time to develop.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 22. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Linebacker. The
Signing Day coup was getting Keenan Allen,
Scout.com's No. 1 ranked safety, away from Alabama
and Clemson. He was added to a class that was
highlighted by Chris Martin, the nation's top-ranked
outside linebacker prospect who chose the Bears over
USC, Florida, and Oklahoma. Martin is the star, but
Jeff Tedford also loaded up the linebacking corps
with Cecil Whiteside, a top-shelf prospect for the
middle, and Dave Wilkerson, a player who'd be the
star of just about any other class.
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 33. That Class Was
Heavy On ... linemen. The Bears did not discriminate when it came to big bodies this year; they’re feeding both sides of the ball with an impressive array of linemen. The program was especially effective on the offensive line, going all the way to New Jersey to land top-ranked C Mark Brazinski and robbing Oregon of T Charles Siddoway. Both are the type of players who are capable of cracking the starting lineup by their second season.