#11 California Golden Bears
The Bears defense is pretty stacked and should be a big problem for the opposition all year long.
Let’s see what California is working with this season…
At QB they have Kevin Riley, Riley split time with Nate Longshore last season, and neither one of them was very impressive. Riley is going to need to step up this year and get the passing attack going so that the offense has at least some balance.
At WR the Bears have a slew of guys that all need to step up. Alex Lagemann, Marvin Jones, Verran Tucker, and Nyan Boateng all need to become reliable targets for Riley so that the defense does not only key on the run.
Another issue for the Bears will be the offensive line which lost a couple key players. The Golden Bears lost C Alex Mack, he was one of the best centers in the NFL draft this year, and will be solely missed. Noris Malele is also gone from a line that helped Best explode last season.
Now for the RB situation at Cal. Jahvid Best is the best RB in college football. Last season Best rushed for 1,580 yards and 15 TD’s. If Best can get just little help on offense he will again be able to put up incredible numbers. The offense around him needs to improve if he is going to make a run at the Heisman trophy, if they don’t then Cal’s offense is going to become very predictable.
Now let’s move on to the Bears stronger unit. Yes, stronger then the offense led by Best.
CB Syd’Quan Thompson is the best player on the defense for the Bears, and one of the best corner backs in the nation. Thompson will also have Marcus Ezeff in the secondary to help him out. Passing on this secondary will be very difficult.
At LB the Bears did lose some guys, namely Anthony Felder, and Zack Follett. Those guys will be missed but Eddie Youngis more then ready to step up and fill the holes. Also look out for Mike Mohamed he is also a stud and will move from the role of reserve to starter this season although he did get a lot of playing time and lead the team in tackles. With Mohamed and Young patrolling the middle this defensive is very good.
Cameron Jordan and Tyson Alualu are the two guys that will look to get after the opposing QB, both of these guys are capable of having monster seasons. With these guys up front and Thompson leading the secondary this will be one of the best defenses in the NCAA.
Players to Watch: Jahvid Best, Syd’Quan Thompson
Projected Record: 10-2
Key Games: Sept 26th @ Oregon, Oct 4th USC, Nov 7th Oregon State
Stats, and info from ESPN, collegesports fan, and calbears.com
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