Cal and Utah, the two remaining undefeated teams in the Pac-12, clash tonight in Utah. The Utes are ranked in the Top Ten after destroying Oregon, and had a bye this last week to prepare for Cal and to keep their perspective. Other advantages for Utah: they’ll be playing in front in front of a raucous home crowd, at an altitude of 4600′.
All that said, the Bears match up well against Utah. Cal’s defense is tough against the run — Utah’s strength — and Utah’s defense is strongest against the run, but may be vulnerable against Jared Goff and Cal’s passing game. Advantage: Cal. Look for the Bears to establish the pass, and use its success in passing to spread the defense, and make its running game go. If Coach Dykes tries to run between the tackles on first downs, Cal’s offense will be very one-dimensional, and Utah will win — by a lot.
The Emotional Game
Cal really hasn’t played its best on offense all year. They’ve made mistakes in execution, and made games close that they really should’ve won by a much wider margin. I think that the Bears play their best offensive game tonight. This Cal team is strong & together emotionally. They’ve won games that past Cal teams would’ve found a way to lose.
With Daniel Lasco back at 100%, and just about everyone healthy, their execution will improve enough to win.
And that’s what will happen, despite the Pac-12’s “favor the leaders” officiating.
Prediction: Cal wins a close one in Utah, 38-35.