That has always been the question — not just during the Tedford Era, but as far back as I can remember. I’m always optimistic before the first game of the season, when all the unknowns are still unknown; but it almost seems like the more confidence I have in the team, the more disappointed I am with the season. And, when I think they aren’t going to do very well, they surprise me and go far beyond my expectations!
I’ve been very impressed with Sonny Dykes as a coach, and I really believe that he’s coming in with the right approach. The players are really looking like a team. Most of them are in the best shape of their lives. But most importantly, Coach Dykes and OC Tony Franklin have designed an offense that 1) was one of the most potent offenses in the nation at LATech; 2) is suited to the Cal personnel, not the other way around; and 3) is far, far simpler than last year’s largely ineffective offense.
The clock is winding down, and I have to get to the BART station… so I’ll make it short & to the point.
+ The first few series are crucial. If we start with 3-4 “3 & Outs”, it could be a long afternoon — or we may see a lot more of Zach Kline.
+ More likely, the BearRaid will be effective at moving the ball, picking up 4-6 yds on pass plays, and getting the ball to Brendan Bigelow in space.
+ The NU defense is stout against a power running offense, but vulnerable against the pass. Once Jared Goff and the Cal receiving corps make some progress & build some confidence, they’ll give the NU defense all they can handle, and more.
+ There will be interceptions & mistakes galore, but we’ll also see how devastating this offense and these players can be.
+ Prediction: Cal upsets #22 Northwestern, 41-35!