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College Hotline - Cal football report card: Updates from the bye week and a look ahead

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
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    Hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday weekend …

    How difficult was the adjustment back to life on the west coast after a week in Sydney?

    On Thursday – four days after the Bears returned home – they were still recovering from the flight and the time change, according to coach Sonny Dykes.

    Result: Bye

    Comment: Several notable developments during the bye week:

    *** The chess match begins in earnest this week, particularly in regard to the Bear Raid.

    Receiver Chad Hansen, who played a limited role last season after transferring from Idaho State, is now on tape.

    His 14-catch performance against Hawaii … and the level of trust that exists between Hansen and quarterback Davis Webb … will draw the attention of every opposing defensive coordinator.

    The smart ones will force someone else to make plays.

    *** To that end, the Bears moved Demetris Robertson to the Z position and Vic Wharton to the X in an attempt, Dykes said, “to kind of split up our speed.”

    The change wouldn’t have been made during a game week, but the bye gave Cal the necessary opening.

    Next up: at San Diego State

    The matchup: Deceivingly difficult, and a good test of Cal’s leadership and maturity.

    The tendency might be for the Bears to feel only a modest sense of urgency about their trip to SDSU. They’re coming off a dominating win, they had a week off, and they’re playing a Mountain West team that they beat handily last season.

    Nothing in that equation signals a red alert.

    *** But the Aztecs are not the same team that lost 35-7 in Berkeley early last year.

    (If you’ll recall, that game was tight until the first play of the second half: Jared Goff to Trevor Davis for 75 yards and a touchdown.)

    The Aztecs are the defending MW champs with an 11-game winning streak; they’re a bubble top-25 team with several NFL prospects; they have a funky defense and a top-tier running back (Donnel Pumphrey).

    Cal’s run defense struggled against Hawaii (6.5 yards per carry). The challenge this week is far more difficult.

    *** If you tend to generalize college football into should-win games and losable games – not the wisest approach, but the natural one – then this absolutely qualifies as losable.

    Las Vegas certainly thinks so: Cal is a 7-point underdog.

    * Follow me on Twitter: @WilnerHotline

    The post Cal football report card: Updates from the bye week and a look ahead appeared first on College Hotline.

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    by Jon Wilner

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