California Golden Bears 2016 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart, Outlook
California Golden Bears 2016 Preview
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The California Golden Bears are looking to improve upon their 8-5 record last season and make a run at a Pac-12 North title.
Overview: Sonny Dykes and the Cal Golden Bears have some uncertainty after losing QB Jared Goff, who went #1 in the NFL Draft. California finished last season with a win in the Armed Forces Bowl against Air Force by a score of 55-36. Cal has some question marks on the offensive side, but their defense should continue to improve.
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Offense: With the departure of QB Jared Goff, Cal will look to fill that void with Davis Webb, who is a graduate transfer from Texas Tech. Webb has totaled 5,557 passing yards and 46 touchdowns in his college career. Webb should be able to pick up the offense quickly and help Cal win games right away. The California rushing attack returns their top three rushers from last season: Khalfani Muhammad (586 rushing yards, 1 touchdown), Vic Enwere (505 rushing yards, 8 touchdowns), and Tre Watson (504 rushing yards, 3 touchdowns). Cal will look to use the running back by committee approach once again this season. The California receiving core has some question marks, as they lost their top 6 leading receivers from last season. Cal has some young talent at the receiving position, led by Chad Hansen who began playing more towards the end of last season. Cal is returning 4 of their 5 starters on the offensive line, which will give their offense some confidence veteran leadership.
Defense: The Cal defense was has struggled the past few seasons, but has been able to slowly improve over the past 3 seasons. Last season, the Cal defense allowed 30.7 points per game. Cal is one of those teams that like to run a fast paced offense, meaning their defense is out on the field for more time/possessions than the average defense. This makes it tough for a defense to have a lot of success, especially in a conference with some high-powered offensive teams. Cal is returning 5 starters on defense and has some players with experience, including safety Drew Damariay (71 tackles and 2 interceptions last season), defensive end DeVante Wilson (2.5 TFLs and 1 sack), and cornerback Darius Allensworth (41 tackles and 11 pass breakups). Overall, this Cal defense has question marks on defense and will look to young guys to help improve on one of the lower defenses in the country.
Special Teams: Matt Anderson returns as the place kicker for Cal, who went 18-21 in field goals with a long of 48 yards. Cal will be looking for a punter this season, while Vic Wharton will most likely be the kick returner.
Outlook: Cal faces a pretty tough schedule and their win total over/under came out at just 4. With all of the question marks that this Cal team has, I would say they would be very lucky to find themselves in a bowl game this season.
August 26 Hawaii Australia
September 10 at San Diego State
September 17 Texas
September 24 at Arizona State
October 1 Utah Utes
October 8 at Oregon State
October 21 Oregon
October 27 at USC
November 5 Washington
November 12 at Washington State
November 19 Stanford
November 26 UCLA