2015-16 Football Previews – (Pac 12) – Golden Bears
It’s time for the 2015 California Golden Bears season to open in less than a week. California has proven they have one of the best passing attacks in all of football. However, their downfall has been their defensive struggles. Can California turn things around and get their defensive problems put aside for the 2015 season?
NCAA Football Gambling Lines
Pac 12 Lines
Pac 12 2015-2016 College Football Preview – California
Head Coach: Sonny Dykes
2014 Record: 5-7
California Odds to Pac 12: 40/1
California had one of the best offenses in all football last season. QB Jared Goff led the Golden Bears to the 11th best scoring team in the nation with 38.3 points per game.
Goff had 509 pass attempts in 2014 and threw for 3973 yards and 35 touchdowns to just 7 interceptions. With those kinds of numbers, the Golden Bears should be one of the top tier teams in not just the Pac 12, but in all of the country.
However, their major downfall was their defense. While they ranked 11th overall in scoring, they ranked 123rd in defense with 39.8 points against.
California’s lowest point total allowed in conference play was 31, on two occasions. They allowed 59 points on two different occasions as well.
The offense and Goff have given the California Golden Bears a chance to be an elite team. If their defense can even figure themselves out a little bit in the 2015 season, California could be a sleeper in the Pac 12.
Points: California dropped a 60 spot on Washington State last season. They also had games where they put up 40+ points in both losses and wins.
No matter how bad their defense was or played in a certain week, California was never out of a game.
That was thanks in large part to Goff’s ability to throw deep down the field and find his explosive receivers.
Goff had so many threats down field in 2014. He had 3 receivers surpass the 50 receptions mark, one that fell just short, and a couple others that sit with at least 20 or 30.
The best part about all this is that California will not only have Goff back, as a Junior, but also have his ENTIRE receiving core by his side.
6 of those will be Seniors and main target Kenny Lawler will be a Junior.
Lawler had 701 yards and 83 targets in 2014.
Obviously Defense: The word obviously holds the most truth to this scenario. The Golden Bears defense was abysmal in 2014.
The defense ranked 124th overall and 128th against the pass. California had one of the worst pass rushes and that came with just above every problem possible.
The defense was young- they had 4 of 5 players either freshmen or sophomores in the secondary.
The defense was injured- Cal had 14 different players with at least a tackle. They even got to the point where wide receivers were getting chances in the secondary.
That was the main reasoning for them being a 5-7, non bowl participant. Having wide receivers fill in on defense is not a recipe for success.
2015 California Prediction: 6-6
The defense can’t be any worse in 2015. They were so bad against the pass, even the worst teams had a field day against them.
The offense is not a problem at all, but they key in 2015 for California will be to get teams to run the football.
California was actually 38th against the rush in 2014. They allowed only 10 carries of 20 plus yards and were solid in short yardage situations.
However, teams wouldn’t even consider running the ball against them because they could pass on the first 3 downs and easily pick up first downs.
The defense is a little more healthy and a little older. They’ll still be bad, but a slight improvement, combined with their offensive explosiveness should result in a bit of a better season.
|9/5/15||5:00 PM ET||GRAM|
|9/12/15||5:00 PM ET||SDSU|
|9/19/15||7:30 PM ET||@TEX|
|10/22/15||9:00 PM ET||@UCLA|
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Check out our Updated College Football Odds.
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