November 30, 2021 7:03 pm
Cal’s improved defense in for tough test vs. Oregon St

Cal’s improved defense in for tough test vs. Oregon St

BERKELEY (Calif.) — Coach Justin Wilcox’s team has been improving in recent weeks after a disappointing start to the season.

Cal just celebrated its first conference win, beating Colorado last week. But the task gets much tougher for the Golden Bears (2-5, 1-3 Pac-12) when they host Oregon State (5-2, 3-1) on Saturday.

” “It’s a different challenge,” Wilcox stated. “Our guys know that. It’ll take a really good week of preparation because they’re a talented outfit and they have really good scheme.”

The Beavers are one of the biggest surprises in the Pac-12 this season and come into the game leading the conference in scoring (35.1 points per game) and ranking seventh nationally on the ground (245 yards per game) led by B.J. A strong offensive line at Baylor.

Baylor is sixth in the nation at 118.6 yards per game and has topped the 100-yard mark in four straight and five of the past six games. In last week’s victory over Utah, Baylor ran 152 miles.

“He is a very talented man,” Wilcox stated. He runs downhill in one run. He can do arm tackles, and can get out in the open field. He makes explosive plays Cal is doing a better job of limiting them. After allowing 448.3 yards per game and 28.7 points per game through its first three games of the season, Cal’s defense has toughened up of late.

The Bears held Oregon to 24 points and completely shut down Colorado, recording six sacks and allowing only 104 yards of offense in the 26-3 win last week.

” They play to their strengths, in terms of quality football on both side,” Beavers coach Jonathan Smith stated. “They’re not trying to get into a track meet and they don’t need to because they’re so good on defense year in and year out.”

A win would make the Beavers bowl eligible for the first time since 2013, the longest active drought in the Pac-12. Oregon State had gone to 11 bowl games in 15 seasons before hitting this rut.

While the Beavers are aiming to reach the Rose Bowl for their first time since the 1964 seasons, the main focus is now on Cal.

” We are not overlooking them in anyway,” Smith stated. “Each year is different… Yeah, we beat these guys last year, but we beat the Ducks last year, too, and I guarantee we won’t be overlooking them.”

STREAKING

Oregon State has rushed for at least 200 yards in six straight games. This is the longest streak of the Beavers since the 1993 teams did it in the last seven games.

But Oregon State is now in a better place this year, as the 1993 group failed to pass in two of seven games.

DO it ALL Bears safety Elijah Hicks was everywhere on the field last week. To lead the defense, he had six tackles, one tackle, an interception, and 2 1/2 tackles.

“Elijah is a player who has played good football for us for a while,” Wilcox stated. He said that it was the most memorable game he had played in his entire career. He was extremely productive. He was very productive .”

OSU INSURIES Smith announced that safety Alton Julian will likely be out for the remainder of the season due to a knee injury at his Monday press conference. Julian sustained an injury in the Beavers’ win over Utah. Smith’s absence could have an impact on Saturday’s game planning as Jaydon Grant, defensive back, will be absent due to targeting.

But, the Beavers may see the return to play of Jake Levengood, their starting left guard who was hurt against Washington State but didn’t play against Utah. Smith stated that he is “hopeful” Levengood would play in Berkeley.

QB RUN

Cal quarterback Chase Garbers gave a huge boost to the running game, rushing for a record-setting 96 yardage. Garbers also became Cal’s career leader in rushing yards by a quarterback with 1,025, passing Joe Kapp’s total of 931.

Garbers tied the school record with nine TD runs.

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