Cal back in desperation mode

U.S. Presswire File PhotoStuffed: C.J. Anderson and the Cal running game were bottled up last week

U.S. Presswire File PhotoStuffed: C.J. Anderson and the Cal running game were bottled up last week

Cal will be in desperation mode again when it plays at Utah on Saturday, and the Bears performed well with that mindset before.

Cal was sliding into oblivion with a 1-4 record when it produced its best game of the season in a 43-17 victory over UCLA on Oct. 6. That seemed to lift the Bears out of the doldrums and led to a two-game winning streak.

The 21-3 loss Stanford on Saturday was not altogether surprising, but it sent the Bears back to the brink. They are 3-5 overall and 2-3 in the conference and must beat the Utes to have any reasonable shot at a bowl berth.

#link_box { width: 150px; height: auto; margin: 0; padding: 0; margin: 10px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 10px; background-color: #fbfade; /* ecru – light yellow */ border: 1px solid #343a25; /* green – for summer arts */ float: left; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-size: 11px; } #link_box img, #link_box a { border 0px; border-style: none; outline: none; } #link_box h1 { margin: 0; padding: 5px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; text-transform: none; color: #8A0808; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 12px; text-align: center; } #link_box h2 { margin: 0; padding: 5px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; text-transform: none; color: #000; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 10px; text-align: center; } #link_box ul { list-style: none; margin: 0; padding: 0; border: none; } #link_box li { margin: 0px padding: 0px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; border-bottom-width: 1px; } #link_box li a { display: block; padding: 5px 5px 5px 15px; /* Padding for bullet */ /* border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; border-bottom-width: 1px; */ color: #000; width: 100%; width: auto; /* height: auto; */ /* border: 1px solid blue; */ margin: 0px; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-size: 11px; line-height: 14px; text-decoration: none; } #link_box li a: before { /* background-position: top left; */ } #link_box li a:hover { background-color: #ddd; color: #000; }

Utah is a team Cal can beat, even on the road. The Utes have lost four in a row, and they have quarterback issues.

Freshman Travis Wilson is the third starting quarterback Utah has used this season.

If the Bears have the same sense of desperation they showed against UCLA, they can win.

However, there are a few differences between this desperation game and the one against the Bruins in Berkeley.

For one thing, this game is on the road. Cal has played fairly well away from home this season, but it’s always easier to turn things around at home.

Also, Cal has personnel concerns at linebacker. Jalen Jefferson (concussion), Brennan Scarlett (hand) and Chris McCain (ankle) are all starters and are all questionable for the game against Utah.

Finally, Utah’s defense is better than the one Cal faced against UCLA, and after the way Stanford completely shut down Cal’s running game, it may be difficult to resurrect the ground game against a Utah defense that is good against the run. Cal had just three yards rushing against Stanford, and anything remotely close to that against the Utes will result in a Cal loss.

Utah is strong on the defensive line, while Cal’s offensive line has been inconsistent. That is not a favorable combination for Cal, which desperately needs to regain the success on the ground it had in the two games prior to Stanford.

collegeCollege SportsUC BerkeleyZach Maynard

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Giants second baseman Donovan Solano scores on a double in the seventh inning against the Dodgers at Oracle Park on July 29. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Will the Giants make the playoffs? Kris Bryant may be the answer

By Chris Haft Special to The Examiner You’d be hard-pressed to find… Continue reading

Tiffany Carter, owner of Boug Cali West Coast Creole Shack in San Francisco’s La Cocina Marketplace, was dismayed by gentrification she found when she returned to her hometown to start a business. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF Black Wallstreet: Helping residents build wealth, reclaim spaces they’ve had to leave

Tiffany Carter moved back to her hometown of San Francisco five years… Continue reading

A prescribed fire at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks was conducted in June 2016 to reduce hazardous fuel loading, increase watershed health, and restore the natural fire cycle in the Redwood Canyon area ecosystem. (Photo courtesy Rebecca Paterson/National Park Service)
Experts, UC scientists discuss wildfires in the state’s riskiest regions

Wildfires are nothing new in California’s history, but the magnitude and frequencies… Continue reading

Fourth-grade students at Lucerne Valley Elementary School don masks and Western wear for a “Walk Through California” history day during in-person instruction. (Courtesy of Krystal Nelson)
Confusion over mask mandate for California schools sparks tension between districts and parents

By Diana Lambert EdSource Shifting rules around mask mandates at schools are… Continue reading

In his extensive filming of The City during the pandemic, Eric Goodfield said he has been “observing how the environment affects the behavior of people.” (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Filmmaker Eric Goodfield fixes lens on SF’s COVID days

140 days of shooting in The City made for ‘greatest adventure’

Most Read