Preview 2018: Cal Golden Bears. The Pac-12 Team To Watch Out For

Preview 2018: Cal Golden Bears. The Pac-12 Team To Watch Out For

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Preview 2018: Cal Golden Bears. The Pac-12 Team To Watch Out For

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What You Need To Know About The Cal Offense

– It wasn’t exactly the type of offense Cal fans are used to, and it wasn’t exactly the type of offense that offensive coordinator and former Eastern Washington head coach Beau Baldwin usually runs, but it should be better.

Cal was a bit more controlled in the new era, but it was also 11th in the Pac-12 in total offense and averaged just 28 points per game. To get it all going, it starts with more from a running game that generated a paltry 1,507 yards. But Patrick Laird is back after accounting for 1,127 of those yards and eight of the team’s 17 scores. When Cal committed to the run, the production followed.

– The offensive line had a hard time keeping defenses out of the backfield and allowed away too many sacks. However, all five starters are back from a young group that threw several underclassmen out there. Now they have to keep the quarterback upright.

Ross Bowers is growing into a dangerous passer, but he has to cut down on the interceptions after throwing 12 … and he has to win the gig. Chase Forrest was right there in the hunt early last year, and South Carolina transfer Brandon McIlwain is an electrifying talent who’ll at least get a few packages created for him. No matter who’s under center …

– The downfield passes have to come. There was WAY too much dinking and dunking – partly by design – averaging 11.2 yards per completion. There’s speed in the receiving corps, and there’s returning production starting with last year’s top two targets, Vic Wharton and Kanawai Noa. In all, eight of the team’s top ten pass catchers are back.

Biggest Key To The Cal Offense

No, really. Start throwing the ball down the field more. The Bears averaged just 6.5 yards per pass – 97 teams threw for more. Compared to the previous regime that winged the ball all over the yard, the 2016 team averaged almost seven yards per throw, and the 2015 attack bombed away for almost nine yards per pass.

NEXT: Defense Breakdown, Top Players, Final Prediction & What Will Happen

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