BYU vs. Cal fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, September 8
Game Time: 10:15 ET
Venue: LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo, UT
BYU (1-0) vs. Cal (1-0) Game Preview
One Reason Why Cal Will Win
BYU’s defensive front did a great job of keeping Arizona’s amazing backfield talent in check, but it also helped that the Wildcats didn’t do much to crank up the ground game.
Cal won’t have that problem.
The Bear offense might have sputtered and coughed too much in the 24-17 win over North Carolina, but the ground game kept at it. Patrick Laird was a workhorse with 29 carries for 95 yards and a score, and then it came down to the three quarterbacks to keep throwing a different look throughout the game.
Arizona tried to get Khalil Tate throwing deep. Now, BYU has to deal with every type of possibility from the Bear QBs.
More importantly, the Cal linebackers will be stronger than Arizona’s were.
The Bears came up with four picks, made life miserable for UNC quarterback Nathan Elliott, and stuffed the running backs time and again.
BYU isn’t going to outphysical this group.
One Reason Why BYU Will Win
Tanner Mangum is back.
The BYU quarterback situation was never settled throughout last season, but that all changed against Arizona, with the veteran Cougar coming up with a solid 209-yard, one score day playing steady, calm, and making seemingly every key throw when needed in the second half.
There were too many penalties – ten – but there weren’t any turnovers and the lines managed to control the game throughout. The offensive front pounded away on the Arizona offensive front for the hard yards to get Squally Canada three touchdowns, and the defensive line – while it didn’t get behind the line – kept Tate under wraps.
Now, the defense should be able to load up on the Cal ground game and not worry too much about getting beaten deep. The three Bear quarterbacks completed just half of their passes for just 119 yards – the downfield plays weren’t there.
What’s Going To Happen
Is BYU back to being a real, live bowl team? Can it reestablish itself as a nasty home power again? That’s a bit much after one game against Arizona, but the Cougars are about to go 2-0 against the Pac-12.
The lack of any downfield pop from the Cal offense will prove costly in a grinder of a game. BYU won’t do anything fantastic, but it’ll keep hanging around, it won’t make the mistakes that North Carolina did against the Bear D, and a win will be a win.
For a program that didn’t show much of anything throughout last year, this will be a big moment for the fan base.
Fearless Prediction & Line
BYU 26, Cal 20
Line: BYU -3, o/u: 46.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3
Must See Rating: 2.5
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