Stanford vs. Cal fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, December 1
Game Time: 2:00 ET
Venue: Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, CA
Network: Pac-12 Network
Stanford (7-4) vs. Cal (7-4) Game Preview
One Reason Why Stanford Will Win
Cal just doesn’t move the ball well enough.
The Bears are doing a whole slew of things well defensively, but running the ball … no.
Scoring points in bunches … no. And it’s a no on third down conversions, too.
Things moved a bit in the win over Colorado last week, but for the most part, the Bears need to keep games low-scoring, tight, and then rely on a big defensive play and opportunities to pounce on.
Stanford isn’t air-tight when it comes to giveaways, but it’s not all that bad. It’s not going to hand the ball over to the Bear defense five times. But this game is going to be about versatility.
Normally this season, Stanford has been great at mucking it up and coming through when it had to. But over the last few games, it’s been able to open things up against the putrid Oregon State and UCLA defenses, getting into firefights in three of the last four games – it was a battle against Washington State, too.
Stanford has the offensive pop that Cal doesn’t. And if the Bears want to make it ugly, then that’s fine, too.
One Reason Why Cal Will Win
The running game just never showed up this season for Stanford.
Bryce Love never got it moving, and outside of a big day against Oregon State – because, who doesn’t have a big day against Oregon State? – the Cardinal ground attack stalled way too often. That’s a problem since the the Cal secondary has been a rock.
Washington State went Washington State on the Bears, but it was a one-dimensional day in the 19-13 Cougar win. Gardner Minshew did a whole lot of dinking and dunking, but the Cal secondary help up.
Now, after stuffing USC and Colorado, the Bears have the top pass defense in the Pac-12, allowing just 12 touchdown passes with 17 picks on the season. That doesn’t mean KJ Costello and the Stanford offense won’t give it a try, but Cal should be able to keep the Cardinal from going off.
What’s Going To Happen
It’s been a few weeks in the making, with the Big Game getting postponed due to the nightmare situation in the area.
Both teams are going bowling, and neither one has anything to play for other than pride in a big rivalry moment.
How is Cal going to score? The passing game just isn’t that great, and the running game is in trouble against a strong Cardinal defensive front.
Stanford will have to be patient. It can’t turn the ball over, and it’ll have to wait for the right time before hitting the Bears on a few deep shots to take over the game.
It won’t be anything pretty, and it might get lost in the shuffle with most of the college football world deep in the midst of Championship Saturday, but it’ll be a great four quarter fight with the Cardinal hanging on late against a Cal offense that won’t be able to come through.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Stanford 24, Cal 20
Line: Stanford -3, o/u: 47
ATS Confidence out of 5: 1.5
Must See Rating: 3
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