Time to Bear Down

September 10, 2021

Week 2 brings a still-unranked (and underrated) TCU team a visit from the PAC-12 as the Cal Bears look to erase the memory of a disappointing loss to Nevada in their opener.

Like TCU, Cal has become known for its defense under head coach Justin Wilcox. The problem for the Bears in recent times has been that they haven’t gotten support from their offense.

TCU vs Duquesne football at Amon Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas on September 4, 2021. Photo by Gregg Ellman

TCU quarterback Max Duggan’s 207 yards in the air against Duquesne put him over the 4,000-yard career mark. He’s now at 4,079 which ranks ninth in TCU history. Courtesy of TCU Athletics | Photo by Gregg Ellman

Cal’s quarterback Chase Garbers has wheels and would rather run than throw. He’s not as comfortable throwing the football, but if he gets in rhythm he can be a problem. Former NFL assistant Bill Musgrave is Cal’s offensive coordinator and he want to run a complex offensive system, but the QB position appears to be the hold up to fully exploiting all facets of the offense. Garbers can move, though: Last year, he outran USC’s secondary on a play that opened some eyes. The Frogs will need to be patient and sound on defense as Cal will huddle, slow things down and run it with #28 Damien Moore, who doesn’t need much room to pop a big play. Follow him with stocky back #34 Christopher Brooks at 235 and there’s the power game. There are ample WRs, but getting them the ball with accurate throws has been an ongoing problem and was Cal’s blight last week vs. Nevada.

Cal’s offensive line has been shuffled due to season-ending injuries to their center and right tackle. The left side of the Cal O-Line is the stronger side.

Defensively, Cal rolls out two giant nose tackles at 340 pounds apiece, #58 Stanley McKenzie and #91 Ricky Correia. The defense is built around the linebackers. #54 Evan Tattersall is fast and covers well. Outside linebacker #19 Cameron Goode can do it all — rush the passer, play the run, cover in space.

The secondary will disguise coverages and show a lot of man coverage. Big play opportunities lurk as size mismatches in the back half favor the Frogs.

With the way both of these teams like to run the ball, this could be a short game as the clock will run. Heat and humidity will be a factor and it will be interesting to see how Cal handles the heat late in the game. High temp in Berkeley, California, today was 68 degrees.

The forecast for tomorrow at The Carter calls for a high of 95 with winds out of the south at 20 mph.

We’re on the air on the Horned Frogs Sports Network at 1:30 p.m. CT. Join us!

Until then,

Kick ‘Em High!