The 2016 college football season gets started tonight with the local California Golden Bears in action! Well, they’re local but this game is far from local. And it technically will be tomorrow where Cal is playing.
Cal faces Hawaii in a game down in Australia. The kickoff time is 7 p.m. in the Bay Area, which will be noon in Sydney. It is the same time as the 49ers preseason game against the Packers, but we figure some people will be switching between the two games. Feel free to use this as an open thread for the Cal-Hawaii game.
Location: ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Australia
Date: Friday, August 26
Time: 10:00 pm ET
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Line: Cal -19.5
Names to Know
Cal: (QB) Davis Webb, (RB) Tre Watson, (WR) Chad Hansen, (WR) Demetris Robertson, (OG) Chris Borrayo, (DB) Darius Allensworth, (DT) James Looney.
Hawaii: (QB) Ikaika Woolsey, (RB) Paul Harris, (RB) Diocemy Saint Juste, (WR) Marcus Kemp, (WR) Keelan Ewaliko, (LB) Jahlani Tavai, (DB) Daniel Lewis Jr.
How Cal Can Get it Done
- Start fast and get on top early. Cal only returns 5 starters on the defensive side of the ball, so sparking offense early will likely compensate for the inexperienced defense.
- Get the run game intact. If the Bears can run the rock effectively, it will take a load off Davis Webb and his young receiving corp. Senior Khalfani Muhammad, Junior Vic Enwere and Junior Tre Watson will split the majority of the carries. Being able to gash Hawaii on the ground will be a huge difference maker in Cal’s hopes to start the season 1-0.
- Taking shots downfield. The Bear-Raid is always a lock to air it out, but graduate transfer quarterback Davis Webb has only spent time at Cal for about two months, he can’t hesitate to throw it long. Webb operated in the spread at Texas Tech, so his transition should be much easier.
How Hawaii Can Get it Done
- Be aggressive on defense. Hawaii has a history of being conservative on defense, but their new coaching staff wants to apply more pressure. Dialing up a good number of blitzes could end up rattling Webb, and alter some of his decision making.
- Establish a hard-nosed running attack behind the veteran offensive line. Control the clock and demoralize California’s defense by smashing their lacking front seven in the mouth.
Cal’s defense isn’t exactly up to par, but what’s new? The Warriors depth at RB should definitely help them find their way into the end-zone, however it’s not likely they can keep up with the Bears. Sonny Dykes’ running backs should carry this team for a win by at least a touchdown.