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October 4, 2012
PODCAST: Breaking Down the Bruins
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SAN FRANCISCO -- The California football team is 1-4. The Bears own not a single win over a Football Bowl Subdivision team. They have surrendered an FBS-worst 25 sacks. They are last in the Pac-12 in time of possession. They are seventh in scoring offense, 10th in scoring defense, seventh in total offense, ninth in total defense, dead last in rushing defense, ninth in passing offense, 10th in passer efficiency, 11th in passer efficiency defense, ninth in kickoff coverage, ninth in sacks by, ninth in first downs allowed, 10th in third-down conversion, 11th in opponent third-down conversion, eighth in penalties, ninth in turnover margin and eighth in red zone offense.
By just about every measure, Cal is in trouble, and this weekend, the Bears will face a team decidedly on the rise in UCLA.
The Bruins (4-1, 1-1 in the Pac-12) are third in the league in scoring offense, first in total offense, second in rushing offense, fourth in passing offense, third in passer efficiency, second in kickoff return, first in the nation in interceptions with nine, second in the conference in sacks, third in first downs, fourth in third-down defense, third in time of possession and are tied for second in turnover margin.
"The message is that we look at it, we all look in the mirror, what we can do -- coaches, players, everybody," says Cal head coach Jeff Tedford, off to the worst start of his tenure. "We've been in the game in four of the games in the fourth quarter. We've got to continue to improve so we can get over the hump in the fourth quarter."
The Bears have scored just one touchdown in the first quarter all year, while opponents have scored 44 points in the first stanza. This team is in trouble, and this weekend -- Homecoming weekend -- Cal will try to right the ship.
In our first 30 minutes of the podcast this week, we break down last week's 27-17 loss to Arizona State, the problems along the offensive line and the questionable play calling on third-and-long.
Of the 33 third-and-long situations the Bears have faced this season, on 25 of their 71 offensive drives, Cal has run the ball 14 times and passed 15. On those 14 rushes -- six of which were sacks on starting quarterback Zach Maynard -- the Bears gained an average of 1.5 yards.
In our second half hour, we break down this week's contest against the Bruins, which feature the 10th-most prolific tackler in the conference in Eric Kendricks -- the younger brother of former Bear and 2011 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Mychal Kendricks, who averages 7.2 stops per game and owns 36 total tackles on the season -- the fifth-most in the conference.
The run-stopping ability of UCLA isn't the best -- the Bruins are eighth in the league in run defense -- but they have a very active 3-4 defense, which utilizes odd fronts and changing pressures to force hurried decisions. Senior Sheldon Price is sixth in the Pac-12 in passes defended with six, while Stan McKay and Tevin McDonald are tied for ninth with five apiece. Last year, McDonald had three picks against Maynard, while then-starting quarterback Kevin Prince ran wild for 163 yards on the ground.
For the fourth time in six weeks, the Bears will face an offense which relies heavily on spread and option principles, run deftly by UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley. The 6-foot-3, 223-pound redshirt freshman is fourth in the Pac-12 in passing yards per game (296.0), third in passer efficiency (150.6) and third in total offense (329.0 yards per game), with a total of 165 yards on the ground. As if that's not enough, the Bruins also feature veteran tailback Johnathan Franklin, who leads the conference in rushing with 139.4 yards per game and 697 total yards -- 92 more than second-place Kenjon Barner.
To finish up the podcast, we break down the big recruiting weekend Cal is hosting, and touch on the newest hoops commit in three-star point guard Sam Singer.
Ryan Gorcey: 24-14 UCLA
John Breech: 34-27 UCLA
Robert Kenneth Clampett: 35-27 UCLA
Ole Miss Commit Visits
Hutchings to See Cal-UCLA
Hughes Set for Cal Official
DB Brothers to Pay Official Visit to Cal
Bears Add Another to Visit List
Bears Snag Miami Point
VIDEO: Scouting Singer
Beyond the Commitment: Singer Speaks
Beyond the Commitment: Singer to Compete in Maccabiah Games
VIDEO: Campo Talks Special Teams
VIDEO: Tedford, Bears are 'miserable'
VIDEO: Tedford Talks Bigelow
Q&A With BruinSportsReport
VIDEO: Quick Hits From Tuesday Presser