California 2011

2010 Statistics

(Pac-12) The Golden Bears play on a grass field at AT&T Park (seats 75,622) this year while they are renovating Memorial Stadium

  • Jeff Tedford is in his 10th year as head coach at California. And unfortunately he is coming off of his worst and only losing season at Cal.  They finished 5-7 and with a guaranteed salary of approximately $2.3 million a year, another mediocre season could be the end for Tedford.  But then again, if he were to be fired without cause, he is still entitled to $1.8 million per year.
  • One thing Tedford has done successfully throughout his career is recruit at develop talent at the quarterback position (his most recent success is Aaron Rodgers who just won a Super Bowl with Green Bay).  But for the past three seasons, quarterback is actually the area where Cal has struggled.  Between injuries and poor performance, the quarterback position has shown inconsistency and disappointment.  This year the most experienced quarterback returning is Brock Mansion, who had a disappointing 49% completion percentage and threw 5 interceptions to just 2 touchdowns.  The more likely starter could be Zach Maynard who had decent statistics as a starter at Buffalo in 2009.
  • Losing NFL caliber talent at Running back.  The running back

    Running Back Isi Sofele

    pedigree at Cal in recent years has included J.J. Arrington, Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett, Jahvid Best and finally Shane Vereen, who was drafted in the 2nd round of this April’s NFL Draft.  It seems as if each NFL draft pick is replaced with another NFL prospect.  This year the position is not as certain.  Furthermore, even with the talent last year, Cal still had just the 52nd ranked rushing offense. Isi Sofele is the most experienced running back and while Vereen is a tough act to follow, so were Best and Lynch (both 1st round NFL draft picks).

  • The good news is that the top two receivers both return (Marvin Jones and Keenan Allen) as do three offensive line starters from last year plus lineman Matt Summers-Gavin, who was injured after just four starts in 2010.  This will help counter the inexperience and provide leadership for the team.  This offense needs to find balance and while the strength is in the running game, if the passing game doesn’t develop they will barely move the ball as was the case last year.
  • Cal’s defense did a great job last year and ranked first in the Pac-10 (now Pac-12) in total defense, passing defense and sacks.  This year they are in the second year under defense coordinator Clancy Pendergast.
  • One problem this year is that the defensive line really loses a lot of talent.  This will impact the ability to stop their opponents running game.  Last year their rushing defense wasn’t as strong as their passing defense, which is probably why when they chose to be aggressive and blitz, they most likely went up the middle.  The indicator of this is the fact that last year’s sack leader was an inside linebacker, Mychal Kendricks.  Furthermore, the reason why a linebacker (as opposed to a lineman) led the team in sacks is because this defense plays a 3-4 scheme (since 2008).  This means that the linebackers take on more responsibility for blitzing and getting to the quarterback.
  • The nose tackle (who is in the middle of the two defensive ends) is the key to the success of the 3-4 defense and Cal is breaking in a new one.
  • The secondary also takes a hit, which will mean the passing defense could struggle as well.
  • Early on breaking in new defensive players as well as a new quarterback and running back could be challenging for Cal.  They have until September 24th to get into a rhythm and then their schedule becomes really tough as they have a stretch against (at) Washington, (at) Oregon, USC, Utah and (at) UCLA.

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