Golden Nation: 2023 Week 3 Preview
Week 2 Recap: California: 30 - Kansas State: 27
After a 30-27 double overtime victory in Manhattan, Kansas last week the Golden Bears saw success and some things they should be concerned about. To start with the positives, redshirt senior Zachary McFadden had an excellent performance: (20 carries 125 yards 2 TDs, 2 catches, 29 yards). California's coaching staff took advantage of McFadden's speed working him on the outside. The offensive line which was a question mark going into this season held up well only allowing 1 sack, and allowing McFadden and Ellison to be productive in the run game. A major question mark going into the spring game for this Cal offense was the quarterback position. Nick Ellison (21/31, 188 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 8 carries, 53 yards) was named the starting signal caller and did what he needed to do. He managed to move the ball through the air well enough to keep the play call selection balanced and also opened up a huge 40 yard carry for himself. Not to take away from redshirt freshman Zachary Riggin's pick-6, but this defense's secondary needs to take this week to make some major adjustments if Cal plans on being competitive in Pac-12 play.
Week 3 Preview: Houston at California
This is going to be an exciting match up for Cal's head coach who gets the chance to face off against his old program. Entering his first full season as the Golden Bears head coach, noodlz2 aims to make a bowl game which he hasn't done since he was at Houston during the 2021 season. Both teams started their seasons off against Big XII teams. Omar Workman and the Cougars had a bye week following their game against Baylor week 0. Houston does have a quarterback and receivers capable of taking advantage of California's secondary. However, Baylor had forced them to play very one-dimensional shutting down their run game and capitalizing on turnovers. With true freshman Jamie King suffering from mild hamstring tendinitis this week, this Golden Bears defense is missing their starting nickelback. Redshirt junior Nicholas Ragland is going to have to step up and fill the role. It'll be interesting to see how Cal's secondary matches up against Houston's sophomore receiver duo Mohamed Barrett and Benjamin Hampton who were originally recruited to Houston by noodlz2. Both receivers are going to force the experienced leader Shaq Kimbrough to work on the outside and should be a good matchup to keep an eye on. Golden Bears inside linebacker De'Andre Phillips (Jr) 6'4 252 pounds facing off against Cooper Christianson (Jr) 6'0 202 pounds between the tackles will be an important match up in the run game for both sides.
Houston - California
Points For: 20 - 30
Points Allowed: 41 - 27
Passing YPG: 207 - 188
Rushing YPG: 51 - 178
Passing Yards Allowed: 241 - 306
Rushing Yards Allowed: 155 - 57
Turnover Margin: -2 - 0