After a trip to Salt Lake City to take on the University of Utah Utes ended with Cal being shutout for the first time in 20 years. Against Utah, last year’s Pac-12 champions, the Bears were outclassed from the start. The defense which has held the last 14 opponents in a row under 24 points has been teetering on the edge for the last couple weeks. Finally succumbing to the Utes (35-0). The Utes had no trouble dominating the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and limited the Bears to just 43 offensive plays.
Although things haven’t gone the way of the Bears as of late, losers of four straight conference games with injuries derailing a promising start to the season. The Bears refuse to give in or give up, senior consensus mid-season All-American, and Chuck Bednarik Award semi-finalist Evan Weaver will have none of it.
Salvaging the Season and Getting to a Bowl Game
At (4-4), while showing tenacity, perseverance, and a never quit mentality, the Bears are more likely than not playing out the string for bowl eligibility. Currently possessing a (1-4) conference record, the Bears are the Pac-12 North division cellar dwellers.
However wins over Washington State (11/9), Stanford (11/23), and USC (11/16) can go a long way to securing a bid in a bowl game. The Pac-12 will send six representatives to participate in the Las Vegas Bowl, Holiday Bowl, Cheez-It Bowl, Redbox Bowl, Sun Bowl, and the Alamo Bowl.
Bowl games are excellent recruiting sellers. In order for the Bears to be able to once again challenge for conference supremacy, they need to get more talented across the board. As last reported by Bears Insider, Cal has 23 commits for the 2020 class thus far, 22 of these incoming players are three-star recruits. In order to remain competitive in the Pac-12, Cal is going to need to add premium pieces to the puzzle.
What Can the Cal Bears Rely on and What Do They Need?
Coach Justin Wilcox has been setting the foundation of his football program and the nation has taken notice. At one point, the Bears were ranked as high as #15 in the AP poll. Of Cal’s multiple marquee wins, the most exciting had to be against the Ole Miss Rebels.
Quarterback Chase Garbers had the best game of his career throwing 23/35 for 357 yards and 4 TDs. But the game was sealed by that Bear defense stonewalling the Rebels at the goal line. In the next game against the Arizona State Sun Devils, Garbers was 9/12 for 117 yards and a TD prior to getting an upper-body injury which has taken the majority of his season away. What does it all mean?
What it means is that coach Wilcox and his staff have a daunting task ahead of them as the Bears have demonstrated quite a bit of holes in need of filling. Moving forward the Bears have their starter at quarterback, but must develop a capable backup or two. Since Garbers’ injury, the offense has come to a screeching halt. When Garbers returns the time to surround him with weapons is now. Speed kills and the Bears need more of it.
On offense and defense, the Bears are in possession of great football speed and playing speed. Meaning in order to match up with some of the more marquee teams such as Oregon, USC, Arizona St., Utah, Stanford, and UCLA’s of the Pac-12 Cal is going to need a couple of burners and big bodies.
Cal Golden Bears Recruiting
As far as recruiting goes the Bears have plenty of things working in their favor. With the freshly renovated Aaron Rodgers Locker Room, Cal Memorial Stadium and a beautiful campus. They have a coach who is recognized as a premier coach, a program that has been ranked at some point in each of the last two seasons. A solid quarterback, and a school whose alumni have and will join the ranks of pro footballs Hall of Fame.
Not to mention an opportunity to be one of the contributing players who helped get the Bears back over the hump and possibly the first Pac-12 team into the College Football playoff equation. A place where you can achieve one of the best educations in the country, becoming a Bear should be the decision of every young high school hopeful.
See where Cal ranks in the Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 10