Bay Area Football California Golden Bears Victorious in Week 1

California Golden Bears win debut against UC Davis

On a beautiful warm sunny day in Berkeley, the California Golden Bears won their 2019 debut against the UC Davis Aggies. With the win today the Bears have now won their sixth consecutive season opener.

Sophomore running back Chris Brown Jr and Junior transfer student KeKoa Crawford were difference makers. Brown, a 6’1″ 230 pound sophomore, carried 26 times for 197 yards, both career highs. He is also the nation’s third leading rusher. Crawford, the 6’1″ 190 pound transfer student from Glendale Community College, had three big catches for 84 yards and two touchdowns.

While the result was in Cal’s favor, it wasn’t the easy win most hoped for. The ballgame had quite the auspicious start as the Aggies won the toss, choosing to differ. They proceeded to strip Cal’s kickoff return man Ashtyn Davis on the 21 yard line and recovered the fumbe to take possession. Not ideal.

Then, after the turnover the Aggies went 21 yards in four plays, scoring on a 2 yard plunge by Ulonzo Gilliam.

The Aggies didn’t letup either, stifling Cal’s passing game throughout the first quarter. The Bears came out flat and the majority of the offense came from the legs of running back Chris Brown Jr.

Chase Garbers completed just two passes. Meanwhile the Aggies forced two turnovers in the first quarter, with a third coming mere seconds into the second quarter.

A win not without mistakes

Offensive mistakes came early and often including a couple Garbers throws. In back to back plays he rolled out to his right, nearly threw one interception and had the second picked.

But it wasn’t all Garbers’ fault. In the second quarter Cal receiver Jordan Duncan caught a pass, broke a tackle but fumbled the ball. The results? Another turnover.

Garbers weighed-in on what he thought attributed to the slow start.

“I think also offensively we came out too loose. I think we were lackadaisacal to start in a way, I think just getting that first game out of us and we regrouped and we came back in the second quarter and the second half and did what we do.”

Once Cal found their rhythm, however, they didn’t look back. Fortunately this took place in the second quarter.

Cranking up the pressure and going uptempo the Bears started taking it to the Aggies. Garbers started things off with a 13 yard run, followed with a three yard run by Brown Jr. After an incompletion came the chunk plays. First was a 30 yard pass to Nikko Remigio. Next was a four yard run by Brown Jr. and finally capped off by a beautiful 37 yard catch and run by Kekoa Crawford with the exclamation point dive into the end zone.

Calming the nerves

When asked about how he settled his young quarterback down, coach Justin Wilcox had this to say.

“It was calming down and trusting his preparation. We expect him t make plays. He kept his composure and didn’t panic by any means. Overall, I liked that he battled back from a slow start. It was good to see.”

Next drive Garbers completes a 30 yarder to tight end Jake Tonges on the seam route. Garbers goes three completions in a row throwing for 98 yards and appeared to find his rhythm. The Bears scored three times in the second quarter, on a touchdown and two field goals, finishing the quarter winning not only the possession battle 08:20 to 06:40 as well as amassing 177 yards to the Aggies 57.

Aggies take a knee in the end zone on the kickoff and proceed to take the ball 60 yards on 10 plays and kick a game-tying 32 yard field goal from Max O’Rourke.

On Cal’s first possession of the second half they mixed up their play calls beautifully and kept the Aggies off balance. Garbers scrambling and running with the football mystified the Aggies, and they had no answer for it. After a scramble that would have come up short the defense hit him late and the free 15 yards put Cal in position to score. Brown ran the ball in from five yards out off of a nice cutback on an outside zone run giving the Bears a 20-13 lead.

Later in the third Garbers rolled out to his right and threw a pass to Crawford in the end zone, but the pass was tipped by the Aggies Jaylin White. Crawford, made sure to get both feet down in bounds while tracking the ball on the tip drill and caught it for a 26 yard score. The last score would put the Bears up 27-13 and would be the final nail in the coffin.

Next up: Washington Huskies

Cal would finish the day with 471 yards total offense, Garbers was 16-28 for 238 yards 2 TDS and 1INT. The Bears rushed as a whole 51 times for 263 yards 1TD and an average of 4.6 yards per carry. Kicker Greg Thomas was 2/3 on field goals with makes of (44,47) missing on the last 44 yarder. Sophomore linebacker Kony Deng led the Bears in tackles with 12 total, 2 pass break ups, and 2 quarterback hits.

Next up for the Bears is a trip to Washington to take on the Pac-12 champions the University of Washington Huskies.

Pac-12 Football: Cal Golden Bears Looking Good After Spring Game

On a beautiful spring day in Berkley, California, the California Golden Bears open up the gates and welcome everyone to the Spring Game and showcase its talent.

The Cal Golden Bears football team finished last season with a wining record of 7-6, giving them just their third winning season in nine years. Looking forward, the PAC-12 conference appears to be wide open and the Bears are poised to bring back 13 players from last seasons stingy 10th ranked defensive units.

The defense features Sr. ILB Evan Weaver a 2nd team All-American, and redshirt Jr. CB Camryn Bynum, leader of the #Takers, the defense, is working towards being even better.

The #Takers, Cal’s defensive back unit was live on the scene when sophomore Safety Daniel Scott made a beautiful play. Dropping back into zone coverage Scott read the eyes of quarterback Robby Rowell and elevated snagging an interception.

Cal Golden Bears gear at Fanatics.com

Kuony Deng the 6-foot-6 Jr. ILB dropped back into coverage and somehow managed to avoid detection from sophomore City College of San Francisco transfer Jack Newman, and get setup with for a pick-6.

Transfer student Deon White, OLB, laid down the Hitstick “Crush of the Game” when he stuffed a Gun zone run and completely blew up the ball carrier. The Bears have a long way to go and will find it difficult to fill the shoes of Jordan Kunaszyk, but they appear ready to #EarnIt and be up to the challenge.

Cal Golden Bears gear at Fanatics.com

Offense

Cal has 4 quarterbacks on the roster Chase Garbers, UCLA transfer student Devon Modster, freshman Robby Rowell, and Jack Newsome. Collectively in the spring game the quarterbacks went 23-32 177 yards 1TD 2INTS. Modster recorded the only passing touchdown of the day and would finish 6-7 27 yards and 1TD. Garbers completed 7-10 for 60 yards with a rushing touchdown. Rowell looked sharp early with the ball coming out on time and with zip. He had the offense in a nice rhythm up until feeding Scott the interception. Rowell’s stat line was 7-10 for 68 yards and 1INT.

Offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin has his work cut out for him as the Bears offense seeks ways to put more points on the board. Returning quarterback Chase Garbers appears to be the likley starter, and his confidence in his ability in the passing game is growing. Last years Bears scored 280 total points and averaged 21.5 points per game.

Baldwin must also find ways to replace Patrick Laird’s production. Laird’s 223 carries accounted for 47% of the run game and his 9 scoring plays (5 rushes, 4 receptions) were 29% of the Bears 29 scores in 2018.

Luckily for Bear enthusiasts everywhere, the 2019 have a healthy sized stable of young workhorses ready to carry the load. Alex Letherda had a team longest run of 29 yards, and would finish the afternoon with 12 carries for 76 yards. Deshawn Collins rushed nine times for 39 yards including a 2yd TD run. The Bears offense appears to be featuring two special players.

Dancing Dancy and J-Hawk

Marcel Dancy turned in one of the top performances of the day, Dancy is a playmaker with vision, speed, power, hands, some shimmy/wiggle, and an ice cold spin move. Dancy would finish the day with 8 carries for 33 yards and a TD, he would also catch 3 passes for 29 yards including this 16 yard catch and run ending in pay dirt.


Jeremiah Hawkins introduced himself to the Golden Bear family with impressive displays of speed, moves, and a punishing stiff arm. Hawkins brings a very much needed shot in the arm to the speed department. What shouldn’t be understated is Hawkins knowledge of how to use his speed. Knowing that the best application of it is actual changing speeds and mixing it up so as to throw off the timing of defenders.

These two dynamic young players look to factor in heavily into Cal’s offensive attack and rightfully so. Dancy runs with power can churn through tackles and freeze defenders in their tracks when he puts them through spinning off of defenders.

Hawkins is 5-foot-8 185 pounds of pure dynamite, and if he’s not blowing past you, he’s embarrassing you with a smooth peel-back block or a merciless stiff-arm to the ground. Hawkins is one tough cookie, and we should hope that he has remedied his ball security issues.