Our frenemies from Cal Golden Blogs were nice enough to answer some of my hard hitting questions on the upcoming matchup.
1. When Jonathan Smith was hired, many (myself included) were hoping the Beavs would hire Beau Baldwin. He had great success at EWU, but his offenses at Cal haven’t been stellar. How do you guys feel about your OC?
It’s mixed to say the least. Most fans wanted him gone after last season’s disaster with changing QBs and vanilla play-calling. It was like that to start the year, but he seemed to have turned a corner with the Ole Miss game. There’s questions and not enough answers with the offense. The positional coaching seems to have gotten better but with the lack of offensive talent coming in through recruiting, it’s really hard to gauge if its the talent or the coaching thats stopping this offense from taking the next step.
2. On the flip side, your defense is dominant. What has been the difference from the Sonny Dykes era to the Wilcox era?
The funny part is that most of our outstanding defensive players are guys that were recruited under Dykes. The entire secondary was, Evan Weaver was, Luc Bequette was, the list goes on. So its easily just a testament to the coaching and the defensive staff that Wilcox has put together. They recruit, they coach and they develop. Can’t ask for more.
3. What were the fanbases expectations for the team coming in and have those changed any at the midpoint of the season?
I think most people expected a team with a floor of 6 wins which is very much attainable, but the moment we beat UW and Ole Miss on the road that changed. The expectation heightened and then was let down after the ASU loss, big thing here though is that you replace UW and ASU with the W/L and youre still exactly where most people expected them to be. Its the optics of who you beat that has significantly changed the optimism of the general fan base.
4. What players should OSU fans be aware of on both sides of the ball?
Offensively its either of our two transfer WRs: Kekoa Crawford and Trevon Clark (Former Beav commit). Michigan Transfer Kekoa Crawford has been injured the last two weeks and been unable to play and JUCO Transfer Trevon Clark has taken full advantage of it and come into his own over those two weeks. Putting both on the field should drastically help Devon Modster with some more balance on the field, but we have yet to see it.
Defensively? I could go a variety of ways, but if you don’t know who Evan Weaver is, you’ve been living under a rock in college football. Weaver was the leading returning tackler in all of college football heading into this season, and currently leads the country in tackles by a significant margin despite a bye week. He is the heart and soul of the defense, and you’ll be seeing number 89 pop up everywhere on the field on pretty much every play.
5. If you could take anyone off the OSU roster and add it to Cal’s who would you take?
I’d have to say Isaiah Hodgins. The Bears lack a playmaker and game breaker, and Hodgins perfectly fits the mold. He is a flat out baller.
The current spread was at 10.5, I think itll be closer to 14, and with every Q&A I’ve done this year I’ve gone two predictions so I’ll go the same.
Heart: Cal wins 35-17
Head: Cal wins 17-10