NCAA

California vs Northwestern Preview

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NorthwesternThe California Golden Bears are set to take on the Northwestern Wildcats in the 2014 season opener in a match up between 2 of the more bottom dwelling teams within 2 of the power 5 conferences.

The California Golden Bears were one of the worst teams in the PAC 12 years last season, playing to a 1-11 overall record in the 2013 season, losing all 9 of their in conference games against PAC 12 competition. Cal lost all of the 5 games they played against the FBS top 25 ranked teams last year.

The Wildcats didn’t fare significantly better, finishing with an overall record of 5-7, winning just 1 of 8 games they played within the Big Ten. The Wildcats lost both games they played against top 25 competition in 2013.

Cal’s offense left a lot to be desired, scoring an average of 23.0 points per game, earning them the 98th overall scoring offense in the FBS. What killed Cal though, was their defense, which ranked dead last in the FBS at number 125 in scoring defense, allowing 45.9 points on average per game.

The Wildcats had a slightly better scoring offense last season, ranking 84th by scoring 26.2 points per game, and boast a significantly stronger defense than the Golden Bears, as the Wildcats allowed just, 27.1 points per game ranking 69th in scoring defense. The performance still left a lot to be desired, and leaves little question as to why Northwestern didn’t see more success.

This game is could mean a lot for both squads as, if California wins, they could match their last season’s win total. If Northwestern wins, they could get off to a 1-0 record before having to delve into the difficult Big Ten conference.

California’s terrible defense hasn’t improved by any significant margin in the last year, and will likely afford the Wildcats plenty of opportunity to exploit Cal.

Northwestern will win this one 34-14.

About Grant Hamersma

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