The California Golden Bears look to get their moribund offense back on track against the UCLA Bruins. The Cal offense has not gotten going at all this year, undoing drive after drive with penalties, sacks, or failed third down conversions. Quarterback Zach Maynard has not been able to get the football to receivers like Keenan Allen, Bryce Treggs, Chris Harper, or Richard Rodgers on a regular basis, and running backs C.J. Anderson, Isi Sofele and Brendan Bigelow don't seem to see the football.
They will now be facing a UCLA defense that is very talented and good at bringing the pass rush. Here is norcalnick of the California Golden Blogs talking about what the Cal offense should do to try and beat the UCLA defense.
I won't go on record as saying that anything I just said matters in this individual game. UCLA's biggest strengths (pressuring the QB and forcing turnovers, if that is a skill) happen to mesh perfectly with Cal's weaknesses. But if UCLA's defense has a weakness that can be exploited, it's in the run game.
After the last two weeks, it's clear that potentially extreme tactics should be on the table. Run the ball on 1st down, run the ball on 2nd down, run the ball on 3rd down. Pitch it to Isi. Give is to Keenan on a reverse. Hand it off to C.J. Have Isi run the zone read with the option to hand off to Bigelow. I'm only kinda kidding here. I love our running backs, and I'd prefer to win or lose this game with the ball in their hands.
UCLA's defense did struggle against Oregon State and has made plenty of mistakes this year in pass defense, but will it matter if the Cal offensive line struggles to protect Maynard for long enough?