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Cal Tries To Contain Pistol Offense On Second Go-Around With UCLA

The first time Cal faced the Pistol this season, they got lit up. Now they get their second go-around, this time against a Pac-10 opponent adopting the madcap offense. John Crumpacker reports from the Chronicle.

The Bears can’t do anything about their humbling result against Nevada a month ago, a 52-31 pasting by the Wolf Pack, but they do get another chance to face the Pistol offense, that confounding shotgun-triple-option attack that bedeviled them so.

“It definitely is a chance to redeem ourselves and prove how good a defense we are,” linebacker D.J. Holt said. “We were a little embarrassed. We’re a better defense than that. That night didn’t show it. No excuses. They were the better team that night. We try to have a short-term memory as a defense and get ready for UCLA.”

Presumably, defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast told his lads to keep an eye on the Nevada quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, but that gazelle in cleats and pads still rushed for 148 yards and three touchdowns and passed for 181 yards and one score.

UCLA doesn’t run a pure pistol set the way Chris Ault’s Wolf Pack do. Norm Chow still has some West Coast things going here, including utilizing a lot of play action and not as much zone read. So there could be things the Bruins do that cross Cal’s defense up. Could go either way, but the same strategy should be applied: Be disciplined, and keep the offense in front of them.