UCLA looked like a mildly competent football team when they started the season 3-3, but any hopes of improvement burned to ashes when they were obliterated in Tucson last Thursday night. The halftime brawl resulted in multiple Bruins being suspended, including most of the wide receiving corps.
Cal's defense can probably extensively focus on trying to shut down the rushing attack, which was quite potent before their puzzling breakdown in the desert. Defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast seems particularly intent on shutting down Johnathan Franklin and Derrick Coleman, who he nicknames "Thunder and Lightning".
""They are two formidable backs who give you two different styles," Pendergast said. "They’re kind of thunder and lightning. One can get on the perimeter and the other can take it between the tackles."
If Cal can win the battle at the line of scrimmage and keep Franklin and Coleman from breaking out, they should be in good shape in holding down UCLA's offense and Kevin Prince, since he'll have limited personnel to work with on the outside. It'll be up to the widely inconsistent offensive to generate points against a UCLA defense that has also been widely inconsistent. A lot of things can happen Saturday (good or bad) for either team, so expect the unexpected.