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Big Game 2011: Can Stanford QB Andrew Luck Take Advantage Of Injured Cal Linebackers?

The California Golden Bears need all hands on deck to contain Andrew Luck and the Stanford Cardinal this Saturday. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like that'll be the case. Cal was without their outside linebackers Chris McCain and Dave Wilkerson last week against Oregon State. And John Breech of CBS Sports reports that both of them haven't practiced and are doubtful for the Big Game this weekend.

With McCain out, Cal is down their best pass rusher, and Wilkerson is emerging as one of their most reliable outside tacklers in space. This puts the older but less talented Ryan Davis and Dan Camporeale on the outside. It could mean Cal returns to a 4-3 defensive front (which they flashed last week against OSU with such minimal linebacking depth). They can put Trevor Guyton and Ernest Owusu in 4-3 DE spots while rotating Aaron Tipoti (back to practicing), Kendrick Payne (Tipoti's backup), DeAndre Coleman (in a more natural defensive tackle position) and Vei Moala (the young talented freshman) to try and outphysical Stanford's bruising front.

Cal might try and use their defensive line talent to stuff the run and Stepfan Taylor. It remains to be seen whether they can they stop Luck and the Stanford pass attack if they aren't able to generate the pass rush needed to pressure him out of the pocket.

To discuss the Big Game with Cal fans, check out the California Golden Blogs. To discuss it with Stanford fans, hit up Rule of Tree.