Having a warmup game underneath their belts Pac-12 foes University of Washington Huskies (1-0) and California Golden Bears ( 1-0) will begin Conference play with Ernst when they meet Saturday Night 7:30 p.m. PST at Husky Stadium. The Huskies easily dispatched Eastern Washington 47-14 last Saturday to open their 2019 season. Cal spotted UC Davis 10 points before flexing its might in a 27-13 win. Three things to watch going into Saturday’s game.
The long-awaited Jacob Eason Ariel show took full flight last week with the Jr. quarterback playing a nearly perfect game by going 27 for 36 for 349 yds and 4 touchdowns to three different receivers. Nice numbers but the Eastern defense palse in comparison to the vaunted Golden Bears defense. The Bears have a veteran defense that is led by Senior linebacker and Preseason All American nominee Evan Weaver. The quick and versatile 6-3 235 Weaver is the nation’s leading returning tackler with 159 in 2018
If the Huskies are to have any success against Weaver and the Bears stout secondary Eason will need to be exceptional in how he manages the game. He will need to make quick and decisive reads in the passing game . Cal’s Ashtyn Davis (6-1, 200 pounds ), a ProFootball Reference preseason honorable mention All- America and Jaylinn Hawkins ( 6-2, 210) the 2018 Pac-12 leader in interceptions return for their senior year and are the best Eason will face all year. Their experience, quickness, and craftiness will be a huge test for Eason.
UW RUN GAME
While the Huskies rushed for 223 yards against Eastern the Golden Bears defense represents a bigger challenge in that they return three players that saw significant time last season on the defensive line. Luc Bequette has moved to nose guard in Cal’s base and started 2019 strongly with five tackles, one sack, two TFLs and a forced fumble. Bequette was a second-team preseason All-Pac-12 selection by the Pac-12 media. Zeandae Johnson and Lone Toailoa combined for 27 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks last year as part of the defensive line rotation.
The Huskies running backs will need to be decisive in reading which lane to take when running the ball and get there with a quickness. Any indecisiveness could lead to negative yardage in the backfield.
HOW GOOD IS THAT DEFENSIVE LINE ?
The Huskies defense recorded four sacks against Eastern and will need to have another game where Defensive linemen Levi Onwuzrike ( 8 tackles) Josiah Bronson( 3 tackles) and Benning Potoa’e (7 tackles) spend more time in the opponent’s backfield than their own defensive backfield. In others the big three will need to push the Cal offensive line backwards and enable linebackers Joe Tryon, Kyler Manu, Ryan Bowman and Brandon Wellington to have their way with the Cal running backs and quarterback Chase Garbens.
- Cal has enjoyed some success vs. Washington over the past four years, despite the fact that UW has
- ranked in the nation’s top 15 heading into the game in three of the last four meetings.
- Cal enjoyed a 12-10 victory last season as the Bears pulled the upset over No. 15/13 Washington
at California Memorial Stadium as Evan Weaver had the defining interception return for a touchdown,
to give Cal its only touchdown.
- Cal’s last win at Husky Stadium came in 2015, when the Bears won, 30-24. It was the first victory
for Cal in Seattle since 2005.
- Cal has lost three straight Pac-12 openers, its most recent win was vs. Washington in 2015.
- Trey Turner III was the only current Bear to play in the 2015 game against Washington.