Bears defense gets a test from DTR’s attack, Bruins’ attack

after cal 11-41 victory Last weekend over Stanford at the 124th Big Game, the topic of conversation among Golden Bears fans turned to pot eligibility.

With three wins in their past four games, the Bears (4-6, 3-4 in Pac-12) and need to beat UCLA (7-4, 5-3) on Saturday at the Rose Bowl and USC a week from now at Berkeley To get to the postseason.

How much of the topic is discussed in Cal Football’s offices?

“Everyone knows that every game we play we need to win. Guys know that,” coach Justin Wilcox said. “We talk about it for about three seconds and then we focus all of our focus on getting ready to play UCLA.”

Wilcox said the approach now is the same as it was when the Bears started season 1-5, with four defeats by seven points or less.

“It kind of talks to the guys we have here, really sticking arms around and staying together. No one ever hesitated,” he said. Unfortunately, we play short many times.

These are not excuses, they are explanations and we had to find a way to improve. We have improved. ”

Here are three keys to having the Bears beat the high-scoring Bruins:

Win a back quad

Wilcox believes seniors Chase Garbers of Cal and Dorian Thompson-Robinson are “well-deserved nominees” for the All-Pac-12 Awards in the quarterback. Whichever match is better on Saturday gives his team an advantage.

“We’re preparing for Dorian – he’s a very talented player. He can run it, he can throw it. He buys time and he can extend the play. He’s done that for a long time,” Wilcox said.

“Chase plays the best football of his career. Seniors who have played for four years, you don’t always see the improvement you might see in freshmen. Chase keeps improving.”

Thompson-Robinson, who shot for 2,245 yards with 18 touchdowns, leads the Pac-12 in passing efficiency and ranks second in total attack. The Garbers, with 2,225 passing yards and 16 TDs, leads the conference in total attack, ranks second in passing yards per game and fifth in efficiency.

Cameron Rising of Utah and Jayden DeLaura of Washington State will also receive high attention for honoring all conferences.

Keep turning defensive

Defense has been the backbone of the program since Wilcox replaced Sonny Dykes in 2017, but the Bears struggled early in the season, allowing an average of 29.3 points through four games.

Changes followed, some forced by injury, others due to the emergence of mostly young players. Among the four new players since the opening is cornerback Lu-Magia Hearns, who picked up the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week award after an interception and four pass breaks against Stanford.

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