While the numbers don’t paint Cal as a competent team, the reality is that … well … they’re not a competent team.
The Golden Bears of Berkeley have taken over Colorado’s spot as the worst team in the Pac-12. And while that’s a testament to the Pac-12’s strength — after all, Berkeley is currently much better than Colorado was in 2012 — these Bears are still liable to get blown out at any given moment. This is why they’re three-touchdown ‘dogs to UCLA on Oct. 12.
With that in mind, here are three numbers every UCLA fan should be aware of heading into this game.
The number of yards Cal accumulates per game. That’s a massive number, especially for a team who’s 1-4 and significantly worse than they were at this point last year. Of these 515 yards per tilt, 399 come from the passing game, led by a freshman in Jared Goff. This Cal offense is improved and the future looks bright, at least offensively. Which brings us to the next stat…
The number of yards Cal allows its opponents per game. There’s a reason Cal has been as awful as they have, and it’s almost entirely due to a defense that lacks depth, technique, or overall awareness. If first-year honcho Sonny Dykes is to be credited for revitalizing a stagnant offense, he must be held responsible for the Bears’ extreme regression defensively. Any defense that averages 220 rushing yards isn’t worthy of any praise at all.
The number of plays Cal runs per game. This is by far the highest in the conference, and falls in line with Sonny Dykes’ offense considering Louisiana Tech ran at an eerily similar pace last year. While spread offenses generally require a faster tempo in order to be effective, no one vitalizes pace more than Dykes. While this may sound all well and good, consider, too, that Dykes doesn’t discriminate between scenarios, meaning his ailing and depleting defense isn’t being helped out by the fact that the Bears are being rushed off the field.