True freshman Shane Buechele continues to shine in offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert’s new offense. Most importantly, through two games he only has one turnover. Oh, and don’t forget about senior Tyrone Swoopes and the 18-wheeler package.
Former Texas Tech quarterback Davis Webb is a gunslinger. Webb threw the ball a ridiculous 72 times for 522 yards and five touchdowns last week against San Diego State. But, he also had three interceptions. Webb is really good, but he’s no Jared Goff, who the Longhorns faced last year in Austin.
Junior D’Onta Foreman will be well-rested after receiving a precautionary day-off against UTEP.
Cal’s bread and butter is the passing game. The running game continues to be a work in progress, but it does have two backs each averaging over seven yards per carry.
Sophomore Jerrod Heard caught his first two touchdowns last week as he continues to get more comfortable with his new position. Texas has so much depth at receiver that any one of them could have a big week.
Cal might have equal the explosiveness and depth. Eight receivers are averaging at least 11 yards per catch. Junior Chad Hansen is the nation’s leading receiver and already has 28 receptions for 350 yards and three touchdowns through two games.
Texas’ offensive line is well-rested and should be able to handle a weaker Cal defensive line. Cal’s offensive line gives Webb time to throw the football, creating a real test for Texas’ pass rushers this week.
The Longhorns’ run defense took a step in the right direction last week. Texas held a run-first UTEP offense to only 135 yards on the ground.
Last week, Cal’s defensive line looked like Texas’ did at the end of last season as the Golden Bears gave up 334 rushing yards to San Diego State. This week, they face arguably a bigger challenge in stopping the duo of Foreman and Warren.
Sophomores Malik Jefferson and Anthony Wheeler will be tested in pass coverage this week against Cal’s “Bear Raid” attack. Both are good tacklers, and expect defensive coordinator Vance Bedford to dial up some blitzes to try and counter Davis Webb.
Cal had a lot of missed tackles last week against San Diego State. That doesn’t bode well for a team tasked with trying to stop D’Onta Foreman.
These are the types of games that can validate or invalidate Texas’ DBU moniker. The Longhorns will have their hands full defending against the “Bear Raid.” But, they have talent in their secondary and should look especially good compared to a weaker Cal defensive back unit.
Cal gave up 198 yards and a touchdown in the return game last week. Texas has a number of players capable in its return game. Freshman safety Brandon Jones had a blocked punt against UTEP and nearly blocked another one.