35-30 Bears Win
North Carolina was favored going into this one, and the track record for PAC 12 teams jet-setting across the country to face bowl-bound Power 5 foes is not good. The Bears didn’t let any of that stop them, playing a complete game and executing extremely well in the fourth quarter. In a season where bowl eligibility balances on a knife’s edge, this win is crucial.
Solid Debut For Ross Bowers
An otherwise stellar day was marred by two interceptions, but still, 63% passing for 9.55 YPA and four touchdowns is pretty darn good. Bowers has some big shoes to fill, taking snaps for Cal, but the early returns are promising. He spread the ball around and made some nice long throws that displayed the range of his abilities.
Pass Defense Good, Run Defense Not So Much
The Bears did a great job stymying North Carolina’s passing attack, holding them to 5 yards per pass, 1 TD, and 2 picks. The run defense wasn’t as impressive, however, as Cal allowed the Tarheels to rack up 4.9 yards per carry, including some long runs and three touchdowns. No one is expecting Cal’s defense to be a world-beater this year, but today suggested that the new defensive staff is having an immediate impact.
Cal welcomes the FCS Weber State Wildcats to town. Weber just boat-raced an FCS foe to the tune of 76-0, so they may at least present a test for the Bears on defense, although the result will hopefully never be in doubt.