Q&A with a Cal Blogger

This week I had the opportunity to discuss the Cal game with Hunter Hewitt beat reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle but I had technical problems and didn’t get to save his answers so I would like to send my apologies for wasting his time.

Thankfully I got to get with ShawnXT of calfootballblog.com/ you can check out his statistical break down and rankings of each team for tomorrows game.

MotSaG: Cal lost to Northwestern 44-30 the difference being the 2 (tipped passes) interceptions returned for touchdowns. First was the game actually that close? Second does it give the Bears confidence they could hang with the Buckeyes?

CFB: It was definitely a close game during the 3rd quarter. Cal had to come from behind from the start of the second half but in the 3rd quarter, things started to click for our offense. It seemed like Goff needed the first half to really settle down and get used to the speed of the offense. However, the interceptions just killed any and all momentum that we had and we just couldn’t keep up near the end of the 4th. For the second question, I don’t think the Northwestern game really affected how the team feels about Ohio State. The Bears have had confidence all camp, and even after the Northwestern loss we feel that the Bears can definitely keep up with the Buckeyes and even pull off the upset.

MotSaG: Was Cal overlooking Portland State last week?

CFB: Absolutely. After the game, head coach Sonny Dykes addressed the team saying that he poorly prepared the team against Portland State. I know that a lot of Cal fans were overlooking Portland State because of the Ohio State game the week after. Portland State came out firing and immediately put Cal on its heels, which is something we are definitely afraid of happening again with the Buckeyes in town.

MotSaG: How exciting is it to watch freshman QB Jared Goff?

CFB: We are extremely excited about Goff. He has the most passing yards in the nation. In fact, he has the most passing yards by a freshman in his first two weeks, in the BCS era. We haven’t seen such a productive Cal quarterback since Nate Longshore in 2006 when Cal was Co-Pac10 Champions with USC. I know that we are going to lose games this season with our young team, but at least we will be going out swinging. During the last years of the Tedford regime, it was incredibly hard to watch our team’s inability to score. We are really happy that this offense can really put up points.

MotSaG: Do you expect Goff to continuing to put up the incredible numbers he has against OSU?

CFB: We are expecting similar numbers to what he did against Northwestern but hopefully with less interceptions. He will definitely test OSU’s secondary on every passing play especially because we will be spreading the field with up to 5 receivers a play. Funny enough, I think Coach Dykes actually wants less yards in the air but more yards on the ground because we are having difficulty getting our ground game going.

MotSaG: What is Cal’s weakness?

CFB: Cal is definitely at a disadvantage on both sides of the line. All of our offensive lineman are either sophomores or freshmen without enough experience nor discipline. This is actually the main reason why our run game has been lacking the past couple weeks. On the other side, Cal’s defensive line is depleted of players. Three of our top defensive linemen will most likely be out against Ohio State. It has been a huge blow to Cal’s defense because not only are we not able to contain the run and attach the passer but we are missing our defensive leaders.

MotSaG: Strengths on defense?

CFB: Watch out for CB Kam Jackson. He has been a lockdown corner the past two weeks and every time a ball has been thrown his way, he has had an opportunity to get his hands on the ball.

MotSaG: Do you feel Cal can keep the game close like last year and possibly pull off an upset?

CFB: Definitely. Simply because our offense has the ability to come from behind and score quickly like we showed against Northwestern. My only concern would be if the Buckeyes are up early and up a lot. Our defense will have trouble containing the run and giving the ball back to the Cal offense.

MotSaG: How big of an issue are the injuries the Bears are suffering this season?

CFB: It is HUGE. Cal has injuries to veteran leaders on all levels of our defense. We’ve lost half of our defensive line, all of them being former starters. Our top tackler, Nick Forbes, has yet to play a game, and our top safety Avery Sebastian is out for the season. We have been forced to play a lot of freshmen and it has been a rough couple weeks for them.

MotSaG: Do you feel Brendan Bigelow can repeat his performance from last season?

CFB: Honestly, I don’t think so. The only reason is because last year no one really knew who he was until his huge performance against Ohio State. This time around, there is no way the Buckeye defense will lose track of him. However, this is going to work in favor of our passing offense. Just faking the run to Bigelow scare opposing defenders.

MotSaG: What is the feeling of having Sonny Dykes on the sidelines leading the Bears?

CFB: He is a huge plus. Dykes is a great leader who understands his players and understands that he is there to win. Dykes has built a trusting relationship with all of his players and has sold his system to every Cal Bear. Dykes and his staff has brought a new fire to the program and we are very excited to see where it can take us.

MotSaG: Do you feel the PAC-12 or the B1G is the better (tougher) football conference?

CFB: Of course I’m going to say the Pac-12! However, I’m going to reserve my honest judgement until after this weekend. Since there are 4 Pac-12 v B1G games this weekend, whichever conference comes on top will show the nation who is the better conference.

MotSaG: What is your prediction of the game? Score?

CFB: Cal has been determined to be prepare for Ohio State in every way possible and to resolve the mistakes made against Northwestern and Portland State. I’m predicting a shootout between Goff and Miller(assuming he’s playing). Cal 48- Ohio State 42.

Its so nice to do these interviews to see the passion these fellow bloggers have for their team even if we feel they are way off or at least I hope they are.

I am worried in a sense of possibly not having Adolphus Washigton more than Braxton Miller possible being out. Cal has a young offensive line and to help the secondary the defensive line needs to be in the backfield messing Jared Goff’s timing with his receivers.

I would like to thank ShawnXT for taking the time out and answering my questions and letting Buckeye Nation know what Cal fans are thinking and feeling.

If you want to get involved and have questions about upcoming opponents feel free to send them in to me and I can send them on. Email your questions to AskMotSaG@gmail.com or MotSaG@gmail.com. Would love to know your thoughts on this post and hope you enjoyed it.

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