For the team, this is a chance to redeem themselves at home against a respectable team. For us fans, this is a chance to see the promise this season once held and whether it is justified. Is Longshore the answer? Is the O-line going to gel? Etc, etc. This game should be won by Cal and Marshawn should run for over 150. So rather than give you a preview here are some thoughts that struck me when looking at this game.
1) Alex Daniels - Minn new running back, former linebacker. Makes me wonder what Desmond Bishop would look like in the backfield. He wears the number 10 (like Marshawn Lynch), maybe Tedford can find a way to slip him in just for kicks.
2) What elements of the spread will show up this game. While I am certainly not a coach, I always thought the spread was about shotgun -> handoff/fake hand off to the running back -> QB pass or run. Perhaps this is just the West Virginia and Urban Meyer spread version but I assumed that was the basis of the spread. I just can't see Longshore doing any of that. If I am a defensive end collapsing, I am always going to be looking at the RB since I know even if Longshore pulls it out, I can chase him down from behind. Perhaps someone can shed more light on how the spread is working at Cal.
3) I have a buddy from UMinn who I attempted to engage in a verbal battle prior to the game. This is how the exchange went.
Me: You ready to have the bears stomp all over your tree eating gophers.
Him: You guys got a great team, we are still figuring things out, should be fun to watch.
I am beginning to think that most college football fans are a lot nicer than Cal fans. I remember heading to USC in 2004 and tailgating in their main quad. Expecting a verbal assault from the Trojan fans, we had a long list of choice word ready for any SC fans that head our way. Instead we were stunned into silence by the following comments, "Good luck", "Should be a good game", "Glad to see you guys supporting the team". While I love the inner rage that simmers within all Cal fans that comes to a boil game day, I believe this behavior is more an outlier than the norm amongst fans.