For those of you with the special cable package who are able to watch the game, here are the key things you should be watching for.
- CSU's slow start
CSU players and coaches spoke about their slow start last week in their game against Colorado. They gave up some big plays early but recovered in the 2nd half to make it competitive. The Cal offense usually comes out roaring so expect Cal to put up some quick points early.
- DL Mika Kane
Kane is not traveling with the team because of an injury. One of his replacements will be Derrick Hill, a highly regarded DT, that has been in Tedford's doghouse because of conditioning. Well, it looks like he is back in shape and had a good week of practice. Look for improvement in the DL in pressuring the QB. Watch for a breakout game from Hill or Rulon Davis, who was really playing well late in the Tennessee game.
- DeSean Jackson punt return #7
Will it happen? I say yes for the following reasons.
1) CSU head coach has stated he will punt to Jackson, though it may have been tongue and cheek.
2) Cal's defense should be able to get more stops against CSU creating more punt return chances.
3) Tennessee's punter was an All American. But directional punting is difficult for many punters. The CSU punter has a strong leg but issues with consistency. Look for the DJax TD return when CSU is punting from inside their own 25. My guess is that CSU punter out kicks his coverage, DJax hits a seam and outrun everybody.
So let's see what the Cal defense can do when they are not playing the soft zone. Expect defensive coordinator Bob Gregory to take more chances and leave the CB playing more man. I think Cal will have 2 INT's. SQT will make a great play by jumping an inside slant and one of the LB's will get a pick over the middle.
- Forsett, Montgomery, Best or Forsett, Best, Montgomery
Best's ability to be a great runner is obvious. But, it is time for Montgomery to show why he will be the thunder to Best lightening in the future. Look for a couple big gain by Montgomery and some tough runs in short yardage situations.
- The Deep Ball
We saw very little of this in the Tennessee game. But Longshore throws one of the best deep ball in CF today. Expect the Bears to air it out more. Even in double coverage, DJax should be able to outrun the CSU DB's.
- Kevin Riley
If the game is a blowout, will we get a chance to see the future Cal QB? I am curious to see him in action.
- Reverse on a kick off return
Absurd you say? No way, man? Well... if the ball is kicked to Hawkins he can move laterally and hand off to Best who once he turns the corner can outrun the kick coverage. I am not saying it will happen but it would be pretty.