This Scouting Report is sponsored by InnSuites Hotels. Whether you are coming to Tucson for a football game, or travelling anywhere in the West, check out Inn Suites. For more information, click on the banner below.
Cal has problems at quarterback. When healthy Kyle Boller is inconsistent at best. Boller has had some impressive showings, but overall he hasn't lived up to the hype that followed him from high school. Tucsonan Reggie Robertson made his first career start and played well and could get the call if Boller can not go,
Arizona will again go with Jason Johnson who threw for a career high 311 yards, but also threw four interceptions, including one that was run back for the game-winning touchdown.
Cal's running game took a huge hit when Joe Igber went down with a broken right clavicle. Igber is done for the year, but freshman Terrell Williams seems to be a good replacement. Williams rushed for 104 yards against Oregon State in relief of Igber.
Arizona's ground game is led by Clarence Farmer who dominated USC in the second half last weekend.
Both teams have defense's that haven't lived up to their billings. Oregon has surrendered 44, 44, 51, 48 and 56 before limiting Oregon State to 19 points last weekend. The Cats have been in some scorefests as well. In their last five games the Cats have seen opponents score 48, 63, 38, 31 and 41.
The Bears are dead last in the nation in turnover margin. Their –18 margin puts them at 115th in Division-I. The Cats turned the ball over four times last week. The Cats have six take aways in their last two games, which is one more than Cal has had all season.
Both teams have also been plagued by quarters where the opponents score in bunches. Both teams have had five games where teams have scored 21 or more points in a single quarter.
OUTLOOK: To say that this has been a crazy series would not be doing it any justice. The last 12 meetings have been decided by seven or less points, with two going to multiple overtimes. Both teams need a win desperately. The Cats have a little more to play for, as technically they are still in bowl consideration. More realistically both teams want to snap long losing streaks.
Arizona is favored and seems to be the better team overall, but it's pretty close. If Arizona can protect Johnson and hang onto the ball they have a good shot at winning. However the Bears like to blitz and have a few offensive weapons left. This one should be close, but if both teams bring their "A" games, the Cats should have enough to prevail.