Cal needs to find someone other than Chad Hansen to catch balls as the Bears face the nation's worst passing defense in Arizona State

What should you be watching for when Cal takes the field against Arizona State? How much will the Sun Devils Blitz? Who will balance the field wth Chad Hansen? That and more are inside.

Arizona State comes into Saturday's tilt against the No. 2 passing offense in the nation, armed with the worst passing defense (379.33 yards per game allowed) in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

The Sun Devils are 101st in the FBS in opponents' touchdown-to-interception ratio (4.50), and force 0.67 turnovers per game, 106th out of 128 teams. Arizona State also ranks 112th or worse in passing efficiency defense (163.65), passes broken up (2.0 per game), passing attempts allowed per game (41.00), passing completions allowed per game (26.67), passing first downs allowed (14.67 per game), passing touchdowns allowed (3.00 per game) and yards allowed per passing attempt (9.25). The Sun Devils -- who failed to sack quarterback Jared Goff a single time last season, are 72nd this year in sacks per opponent passing attempt, with 0.06, and are 48th in sacks per game, at 2.33.

Giving up an average of 453.00 yards per game on the ground (107th), the Sun Devils do, however, clutch up against the run.

Arizona State allows just 3.33 rushing first downs per game (fourth in the nation), and have held opponents to 73.67 yards per game on the ground, good for ninth.

California has been anything but productive on the ground, Vic Enwere's 110-yard game last week notwithstanding. Cal is 106th in the nation in rushing attempts per game (32.33), 105th in rushing first downs (6.33 per game) and 106th in rushing yards per game (127.33). All that said, Cal has one of the most explosive offenses in the nation, ranking 12th in the total number passing plays of 20 yards or more, combined with runs of 10 yards or more. What the Bears are, are fast. Cal averages one play every 19.3 seconds, fourth in the nation, in part thanks to quarterback Davis Webb being able to find his favorite receiver, Chad Hansen. Hansen saw last week that his reputation is starting to precede him, as Texas began changing up coverage on him in order to slow him down. IT didn't work. He still hauled in 12 catches for 196 yards, and has 40 grabs for 546 yards and five touchdowns in just three games.

Webb, for his part, is completing a career-best 63.9% of his passes (30th in the nation) for 1,359 yards -- just behind the man who Wally Pipp'd him out of the Texas Tech starting job, Patrick Mahomes (1,493), for the national lead. Webb's 8.19 yards per attempt is 38th in the nation, and his passer efficiency rating (154.9) is 30th among FBS quarterbacks. But, of Webb's 106 completions, 37.7% have been to Hansen. 

Earlier this week, Cal head coach Sonny Dykes said the Bears needed to find someone on the other side of the field to complement Hansen. Based on this week of practice, that very well could be speedy Brandon Singleton and Demetris Robertson.

There is a lot of crossover between Bears offensive coordinator Jake Spavital and Arizona State. Spavital was an offensive quality control coach under current Sun Devils head coach Todd Graham at Tulsa in 2008, just a year removed from his playing days as a quarterback at Missouri State. 

Last year, as the OC at Texas A&M, Spavital and the Aggies upset the Sun Devils in their season opener in Houston, 28-17. 

Spavital's apprenticeship under Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who played under Dykes, also means that Arizona State is more than familiar with this type of offensive scheme, as they played the Red Raiders two weeks ago.

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