Gameday: Cal Hosts Michigan State

A Pac-10-Big Ten matchup is a great way to start the first weekend of college football. It is obvious the Bears and Spartans will run the ball. However, it still remains to be seen what defense will be successful in stopping the ground game. If the run does not work what team is better equipped to pass the ball? More than likely, the answer will determine the winner of the game…

Last season, California averaged 29.3 points per game, but the production of players like Justin Forsett, DeSean Jackson and Lavelle Hawkins must be replaced. The Bears need to find two or three players that can produce on a weekly basis for the offense this season.

Michigan State averaged 33.1 points per game. Wide receiver Devin Thomas and running back Jehuu Caulcrick were big parts of the offense that will be missed. The Spartans have no problem getting after the quarterback. Head Coach Mark Dantonio will blitz early and often. Michigan State linebackers Eric Gordon and Greg Jones will try to disrupt Cal's offense by stopping the run and coming after Kevin Riley. While, Golden Bear linebackers Zach Follett, Anthony Felder and Worrell Williams will look to contain Michigan State running back Javon Ringer when he runs and comes out of the backfield to catch passes.

Look for the Bears to force Spartan quarterback Brian Hoyer to throw the ball more than the Michigan State game plan calls for. As a result, the Bears' secondary could get opportunities to make plays on the ball. Cornerbacks Syd'Quan Thompson and Darian Hagan will need to play well against the Spartan receivers.

On the other side of the ball, the California offensive line led by C Alex Mack needs to control the line of scrimmage and create long drives to force the Spartans to abandon the run. Cal has shown the ability over the years to be a very balanced offense.

On the other hand, Michigan State must prove that they can be just as comfortable with they pass as they are with the run. Overall, this game has the potential to be a very close game going into the fourth quarter. If that occurs, it will be fun to watch what players will emerge and make a difference in the game.

Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. PT inside Memorial Stadium. ABC will televise the game.



Cal-MSU Preview

Q&A with Michigan State Insider

Cal-MSU Stat Comparison

Jeff Tedford's Weekly Press Conference Report

GSN Podcast on Golden Bears - from

MSU Run D will be Tested by Cal D - from

Cal-MSU Position Matchups - from

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