When teams look ahead there is a great chance that they will get beat. Arizona State overlooked UNLV when they had a big match-up against Georgia the next week. When ASU was shocked by the Rebels at home the game against Georgia the following week was not as important as it should have been.
Arizona had an opportunity to play Cal with both teams unbeaten in Pac-10 play, but Stanford got by Arizona 24-23 last Saturday afternoon. As the Bears get ready for their game against Arizona, they need to concentrate on the Wildcats and turn a deaf ear to any talk that does not concern Cal vs. Arizona on October 18.
Stanford was able to rack up 286 rushing yards against the Arizona defense. The Bears need to run right at the Arizona defense and control the clock and keep the Wildcat offense on the sideline. California is averaging 180 yards per game on the ground. In their last game against ASU, with Jahvid Best out of the game with an injury, the Bears continued their dominance on the ground with back-up running back Shane Vereen. Led by center Alex Mack, the Bears have one of the best offensive lines in the West. Cal must rely on their line play if the want to remain at the top of the Pac-10. The upcoming game against Arizona will have a huge impact on the rest of the season. The Bears have UCLA and Oregon at home over the next few weeks, but those games will not matter if they don't get past Arizona on Saturday.
Stanford was able to hold Arizona to a 5 of 13 conversion rate on third downs. The Wildcats inability to convert on third downs contributed to a Stanford victory. All season long Cal's defense has been able to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks, play stout against the run, and give some very good receivers a lot of trouble with strong play form their secondary. Players like Zack Follett, Anthony Felder, and Syd'Quan Thompson must continue to elevate their play in this game so the Bears can set themselves up for a run at the conference title with four of their last six games at home.
It all starts with Arizona. The Bears will put themselves in a great position with a victory on Saturday. The good thing for Cal is that they do not have to hope and pray for other teams to help them out every Saturday. If California takes care of its own business everything will fall into place at the end of the season.
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