Q&A: Ludwig Under the Microscope

The California Golden Bears football program has brought in Andy Ludwig to be the new offensive coordinator. What can Cal fans expect from the former Utah Ute offensive coordinator? Cal Sports Digest got a chance to ask Lya Wodraska of the Salt Lake Tribune about Coach Ludwig's move to Cal, and asked what can be expected from him on offense…

At Utah, Andy Ludwig orchestrated a very productive offense. Utah will be remembered for their undefeated season and upset of Alabama at the 2009 Sugar Bowl.

Ludwig's offense was very balanced on offense finishing the season with 414 passes and 499 runs. With Jahvid Best and Shane Vereen in California's backfield, they both should get many opportunities to produce big plays on the ground.

We will not have to wait long to see Ludwig's offense in action, spring practice begins next week. As the date approaches, Cal Sports Digest asked the Salt Lake Tribune's Lya Wodraska some pertinent questions about the former Ute coach...

CSD: Utah has earned a lot of respect around the country by winning both of their BCS games. As long as Utah can go undefeated, a BCS berth will be waiting for them. When you compare both programs, it seems like it would be more difficult for Cal to earn a BCS berth.

LW: [Andy Ludwig] has always said he wants to ultimately coach at the pro level, so my guess is he feels he should keep moving up through the coaching ranks to get there. I guess you could perceive going to a BCS program as a step up from a "mid-major" although you could argue there isn't much of a ceiling for the Utes there since they've done so well lately against BCS teams. As for his reasons for going to Cal, I can't speak for him, but he does have past ties to that area, so that was probably attractive too him. Also, maybe he feels Cal is in overall better shape than the K-State program, but again, I can't speak for him. Personally, I was surprised he left K-State as quickly as he did. To me, that isn't going to help his reputation by bailing on a program so quickly.

CSD: Utah played very well and controlled the Sugar Bowl against Alabama with the passing game. How do you think Coach Ludwig will adjust his system with a running back like Jahvid Best?

LW: Utah had several very good running backs that Ludwig was able to use in his system, based on the Wildcat formation that is becoming more and more popular (again). His use of running backs in the formation is one of the reasons Bill Snyder hired him at K-State and I'm betting Ludwig will use it at Cal.

CSD: From his time at Utah was Coach Ludwig an aggressive play caller? Is he the type of coach that is not shy about taking shots down the field?

LW: He is aggressive; although I'd have to say some questionable play calling is one of the reasons his offense came under criticism even when it was putting up a bunch of points. He'll take shots down the field, but more than anything I'd say Ludwig's offenses are characterized by a use of a lot of trick plays as a way to keep defenses honest. He'll use reverses, change-up quarterbacks and the wildcat formation extensively.

CSD: What does Utah heed coach Kyle Whittingham plan on doing with the vacant offensive coordinator position?

LW: Dave Schramm, who formerly was the running backs coach, has been promoted to replace Ludwig. Utah's last vacant coaching spot was filled Tuesday when former Washington and Cal assistant J.D. Williams was hired as the corners coach.

It will be interesting to follow the recruiting trends of Utah and Cal in California in the coming seasons with Ludwig now on Cal's staff and Williams on Utah's. I have a feeling they'll be running into each other quite a bit!

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