2014 California Golden Bears Team Preview
California Golden Bears
Head Coach: Sonny Dykes
2013-14 Record: 1-11, 0-9 Pac-12 Conference
2013-14 Bowl Result: N/A
Odds to Win National Championship: Field +2142
Offense: 9, Defense: 6
A number of underclassmen that contributed last year should pay dividends for the program in 2014, especially with sophomore Jared Goff back under center, who broke school single-season records for passing yards and total offense.
Goff’s primary targets will be junior receivers Chris Harper and Bryce Treggs, as they combined for 147 catches and 1,603 yards last year.
Golden Bears running back Khalfani Muhammad has the opportunity to be one of the more dynamic players in the Pac-12 Conference, as he ran for 445 yards and set a school record for kickoff return yards.
California had 11 players who were starters or projected starters to begin the season miss action on this side of the football, as new coordinator Art Kaufman takes over a youthful bunch, but experienced returners are available with six sophomores.
The squad gave up a Pac-12 high 341 passing yards per game last year—an area that must improve with safety Michael Lowe leading the charge after tallying a team-high 67 tackles last year.
College football handicappers need to be careful when backing this program, considering it faces the ninth-toughest scheduled in he country, with Northwestern and BYU lined up as two of its three non-conference foes.
Dykes could manage to put together a three to five-win season, but things get tough after facing Colorado on Sept. 27, especially taking on UCLA, Oregon and traveling on the road to Oregon State in a three-week stretch in October.
There’s nowhere to go but up for a team that was minus-15 in turnover differential and ranked last among BCS teams in both offensive and defensive yards per game.
California has actually lost 16 consecutive games against FBS opponents, which could prove to be too much to overcome with a defense that allowed an incredible 530 yards and 45.9 points per game.
Goff will need to be special behind an offensive line that moves up to 73 career starts and enters its second year in Dykes’ system.
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