Tuesday, June 7, 2016

California Golden Bears 2016 outlook

California Golden Bears

2015 record: 8-5, 4-5 Pac-12 North

2016 schedule:

Aug. 26 (Fri.) vs Hawaii
Sept. 10 at San Diego State
Sept. 17 vs Texas
Sept. 24 at Arizona State
Oct. 1 vs Utah
Oct. 8 at Oregon State
Oct. 21 (Fri.) vs Oregon
Oct. 27 (Thu.) at USC
Nov. 5 vs Washington
Nov. 12 at Washington State
Nov. 19 vs Stanford
Nov. 26 vs UCLA

Exit Jared Goff, Enter Texas Tech transfer Davis Webb.

For the time being, California coach Sonny Dykes appears to have found another quality starting quarterback in Webb and will try to improve on 8-5 mark from 2014.

Players To Watch For- Senior quarterback Davis Webb:

The Bears appeared to have found a short-term solution at quarterback with Davis Webb.

Webb threw for 5,557 yards and 46 touchdowns from 2013-15 for Texas Tech.

The up-tempo system Dykes likes to run in Berkeley could pay dividends not only for California's chances to make a major bowl game, but Webb's NFL Draft stock for 2017.

Senior safety Damariay Drew:

With leading tackler Hardy Nickerson Jr.'s departure to Illinois and Kyle Kragen's eligibility expired, Drew will be counted on to be one of the main leaders of California's defensive unit.

Drew finished third for the Golden Bears with 71 tackles in 11 games last season after being kicked off in the 2014 season after an alleged assault on an on-campus student.

An undisclosed knee injury forced Drew to miss the rest of spring practice, but is expected back in time for a fall camp.

Key Game- Oct. 1 vs Utah:

California came into last season's meeting at Utah undefeated at 5-0, but a loss set things in a downward spiral going 1-4 in the final five Pac-12 league games.

Given its doable schedule in the first four games, the Golden Bears could be undefeated once more when Utah makes its trip to Memorial Stadium.

If the Bears want to be in contention for a spot in the conference title game, then the game against the Utes could go a long way as to how the rest of the schedule pays out.

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Follow Geno Green on Twitter @TheGenoGreen.