California at Northwestern Free College Football Picks & Odds
by Josh Schonwald - 7/19/2014
Saturday, August 30, 2014
Ryan Field, Evanston, IL
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California had a disastrous season in 2013, but they will be hoping that the experience their young roster gained will help them get off to a good start in their opening game when they play Northwestern. Northwestern was able to defeat the Golden Bears 44-30 last season.
Quarterback Jared Goff had a solid freshman season for California last year, but he was pretty much the only player on the team who exceeded expectations. The Golden Bears were 11th in the nation in passing yards, but they only scored 23 points per game and had one of the worst defenses in the country.
California added Freshman Tre Watson to their running back group and hope that he will help bring balance to the offense. Defensively, the Golden Bears had many of their best players out with injuries last season, so they are expecting a much better unit in 2014.
Last year, Northwestern only won one of their eight Big Ten games and finished with a 5-7 record overall. They ranked in the bottom half of the FBS in passing and rushing, and finished 69th in points against.
Northwestern is expected to be a pass-first team this season, but they will rely on running back Venric Mark to return to his 2012 form, when he rushed for over 1,300 yards. The Wildcats have pretty good balance throughout their roster and seem to be good enough to make it back to the postseason this year.
Josh's Pick: Take Northwestern
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