Cal Football: Preview Box for Saturday Night's Game Against UCLA

UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson (7) had a good game against Cal last year.Photo by John Hefti - USA TODAY Sports

Jake Curtis

Cal and UCLA play their final regular-season games Saturday night. The Bears are bowl-eligible. but the Bruins won’t be going to a bowl, even though they have a better conference record than Cal.

Cal quarterback Devon Modster attended UCLA from 2016-2018, and he played a key role in UCLA’s 30-27 victory over Cal in 2017 before transferring. He is not expected to play against his former teammates on Saturday unless Chase Garbers gets hurt or the game becomes a blowout.

Here are the important facts for Saturday’s contest:

CAL (6-5, 3-5 Pac-12) vs. UCLA (4-7, 4-4 Pac-12)

SITE: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif.

WHEN: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

TV: FS1 – Cory Provus (Play-By-Play), Petros Papadakis (Analyst), Shane Vereen (Analyst)

RADIO: KGO 810 AM - Joe Starkey (Play-By-Play), Mike Pawlawski (Analyst), Todd McKim (Sideline Reporter)

BETTING LINE: Cal is favored by 1 point (as of Friday; UCLA had been a slight favorite through most of this week); Over/Under – 50 1/2

WEATHER FORECAST: It will be mostly cloudy in Pasadena on Saturday, with a high of 57 degrees in the afternoon dropping to 46 degrees at night. There was a lot of rain in Pasadena during the week, but there is only a 20 percent chance of rain Saturday night.

CAL-UCLA HISTORY: UCLA leads the all-time series 55-33-1. The Bruins have won the past two games against Cal and five of the past six meetings with the Bears. UCLA beat Cal 37-7 last year in Berkeley. Cal has lost four straight in Pasadena to UCLA, which has not lost at home to the Bears since 2009.

CAL STORYLINES: Cal can guarantee its second straight winning season with a win Saturday in its final regular-season game . . . The Bears are already bowl-eligible, but they can improve their chances of landing in a bowl with more prestige if it beats the Bruins . . . Cal can finish in a tie for second place in the Pac-12 North if it beats UCLA and Oregon State loses to Oregon . . . This is a matchup of Cal's weak offense (last in the Pac-12 in scoring) against UCLA's weak defense . . . Chase Garbers will make his third straight start after missing four games with an injury . . . Safety Ashtyn Davis and wide receiver Kekoa Crawford are questionable for the game with injuries. Both missed last week’s game against Stanford . . . Cal has 30 players on the team who come from Southern California . . . UCLA defensive coordinator Jerry Azzinaro served as the defensive line coach at Cal during Justin Wilcox’s first season in 2017. ,

UCLA STORYLINES: Bruins QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson was limited in practice early this week with a leg injury, but he is expected to play Saturday . . . UCLA would assure itself a winning conference record and would finish no worse than third in the Pac-12 South if it wins Saturday . . . UCLA was 0-5 last season when it came into Berkeley and beat Cal 37-7 as the Bears committed five turnovers . . . UCLA RB Joshua Kelley is second in the Pac-12 in rushing and needs 16 yards to reach 1,000 for the second straight season . . . The Bruins have lost their past two games – 49-3 against Utah and 52-34 last week to USC . . . The Bruins are 11th in the Pac-12 in scoring defense, allowing 35.4 points per game.

CAL PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Chase Garbers (Bears are 5-0 in games in which he plays more than a half); WR Nikko Remigio (9 receptions, 157 receiving yards last week vs. Stanford); LB Evan Weaver (leads the nation in tackles at 14.9 per game); CB Camryn Bynum (Cal’s best cover corner);

UCLA PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson (went 13-for-15 for 141 yards against Cal last year; he is expected to play despite leg injury); RB Joshua Kelley (157 rushing yards, 3 TDs against Cal last year); WR Demetric Felton (versatile runner (326 yards), receiver (534 yards) and kick-returner); LB Krys Barnes (72 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, but he is questionable for Saturday's game).

Cal defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter discusses UCLA's offense in this video:

DeRuyter talks about UCLA running back Joshua Kelley in the video below. Kelley ran for 157 yards and three touchdowns against Cal last year.



JAKE'S PICK: Cal 21, UCLA 17

JEFF'S PICK: Cal 27, UCLA 20

JAMES H. WILLIAMS’ PICK (Southern California News Group): UCLA 34, Cal 24.


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