banner

College Football

more stats

California (0-0) at Northwestern (0-0)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, August 30, 3:30 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Ryan Field (47,130) -- Evanston, Illinois. Television: ABC. Home Record: California 0-0, Northwestern 0-0. Away Record: California 0-0, Northwestern 0-0. Neutral Record: California 0-0, Northwestern 0-0. Conference Record: California 0-0, Northwestern 0-0. Series Record: Northwestern leads, 2-0.

GAME NOTES: Less than a month after losing star running back Venric Mark, the Northwestern Wildcats will begin the 2014 season with a non-conference matchup against the California Golden Bears at Ryan Field.

Mark left the team in mid-August, days after being suspended for two games due to a violation of team policy. He has since transferred to West Texas A&M. It is quite a loss for the Wildcats, who were expecting the same back that tallied 1,366 yards in 2012, but missed most of last year due to injury. His injury along with that of starting quarterback Kain Colter kept the Wildcats from reaching the high expectations set for them, as they finished 5-7 overall and just 1-7 in Big Ten Conference play.

California had an even worse run through the 2013 campaign, finishing at 1-11 in its first season under head coach Sonny Dykes. The only win they managed came in a 37-30 final against FCS foe Portland State. The Golden Bears have now had a losing record in three of the last four seasons following a streak of seven straight bowl appearances.

One of the 11 losses suffered by the Golden Bears came against Northwestern, with these teams also meeting in the first week of the season (44-30). As a result, the Wildcats are 2-0 in the all-time series.

With Colter and Mark sidelined last season, Northwestern leaned on the work of Trevor Siemian and Treyvon Green. Now both have the starting roles all to themselves.

Siemian lined up under center and performed well, throwing for 2,149 yards and 11 touchdowns on just under 60 percent completions. Head coach Pat Fitzgerald has to be encouraged by Siemian's last time on the field, as he threw for 414 yards and four touchdowns on 31-of-44 passing in a 37-34 win over Illinois in the season finale.

As for Green, he was able to make up for the loss of Mark at least partially. He tallied 736 yards and eight touchdowns, including a 129-yard, two-score effort against Cal. It was one of three 100-yard showings he managed on the campaign.

The receiving corps is extremely dynamic, with Christian Jones (54 receptions, 68 yards, four TDs) and Tony Jones (55 receptions, 630 yards, four TDs) both capable of putting together big games, while Dan Vitale (34 receptions, 382 yards, three TDs) is actually listed as a slotback.

If everything comes together, the Wildcats could have a potent unit on their hands or at least one that improves upon the offensive effort of last season (399.6 ypg).

Of course that won't matter if they can't find a way to stop the opposition. Last season they were one of the worst teams in the Big Ten in total defense (423.5 ypg). With nine returning starters, there is a good chance that the unit will be more effective.

Senior linebacker Chi Chi Ariguzo (106 tackles, four INTs) is a playmaker in the middle of the field, and Collin Ellis (78 tackles, three INTs) is a capable defender against the pass.

While Dykes did not earn many wins in his first season with California, he certainly changed the offensive culture. The Golden Bears went from the ninth- best passing team in the Pac-12 in 2012 (208.3 ypg) to third (329.8 ypg) as he instilled the high-octane air attack he utilized at Louisiana Tech.

At the center of the offensive rebuild was freshman quarterback Jared Goff. Goff struggled at times, but in general had a very strong start to what looks like a promising college career. He finished with 3,508 yards, breaking a school record, and he completed 60.3 percent of his passes. Consistency will be the key this year.

Goff has a ton of weapons to work with in the passing game. Chris Harper (70 receptions, 852 yards, five TDs) and Bryce Treggs (77 receptions, 751 yards, TD) are an explosive pair of wideouts. Kenny Lawler (37 receptions, 347 yards, five TDs) will also see plenty of opportunities in Dykes' system.

Running the ball is not a big priority for California, but Khalfani Muhammad (445 yards, four TDs) and Daniel Lasco (317 yards, two TDs) are the guys who will likely get the call when Dykes wants a change of pace.

Dykes' work on the offense was remarkable, but because of the focus he put there the defense really suffered. The Golden Bears ranked at the bottom of the Pac-12 in both total defense (529.6 ypg) and scoring defense (45.9 ppg). Players to watch on the unit, which desperately needs to get better, are linebackers Michael Barton (64 tackles, 8.0 TFL, 2.0 sacks) and Jalen Jefferson (64 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 3.0 sacks), along with safety Michael Lowe (67 tackles).

This game should not lack offense, even with Northwestern missing Mark. The difference will likely come on defense. The Wildcats have shown the ability to capitalize on mistakes through the air, so Goff will need to be flawless because the Golden Bears' defense has yet to prove it can play well enough to carry the team to victory.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Northwestern 35, California 28

08/29 15:15:18 ET

Other Stories

  • NASCAR: Folds of Honor 500 in Atlanta

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on FOX50

  • AAC: SMU at UConn

    Tomorrow at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Big Ten: Michigan State at Wisconsin

    Tomorrow at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Wake Forest at Duke

    Monday at 8:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NBA: LA Clippers at Chicago

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • Big Ten: Michigan State at Wisconsin

    Tomorrow at 4:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NHL Hurricanes at Chicago

    Monday at 8:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: NC State at Clemson

    Tuesday at 9:00 pm on WRAL-FM

Scoreboard
Local
Final
UCF 66
ECU 71
Final
BC 79
NCSU 63
Final
MIAMI 64
UNC 73
Final
NCCU 72
COOK 49
 
Final
NYI 3
CAR 5
Final
DUKE 73
SYR 54
 
Final
WAS 99
DET 95
4th
MIA 76
ATL 86
 
4th
NYK 96
TOR 90
 
4th
MIN 70
MEM 72
 
Half
DAL 51
BRK 47
 
2nd
UTA 35
MIL 25
 
2nd
PHO 15
SAN 33
 
Final
LIP 94
KNST 75
 
Final
GHND 47
NAVY 57
 
Final
LAF 74
ARMY 64
 
Final
AMER 69
BUCK 71
 
Final
UCF 66
ECU 71
Final
STJ 81
GEOR 70
Final
CLEM 70
GT 63
Final
COL 61
LEH 55
 
Final
FSU 59
LOU 81
Final
MD 66
MICH 56
Final
UGA 68
MIZZ 44
Final
BC 79
NCSU 63
Final
LAS 56
RIU 59
Final
UNH 65
MAINE 56
 
Final
IUPUI 80
NEOM 87
 
Final
WINT 80
PBY 53
 
Final
VMI 69
SAMF 80
 
Final
CITA 54
WCU 67
 
Final
DEP 53
BUT 67
Final
LONG 70
CAMP 65
 
Final
TULA 47
CIN 63
Final
VCU 55
DAY 59
Final
TOWS 60
DEL 65
 
Final
WMARY 66
DREX 80
 
Final
JVU 75
FLGC 67
 
Final
EVAN 67
ILLST 69
 
Final
BRAD 52
INDST 60
 
Final
MIAMI 64
UNC 73
Final
WICHS 74
NIOWA 60
Final
UWGB 83
OU 63
 
Final
LSU 73
MISS 63
Final
OKLA 67
TCU 60
Final
BING 76
UMBC 69
 
Final
AFA 60
UTST 74
Final
GTDNS 79
VERM 73
 
Final
XAV 66
VILL 78
Final
MNTER 74
WAGN 64
 
Final
ILLCH 61
WRST 46
 
Final
YALE 90
SARAHLAW 55
 
Final
UAB 100
MTST 95
Final
NDAK 65
SUTAH 71
 
Final
LIB 77
UNCA 95
 
Final
CHIST 65
WLVRN 44
 
Final
UMO 57
BGU 62
 
Final
SHU 84
LIU 73
 
Final
APP 66
LAMON 43
 
Final
VANDY 73
ALA 66
Final
KENT 84
ARK 67
Final
NCCU 72
COOK 49
 
Final
MRGST 77
COPST 88
 
Final
SHU 67
CREI 66
Final
BONA 92
DUQ 75
Final
MERC 69
ETST 64
 
Final
UMASS 82
FORD 74
Final
RAD 72
GWEBB 62
 
Final
JMU 82
HOF 73
 
Final
BU 70
HC 77
 
Final
KYST 70
ISU 69
Final
DELST 65
MDES 69
 
Final
LOYC 65
MIZST 51
 
Final
IDAHO 80
MNTST 73
 
Final
MCNST 83
NICST 78
 
Final
TTU 63
OKST 62
Final
PORT 66
SDU 78
 
Final
BRY 61
Terriers 51
 
Final
RMU 71
RFLSH 70
 
Final
UVA 69
VT 57
Final
BAY 78
WVU 66
Final
FUR 60
WOFF 62
 
Final
SILL 63
DRAK 57
 
Final
FD 73
CCST 66
 
Final
WMICH 80
EMICH 72
 
Final
CSOU 97
HIGH 93
 
Final
UNCG 58
CHAT 61
 
Final
SD 80
SDKST 64
 
Final
CARK 74
SELA 72
 
Final
KU 69
TEX 64
Final
EWASH 76
MONT 77
 
Final
TROY 64
UGST 75
 
Final
TXST 70
ARKST 60
 
Final
UNT 57
ODU 70
Final
CORN 45
DART 56
 
Final
NCAT 77
FAM 65
 
Final
PSU 77
IOWA 81
Final
MORE 87
JVST 55
 
Final
PEPP 65
LMU 49
 
Final
SCAR 81
MSST 68
 
Final
BRO 62
PRIN 80
 
Final
NEV 62
SJST 51
 
Final
SCST 57
SAV 68
 
Final
BEL 88
TENST 62
 
Final
UF 66
TENN 49
Final
ALAST 49
TXSOU 58
 
Final
SOUTH 71
ALCOR 63
 
Final
JST 73
MVSU 49
 
Final
SEMIZ 89
PEAY 65
 
Final
TOL 70
BST 59
 
Final
KSU 65
BUF 71
 
Final
LBSU 70
CSFU 47
 
Final
MARS 79
FATL 63
 
Final
STLU 50
GMAS 78
 
Final
DAVID 77
GWU 66
 
Final
CLMB 70
HARV 80
 
Final
LAM 79
INCWORD 66
 
Final
YOUNG 74
UWMIL 82
 
Final
ELON 74
UNCW 55
 
Final
ILL 86
NW 60
 
Final
YALE 55
PENN 50
 
Final
STJOE 57
RICH 63
 
Final
UNF 86
STET 71
 
Final
HART 59
USB 74
 
Final
DUKE 73
SYR 54
 
Final
EKENT 70
TENT 67
 
Final
LATU 76
TXSA 66
 
Final
NKENTUCKY 84
USCU 65
 
Final
MAST 84
WILL 64
 
Final
UMKC 70
GRCN 65
 
Final
NO 75
ABCHRIST 55
 
Final
TENNM 67
MURST 73
 
Final
HOW 67
HAMP 68
 
Final
ALAAM 72
PVU 75
 
2nd
SDST 43
BSU 47
 
2nd
NILL 65
CMICH 45
 
2nd
RICE 74
CHAR 70
 
2nd
ORU 55
DEN 48
 
2nd
WKENT 75
FIU 56
 
8:00pm Tonight
TXPA 0
NMST 0
 
2nd
COC 50
NE 63
 
2nd
SCU 65
GAELS 67
 
2nd
HOUB 59
STEPH 77
 
2nd
SMISS 60
UTEP 60
 
2nd
MEM 60
TULSA 55
 
2nd
UNLV 62
WYO 51
 
2nd
TXARL 56
ARKLR 53
 
2nd
TEXAM 43
AUB 32
 
2nd
LALAF 49
GSOUT 43
 
2nd
ARKPB 46
GRAM 36
 
2nd
TAMCC 43
SHSU 32
 
1st
UTAH 22
ARZ 21
 
1st
NCOL 31
NARZ 32
 
10:00pm Tonight
GONZ
BYU
10:00pm Tonight
WEBER
IDST
 
10:00pm Tonight
FRES
NMU
10:00pm Tonight
USF
PAC
 
10:00pm Tonight
CPSL 0
UCD 0
 
10:05pm Tonight
PORST
SACST
 
10:30pm Tonight
SEAT
CALST
 
10:30pm Tonight
CSNO
UCR
 
10:30pm Tonight
USC
WASH
11:59pm Tonight
UCSB
UCI
 
Final
FLA 5
BUF 3
Final
NAS 3
DET 4
Final
NYI 3
CAR 5
Final
CLB 0
NJD 2
Final
BOS 4
ARI 1
Final
MON 4
TOR 0
2nd
PHI 2
NYR 2
 
10:00pm Tonight
COL
MIN
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
OTT
10:00pm Tonight
EDM
STL