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Welcome to our weekly predictions post from our writers. You’ll see what they expect the score to be and any wacky or rational predictions they expect to see in each game!
Scoreline: Cal wins 24-17
Please note that I am contractually obligated to pick Cal wins (don't want that bad juju) and I haven't done my research yet at time of prediction.
Scoreline: Cal Win
It's no coincidence that Coach Tedford spoke with the team less than two weeks before the season-opener against the Wolfpack. Hopefully he told the defense (and the whole team, for that matter) what Colin Kaepernick and Stefphon Jefferson did to the Bears under his watch. If you think Cam Goode, Kuony Deng and co. will allow the Nevada offense to take down the great state of California for a third consecutive time, you're gravely mistaken. Cal wins by a single score, thanks to the front seven putting just enough pressure on Carson Strong.
Scoreline Cal wins 27-24
Expectations for Nevada are sky high. However, Carson Strong has been injured during fall camp. If the injury doesn't keep him out all together, it will at least make him rusty enough that the Wolfpack's success of 2020 won't carry forward. Nevada's really good receivers won't do them any good if they don't have a good QB to deliver the ball to them (see Zach Maynard). I'm firmly on the under for the over/under. Cal's defense should be fairly solid and experienced in defending against Air Raid offense.
Scoreline: Cal wins 34-28
Cal enters halftime up 28-7. Nevada comes roaring back and falls just short.
Scoreline: Cal wins 41 - 37
Nevada is going to put up points against this bears’ defense, Cal's going to have to prove that its offense is ready to roll this season. It will be a barn burner but cal squeaks it out. Garbers throws for 300 yards and 4 TDs to get everyone's hopes up to start the season.
Scoreline: Cal wins 24-17
Nevada's one-legged quarterback struggles to move the ball consistently while Cal has a couple of sustained scoring drives but several stalled drives. A fourth-quarter turtling turns a comfortable 24-7 lead into a nail-biting 24-17 squeaker.
Piotr T Le
Scoreline Cal wins 28-14
We're going to have a play sequence that will start in a inside zone 12 personnel run, a no huddle 4 wide play action pass where a TE matched to a LB and roasts them.
Scoreline: Cal wins 27-16
I ultimately think that Cal's defense will be able to turn Nevada into an inefficient, short-passing offense, and that without big plays Nevada will have trouble driving the field and converting opportunities into points. I'm less confident about Cal's ability score, even though Nevada's defense should be exploitable by a decent Pac-12 offense. It's going to be a pretty solid game 1 litmus test for Bill Musgrave's offense. I'm ultimately leaning towards Cal having too many offensive weapons for an iffy secondary to shut down.
Scoreline: Cal wins 27-21
Carson Strong has his moments, but the Cal D keeps him & Nevada’s prolific offense from going all Colin Kaepernick 2010 on us. Damien Moore & Christopher Brooks are a nice 1-2 RB tandem and the Bears’ ground attack helps to keep the ball out of Strong’s hands. We have an extra point blocked again, just to remind us of 2020 and make us more nervous.
Scoreline: Cal loses 21-24
Cal will continue to start slow, and Nevada will score first, likely on their first drive. The scoreline will look ugly for the Bears at half time, but they will catch up in the third quarter. Nevada will then score a field goal in the last few minutes and steal the road win.
Scoreline: Cal wins 55-20
The Bears offense comes out flying and Nevada is shellshocked by an offense they did not prep for. The defense locks down the pseudo-air raid offense and gives up a couple of hard-earned TDs. Damien Moore rushes for over 100 yards, with Chase Garbers absolutely carving up the defense with his arm and legs for 300 yards of offense. It’s the first game. Lets get crazy.