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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Ritter’s Rules

    Quarterbacks

    Willie Tuitama has been effective in the new offense and has flourished so far, already eclipsing his 2006 output in touchdowns (seven) with nine. He also leads a pass offense that averages 321.3 yards per game – good for first in the Pacific 10 Conference. California’s Nate Longshore averages only 205.7, though he is completing two-thirds of his passes.

    Advantage: Arizona

    Running Backs

    Justin Forsett leads the Pac-10 with 122.3 rushing yards per game and has already run for five touchdowns this season. As a group, the Golden Bears average more yards rushing (230.7) than they do passing. Arizona has zero touchdowns and is only at 88.3 yards per game- good for last in the Pac-10 and 101st in the country. Where have you gone, Chris Henry?

    Advantage: California

    Wide Receivers

    The Bears will line up a guy at receiver by the name of DeSean Jackson. Never heard of him? Last year as a sophomore, he had 59 catches, 1,060 yards and nine touchdowns. Add in the fact that he’s far and away the best punt returner in the country and you’ve got a serious Heisman Trophy candidate.

    Advantage: California

    Offensive Line

    The addition of Colin Baxter at the left guard position has worked nicely for Arizona’s O-line. As a unit, the line has only allowed four sacks in three games, much off the pace of last year’s squad, which allowed 31. But Cal’s allowed only three, and it has blocked for the Pac-10’s leading rusher.

    Advantage: California

    Defensive Line

    Although the Wildcats’ defensive line made some bonehead moves last week against New Mexico, seemingly going offsides whenever the opportunity came up, it is more experienced than that of the Bears, who lost three starters from last year.

    Advantage: Arizona

    Linebackers

    Both the Cal and Arizona linebacking corps are among the best in the nation. Cal’s linebackers have 98 tackles (eight for losses), 4.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and one interception. If you go by pure numbers, Cal’s are slightly better than Arizona’s, but not by much.

    Advantage: California

    Cornerbacks

    The oldest California cornerback is a sophomore. Antoine Cason and Wilrey Fontenot have started every single game at the position the last four years.

    Advantage: Arizona

    Prediction

    It doesn’t get much tougher than the No. 6 Golden Bears. UA head coach Mike Stoops’ teams seem to always play the best teams the toughest, but California is playing with a huge chip on its shoulder after last year’s loss that probably cost the Bears a chance to play in the Rose Bowl.

    California 35, Arizona 21

    – compiled by Mike Ritter

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