Pac-12 Conference Football Preview: California Golden Bears (Part 1: Offense)


The California Golden Bears had a fairly good season last year, but could have done better in Pac-12 competition. The Golden Bears finished with a record of 4-5 in the Pac-12 in 2011 (7-6 overall), but that record could have been increased to 6-3. This is because California had two games against the Washington Huskies and the Stanford Cardinals that could have ended up as wins instead of losses. Despite finishing 4-5 in conference play, Cal earned the chance to play in the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl where they lost to the #24 Texas Longhorns by a score of 21-10.

The Golden Bears will need to look to their offense if they would like to do better in the Pac-12 in 2012. Here’s a look at the averages they had per game and their rankings compared to the other schools in Division I:

Total: 401.5 yards (44th overall)

Passing: 262.4 yards (39th overall)

Rushing: 154.8 yards (62nd overall)

According to California’s 2012 Spring Football Media Information guide, the Golden Bears will be losing six starters on offense going into the 2012 season. Out of these six offensive players, the two that stick out most are Marvin Jones and Anthony Miller.

Back in April of 2012, Marvin Jones was selected in the 5th round of the NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. Last season for Cal, Jones was second on the team in receiving yards behind Keenan Allen. In 2011, Jones had 846 receiving yards on 62 receptions and also had three receiving touchdowns. Jones also had the most punt return yards with 102 yards in 2011.

The other key loss for the Golden Bears on offense is Anthony Miller. Miller started all thirteen games at tight end for Cal in 2011. Miller finished last season with 263 receiving yards on 24 receptions and he also had three receiving touchdowns. The Golden Bears will definitely miss the 6’3, 261 lbs frame that he brought to the table in every game.

Although California has to deal with the loss of both Jones and Miller, they still have quality players returning for the 2012 season. One of these players include quarterback, Zach Maynard. Last season as a junior, Maynard threw for 2,990 yards on 231 completions and he also threw for 17 touchdowns. The only negative part about Maynard’s season in 2011 was his interception numbers (12). Seven out of his twelve interceptions were in only two games. Maynard threw three interceptions in a home game against Southern Cal and four interceptions in a road game against UCLA (threw no touchdowns in both games).

Another key returning player for the Golden Bears in 2012 is Keenan Allen. Allen will be entering his junior year in 2012 and had a very nice season in 2011. Last season, Allen led the team in receiving yards with 1,343 receiving yards. He averaged 13.7 receiving yards per reception and had six receiving touchdowns. Allen’s three best games in 2011 came in losses as he had 197 yards on ten receptions in the loss against Washington, 170 yards on nine receptions in the loss against Oregon, and 160 yards on thirteen receptions in the loss against USC. Allen will need to continue this amazing play in 2012, but will also need to show some leadership as well.

Cal will also have running back, Isi Sofele, returning in 2012.

For more stories on Cal, check out Golden Bear Lair.

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