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Cal Football

Cal's Offense Versus the Rest of the Pac-12

June 10, 2019
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Last week, we took a look at the Pac-12’s returning defense and how Cal is poised to take another step forward. Then we looked at Cal’s four-year offensive trends. Now, let’s take a similar look at returning production and offensive efficiency and stats from across to conference to see what we can glean for 2019.

In terms of returning offensive production, Cal will be working with many new pieces, especially compared to the rest of the conference and nation. Out of the 130 FBS schools, Cal ranks 104th in returning production on the offensive side of the ball (51% returning). The only Pac-12 school to return less experience on the offense is Stanford, which returns 45%.

Of course, many schools — powerhouses included — go through roster changes. Mississippi, who Cal will play on September 21, returns just 30% of their offensive production — last in the country. Ohio State returns 42%, Oklahoma has 46%, and Georgia has 53% coming back. Let’s not forget Georgia, Ohio State, and Oklahoma are all pretty much considered preseason top-five teams.

The issue, however, the three aforementioned top-five schools were also top-four S&P offensive programs last season. Cal was 118th. Cal also had one of the least efficient offenses in the country, with a 1.32 FEI rating, which was 124th in the FBS.

Not surprisingly, Cal averaged the least amount of points in the conference last season at 21.54. The Bears also bottomed-out in average yards per play (4.9), average yards per game (343.5), and total TDs (35).

Compared to the rest of the conference, Cal had an average rushing year. The Bears finished sixth in average yards per rush (4.2), total rushing yards (2,045), and average rushing yards per game (157.3). Cal did, however, have the lowest number of rushing TDs at 13.

In terms of passing, the stats confirm the eye-ball test. Cal had a rough year. The Bear’s averaged more than a yard less per pass attempt (5.72) than the next lowest Pac-12 team (Oregon State with 7). Washington State doubled Cal’s total passing yards for the year.

While Cal had the lowest third-down conversion rate in the conference at 35.42%, the Bears performed better in preventing sacks and penalties.

Even though Cal wasn’t spending a ton of time in its opponents' red zone, it did so more than UCLA, Colorado, and USC. Cal made it to the red zone 39 times last season, however, only walked away with touchdowns 19 times, which tied for second-lowest with USC.

Lastly, Cal’s offensive efficiency was likely docked hard last season by turnovers. At 31 turnovers, Cal led the conference in coughing up the ball.

The positive spin here is with a young core of offensive starters, there is only room for improvement. Cal will once again be one of the youngest teams on the offensive side of the ball in the conference. But thankfully for the Bears, they will also be assisted by arguably the most experienced and efficient defenses in the conference and country. It should get plenty of opportunities with all of the stops and takeaways the defense is likely to provide.

See also: Cal’s Meteoric Defensive Turn-Around — In Stat Trends

Discussion from...

Cal's Offense Versus the Rest of the Pac-12

Sebastabear
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In a word: Yikes.

Here's looking forward to a brighter 2019.
NYCGOBEARS
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Sebastabear said:

In a word: Yikes.

Here's looking forward to a brighter 2019.

I used a different word but it wouldn't pass the censorship program.
Cal89
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Having followed those and other stats last season, nothing surprising here, but a reminder of just how poor the offense performed...

The fact that offensive production got worse, not better in year two is most bothersome, to me at least. Really anxious to see what Baldwin's guys can do in 2019...
Bear19
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Cal's offense in 2018 wasn't good? Stop The Presses! Hahaha.
calgo430
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the offense in the cheeze it bowl was ugly. i blame buh.
calumnus
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Wilcox sticking with Baldwin into year three after two years of being among the worst offenses in the country (immediately after being among the best) is going to be the measure of him as a head coach. If the offense is good, Wilcox's faith in Baldwin despite all the contrary evidensce will be proof he is a great HC, willing to do what he thinks is best despite public opinion. However, if the offense is bad again....
Rushinbear
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calumnus said:

Wilcox sticking with Baldwin into year three after two years of being among the worst offenses in the country (immediately after being among the best) is going to be the measure of him as a head coach. If the offense is good, Wilcox's faith in Baldwin despite all the contrary evidensce will be proof he is a great HC, willing to do what he thinks is best despite public opinion. However, if the offense is bad again....
BB will be gone.
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