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ASU Football: First Look at California

The Golden Bears will look to senior quarterback Davis Webb to air it out in an offense that is just as explosive as the last one we saw in Tempe.

Texas v California Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

The Arizona State Sun Devils and California Golden Bears will meet in the first Pac-12 matchup for both teams on Saturday night in Tempe, with the game airing on ESPN2 at 7:00 p.m. MST.

California is coming off a controversial 50-43 victory over the No. 11 Texas Longhorns, in which Golden Bear running back Vic Enwere dropped the ball at the one-yard line after breaking loose for a touchdown. However, since “no immediate recovery” was determined by the officiating crew, Enwere’s offense retained the ball at the one and was able to run out the clock without Texas getting the ball back.

The upset win moved California to 2-1 on the 2016 season.

Here’s what you need to know about the Golden Bears:

No Jared Goff? No Problem.

After the Los Angeles Rams picked up Jared Goff with the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft, many wondered what California would look to do offensively in 2016. The answer came in the form of Texas Tech senior transfer quarterback Davis Webb.

The former three-star quarterback out of Prosper, TX has erupted for 1,359 yards and 13 touchdowns in just three games with the Golden Bears, putting him on pace for a ludicrous 5,436 yards and 52 touchdowns. While these numbers surely can’t be sustained, Berkeley has surely found a replacement for their star quarterback, and possibly one with just as much potential.

Hope You Enjoyed the Red Raiders

As a team, the Golden Bears’ profile nearly identical to Texas Tech. Gunslinging veteran quarterback that leads the conference in passing yards? Check. An offensive coordinator that throws the ball over 58% of the time? Check. An explosive offense that averages 47 points a game and an abysmal defense? Check and check.

California offensive coordinator Jake Spavital will no doubt call for Webb to test the Sun Devil secondary in what should be another 60-plus point night in Tempe, as Arizona State’s offense will once again have to match the immense firepower of its opponent.

No Hibernation for the Bears

By Saturday, California will have traveled 16,611 miles in the first three games of the season. Sonny Dyke’s squad played the inaugural game of the college football season against Hawaii in Sydney, Australia, only to travel to southern California to lose to the Aztecs of San Diego State the next week. With another trip on the road to Tempe on the docket this weekend, the Bears have got to be feeling the effects of a schedule with three times as many miles on it as the Pittsburgh Steelers entire 2016 campaign.

Key Players

WR Chad Hansen

The six-foot-two, 205 pound junior out of Fillmore, CA has developed an imperceptible chemistry with Webb and has racked up 536 yards on 39 receptions this season, which gives him 27 more catches and 378 more than anyone else on the team. He has also added 5 touchdowns, two of which came against Texas on Saturday night. Webb will look for Hansen early and often this weekend, and either Kareem Orr or Armand Perry will surely have his work cut out for him in the secondary.

RB Vic Enwere

Yes, he dropped the ball on the one-yard line, nearly cost the Bears the game, and embarrassed himself on national television, but Enwere was quietly effective for the Golden Bears on the ground. In a game dominated by the intriguing battle between Davis Webb and true freshman Texas QB Shane Buechele, Enwere had 18 carries for 110 yards, including a long of 54. The 6-1, 240 junior out of Missouri City, TX will look to open up the Bears passing game, and switch up the offensive tempo for Spavital’s unit.

The Offensive Line

You don’t get to 1,359 passing yards in three games without a solid unit up front, and that’s exactly what California has. Senior guard Chris Borrayo and senior tackle Steven Moore lead a unit that returns four of five starters from last year, and will look to hold off a Sun Devil front seven that has already tallied seven sacks on the season.