Starting the season with sophomore quarterback Chase Garbers behind center, the Cal Bears were 4-0 and knocking off the likes of Washington and Ole Miss on the road in dramatic fashion. Head coach Justin Wilcox looked to have just enough pieces on the field to challenge the Ducks in the North in his third season. Unfortunately for the boys from Berkley, as the wins continued to pile up, so did the injuries, and as their depth chart was tested, it became immediately clear that Cal lacked the depth to continue being competitive as conference play ramped up. They now prepare to face a stout Utah defense with their third string quarterback taking the reins of a battered offense.
Though nothing is official, it appears true freshman Spencer Brasch is likely to start for Cal this Saturday night after second string quarterback, Devon Modster was ruled out after suffering a head injury that sidelined him during last week’s loss to Oregon State. Brasch is a relative unknown, having been on the field for just nine snaps during his college career, all coming against the Beavers last week in relief of the injured Modster. In his limited time on the field, Brasch was sacked twice, while completing two of his six attempted passes for 24 yards with one interception, suggesting the 18-year-old is in for a long night against Utah’s vaunted defense.
Despite the questions surrounding Brasch, the Bears do no what they have in starting running back Christopher Brown Jr. The 6’1”, 230 lb sophomore has gained 480 yards on 121 attempts, with a season long of 26 yards and four touchdowns. Add to that another 99 yards on 14 receptions and two additional TD’s and the versatile sophomore will likely play a big role in Saturday’s matchup.
Aiding Brasch in his premature start will be wide receivers Nikko Remigio and Jordan Duncan. The duo have combined for 471 yards on 32 receptions, to become the top two downfield targets but are far from the most talented receiving options on the roster. Junior Kekoa Crawford only has ten receptions for 185 yards to his name in 2019 with two TDs, however the former Michigan Wolverine has been sidelined for the last three games with an undisclosed ailment, leaving his availability for Saturday in question.
Considering Utah’s defense has allowed just one touchdown in their last eight quarters of football against significantly healthier offenses, the -21 point favorite Utes seemingly have their work cut out for them heading into week nine.