UTAH UTES

An Early Look At Utes’ 2023 Football Opponents: Cal Golden Bears

Jun 9, 2023, 11:47 AM

SALT LAKE CITY – Spring ball is over, and the summer months are upon us making it a great time to take an early look at Utah football’s 2023 opponents.

After a short-week trip to Corvallis to play Oregon State on a Friday night, the Utes get a break the following week with their BYE (October 1-7) before turning their attention to host the Cal Golden Bears in week seven.

The Golden Bears have been a little hard on their luck in recent years under head coach Justin Wilcox who is 30-36 at the helm. Last season, Cal was just 4-8 making it likely they will be hungry heading into Salt Lake for a program changing upset.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by KSL Sports (@kslsports)

The When And Where Of Utah Football Vs. Cal

When: Saturday, October 14

Where: Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, Utah

Time: TBD

Network: TBD

What We Know About Cal Heading Into 2023

As mentioned above, Cal has not had an easy go and it appears they are in for an uphill battle in 2023.

When Wilcox was hired as the head coach for the Golden Bears it appeared he had them on an upward trajectory improving their record in each of his first three seasons, but then Covid hit and Cal has struggled to get back on track.

Add in Athletic Department financial woes and things feel very bleak for California football in 2023.

Golden Bear Defense Needs To Be Better

There are plenty of areas to point to concerning Cal football that haven’t gone well and need to improve. Perhaps the biggest area that needs to get-it-together however (at least according to this article) is the defense. 

The argument is that Wilcox is a defensive-minded coach and therefore, the Golden Bears probably shouldn’t be giving up an average of 429 offensive yards per game.

From the sounds of it Cal hit the transfer portal hard to address their defensive concerns adding former UNLV cornerback Nohl Williams and former San Deigo State safety Patrick McMorris to the mix of a pretty solid DB room.

Additionally, it appears the Golden Bears have a pretty solid linebacker corps with Washington transfer Jackson Sirmon and Florida transfer David Reese as the main building blocks of the unit.

Where it seems like there are still questions is the defensive line who struggled to get much pressure in 2022.

Cal’s Offense Isn’t Getting A Complete Pass

Cal will be breaking in a new offensive coordinator in Jake Spavital after his time ran out as the head coach at Texas State. Spavital, much like Utah’s Andy Ludwig, is actually coming around for his second stay with Cal having been with the Golden Bears back in 2016.

Spavital is known for high-octane offenses, but the one hurdle to getting Cal there may come at the offensive line who while returning four starters from the year before, will have to adjust quickly to a very different style of play.

The quarterback spot appears to be settled for Cal with Sam Jackson who transferred from TCU being the favorite for the job.

Based off of reports, Cal seems to be confident in their pass catchers even with star J. Michael Sturdivant heading for UCLA, but on the flip side, it doesn’t sound as positive for the run game that is being described as “thin”.

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports

 

 

  • Utah Utes Scoreboard

  • Utah Utes Team Leaders

  • Utah Utes Standings

Utah Utes

olympic-cauldron-park-outside-newly-renovated-rice-eccles-stadium-2022...

Michelle Bodkin

Former Utah Utes Athletes Set To Compete At 2024 Paris Olympics

All eyes turn to Paris, France, next week for the 2024 Summer Olympics and there will be a few former Utah athletes taking the big stage.

1 day ago

baseballs...

Brian Preece

Locals In MiLB: Justin Sterner Gets Second Cup Of Coffee With Tampa Bay Rays

The life of a minor league bullpen arm is rarely straightforward, as former BYU Cougar standout pitcher Justin Sterner can attest.

3 days ago

kai-roberts-micah-ashman-celebrate-utah-win-2024...

Michelle Bodkin

Kai Roberts, Micah Ashman Recount High School Basketball Rivalry After MLB Draft

Former Utah baseball stars Kai Roberts and Micah Ashman recounted a high school basketball rivalry after being drafted to the MLB.

3 days ago

merit jones...

Brian Preece

Utah Baseball Starting Pitcher Merit Jones Selected By Minnesota Twins

The Boston Red Sox have selected University of Utah starting pitcher Merit Jones with the 608th overall pick in the 2024 MLB draft.

4 days ago

micah ashman...

Brian Preece

Detroit Tigers Select Utah Utes Closer Micah Ashman In MLB Draft

Micah Ashman is the second Ute to hear his name called in the 2024 MLB draft after the Detroit Tigers picked him in the 11th round.

4 days ago

Smith-Snowden-Utah-Utes...

Michelle Bodkin

Getting To Know Utah Football’s 2024 Schedule: Arizona State Sun Devils

It’s time to dive into Utah football's game six against another familiar former Pac-12 foe in the Arizona State Sun Devils

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

KSL Sports

Utah Hockey Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Want to get the latest info on Utah's newest sports franchise? Sign up for the Utah Hockey newsletter!

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...

KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

An Early Look At Utes’ 2023 Football Opponents: Cal Golden Bears