Sonny Dykes' Bear Raid offense may not have turned many heads last season, when Berkeley averaged a meager 23 ppg, but he has some things going thus far this season. Dykes' system follows what he utilized at Texas Tech when he worked for Mike Leach , which means a dramatic emphasis in the passing attack. Last year, Cal's offense averaged 330 ypg through the air, and 124 ypg on the ground. This year, the Bears have increased the rushing yards per game to 135, and have increased output through the air to 383 ypg. Needless to say, Dykes has the Bear Raid in full swing in year two.
The passing attack is led by So. Jared Goff, who already has over 5,500 passing yards in his young career. To put that in perspective, Berkeley's all-time leading passer has about 8,100 yards. With nearly 20 career starts under his belt, Goff is not the same quarterback that UCLA beat up last year.
In addition to a talented quarterback, Berkeley boasts a wealth of talent at wide receiver. Bryce Treggs is the star of the group, and the Jr. leads the team with 29 receptions for 360 yards and 5 touchdowns this season. At 5'11 185 lbs., Treggs is not a physical mismatch, but he has great burst and is very refined for a young receiver. Behind Treggs, juniors Trevor Davis, Chris Harper, Stephen Anderson, Darius Powe, and Maurice Harris, and sophomore Kenny Lawler form one of the deepest units in the Pac-12. They are all capable receivers and allow Dykes to run his offense at a very fast pace without draining his receivers.
In the running game, expect to see a lot of Jr. Daniel Lasco. Laso leads the team with nearly 14 carries and 80 yards per game. He's also a decent receiver, and has 15 catches for 186 yards thus far. Lasco will be spelled by 5'7 170 lbs. So. Khalfani Muhammad, who has game breaking speed. Muhammad has 38 carries for 170 yards on the season, but he's a home run threat every time he touches the ball.
So, what does that mean for UCLA? Berkeley brings a different kind of offensive threat than our defense has faced thus far this season. Memphis, Arizona St., Utah, and Oregon all spread out the defense, but they are all primarily spread to run teams. Dykes' system spreads to pass, and they'll generally run when they have a numbers advantage only. UCLA will be forced into much more dime packages than usual, and our depth at secondary will be tested.
The Bruins should have a big advantage in the trenches, where Berkeley has already allowed 12 sacks this season. Like UCLA, Berkeley commits to a 5 or 6 man blocking scheme, so winning any one on one matchups along the line should provide decent pressure. As we've seen this season, the great equalizer with any spread offense is pressure, so keep an eye on the matchup between our defensive line and Berkeley's offensive line, as it will likely determine the outcome of the game.
Alright folks, that concludes your offensive preview for this weekend's upcoming game against Berkeley. Fire away in the comment thread with your thoughts, opinions, and takes on the Golden Bears offense.