Five Things: Idaho State
As always, a recap of last week's Five Things:
By default, the Bears won this category because the McGarbers combo was far more productive than Tanner Mangum, as ugly as it might have been at times. More on this situation in a bit, though.
2) Cal "Big" DL
Another big win here, because collectively, the group stoned Squally Canada and the BYU offense all evening to the tune of 3.8 yards per carry.
3) Moos and Banjo
Did not play too much -- amassed only 28 snaps between them and recorded no stats. Instead, Cal went with Tevin Paul to take up Goode's snaps. I'll count it as a loss, though.
Another win, by doubling BYU's rate of explosive plays at 12% to 6%. Still short of where we'd like for it to be, but enough to win.
5) Corbin Kaufusi
Zero sacks given up by Cal, and no BYU defender graded out at even average on the night for pass rushing. That's a W.
Overall Record: 6-3-1 (2-0)
Yes, again. Now that Bowers looks like he's going to be out of the picture, it's down to the McGarbers to keep going forward. As a passer, Garbers' charts and targets are fairly similar to that of Bowers -- mostly contained between the first ten yards -- but he has a higher ceiling due to his maneuverability, but this is an ideal opponent for him to get the ball down the field. As for McIlwain, I don't see him starting, but I do think he'll play regularly as a change of pace guy, so what you want to see from him is also more consistency as a passer, just so defenses can't just treat him as a runner. (Any play with McIlwain right now also has the advantage of being almost always a positive gain. Really good at keeping the team on schedule.)
2) Tight Ends
After digging into it for this week's Novel, I've been pretty disappointed by the tight end production this year, considering how big they were for our hopes as a multiple offense. Making these two guys a focus -- the former still has yet to make his first catch for the Bears; Hudson has had a bunch of trouble reeling in his -- would be a nice bonus, and perhaps could play a big role in getting Garbers more comfortable going forward.
(Related, I want to see more touches for Jeremiah Hawkins.)
Each of the last two games have been marked by missed opportunities and letting the opponent back enough to force an onside kick situation. Let's...not do that against an FCS opponent, shall we? This team isn't built to blow games out, but a nice three touchdown win where the second string gets to play would be ideal.
So far, the Bears have been extremely blessed to only lose Cam Goode for any amount of time, and for the most part, no other contributors injured, only departed. With the bye week coming early, getting everyone out of this one healthy and without further dings would be ideal. You want to get into a position where the depth gets reps.
5) Appropriate Fear
Idaho State may be an FCS team, but they've had almost two weeks to prep for the game coming off a 45-10 team their first week. The defense should be more than up to the task of handling the opponent, as they've never looked underprepared in Wilcox's tenure in the first place. It'd be nice for the offense to come out and build some confidence heading into the bye versus Oregon though. Just take care of business and do it with ruthless efficiency.