College Football is Back!!!… Well kind of
The time is finally here, tomorrow night Hawaii and Cal will faceoff down under to kickoff the 2016 College Football season. Fun fact about the setting of the game, this will be the 3rd college football game ever played in Australia. The other two were in 1985 and 1987 and were played as bowl games in Melbourne. Unfortunately after tomorrow’s game the next FBS game won’t come until next Thursday. So as we watch some late night Friday college football, some might not don tomorrow’s game as the “real” start of the season. Call it what you want, I’m just excited to see some football and give you my thoughts on how I see the game shaking out.
What You Need to Know
When you hear that Cal and Hawaii are playing you might be thinking, “Man that doesn’t sound like too good of a game. Cal is going to destroy them.” But I tell you, this is not 2015. Cal no longer has Jared Goff nor their top SIX receivers nor 6 of their top 7 defensive players from a season ago. On the other hand, Hawaii will be much improved on offense and I can assure you they will not repeat last year’s miserable -23 TO Margin. New head coach Nick Rolovich (former QB for Hawaii back in the early 2000s) will help bring an explosiveness to this offense that hasn’t been seen at Hawaii since the June Jones days. Now that I have leveled out the playing field a bit, it’s time to point out the one question mark for this game, Cal QB Davis Webb. The former Texas Tech QB will be making the start for Cal by way of the graduate transfer rule. Webb had a pretty successful 2 years with the Red Raiders throwing for 5,500+ yards while completing 61% of his passes. He also threw 46 TDs, but had 22 INTs. If Webb fits into Sonny Dyke offense from the go I could see the Golden Bears running away with this game. Ultimately, though, with Cal’s inexperience to start the season and Hawaii’s new found moxie, I think the Rainbow Warriors will find a way to make this game interesting.
Score prediction: California 38 / Hawaii 27
Vegas predictions: HAW +21.5/ U 66
Stat prediction: Cal rushes for 250+ yards
Davis Webb will play OK, but I think Cal will lean on their run game with Khalfani Muhammad, Vic Enwere, and Tre Watson to win this game. I expect Hawaii to keep it close into the 3rd Quarter, but down the stretch Cal will wear them out on the ground and pull away in the 4th Quarter. I will leave you with this interesting fact: Since 2011, Hawaii is 7–2 Against the Spread vs Pac-12 teams.
That’s all for tonight. I hope everyone tunes in tomorrow night (9pm CST on ESPN) to watch college football get underway in 2016 — should be a whole lotta fun. Thanks for reading!