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The Golden Bears travel down to Tuscon, a Q&A preview of Cal vs. Arizona

Jesse Borek and Patrick Cormier take a look at some of the story lines heading into tonight's game between the Golden Bears and Wildcats.

Christian Petersen

Today we take a look at what it will take for Cal and Arizona must do in order to secure a victory and open up conference play undefeated.

Q (Patrick): Anu Solomon has had his share of ups and downs so far this season, but he and the Arizona offense were rolling against Nevada last weekend. What about this Wildcat offensive attack makes them so dangerous?

A (Jesse): Any time that you can combine a dual threat quarterback with the talents of Anu Solomon with an offensive guru such as Rich Rodriguez, good things are bound to happen.

What makes the offense so dangerous is their big play ability. With home run hitters (no pun intended) Trey Griffey and Nick Wilson helping to space out the passing and running game, respectively, this offense can rack up points in a hurry.

What can Cal do to limit this?

(Patrick): Art Kaufman's group is going to be facing it's first real test since he took over the defensive coordinator responsibilities at Cal. The bears will be helped by the fact that they had the whole bye week to prepare and get ready for this match up.

They probably won't be able to limit both, but a huge factor in this game will be Cal's ability to take away the big plays in either the run or the pass from the Arizona attack. They will have no chance at pulling the upset if they allow huge plays on the ground and through the air.

Q (Patrick): People have mentioned Arizona's defense as being a potential weak spot, They gave up 321 yards through the air and 3 TD passes last week to Nevada's Cody Fajardo. What will it take on Saturday for this unit to be successful and slow down Jared Goff and the 'Bear Raid' on Saturday?

A (Jesse): You're right in stating that Nevada had a solid game offensively last week, but the Wildcats defense did just enough to take care of business.

In order to slow down the "Bear Raid," Arizona will really have to pick their spots. The game could enter shootout mode real quick if both quarterbacks take care of the football. The best hope is that the Wildcats can create turnovers, specifically early in the game, so that they can gather and lead and then extend, forcing Cal to play from behind.

How can Cal take advantage?

(Patrick): I think that Cal's offense and Jared Goff are poised for a big day through the air but the real test is going to come on the ground. The running game for the Bear's is also going to be a huge factor, they placed a big emphasis on this aspect in their game against Sac State.

Luke Rubenzer should be featured on the ground in this one, and he will be playing with a chip on his shoulder returning to his home state after not receiving an offer from Rich Rod and his staff.

Arizona's run defense has actually been fairly stout thus far so it will be interesting to see how this match up plays out.

Q (Patrick): This is a critical game for both teams at this point in the season, what does Arizona need to do in order to get the victory in this one and start the season undefeated in conference play?

A (Jesse) I had written earlier this season that the Wildcats may be a legitimate sleeper in the PAC-12 this season, and that came with an understanding that they would have to win games such as this.

There is no denying the explosiveness of the Cal offense (hell, it has its own nickname), but in order for Arizona to win their conference opener, which I believe they will, they'll have to both contain the Bear Raid and put up some points of their own.

How can Cal steal this one on the road?

(Patrick): It really comes down to taking care of the football. We should see a lot of points on the board, and the last team that has the ball could be the one who comes out on top.  It would be huge for this young Cal team to take this one and carry the momentum into the rest of conference play.