Cal Golden Bears vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers Preview and Pick – Point Spread

No. 10 California Golden Bears (2-0) 1-0 ATS, 1-0 O/U at Minnesota Golden Golphers (2-0) 0-1 ATS, 0-2 O/U Saturday September 19, 2009 TCF Bank Stadium
by Wilson of

Point Spread: California -14/Minnesota +14
Over/Under: 53

The last time these two teams matched up against each other was September 9, 2006 when the Golden Bears hosted the Golden Golphers and beat them 42-17. This weekend may be a better contest as both teams come into week three of the college season undefeated.

California is ranked No. 10 in the nation for a good reason- they are real good. The Bears are coming off of a huge victory over Eastern Washington University 59-7. California simply had too many weapons and D1 athletes who overpowered the weaker Eagles squad.

Perhaps the best running back in the country, Jahvid Best of the Bears showed why he will likely end up playing on Sundays. Best rushed for 144 yards and scored two touchdowns to help the Bears put the Eagles in their place. Best has only carried the ball 27 times through the first two games, so he should feel well rested headed into Minnesota this weekend.

California QB Kevin Riley was 13 of 20 for 148 yards and a touchdown. Riley also rushed for the first TD of the game. But California did most of their damage on the ground. The Bears had seven rushing touchdowns and the Eagles could not adjust to make any stops. The Bears had 507 total yards of offense to EWUs 235 thus the huge difference on the scoreboard.

The Golden Bears will not have such an easy opponent this week however as they trek to Minnesota where the Golden Golphers are 2-0 and looking to overcome an already two touchdown point spread at home. Cal’s schedule only gets more difficult during the next few weeks as the go to Oregon and then host the current No.3 USC Trojans in Berkeley, which will probably a battle for the top spot in the Pac 10.

Minnesota opened a new era last week by beating Air Force 20-13 in their brand new facility, the TCF Bank Stadium which cost $300 million! If you look at the numbers, Minnesota should have lost this game as they did on paper but a 17 point fourth quarter helped the Golden Golphers grab the win.

Gophers QB Adam Weber was 20 of 29 for 219 yards while senior wide receiver Eric Decker caught ten passes for 113 yards. Minnesota will need much more fire power if they plan on running with No. Cal Bears.

The Bears have scored over 50 points in each of their first two games (55.5 ppg) and their defense is only giving up 10 to their opponents. Minnesota is averaging 21.5 ppg while their D is allowing 16.5 through the first two weeks. This looks to spell trouble for the Golden Gophers.

Cal is 2-7 ATS in their last 9 road games and 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games on turf. Minnesota is 9-3 O/U in last 12 non-conference games. QB Kevin Riley has the completion percentage advantage with 65.2 versus Webers 54.9 but both QBs can get the ball to their receivers when they need to so it should be a matter of who can sustain the pressure.

You have to like California this year as they have built a solid team and they can play at a high level on both sides of the ball. The Golden Golphers will need to find a way to stop Jahvid Best or he will get the best of them!

Wilsons Pick: California is simply too tough and talented to go down to the Golphers. California 35, Minnesota 13. Luck to ya.