The Pac-12 and Big 12 conferences clash in San Diego December 28 in the 2nd of two San Diego bowl matchups. California finished the regular season playing well, while the Longhorns have struggled to cross the finish line, but both squads played quality football to qualify for bowl games. This will be an opportunity to close the season on a good note when they clash in the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl.
Texas has won all four meetings against the Golden Bears, though the last matchup was back in 1970.
The latest Holiday Bowl spread list the Longhorns as a 3-point chalk, while the total has been listed at 47.5 points.
Cal enters this meeting on a pretty good roll, having came out on top in three of their last four games, with the only blip a 31-28 loss to top-10 Stanford. Recently, the Bears won at Arizona State, 47-38, to end up fourth in the Pac-12 North (4-5) and finish with a 2-4 record away from home.
The Bears rank 47th in the nation in scoring offense (30 points per game) while racking up 418 yards per game (252 through the air, 166 rushing). Zach Maynard has hit on 57 % of his passes for 2,806 yards and 17 touchdowns with 11 picks. The offensive line has given up 22 sacks.
Keenan Allen paces the receiving crops with 89 receptions (34 more than anyone else) for 1,261 yards and six touchdowns, while Isi Sofele anchors the ground attack with 1,266 yards and nine touchdowns on 5.5 yards per game.
Defensively, the Golden Bears rank 52nd in the nation in points allowed (24 ppg), surrendering 339 yards per game (209 passing, 130 running) while recording 32 sacks and forcing 23 turnovers two of which were returned for touchdowns (Trevor Guyton, fumble; Josh Hill, interception).
Mychal Kendricks leads the defense with 96 stops, adding three sacks, a team-best two interceptions and two fumble recoveries, while D.J. Holt adds 81 stops with two sacks. Guyton and Ernest Owusu have nine combined sacks, chipping in 69 tackles, three forced fumbles and two recoveries.
The Longhorns started 4-0 but have struggled coming into this contest, losing three of their last four games most recently a 48-24 defeat vs Baylor. Overall, Texas was 3-3 away from home this year, but did win its only game in the state of California a 49-20 victory at UCLA.
The Longhorns rank 42nd in the country in points allowed (23 ppg), surrendering 316 yards per game (212 through the air, 104 rushing) while compiling 23 sacks and generating 21 turnovers with one being taken back for a TD (Carrington Byndom, interception).
Emmanuel Acho paces this defensive unit with 122 stops (26 more than any other player), adding three sacks and a forced fumble, while Alex Okafor has seven sacks, 54 tackles, two forced fumbles and one recovery. Quandre Diggs adds a team-high three picks with 48 stops and two forced fumbles.
Texas ranks 53rd in the country in scoring offense (29 ppg), compiling 404 yards per game (210 on the ground, 194 through the air). Malcolm Brown leads the ground attack with 707 yards and five scores on 4.4 yards per tote.
David Ash and Case McCoy switch off at QB, combining to complete 59 % of their passes for 1,971 yards and 10 touchdowns with 12 picks. The offensive line has allowed 26 sacks. Mike Davis is the top receiving target with 45 catches for 609 yards and one score, while Jaxon Shipley has 40 grabs for 593 yards and three scores in nine games.