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Danger and go zones: Tennessee defense v. Cal offense

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Thanks again to Kevin of The Band is Out on the Field for ranking Cal's players and sending additional commentary.

  1. WR 1 DeSean Jackson (6-0, 172, Jr.) An incredibly confident player in whom fans have great confidence. The only situation that might rattle him is when he is triple-teamed.
  2. C 51 Alex Mack (6-5, 300, Jr.)* Mack is beginning his third-year as a starter. Kirk Herbstreit named him the best O-lineman in the nation or something this week.
  3. WR 2 Robert Jordan (5-11, 1 71, Sr.) Jordan is heading into his fourth year as a solid starter and should have his biggest year playing across from DeSean Jackson. Confident in him going against a freshman corner.
  4. WR 7 Lavelle Hawkins (5-11, 18 5, Sr.) Cal's best possession receiver. You might remember Hawkins as a guy who signed with LSU prior to the 2005 season, but then transferred without ever playing a game.
  5. RG 55 Noris Malele ( 6-3, 303, Jr.)* Came on strong at the end of the year. Off the bench he recorded 14 pancake blocks. Should be a solid player.
  6. TB 20 Justin Forsett (5-8, 196, Sr.) Given the quality of our offensive lines generally, Forsett should do well. Of course, he also has the pressure of replacing Marshawn Lynch, and it isn't like Lynch did much against the Vols last year.
  7. QB 9 Nate Longshore (6-5, 233, Jr.)* Against any other team Longshore would be at least an 8. But he didn't play too well against the Vols last year (an understatement.) However, he has about 24 times more playing experience than he did before that one.
  8. LT 53 Mike Gibson (6-5, 302 , Sr.) Second team All-Pac-10 last season, but he moves to the LT spot.
  9. RT 79 Mike Tepper (6-7, 308 , Jr.)* A fan favorite, after getting his leg crushed while saving a women's volleyball player prior to his freshman year. Slimmed down to 308 in the off-season so that he has more endurance.
  10. TE 19 Craig Stevens (6-5, 25 8, Sr.)* Is the full time tight end this season after splitting time with various other players over the last three seasons.
  11. LG 63 Brian De La Puente (6-4, 302, Sr.)* Has played consistently, but has never started.
Okay, now assuming the data is correct (no guarantees!), what do we have?

Go Zones

Except for the middle of the line, it looks like we might have either a push or an advantage here. Xavier Mitchell may be able to get some outside pressure on Longshore. Most of our strength, though, is in the secondary, primarily at the linebacker positions.

Danger Zones

We have real problems at the edges. Cal's top players are their receivers, and most of our "crossing our fingers" players are corners. Hefney and the linebackers are going to have to either help in coverage or get to the QB. There is no in-between. It's important to note, though, that our secondary isn't so "red" because we don't have confidence in them but because we just don't know anything about them. It's possible that our guys get overlooked or underestimated.

What do y'all think?