IT'S GAME DAY! Here is everything you need to know about Northwestern vs. Cal -- or at the very least a link to everything you need to know.
In case you're wondering, we'll have an all-day game thread -- although please join me in our fancy new SB Nation chat room -- and of course, one for the game itself. Hopin' to get to Blondies, but we'll see how things work.
NORTHWESTERN VS. CAL Y'ALL
Game time: 10:30 p.m. ET, 9:30 p.m. Northwestern time, 7:30 p.m. local
Location: California Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, California
Announcers: Mark Jones, Brock Huard, Lewis Johnson
Radio: WGN720 (Dave Eanet, Ted Albrecht)
Kickoff forecast: 66 degrees, no precipitation, sunny/cloudy evening
Odds: Northwestern -6, -220
Rankings: Northwestern, 22 (AP/USA Today), Cal, unranked
What this means to each team
Northwestern: The Wildcats won 10 games last year for the third time in program history and a bowl game for the firs ttime since 1949 (incidentally, also against Cal in the Rose Bowl.) They're looking to get 2013 off to a strong start and a loss would be a disappointing start, although the quirks of this game -- road game at night on the West Coast against a team with a tough new system -- are worrisome. Kain Colter and Venric Mark are looking to get off against a not-so-good Cal defense, while NU's very good defense looks to hold up against Cal's spankin' new offense.
Cal: After a dismal 3-9 campaign, Sonny Dykes is in charge. Known for his team's dynamic offenses at Louisiana Tech, Dykes has reinvigorated the Cal program, and although program-building takes some time, his simple offense shouldn't have taken that long to install. It bases itself around execution rather than complexity, and the question is whether Jared Goff -- a true freshman starting at QB -- can pull that off. Brendan Bigelow is a stud at running back, which plays a surprisingly large role in the "Bear Raid" offense. The defense was awful last year, but hopes to improves in a 4-3 set under Andy Buh.
Cal blog: California Golden Blogs
Northwestern injury report: WR Kyle Prater, WR Mike McHugh, OT Eric Olson (out)
Cal injury report: LB Nick Forbes (doubtful)
- Preview from a Northwestern perspective
- Preview from an indifferent perspective
- Northwestern-Cal predictions
- Preview of Northwestern's offense
- Preview of Northwestern's defense
- 10 things to know about Northwestern football
- 10 things to know about Cal football
- Why to hate Cal
- Northwestern depth chart
- Cal depth chart
More from Sippin' On Purple:
- Northwestern vs. Cal 2013: Preview roundtable for No. 22 Wildcats-Golden Bears
- Northwestern vs. Cal: What to look for as the Wildcats face the Golden Bears
- I did something dumb about the fact that Northwestern is ranked 22
- Northwestern vs. Cal 2013: 7 reasons for Wildcats fans to hate the Golden Bears
- Tim Hanrahan, Northwestern Wildcats football, No. 1
- Northwestern vs. Cal injury report: Kyle Prater, Eric Olson, Mike McHugh out