USC opponent preview: California Golden Bears
Coach: Jeff Tedford
2010: 5-7 (3-6 in the Pac-10)
Returning starters: Seven (offense), six (defense)
California has fallen on tough times as of late, finishing with a 5-7 mark in 2010 ‚ÄĒ the first time in eight years that it had not made a bowl game. This season, the Golden Bears lose some of their main pieces on offense as well, namely quarterback Kevin Riley and running back Shane Vereen, who rushed for 1,225 yards last season. The offense was rather pedestrian in 2010, averaging 25.8 points per game ‚ÄĒ 73rd nationally.
Running the show at quarterback this year will be Buffalo transfer junior Zach Maynard, and replacing Vereen in the backfield will be junior Isi Sofele. One of the bright spots of the offense will be returning wide receiver Marvin Jones, a 6-foot-2 senior, who caught 50 passes for 765 yards and four touchdowns a season ago.
The defense, which ranked first in the conference in yards allowed per game, returns just five starters and remains a serious question mark as a result. But senior linebacker Mychal Kendricks, who was also all-conference last year, was named to the Butkus Award watch list, is back.