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Pregame Guesses: UCLA Bruins Host UC Berkeley Golden Bears
Does UCLA need to worry about UC Berkeley quarterback Chase Garbers and wide receiver Trevon Clark? Bruin linebacker Mitchell Agude is a tackling machine. And a surprising Bay Area band.
As the UCLA Bruin football team (7-4, 5-3 Pac-12) prepares to play its last game of the regular season versus the UC Berkeley Golden Bears (4-6, 3-4 Pac-12), it is time for the penultimate 2021 iteration of The Mighty Bruin’s Pregame Guesses. UCLA’s glorious victory over Southern Cal last weekend will not mean much if the Bruins cannot take care of UC Berkeley at home at the Rose Bowl tomorrow night.
There is still much to play for. The Bruins have already clinched a bowl berth but have a chance to get to nine wins on the season with a victory tomorrow and another one in their bowl game, which most fans would count as a success, even with the (mostly defensive) challenges UCLA has faced in 2021. The Golden Bears, on the other hand, need to win out versus the Bruins and then again next weekend versus Southern Cal in the Bay Area to earn a 6-6 record and a bowl berth.
All California match-ups mean California bands for PGG. Both the Bay Area and Los Angeles have an embarrassment or riches when it comes to musical artists. So there is a ton of material from which to choose. Whittling it down to just Bay Area artists—I could choose an LA band for pretty much any UCLA home game if I wanted to—I was scrolling through a list of artists from this area and saw most of the usual suspects. Artists like Credence Clearwater Revival, Green Day, Counting Crows, M.C. Hammer, Primus, Dead Kennedys, Faith No More, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane/Starship, Journey, Huey Lewis & The News, and Third Eye Blind were known to me as having come from the Bay Area. Some were surprising, including The Pointer Sisters, Wire Train, Tommy Tutone, and Kaskade.
But no band was more surprising to me than Train. I always assumed that Train was from the south. That folksy, twangy vibe reminded me a bit of the late 90s pseudo-southern sound of Dave Matthews or Blues Traveler, and and Train became big at about the same time. So, today, I am going with Train’s biggest hit, a favorite song of mine at the time in 1999 and one I haven’t listened to in years, “Meet Virginia.”
Apparently, the video was shot at the Merritt Bakery and Restaurant in Oakland, California, and features Rebecca Gayheart, who many might remember as “The Noxema Girl” from the 90s, as the waitress (presumably Virginia).
On to the guesses . . .
UC Berkeley’s senior quarterback Chase Garbers is peaking at the right time this season. The Golden Bears have won the last three games he started—he was out due to COVID protocols, along with many critical UC Berkeley players in the loss to Arizona sandwiched in between those wins.
In the three games against Oregon State, Stanford, and Colorado, the dual-threat signal-caller threw for a combined 737 yards passing, racked up 213 yards rushing, registered seven passing touchdowns, scored one rushing touchdown, and committed only one turnover, an interception. That’s an average of almost 247 passing yards per game and 71 yards rushing per game. PREGAME GUESS NUMBER ONE: This is a two-parter calling for over/under calls for Chase Garber’s passing and rushing yards. Setting the line at 247 passing yards, will Garbers go over or under this total? Setting the line at 71 rushing yards, will Garbers go over or under this total?
The UC Berkeley weapon that scares me the most in tomorrow’s Pac-12 After Dark matchup is senior receiver Trevon Clark. While facing above average quarterbacks such as Arizona State’s JT Daniels or Fresno State’s Jake Haener, the Bruins have been burned by the deep passing plays.
Clark averages 20.83 yards per reception and is a home run threat every time he touches the ball. That average places him at #7 in the nation in yards per reception. In his last two games, Clark had 135 yards and a touchdown on three receptions versus Stanford and 90 yards and a touchdown on five catches versus Oregon State. PREGAME GUESS NUMBER TWO: Predict Clark’s stat line, including receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns.
Two guesses, and two questions about UC Berkeley players. We need to talk about the Bruins, right? I mean, I need a blue and gold photograph to go atop this article!
Senior Mitchell Agude terrorized the Trojan offense last week. Agude had ten tackles, including four solo tackles. The ten tackles blew away Agude’s previous career high of seven takedowns, which came against Utah earlier this season. Not enough is being said about this young man, a junior college transfer from Riverside City College, who in less than two seasons has become a leader on UCLA’s defense. PREGAME GUESS NUMBER THREE: How many tackles will Agude records versus UC Berkeley?
BONUS GUESS: It’s a home game. Against a secondary rival. On a holiday weekend, which could lower student attendance but bolster alumni attendance. Lots of variables. Guess the attendance tomorrow.
With only one more PGG of the season left to go, the still-to-be-determined bowl game versus an unknown opponent, take a moment to make your guesses about tomorrow’s game in the comment section. Or just riff about the game.