Cowan will start against Cal with Bethel-Thompson as his back-up, but he won’t have the protective Red Jersey on Saturday (more like a bullseye)
Karl Dorrell made it Official yesterday: Pat Cowan has survived a couple of days of practice, and will therefore be the Starter on Saturday versus #12 Cal. Dorrell also announced the QB Depth Chart, naming McLeod Bethel-Thompson the back-up, with Osaar Rasshan 3rd String.
The Cal Bears have undoubtedly seen tape of the Notre Dame game, and probably wouldn’t mind facing the inexperienced Bethel-Thompson. Therefore, expect them to try to (legally) knock Cowan out of the game. If they were trojans, it would come on a hit out-of-bounds, and Shareece Wright could brag about it. But with Cal, it just means to expect more blitzing, and hard hits just as Cowan is releasing the ball, or if he’s scrambling, when he’s just about to slide.
Since his knee is not 100%, it might not take that much to send Cowan back to the bench. Therefore, you’ll have to excuse the Bruin Coaching Staff if the Playcalling is less than aggressive. They are going to have to protect Cowan, and discourage him from doing what he does best: Improvising.
They are going to run as much as they can, and call pass plays like quick inside screens, where Cowan gets rid of the ball right away. Expect a slant from Cowan to his brother Joe Cowan to go for big yards.
Cal has their own QB problems, with their Star reportedly limping in practice yesterday. The inexperienced replacement had a great game last week, showing a lot of talent and even more poise… until the last play of the game, where he mentally choked, and let the clock expire while they were in range to tie it with a Field Goal. He won’t make THAT mistake again, and he WILL be just as TALENTED as he was last week, so don’t think that Cal will suck without Starting QB Nate Longshore.
The two keys to the Bruins being competitive are stopping the Bears’ Running Game, with Justin Forsett being a Heisman-caliber Tailback, and keeping Wide Receiver/Punt Returner DeSean Jackson in check. That’s not easy to do, considering that Jackson really IS a Heisman Hopeful, but hopefully, the Bruins won’t allow him to climb up THAT chart at their expense. Aaron Perez has been fantastic this year, but one slip up this week could cost the Bruins the game. They SHOULD kick away from him, but if they change it up and kick some to him, the punts better have substantial HANG TIME. If he catches a line drive, and Matthew Slater doesn’t get him with First Contact, DeSean will be gone. The Bruins’ Defense could keep them in the game, but NOT if the Special Teams doesn’t carry their weight.
Below are SIXTEEN more photos of Pat Cowan, as a tribute, in the hope that he’s got another “13-9” in him. And don’t forget: ALL THESE PHOTOS ENLARGE A LOT when you click on them!