Justin Wilcox continues fighting an uphill battle, but it’s a new year. Eric Morris takes over as head coach for the North Texas Mean Green and looks to stun the California Golden Bears. This Cal vs. North Texas prediction tells us which coach will come out of Week 1 undefeated.
Cal vs. North Texas Betting and DFS Preview
Cal -258, North Texas +210
54 total points
- Game time
4 p.m. ET
DATCU Stadium, Denton, TX
- Predicted Weather at Kick
100 degrees, clear, 9 mph winds
- How to Watch
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Top DFS Picks and Fantasy Plays
All values below come from FanDuel’s multi-team entries for the weekend. Looking to sign up for FanDuel? New customers bet $5 and get $200 in bonus bets guaranteed. Click here for more details.
Cal Depth Chart | North Texas Depth Chart
- QB Sam Jackson V, Cal
- RB Jaydn Ott, Cal
- RB Isaiah Ifanse, Cal
- WR Jeremiah Hunter, Cal
- WR Brian Hightower, Cal
- QB Stone Earle, North Texas
- RB Oscar Adaway, North Texas
- RB Ayo Adeyi, North Texas
- WR Roderic Burns, North Texas
- WR Trey Cleveland, North Texas
While there aren’t any DFS picks at the time of writing, multiple players still bring fantasy value to your lineup.
If you’re looking for a stock that could go up, Sam Jackson V and Jaydn Ott are great options. Byron Cardwell’s injury ensures that the Golden Bears will rely on Ott more than they did last year. Ifanse could lighten the load if he proves to be reliable.
Jackson gets to run Jake Spavital’s system, which can be explosive, giving guys like Jeremiah Hunter and Brian Hightower more opportunities to showcase their talent. Hunter should be more of a featured receiver this season.
North Texas will continue running its offense at a blistering pace, and Stone Earle takes over to run the show.
Running back is loaded for the Mean Green, so good luck picking someone who will stand out. Adaway and Adeyi should see more touches than they did last year, so you could add them to your roster feeling adequate about your return on investment.
The passing game is the biggest question. Earle obviously has to show he can be reliable, but he also needs to find chemistry with players taking on bigger roles. Jyaire Shorter’s departure hurt, but Roderic Burns and Trey Cleveland figure to step up in his place.
Prediction for Cal vs. North Texas
North Texas endured all kinds of changes this offseason, and Eric Morris must figure out how he wants to piece together his team. Luckily for him, there’s still a good core of returning players back.
First, he named Stone Earle the starting quarterback, surprising many. Joining him in the backfield is a stable of running backs that all know how to gash a defense. Adeyi averaged 7.2 yards per carry last year.
While the defense also took a few hits, Ridge Texada, Mazin Richards, and Roderick Brown all return up front to steady the unit. Logan Wilson and UNLV transfer Phillip Hill man the back end of the defense.
Morris hopes to continue the explosive ways of a team that made it to the Conference USA Championship Game last year but now must do it in a tougher conference. The AAC presents new challenges, but this first game against Cal should help get this team locked in for the season.
Cal continues flying under the radar thanks to the challenges it faces on a yearly basis with academics. Wilcox and his staff can’t recruit the same player that the other teams in their conference do, and that already puts them at a disadvantage. That being said, he made some nice additions this offseason to help his squad.
Jake Spavital comes in to run the offense, and Cal just named TCU transfer Sam Jackson V as the starting quarterback. Jackson brings an exciting skill set that should fit well in Spavital’s offense.
Jaydn Ott’s importance in the offense was elevated even more thanks to the injury of Byron Cardwell. Ott’s an explosive weapon who’s hoping to see more running lanes in 2023. This offense could be entertaining if Jackson and the passing attack can help.
Jeremiah Hunter and Brian Hightower figure to take on bigger roles with J Michael Sturdivant heading to UCLA, as does Mavin Anderson. The offense appears in good hands for now, and the defense has the talent to help them out.
Jackson Sirmon is a first-team All-Pac 12 player who tackles everything in sight. There are some questions about the level of talent up front, but Florida transfer David Reese joins Sirmon at linebacker.
Cal’s secondary is loaded with intriguing talent. Patrick McMorris was a huge get from the transfer portal, and he joins a secondary that returns Craig Woodson and Jeremiah Earby.
This won’t be said much this year, but Cal is the more talented team. That doesn’t mean that North Texas can’t win the game. It’s just going to be a tough one to win, even at home.
Cal 30, North Texas 20