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Debriefing: Cal brings its Jekyll-and-Hyde routine to the big leagues

The least you should know about the 2011 Golden Bears. Part of Pac-12 Week.

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Home sweet home. The fact that Cal won't play a game at Memorial Stadium this season doesn't bode well for the Bears, who played well at home and terrible on the road a year ago -- at least for the majority of the season. With the exception of the final three games of the year -- all home losses to the best teams in the conference -- Cal looked like a Pac-10 championship team when they played on their own turf. The Bears scored an average of 47.25 points per game against the likes of UC Davis, Colorado, UCLA and Arizona State and won those games by an average of 38.75 points.

On the road, it was a different story. The Bears were 1-4 on the road with its only win against Washington State. While the margin of defeat wasn't nearly as drastic as its home margin of victory, Cal looked like an entirely different team when it stepped away from Berkley.

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That's why the thought of moving this year's home games to ATT&T Park — home to baseball's San Francisco Giants and the tightest end zone fit in football — during the renovation of decrepit Memorial Stadium should have some fans even more nervous nervous than they are during bathroom breaks on top of the Hayward Fault.

Uncertainty is underrated. For the first time since 2005, Cal does not return a starting quarterback: Mainstay Kevin Riley graduated, leaving a slew of untested players competing for starting roles.

Buffalo transfer Zach Maynard is the starter heading into fall camp after winning the job in the spring, but Brock Mansion and Allan Bridgford are still in the hunt. Maynard threw for 2,694 yards, 18 touchdowns and 15 interceptions during his one season as Buffalo's starter. After coach Turner Gill left for Kansas, Maynard sought his release to Cal to be with his half-brother, wide receiver Keenan Allen. He impressed coaches and teammates during the spring with his athleticism and arm strength, and the fact that he's been a starter before — even if it was for Buffalo — definitely helps his cause, and should help the Bears' transition.{YSP:MORE}

Looking for a few good backs. For as long as Cal has had certainty at quarterback, it's also had certainty at tailback. Either Jahvid Best or Shane Vereen has been able to handle the load when the passing offense wasn't producing, but with Best two years removed from school and Vereen leaving early for the NFL draft, the Bears are looking at some uncharted territory. Junior Isi Sofele is the lone back with experience with 81 carries during his career and 69 of those came last season for 338 yards and no scores. In fact, Cal's running game was greatly aided by the rushing production of receivers Allen, Marvin Jones and Jeremy Ross, who combined for 321 yards and four scores. Allen and Jones are back, which should continue to help the running game, but Cal has to establish a consistent rushing attack to give Maynard some time to get used to the speed of the Pac-12.

Hey, at least we have Colorado to kick around now. After losing four of its last five and many of last year's offensive contributors, Cal's outlook on 2011 isn't all that rosy. But the Bears can take comfort in knowing that Colorado, UCLA and Arizona State are still on the schedule (the Bears scored 52, 35 and 50 points against those teams respectively) as well as Presbyterian and Washington State. Cal has had eight winning seasons during coach Jeff Tedford's nine-year reign and hasn't had back-to-back losing campaigns since the 2000-01 seasons.

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