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Cal football vs. Ole Miss: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score

Golden Bears battle Rebels

The California Golden Bears celebrate after defeating the Washington Huskies 20-19 during their game at Husky Stadium on September 07, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

OXFORD, Miss. – Off to its third consecutive 3-0 start, No. 23 California will need an early wake-up call Saturday when the Bears visit Ole Miss for the 9 a.m. Pacific time kickoff. The Bears have relied on a stellar defense in wins over UC Davis, Washington and North Texas but will be tested by an Ole Miss team that averaged 35.5 points in back-to-back wins over Arkansas and Southeastern Louisiana.

TV: Noon ET, ESPNU. LINE: Ole Miss -2.5

Cal upset Washington on the road two weeks ago before grinding out a 23-17 win over North Texas, which held the Bears' offense to 149 yards in the final three quarters. "We found a way to win, which at times can be challenging at this level," Cal coach Justin Wilcox told reporters. "I would've liked to have scored a few more touchdowns when we had the opportunity, but we didn't get it done. The level of execution has to be better." The Bears boast a strong ground game but will be matched up against an improving Ole Miss defense that held both Arkansas and Southeastern Louisiana to fewer than 70 yards rushing. New defensive coordinator Mike MacIntyre has made an immediate impact on a unit that ranks ninth in the country with an average of nine tackles-for-loss per game.

ABOUT CAL (3-0)

Wilcox is exercising patience with sophomore quarterback Chase Garbers, who is 9-4 as a starter but finished 9-for-22 for 129 passing yards and 70 rushing yards on 18 carries versus North Texas. The team's impressive running attack is led by Christopher Brown, Jr., who has 65 carries for 324 yards and two touchdowns. Linebacker Evan Weaver is fourth in the country with 13.7 tackles per game and turned in another strong performance last week after four other linebackers — Cameron Goode, Tevin Paul, Ben Hawk Schrider, and Chinedu Udeogu — each exited the game with undisclosed injuries.

ABOUT OLE MISS (2-1)

A Southern California native, redshirt freshman quarterback Matt Corral threw for 239 yards and two TDs against Southeastern Louisiana while tailback Jerrion Ealy had 273 all-purpose yards, including a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Jon Haynes, Donta Evans and Octavious Cooley all had interceptions in the victory while defensive end Ryder Anderson recorded a sack for the third straight game. If Saturday's contest turns into a battle of field position, the Rebels could have the edge with Mac Brown, who ranks seventh in the nation in punting average at 47.4 yards per kick.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Cal is 20-9 against Power Five non-conference opponents since 2002 – including a 27-16 home win over Ole Miss in 2017.

2. Ole Miss hasn't lost a non-conference home game since 2012.

3. Cal has held 10 straight opponents under 24 points.

PREDICTION: Cal 21, Ole Miss 17

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