Midseason report: California

California Bears

Record: 3-2, 1-1

At midseason, we still don't know who California is.

They looked great on both sides of the ball during a 2-0 start, which included a 52-7 blistering of Colorado. Then the Bears went to Nevada on a Friday night and got blistered themselves, losing 52-31. The defense looked clueless versus the Wolf Pack's pistol offense, and senior quarterback Kevin Riley threw a pick-6 on what up until that point looked like a go-head drive. The Bears put up a game effort at Arizona, but lost 10-9.

It seemed like the team was on the cusp of being written off. But then -- poof! -- it rediscovered its mojo and whipped UCLA 35-7, the defense dominating a Bruins pistol offense that had run all over Texas.

There are concerns. While the defense seems to be coming around -- the Nevada game feels more like a bad night -- questions remain about Riley's consistency. He's going to have to find that consistency or the Bears figure to be all over the place during the season's second half.

Offensive MVP: Running back Shane Vereen is second in the Pac-10 with an average of 115.4 yards rushing per game. He's scored eight TDs. He's also caught 11 passes for 119 yards and two TDs.

Defensive MVP: Linebacker Mike Mohamed missed one game this year and the Bears gave up 52 points in a loss at Nevada. He's played in four games. The Bears have given up 27 points combined in those games. Coincidence? No. Mohamed has 28 tackles, two tackles for a loss and an interception.