Top 10 Football Moments of the Cal 2008 Football Season

With the football season over, we thought we'd go through the Top 10 Moments in the 2008 season.  We start with what is essentially, not really a moment.  So, right off the bat, we've already violated our title.  Ai!

Pa254934

"Flea Flicker!"

#10: Goal-line stand at the end of the first half against UCLA.

TwistNHook:  Although I felt Cal was outplaying UCLA, the game was still pretty close.  The final score would read 41-20, but that's because Cal expodeed in the 4th quarter.  For most of the game, it was very tight.  As the second quarter ended, Cal was up 17-7, but, as Cal fans, we were feeling nervous.  And, so when UCLA pushed towards the goal-line with less than 2 minutes left, we all freaked.  The following occured:

 

UCLA at 1:41

1st and 10 at CAL 39 Kevin Craft pass complete to Taylor Embree for 26 yards to the Cal 13 for a 1ST down. 7 17
1st and 10 at CAL 13 Chane Moline rush for no gain to the Cal 13.    
2nd and 10 at CAL 13 Kevin Craft pass complete to Marcus Everett for 9 yards to the Cal 4.    
3rd and 1 at CAL 4 Timeout Ucla, clock 01:06.    
3rd and 1 at CAL 4 Kahlil Bell rush for a loss of 1 yard to the Cal 5.    
4th and 2 at CAL 5 Timeout Ucla, clock 00:12.    
4th and 2 at CAL 5 Kai Forbath 23 yard field goal GOOD. 10 17

 

 

First and 10 on the 13 with less than 2 minutes to go?  UCLA scores a TD, its 17-14 going into half. UCLA has all the momentum.  Keeping them to a FG at that point was a clear victory that kept Cal pushing forward towards a victory.

 

Yellow Fever:  Man, I don't know.  Seriously, it was the first half.  I don't even remember this happening.  Were we seriously worried about Kevin Craft?

TwistNHook:  Yes, Kevin Craft had thrown 18 first half picks, but it was still only 17-7.  Our offense was sputtering.  And we're Cal fans.  We're freaked out over anything and everything!

HydroTech:  I was nervous. 

Here's the highlight reel:


 


I guess it was a big stand at the time.  Great tackle by MM. 

CBKWit:  Do you mean LBMM?  I prefer the prophet Mohamed, but maybe that's just me.

TwistNHook:  Mike Mohammed (PBUH)?

HydroTech: The goalline stand seemed more exciting at the time than on a highlight reel.

TwistNHook:  Well, things are always more exciting in the heat of the moment than months later when you know we win the game comfortably.  But I remember the two running plays as being very exciting.  One for 0 yards, the other for -1.  Stuffing the RBs is always an exciting time out for any Cal fan!

Ragnarok: It's not really a highlight-reel sort of play, but you could argue that this goal-line stand was a pivotal moment not just in this game, but in the Bears' season.

Pa254964

 

 

Twist has already mentioned how this series was an important swing of momentum back towards the Bears.  Sure, UCLA wasn't that good last year, but our offense was pretty terrible for most of that day, and Tennessee had already seen, to its peril, what could happen if you screw around for a half and don't make UCLA pay for Kevin Craft's mistakes.  If our defense had let the Bruins get in the end zone for 6, well, it's not hard to imagine that the Bears could have lost not only that game, but several more besides.

Remember, if you will, that the Bears were 4-2 at that point, coming off a disappointing road loss at Arizona.  With Oregon, USC, and Oregon State up next on the schedule, Cal needed a bound-back game vs. UCLA.  You can imagine how the season might have gone had Cal somehow lost this game.  Players get down.  Everyone starts comparing this year to the previous year's Callapse.  Maybe our defense doesn't find it in themselves to stifle Oregon the following week.  Perhaps two more defeats at USC and Oregon State really send this team into a tailspin, and a lackluster effort against the Cardinal means two consecutive years without the axe, and people *really* start calling for Tedford's job.

Conversely, imagine if the Bears had bounced back better from a disappointing loss to Oregon State last year and found a way to beat a mediocre Bruins team in the Rose Bowl the next week.  Maybe the locker room infighting never happens.  Maybe the whole team collapse never takes root.  Perhaps the Bears find a way to stem the tide when ASU starts their second-half comeback the following week.  Maybe the Bears don't sleepwalk through disappointing losses at Washington and the Farm.

You may not even remember this goal-line stand, but perhaps you should.  This may have been the moment that the Bears really stood up against a season threatening to disintegrate, staving off disaster and building towards a solid 9-4 season.

TwistNHook:  Cal-lapse?  NAILED IT!

HydroTech:  I think it was a good call by CRN to run the ball instead of having Craft throw a pass for the touchdown.  Had Craft thrown a pass it would surely have been intercepted and thus Cal would have gotten the ball on the 20 yardline.  Instead, Cal got the ball backed up against their own goalline.  A very smart strategic call by CRN.

TwistNHook:  Yes, that CRN.  Very strategic.  He's totes taking that team somewhere.

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