What was exciting to me about the Big Game, other than winning of course, was the dominant performance of the rush offense. Reading the recent posts of YPC for the Tedford era, I was not math major but if you average more than 5 yards per carry - wouldn't that lead to a first down every two or three downs if you just consistently ran? Obviously, those stats are bolstered by the big play homerun runs that Best and Vereen have been so prolific at breaking but pounding the rock consistently increases the odds of having more of those - doesn't it? Having felt the highs and heartbreaking lows of Air Levy, Air Ayoob, Air Longshore, and now Air Riley, I personally long for putting our hopes with the best Cal players on the field and the QBs ain't them.
During this Big Game for the first time maybe since Aaron Rodgers waited in the draft green room too long, I felt confident that the offense was going to consistently move the ball on a quality opponent (i.e. not Washington St. or CSU.) The heavy dose of Wildbear mixed in with some other run plays in different formations and the short passes with Riley rolling out and making simple reads or running seemed unstoppable. The offense actually matriculated the ball down the field with over 9 play drives that ate up seemingly whole quarters, physically wore down the opposing defense, kept the other offense off the field, kept the Bear defense fresh, and deflated the morale of the opposing team. This, I believe, is what made OSU and Stanford successful the past couple of years (especially against SC) and it is immensely less risky than relying on a less than stellar QB and inconsistent WRs that often 3 and out and places a heap of pressure on the defense (given that you can rely on Alamor's Special Teams Coverage to give up a huge play at least once per game - please Ted, please one time!). This approach has been somewhat of a trend in the NFL with the two-back sets of Tennessee and Carolina who have RBs with game breaking speed.
Is this approach going to be an anomaly or the new Bear black?