TUCSON AZ - SEPTEMBER 25: Runningback Shane Vereen #34 of the California Golden Bears rushes the football against the Arizona Wildcats during the college football game at Arizona Stadium on September 25 2010 in Tucson Arizona. The Wildcats defeated the Golden Bears 10-9. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Another game, another controversial loss for Cal. Truly frustrating, but it was clear from the report card that fans were all over the map. Was this a coaching fault? Was this an execution problem? Did Cal run things about as well as you can imagine and you just gotta tip your cap to Arizona for making plays when they mattered?
The only consistent thing is that we have consistently passionate fans. We are so lucky to have such passionate readers with intelligent viewpoints. I really enjoy putting these report card posts together, because I'm so appreciative of all the time you guys put into your comments. I try to get as many as I can into the post, while balancing the length of the post itself and promoting well-written comments.
I hope you all enjoy reading these posts as much as I enjoy producing them. Our readership is the life blood of this site and anything and everything we can do to celebrate that is of true importance. You can see after the jump that Cal fans thought the defense played well, but had graver concerns regarding the offense. You can see how upsetting the loss was, no matter who they blamed or credited. And most importantly you can see photos from the Tennessee 2007 and Oregon 2007 game. Because those games were awesome!
So, join us after the jump to enjoy Berkelium97's awards and read your comments. GO BEARS!
Berkelium 97 - We had 35 acceptable report cards this week, which is lower than usual. But what stood out about these report cards is that nearly everyone followed directions! That's right, instead of giving actual grades (As, Bs, Cs, etc) or scores out of 10 or 100, nearly everyone gave their scores on a 0.00-1.00 scale. And we had only a few ballots which were insufficiently thought out (all 0s or all 1s). Good job, everyone! You all earn a gold star this week!
Now, onto the numbers:
Win likelihood vs. UCLA
Despite the loss, the defense had exceptionally high scores with relatively little deviation. We were obviously in agreement that the defense was quite impressive on Saturday. The offense? Not so much. The rush offense received an okay grade, like it has all year (except against Nevada when it was over .80). Once again, the passing offense received low marks.
There were plenty of mixed opinions on special teams, coaching, and overall, indicated by the high standard deviations. Each had its positives and negatives, which likely explains the wide difference in voting.
Despite the loss and despite UCLA's dominating win over Texas, we're still pretty confident that Cal will win that one.
Now for everyone's favorite part of this post, it's time to hand out some awards!
The first and only editor's choice award this week goes to "GZSJKHSGHJZgbSHJ" who wins the "Needs a New Keyboard" award.
This submission's report card looked like this:
HLAGSDAHJDSAG GSHDASJHSADGJDSH ASHDDGSAHJADSGl ASKDHGSADhSDAKG SADKGLASHDGLH DSKASDHDKSAHGADSL SADKGDSHKADS ASKDGAKHD
Tedford's Sunshine Pumpers
||Net Score, Percentage
|1. JohnnyCalifornia||5.53, 79.0%|
|2. SonofCalifornia||5.5, 78.6%|
|3. BlackandOldGold||5.3, 75.7%|
|4. MadRussianBear||5.22, 74.6%|
|5. fuzzywuzzy||5.22, 74.6%|
||Net Score, Percentage
|3. cburns||3.1, 44.3%
|4. JO @ UCSD||3.15, 45.0%
Even the Super Critics gave high scores to the defense (.7-.9) this week. They generally found fault with the offense, special teams, and/or coaching.
3. Spazzy McGee
5. Oaklandish Bear
And finally we have CGB HIVEMIND for those whose report cards were closest to overall group scores. How appropriate that the fan who best represents the CGB community is called "hardtobeacalfan"? I don't know whether to laugh because it's funny or because it's true.
Now let's take a look at how you all felt about the game, for better or for worse.
Texpatriate - Made the trip to Tucson- rewarded with a fun on-campus tailgate, a camelbak full of cherry vodka and cherry soda, and ample cause to put my belligerence to use.
You know it's Arizona when a tailgate bearing the tea party flag (a military surplus truck, mind you) offers you a fat tire when their child keeps pelting you with footballs.
beson - FML
OaklandishBear - Sore from my 100 km "Ride to Defeat ALS" in Napa Valley (which was beautiful on Saturday!), only to suffer through a grainy, non-HD telecast with completely impossible-to-listen-to homer announcers.
And then the final dagger with that one f'ing play.
Rose Bowl before I die? (And I'm in my 40's, so time's running out...)
SonOfCalifornia - Well, games like today make me glad I'm a big fan of science. Science?, you might ask. You see after a tough loss I can take solace knowing that, according to the the multiverse theory (where many universes exist parallel to each other and all possible outcomes for a given event must occur), there is a Cal team somewhere out there that is winning every game and going to the Rose Bowl. Now we just need to science to find a way to bring that team here to us! Ah, good times.
slaphancock - I was there. Right next to the Zona section. It was a pretty boring game. People laughed when I shouted "Riley is the best quarterback in the world." They didn't know that I meant it.
I will say, though, that I am 100% responsible for this loss. I brought an Italian friend to the game. I'm pretty bad luck, and that bad luck went from me, through the Italian, to Italy, and then came back, through Tavecchio, and turned into two missed field goals. Sorry fellas, it's on me.
Oh, and then I had to endure walking through the Arizona section when the game was over. Is Arizona's stadium the only one where visiting fans have to walk, unprotected, through rabid home fans to get to the exit? I saw one fan spit on a Cal player as they went to the locker room after the game. But other Arizona fans were pretty nice.
Oh oh oh, before I forget: one thing we can take from this game: Arizona cannot do card stunts. The student section tried. It was horrible. It was like someone writing in braile while drunk. They got the "U" up. And then it was downhill. I hope it is on youtube somewhere.
BlackandOldGold - Crushing.
yorzepol - I was working during the game and so I had to settle for Joe Starky and Gamecast to watch the game. I DVR'd it but I don't think I'll be watching it now. I can't relive the last 2min. Can we just say the game only lasted 46min? I'd like that. I'd really like that.
oskiwow1 - in Thailand had to listen on line, but I still enjoyed it, very tense, very exciting
tbardhan - I used to feel excitement and happiness on Cal game-days prior to the game. Now I only feel dread.
I say this as someone that goes to every home game and some away games, cheers often and loudly, stands up and encourages others to stand and cheer, never boos, and follows the team very closely. I am an ESP donor with two ESP seats.
NorCalScott - Crappy TV coverage... first 2/3 of game not on HDTV.
ososdeoro - Well, let's see. Chelsea lost, then I lost a tennis match, then the Bears lost. I guess it would make sense that the West Brom victory at Arsenal doesn't quite make up for it all.
Swamphunter - There's a bunch of users here that deserve to be banned. Not for posting "Fire Tedford" or the like, but for only showing up in the game threads to cry and bitch about the state of it all. It's belligerence at it's best and does not fair well for the overall state and attitude of the site.
That's all I'm gonna say about that.
hardtobeacalfan - i don't know why i'm so upset/pissed/disappointed/heartbroken. i was prepared to get blown out, and any other day i would have been ecstatic that we held them to 10 pts. but we were so close that my heart feels like it was ripped out
SadPandaBear - I watched the game on a streaming online feed from Michigan, where there's no room for Golden Bears when the entire Big 10 has to be televised. We gchatted, all us ex-pat Bears, living somewhere not in the broadcast range of that game. Not that this hasn't been said before, but EVERY SINGLE THING ABOUT THAT GAME WAS CAREFULLY CRAFTED TO HURT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. If my heart had balls, that game kicked them with steel-toed boots
royrules22 - It really wasn't too bad but it wasn't great either. It's a solid B-. Riley didn't play awful but he didn't put the game on his shoulder and get that one TD we so desperatly needed. He is a 5th year senior and in his 2nd year as the true starter (technically 2.5 if you include 2008). Mike Calvin finally looks to have materialized and Jones is Jones. KA was sadly missing for the most part. Vereen had a good pass and if it was an actual wide receiver that would've been a TD. I'm very disappointed with Loggy to be honest. He should have come back in a at least a step and that would've been a TD.
beson - FML
dballisloose - Offensive line blocked effectively. There were a couple of miscues by Schwartz, but otherwise it seemed as though Riley had plenty of time to check down his receivers and go through his reads. The lack of involvement by the TEs was confusing, though maybe the stayed in to help block. Ross and Lagemann left much to be desired. Ross in particular seemed a step slower than usual. Loggy keeps his feet in and maybe its a different game altogether.
JO @ UCSD - I don't care who is behind Riley, he is a lost cause, I'd rather start developing the new QBs and take a chance that they are better, how much worse could they be? The interception wasn't his fault but his decision making is horrendous. He has zero confidence in himself and I don't see it improving... (see the game winning drive vs ASU last year)
slaphancock - Riley is my quarterback. I am 100% behind him no matter what he does. That's true, not ironic. I believe that this is the only way to make him better. I will never boo him. I told everybody tonight that Riley was the best quarterback in the world. I believed it then. I believe it now. Because I can choose what to believe.
tbardhan - Cal will never have a dominant pass offense (other than against teams like Davis) while Tedford, Marshall, and Ludwig are all at Cal - even if guys like Bridgeford, Hinder, Boehm, Kline end up being very talented. We will not give them O-line protection and coach them down.
hrlincon - Is it finally clear that this "new and improved Riley" is ayoob and not Rodgers?
sacman701 - After the early pass that should have been a pick 6, Riley's only big mistake was to throw on 3rd and 3 early in the 3rd quarter when he could have easily run for the first down. The yard total was poor, but they did a reasonable job of taking what the defense gave them.
fuzzywuzzy - Not bad, just never quite good enough, which basically means...it will be a long damn season. Got to have an effective passing game to get to a decent bowl, and a very good QB to get to the Rose... For the most part, we did ok tonight against a tough pass rush, but this has happened before - 4th qtr
f-ups. I hate Arizona.
hardtobeacalfan - shane vereen should not be passing to kevin riley... at least throw to a wide receiver. kevin riley? meh. interception was not his fault. receivers didn't make the critical catches.
SonofCalifornia - Shane Vereen baby! Two weeks in a row now! He had over 100 yards rushing last night and seemed to carry the offense on his back the entire game. Were it not for this and the improved run blocking from our O-line, we wouldn't have moved the ball at all. He also caught a pass for the 30th straight game, every game of his career according to the paper.
beson - FML
lpbear9 - Pounded the ball way too soon, it seems like Tedford has no confidence in Riley throwing the football. So, he went with Vereen as much as he could and when Vereen got tired Sofele took over with a few good runs.
fuzzywuzzy - The one nugget in the crack, and proud of the tradition. But great backs alone will not bring the ultimate success...Satan was in the press box, he lives halfway between Tucson and Phoenix. Arizona is a hell-zone.
SonOfCalifornia - Cameron Jordon! That guy was bringing the pressure all night and a highlight for me was when he took down Foles helmetless, that was awesome.
Chris Conte and the secondary did pretty well. Foles did complete a decent amount of passes (63% I believe) , but the majority were shorter passes, and I'll take that any day.
I hate U$C - So many hard yards, yet so few points.
slaphancock - Where was the blocking? Oh my. It was like they were running with the bulls in Pamplona, or pampalona, or whatever. The point is, there were no blocks and the bulls gored our backs.
boomtho - Vereen just keeps plugging away. Dude is so patient and has such great balance that he makes something out of nothing. I like how we're getting Isi the ball more on tosses than straight up the middle. O-Line was initially not getting great push but really improved in the 4th quarter.
OaklandishBear - SHANE VEREEN!
Good work by the O-Line by the end of the game. Yeah, they got stuffed some, but against that vaunted 'Zona defense we still got over 100 yds on the ground.
Nice to see a good game from Isi, too. He looked especially quick during the game
OaklandishBear - One play. One friggin' play. 25% of the Air-whatever attack on just that one play.
A GREAT game by the defense. We put pressure on Foles, we got sacks, and we had good coverage all day. Even that play DHag was all over his receiver and just a great throw and catch made the play for 'Zona. I hope DHag keeps his head up, because he and the rest of the DBs had a good day.
If you had told me going in that we'd only give up 212 yds in the air, I'd say "We win". We did win, didn't we
dballisloose - Our secondary seemed to rotate DBs, and there wasn't any dropoff in effectiveness. Conte made some huge plays, but also missed a couple of tackles. There were a couple of key 2nd and long and 3rd down plays where they had short passes and made our first guy miss. But overall they shut down Criner until the last drive of the game. Criner was supposed to have a huge game and, that last drive aside, we put the clamps on him mostly with one-on-one coverage. So I'm happy with that. Stuff happens
beson - FML
lpbear9 - It was excellent until the very end of the game. Couldn't get to Foles and he made a big play, guess payback does come which is exactly what I thought would happen. No one believes that Foles didn't forget about the illegal forward pass.
fuzzywuzzy - Cam is the man, his angelic-like demeanor saaving us from everlasting damnation ( and giving Satan a BJ) with or without a helmet
tbardhan - Absolutely stellar until final Wildcat drive. Should have been more than good enough to win the game. As long as we face defenses without a mobile QB that run anything that resembles a west coast offense, our D is stout.
NorCalScott - Compared to last year these DB's looked like All-Americans. Great schemes by Clancy, and excellent coverage by the CBs. Shut Foles down to only 212yds. Also, 3 sacks and 2 forced Intentional Grounding penalties (the first should not been have picked up!)
boomtho - GREAT GAME PLAN PENDERGAST. Seriously.
beson - FML
sacman701 - Good for the most part. DL got a good push. DBs did not tackle well.
tbardhan - Quite good. Not great tackling but good containment and swarming. As I said, as long as we face defenses without a mobile QB that run anything that resembles a west coast offense, our D is stout.
yg - Mike Mohamed had two tackles on the night. I don't think he's back up to speed, but the rest of the defense benefited from his presence anyways.
boomtho - GREAT GAME PLAN PENDERGAST. Seriously.
yorzepol - Not bad, We did get gashed a couple of times but if you had told me we would limit Arizona to only 10 points I would have been giddy. Unless you also told me that we would only score 9; then I would have punched you in the face.
OaklandishBear - Yeah, some guy named Bug ripped us for a couple of long runs, but otherwise a great effort by the defense against the run. I'd say redemption has been made. Our boys are stout. Nevada was a freak of nature...
I owe an apology to the D from the Nevada game. In hindsight, I think all of the blame there goes to Pendy.
beson - FML
Oaklandishbear - Oh the humanity. Going in, special teams was the only unit we felt most confident in, wasn't it? Anger was solid, Giorgio was solid. We've got the special teams thing down, finally.
And then they give up 6 points. Inexcusable for Anger to shank one when he is standing in our end zone = 3 pts for 'Zona without their offense even gaining a yard.
Inexcusable for Giorgio to miss one inside the 40. I'll give him the miss on the last drive. It is the clank off the upright that did us in. = 3 pts not put up on the board.
We should have one this game 12-7 at worst...
BlackandOldGold - It let us down. Jeremy Ross catching the ball inside the five. Giorgio missing two field goals. It cost us the game.
sacman701 - Unmitigated disaster. In addition to the horrific placekicking, Anger horribly shanked a punt that set up UA's FG, and Ross fair-caught a punt inside the 5.
ososdeoro - Fuck. Fuck Fuck Fuck.
dballisloose - What was Ross' problem? Did he have lead shoes on or something? He was a step slower...not even a step slower than his usual self, a step slower than the people around him. I might evaluate whether he's the best person to return kicks going forward, as he seems to have lost his mojo...and his brain. Fair catch on the 5 yard line?! Bonehead.
On the field goals, I'll point out the ones that were missed were kicked from the extreme right and extreme left hashmarks. Georgio wasn't given any favors, but he also didn't earn any kudos. Yes he made 3, but going 50% on the other two would have sealed the deal.
hardtobeacalfan - tavecchio is killing me. hate blaming college students, but i believe he lost this game for us. if either one of his missed field goals went in, .... argggh
yorzepol - ALLLLLLAAAAAMMMMMMMMAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I thought we got rid of him? It obviously sucks that Tavecchio did not make two field goals that he had been making the last three games. It also sucks that we could not score a touchdown. We score ONE touchdown and we win.
SadPandaBear - YOU HAVE ONE JOB. MAKE A FIELD GOAL. DON'T LAUGH OFF A MISS, MAKE YOUR DAMN FIELD GOALS!!!
OaklandishBear - I'm not going to dogpile on Tedford. Clearly, the coaches didn't want Riley to make any mistakes and we played that way. Who among us faithful thought any differently going in? I liked the run, run, run at the end. Shane and the line were on a roll, so keep feeding.
Yeah, maybe the 4th and 1 inside the 10 we could take back, but at the time, most of us probably thought the defense was capable of keeping them out of the end zone.
Bottom line is this: if execution had been there (Anger's punt and Giorgio's missed kick(s), the coaches called a game that would have/should have won.
ManlaCal - Get the fork, Tedford is done. This was horrible
SonOfCalifornia - There has been talk of Tedford being too conservative on offense. I'd like to point out that, overall, we moved the ball very well against Arizona and only stalled in the red zone, though the stalls were not due to conservative play calling. The only conservative play calling I saw was maybe on the last two drives, keeping the ball on the ground and going for field goals instead of attempting to get in the end zone. But two conservative possessions in a game of 12 possessions is not enough to generalize the play calling of the entire game = conservative.
Oh yeah, and 3rd down conversions could definitely use some work.
beson - FML
hrlincon - Predictable, predictable, predictable.
Blackandoldgold - It was a tactical battle and I think they did a great job. The D was controlling the game and sometimes you have to go with it. If Arizona State doesn't pop the 50 yard pass, we win.
lpbear9 - Tedford went way too conservative way too early and the Bears got beat. There's no question the defense was playing great and even if the Bears had gone on fourth and one and didn't make it the Wildcats had the ball at the seven yard line and backed up.
tbardhan - Pendergast and defensive coaches and players are money against anything resembling pro-style/west coast offenses without a mobile QB. They did more than enough to win the game.
On offense, Steve Marshall may be the worst Cal offensive line coach I have ever seen (been a fan since '88), particularly when it comes to run-blocking. Combine that with an erratic, over-coached, over-thinking, stiff Riley, and occasional butterfingers by receivers, and you have a horrible horrible waste of a tremendous defensive performance, not to mention some gutty running by our backs and some great luck we had with turnovers and UofA penalties.
That's all. The less said about Tedford's in-game management, the better.
TheBearingPoint - what coaching?
hardtobeacalfan - tedford was a bit conservative at the end. pendergast did a nice job getting them ready for arizona's quick strike offense.
NorCalScott - Defense: awesome job by Clancy. Offense: as predictable, Ludwig went turtle down the stretch with the lead and went into his shell to call predictable plays. Almost with the thought of, "Who needs a first down?"
cburns - I've had enough of this pain. Either suck or be good. Enough false hope.... We had this and should have won it. Riley sucks and Tedford is responsible. Barber is responsible.
CaliforniaPete - Nice bounce-back game for Clancy, but it's still not clear what this team's offensive identity is. The gadget plays feel desperate, And I would have loved to have seen play-action on that last series with the score 9-3. I wasn't very confident putting the game in Giorgio's hands--for good reason, it turns out.
bearbacker - I entirely blame the coaching for loosing this one. Everyone who watched the game can pick at least 2 calls that were total garbage. We have the play makers. We have to let them play and win
dballisloose - Players didn't execute, not the coaches' fault. I'll credit Coach P at getting our defense ready to play, and they played hard. I wanted to win it just to honor their effort.
On offense there were some curious calls especially the reverse inside the 20 right after a time out. That I'll put on Tedford because I know it was his call, and not Ludwig's and not an audible by Riley.
beson - FML
NorCalScott - Better than expected. I said if Riley was 60% and 250yds Cal would win, but I thought Foles would torch the D for 300+ based on last week.
ososdeoro - Would have been one of the best games in a long time had we won. Instead it was one of the most heartbreaking.
JohnnyCalifornia - I'm proud. My bears did good. The fact that they were even leading this game into the end of the fourth quarter is amazing to me as I thought Cal would get murdered.
fuzzywuzzy - This is the stuff ulcers are made of, and John McCain's is to blame as well. He sleeps with Satan.
tbardhan - On one hand, this was an amazing defensive performance against a top-20 team on the road. On the other, it was a horrible waste of that defensive performance. Cal also wasted the great fortune of Arizona letting down against us, making mistakes, committing several unnecessary penalties and so on. I truly believe the Cats played very badly due to the above reasons, and would have lost to every Pac-10 team except WSU and Cal tonight, despite their lofty ranking. In the end, Bears lose in absolutely heartbreaking fashion. Standard
yg - What happened at the end of Arizona 2010 is the exact opposite scenario of what happened at the end of Stanfurd 2009.
mallrat92204 - Tedford should have gone for the first down on that last drive instead of depending on a FG. When will he learn that being conservative will never get us to a Rose Bowl.
boomtho - They came in with a good game plan defensively. The offensive game plan wasn't great, but it wasn't horrible either. However, everyone is going to focus on the 4th down decision, and that's OK. But look at the big picture: Tedford put us in a good position to win. We just couldn't capitalize.
SandPandaBear - People thought we were going to get seriously beat, and we were ready for that. We braced ourselves, we made our peace with a really good AZ team. And then all of a sudden, we were shutting them down on every drive, and we got our hopes up. Maybe we could do this. Maybe this was the team we all hoped it was, all summer. That's why it hurt so much! Don't get our hopes up only to dash them! It hurts more!