If you like comments about run defense, you've come to the right place! Our readers were, uh .......................... deeply disconcerted about the Cal-Oregon game on Thursday. And they, well, they........strongly expressed their, hmmm ........... sincere concerns about the game. They had concerns regarding the following aspects of the game:
3. Defending Passing
4. Defending Running
5. Special Teams (Although FORZA ITALIA!)
7. Overall Performance
It sort of ran the entire gamut. I guess that is what happens when you give up nearly 300 yards in 1 quarter. Ow. Well, let's vent. Let's get it all out. Have a long hug and a big cry. And move on to the next game against our eternally nightmarish opponent, USC. Is this year the year??? If that question refers to "Score A Non-Garbage Time Touchdown," then, yes, I sure hope it is! See the grading and all the comments after the jump. Hope you are sitting down for this! And if you don't sit down when you are at your computer, what's up with that?? Just sit down.
Remember, if you want us to use your comments, you need to leave a handle. Otherwise, we can't include as we have nobody to cite. Thanks! GO BEARS!
Win likelihood vs USC
Berkelium97: These results are certainly much better than the results from many of last year's losses. Did you ever think you'd see the day when special teams had the highest score of all?
After all the complaints about Maynard, he didn't fare that badly in the scores.
Pass defense and run defense were 45% and 35%, respectively. This probably translates into scores of 90 and 70 for the first half and 0 for the second.
Despite the loss, we are a shocking .1% more optimistic about our chances against USC! Maybe things will be different next week! Maybe Robert Woods will only gash us for 200 yards. One can only hope.
Editor's Choice Awards:
"NCAA President Mark Emmert, Can You Hear Us?" Award:
We have one editor's choice award this week, the "NCAA President Mark Emmert, Can You Hear Us?" award, which goes to nativeson thinks chip kelly effing sucks and should be shot. Every response in this week's report card was "chip kelly effing sucks and should be shot." If we're lucky, Emmert will strike down with great vengeance and furious anger upon Oregon this offseason, following the conclusion of the NCAA investigation
Next up we have the usual set of awards, the Old Blues and Tedford's Sunshine Pumpers. Oddly enough, each group only saw one half of Thursday's game. Guess which half goes with which group.
Once again, SoCal Oski makes an appearance among the Old Blues, while GBB4188, bigdruid, and UncleSam22 see repeat performances as Sunshine Pumpers.
Tedford's Sunshine Pumpers
||Net Score, Percentage
|Old Blues||Net Score, Percentage
|2. cjwethers||2.15, 30.7%|
|3. SoCal Oski
The Voice of Reason
Next up we have The Voice of Reason for those whose scores most accurately reflect the group scores.
Is it any surprise that texashaterforlife most accurately represents CGB at-large? I hope you thoroughly enjoyed the spectacular beatdown Texas received on Saturday.
I earned my first award of the season! Twist will be so proud.
Now we would love to hear your thoughts about the game...unless your name is Craig James or Jesse Palmer, in which case we kindly request that you resign from your jobs immediately.
alpha1906 - Yeah, we cool. Two things. Don't tell nobody about this. This shit is between me, you, and Mr. Soon-To-Be-Living-The-Rest-of-His-Short-Ass-Life-In-Agonizing-Pain Rapist here. It ain't nobody else's business. Two: you leave town tonight, right now. And when you're gone, you stay gone, or you be gone. You lost all your L.A. privileges. Deal?
mathghamhaim - Was it just me or was the sideline reporter a mini-clone of Erin Andrews? Also, was nice sitting in the warmth of my home while all those poor saps from Springfield sat in the rain.
KikiRevenge - Saw the game at a nice Cal/East Bay sports bar in Brooklyn. Anchor Steam on tap and they sold Top Dogs. Unfortunately, I didn't eat any as I was full from dinner. Since I work on Saturdays, this was the first live Cal game I have seen in at least a year.
taf - I hated the white uniforms. We could have been anybody. I think the announcer mistook us for Arizona at one point. It's like we were embarassed with blue and gold. What's up with that?
SoCal Oski - "I hate hate hate hate thursday night games. Can't get too rowdy, can't have more than a couple of beers, can't stay up long after the game is done.
Oh, and now that we got destroyed on national teevee, can we never, ever, ever again wear those stupid white helmets?"
npyoung35 - Not that I'll get much sympathy, but I'm a Yankees fan, so last night was all around awful. Switching back and forth between ESPN and TBS last night was like a death by a thousand paper cuts, but then right at the end before you die from the last paper cut, you get your head cut off. Or something.
fuzzywuzzy - Great BJJ practice; when I left Ralph Gracie Academy at Sac and Ashby, it was 15 - 21. Workable. When I got to the restaurant, it wa 15 -36. Good god, give me something liquidy that is mind-numbing...
deja vu - What appeared as coaching genius in the first half turned into coaching folly in the second. Oregon ran over Cal, doubling their total rushing yards given up for the season, and the coaches had no answers for Oregon's adjustments after half. It was embarassing to see Oregon run by defenders or through defenders and the sad truth is Zach is a pretty average quarterback who should have been picked numerous times
prd74 - Thursday night games - terrible idea.
slaphancock - drunk. at home. 2009 all over again.
GBB4188 - Poopy that fans decided to boo injured players three times by my count.
Feel bad for James, but if it isn't a break he will likely be back and it's not something that threatens his career. Just one of those shitty joint injuries that are part of football. Get well to him and all the other players beaten up today."
sacman701 - The Yankees are out of it, and good riddance. That is the most boring team in all of professional sports: they can just go out and buy whoever they want, so it's no challenge for them to make the playoffs.
1988goldenbear - "I am hoping that Maynard will improve - maybe he was nervous or intimidated, but there were only a few accurate balls the whole night, even in the first half when we were in this game.
Bridgeford needs playing time to improve, so this was probably a good chance for him to get some snaps. Still looks like our best chance to win is with Maynard.
I know these kids are green, but I sure hope someone coming up (Hinder?) can put a ball on target.
The o-line played very well for pretty much the entire game, and when that happens we need to have a QB that can make an accurate throw."
UncleSam22 - Maynard looks completely uncomfortable with the ball and you can see it in the decisions he makes and the throws he attempts. His footwork is all out of sync and if his first read is not open then he panics and either runs into a sack or throws an off-balance pass. This was clearly on display last night. But, Keenan and Marvin are incredible and we even got Miller involved a little. Ultimately though, it is just not enough to win close games against good teams.
KikiRevenge - Happy feet. Missed pitches and catches. Some great catches off fairly poor balls. TD pass was great, but other than that, I can't really remember any throws that were on the money. At least no interceptions, but Maynard's worst game. He got good protection for most of the game. I thought Maynard would be a little further along in improvement, but again Oregon is a top 10 team playing at home. It's tough task to go in there and beat them.
hardtobeacalfan - maynard killed several promising drives with his inaccuracy. he needs to stop locking on to his receiver and go through his reads. bridgford throws a pretty ball but it looks a beat slow getting there, giving the defenders a chance to intercept... also doesn't help that he throws into double and triple coverage.
carp - "Maynard's receivers have no fucking clue where the ball is going, which leads to more drops than it should. I don't understand how you can be a thrower of a ball and be so inaccurate. It's not the first time, we haven't had an accurate QB since Oregon 2007.
OL gave Maynard A LOT of time. I really thought that would be the weakness.
Also, I don't get some of the playcalls and/or primary reads on some key 3rd downs in the 1st half (3rd and 8...was that a fade pass to Sofele the Shrimp? Jesus)."
taf - I feel like we're wasting two amazing wide receivers. That's an emotional reaction. Maynard is still learning, and he should start to find his rhythm soon. (Famous last words)
deja vu - You can't pass 60 times in a game and win. The second half was predictable even though the run game was gaining good yardage. The coaches just wanted to make it all up in a hurry instead of staying the course and keeping the Oregon defense off balance.
wyfind - Was it simply the noise that made it difficult for Maynard to be accurate? Why was the third down efficiency so atrocious?
rollonyoubears1111 - Balls are either catchable and dropped, or no where near the receiver. Maynard needs to read the defense faster, because I believe that a lot of his misfires are due to overthinking the ball. He needs to be 1 to 2 beats before the defense in a dynamic dance. He misses a lot of wide open receivers...by misfires, and by missing them.
Darkwind - Any success in the pass offense came from Keenan Allen. Jones also had a few nice catches, but aside from that, it was Allen was the one getting open, getting looks (which is perhaps more important), and making clutch plays. Most of Maynard's passes looked like the last throw of the Washington game. He may not have thrown any INTs, but that's because the ball wasn't anywhere anyone could catch it. Calvin had a couple opportunities for big plays he couldn't bring in. The tight ends were ineffectual.
UncleSam22 - Sofele really seemed to turn it on for his runs to the outside. Up the middle was a different story. CJA got some carries but nothing great that I remember. The inability to punch the ball in the end zone when faced with goal line situations is really frustrating.
WillisChong - "O-line was gelling in the 1st half. Isi got huge runs. CJ was bruising up the Duck D-line. Then we stopped using it because we were behind. I see a good evolution of our running game, though our commitment to a balanced offense made this game worse than it really was in that we didn't win the time-of-possession battle.
Still, better than expected. Just not good enough to carry us."
slaphancock - "Sofele was so good the announcers thought he was the KEY to our offense. The KEY. Say what? The guy everybody thought should have been put in a shoebox and shoved in the back of the drawer?
I thought we should have run sofele a LOT more in the 2nd half."
hardtobeacalfan - isi was great today. too bad we got behind so quickly in the 2nd half, forcing us to throw more. sucks that we can't just line up and rush 3 times for a 1st down (or TD from the 2 yd line).
npyoung35 - Isi was a nice bright spot? Avinash was right in his recap though, he's not close to being ready to be the feature back.
ososdeoro - Sofele's best game so far. But there is a real lack-of-toughness problem with our offensive line. They're undoubtedly more technically competent than last year, and earlier this season, but these Pac-12 defensive lines are crap. Any good offensive line would be brutalizing them....wearing them down....and paving the way for a barrage of points. That just isn't happening. Not sure whether it's a talent issue or whether there has to have been so much time spent on technical deficiencies that attitude and fitness have been neglected.
Darkwind - Sofele has gotten better as the season has gone on. He built off of a solid game against Washington to have an even better one against Oregon. He's getting good yards after contact, making cuts into holes instead of into crowds, and showing good speed. The main thing is that after watching LaMichael James last night, and Vereen and Best and etc. in previous years, those guys were taking it to the house. It was nice to see Kapp get involved with offense a bit. CJA seemed largely ineffectual in his opportunities.
WillisChong - "Marc Anthony's injury is going to stop us for a while. McClure is going to like Syd from 2006. Burned for the first game, put together a good year, then get Pac-12 honors in the last couple years of his college career. Of course, it didn't help that this was the first game where he got meaningful minutes.
I think Pendergast didn't adjust well at half-time, which gave the Ducks a way to lull us into not respecting the pass and burn for 4 straight TDs and a 2 pt conversion. Man coverage breaks down when you don't have MikeyMo, Cam Jordan, Conte, and the D-unit from last year."
ososdeoro - Well......we're certainly not going to shut anyone down with single coverage, are we? The scary thing, going into games vs. Matt Barkley and Andrew Luck, is whether adding more people to the backfield will help. probably best just to continue to deny the run and hope the DBs eventually catch up. DBs are always the slowest to catch up to the college game, btw, I just wish it would happen faster!
beson - Okay. If our pass rush was just a little faster, I don't think they would have completed as many passes. DJ looked a little hesitate on some blitzes and that split sec gave d Thomas the time to make the pass.
rollonyoubears1111 - DOOOOOOOOOM!!!!! We got some INT's, sure, but big plays are gonna continue against our green DB's, green outside LB's, and small/slow safeties (sorry Cattouse). I say we use KA21. I'm serious.
grinadnbearit - "I have low expectations, so in that sense, they didn't disappoint.
Though I didn't analyze the game while it was happening, I got the feeling that most of the pass defense came from the DL applying pressure rather than the DBs clamping down. Then, the second half happened."
hardtobeacalfan - i hope mcclure's career trajectory is like SQT, but it was a rough outing for him. i have no confidence in our secondary to cover their man or our safeties to clean up.
npyoung35 - Work in progress. Nice to see the big boys up front get some pressure on Thomas, at least.
1988goldenbear - We got ripped again multiple times. The only time we were effective was when we got pressure on Thomas. Otherwise, he hit a lot of really fast guys in stride for big plays.
KikiRevenge - A tale of two halves, hence the median grade. Tackling should have been better, but it was wet on the field and we had a lot of young guys in there against an amazing offense.
Darkwind - As usual, the inside run defense was very solid. Oregon got very little up the middle, or slightly to the outside. It was on the wide sweep plays that Oregon's speed overwhelmed the young linebacker's decision making. Of course, this is also mitigated by the fact that it seemed on every big run, the Oregon blocker on the edge had a handful of Cal jersey (my favorite was the one where James stepped out on the three, and you can see the Cal LB trailing him with his jersey pulled halfway down to his stomach from his entanglement with the Oregon blocker earlier on the play).
fuzzywuzzy - JAMES!
slaphancock - "If that dude from Fresno State runs a 4.0 forty. Then Hill runs a 3.8 forty. And LaMichael leisurely walks a 3.5 mile.
GBB4188 - I thought the front did a very nice job, only on one play can I remember a big play that going up the center. Most of the problems seemed to be when the Ducks cut it outside against less experienced players.
deja vu - Shredded to pieces. Any thoughts of being a great defense against the run went out the window after the first LaMichael carry. The defense was slow to react, got beat on the corners all night and couldn't make a tackle on the first hit. It was embarassing, just plain got run over. LaMichael had over 100 yards after his first FIVE carries.
sacman701 - The front 7 got good penetration in the first half, but all game the team gave up a ridiculous number of big plays, especially to the outside. We may have to play the safeties further back, as they seem to lack the speed and/or positional skills to prevent big plays when they play further up. It looked like we were using a 3-6-2 defense. I may be off base here, but it looks like our front 7 can generally get enough push that we should not have to cheat our safeties up to have a good chance to slow opponent rushing attacks.
hardtobeacalfan - too many big plays. yes, everyone except the refs saw the holding on several big plays for them, but someone needs to be in position to prevent the long gains. and the long ducks drive to begin the half was reminiscent of their final drive last year... methodically moving through our run defense.
mathghamhain - One sour grapes complaint- Zebra's- holding- the ducks don't need any help.
bamboobanga - Georgio was great, but BB made a game changing decision by not letting the kickoff bounce out
Oski4Heisman - FORZA! 8/9 on the year including a 54 yarder!? I'm impressed.
bigdruid -Forza Italia! Great punting and coverage. Only weakness was our return game - we are really struggling returning kicks. Oh, and incredible heads-up play by Jones to come up with that punt that bounced off one of his blockers.
beson - Forza Italia for nailing some clutch field goals in the first half but I was continuously nervous about the short kick offs.
ScuttledDuck - Tavecchio's range has drastically increased this season. In the first game, he missed two extra points (20 yard FGs), and now he's making 54 yarders! At this rate, he should be able to make it from basically anywhere on the field in time for the Big Game.
SoCal Oski - Not too bad for the ST last night, though coverage still has to improve. Still, I am really really happy for Giorgio, because this kid is now feeling his juice and has the confidence to knock a 54-yarder in that shithole called Autzen.
Darkwind - Like Sofele, Tavecchio has only gotten better as the year's gone on, and shown why he's still the starting place-kicker. Kick-offs were mysteriously short (the kick-off after the 54 yard FG only went 57 yards?). And the coverage was typical...which is to say gave up way too many yards after the ball's caught.
mathghamhaim - Damn Giorgio, it is all your fault! When he made that 54 yarder, it got me believing that the night could be special... Darn irrational bearconfidence
alpha1906 - Mmmm! Goddamn, Jimmie! This is some serious gourmet shit! Usually, me and Vince would be happy with some freeze-dried Taster's Choice right, but he springs this serious GOURMET shit on us! What flavor is this?
UncleSam22 - Good game plan and great execution in the first half. I'd love to know what Maynard is getting told during the week and if he just forgets it on gameday. And I'm not sure what the deal with red zone execution is, but that needs to get fixed.
texashaterforlife - actually no, the game came down to execution in the first half and just being outplayed in the second. Nothing the coaches coulds do about Oregon's 'Mamba' outplaying our secondary
deja vu - Totally outcoached.....again. Looked good in the first half and then didn't counter Oregon's adjustments in the second half and got blown out 29-0. Took too long to replace Zach who would have been even worse if not for the acrobatic catches by Keenan (he's an all star).
wyfind - While I'm surprised that Tedford decided to go for it more on fourth downs and has become a bit less conservative on play-calling, I'm quite surprised that we did not take advantage of more trick plays. What happened to the pass to Allen-pass back to Maynard trickery?
rollonyoubears1111 - It was conservatively aggressive. and vice versa... AND predictable. I am getting sick of 3rd and longs...KA and MJ need to be used early on. Here's an idea, let's employ a west coastish-offense on 1st down. How about some play action? How about some KA throws? How about some fake reverses and reverses that look fake?
grinandbearit - "I'm starting to not blame the coaches as much anymore because I just feel that we don't have enough impact players on D. Kendricks is the only person that I can think of that consistently gets involved in stops.
As for the offense, Maynard is not accurate and sometimes overlooks open guys. Can't put that one completely on the coaching either, unless there are established, effective ways to teach in-game passing accuracy."
npyoung35 - Some questionable choices, I guess, but right now I think its more about execution on the field to be honest.
bigdruid - "Can't really make an informed comment here. I feel like the game-day coaching was fine - the coaches had a gameplan that gave us a chance to win on the road. Seemed like the playcalling was fine (look! We ran CJA on the goal line play! Turns out he can't score when there's no holes, either!). Defense *stuffed* Oregon in that first half, but just couldn't keep it up in the second half.
It's frustrating to see Honey Badger regress in this game, but I'm not sure we can pin that on the coaches. It'd be nice if they had fixed any issues with his footwork and delivery in the offseason, but realistically there's only so many hours of practice and he needed to spend them learning the offense. It took Riley a couple of years in the system to clean up his technique, so it's likely that what we see from Maynard is what we're gonna get this year."
cjwethers - FUCK. At least we have USC at home next week.
nativeson thinks chip kelly effing sucks and should be shot - chip kelly effing sucks and should be dropped into a barrel of lava and then shot
yorzepol - It seemed to me we gave up in the third quarter and never really tried after that. Sure KA got his yards but they were meaningless. No other receiver seemed to step up and the line was not helping out Isi. On defense we had breakdown after breakdown. I would love to lay the blame on the refs for throwing calls Oregon's way all night but honestly it was more than that. We were missing tackles and taking bad angles on pursuits, and just plain missing overage. The score should have been closer but I don't think we deserved to win this game.
sacman701 - This wasn't as bad as the blowouts last year, because at least we showed up for this first half of this game. I think the big takeaway from this game is that the pass defense wasn't completely hopeless. The run defense sucked, but it should be ok against attacks that are more like Washington than Oregon (i.e., everyone else left on the schedule). Bear in mind that this team still has not played a home game, as Fresno was at a neutral site with a 50-50 crowd and Presbyterian wasn't a real game.
minesweeper - Well, we won the first half. That's progress versus two years ago, I guess.
fuzzywuzzy - "Gotta play two halves...what the hell, did we get tired? The creepy cartoon ducks get on our nerves? Maybe it was the black helmets. 2nd half adjustments? Maynard had a bad game, it happens. I still think he's better than, well, anyone else we've had since Nate. And the Defense just ain't the same, it's young...
Our unis can beat their unis in the fashion mall"
bamboobanga - KEENAN ALLEN FTW!
SoCalOski - "We got beat by the better team. No need to wring our hands about it. But the awful passing game and Ole defense made it much easier for the duckers.
That said, there are two observations I have:
1. Those white helmets should never see the light of day again.
2. There isn't a worse, more classless, or more revolting fanbase in the country than oregun's"
taf - Cal games are becoming a heart attack waiting to happen. I can't decide if I like that more than just being depressed the whole game. On the positive side, I saw things that make me believe Cal will improve significantly as the players mature. I think the takeaway from this game is patience, patience, patience.
bigdruid - "I was somewhat surprised to see so many disgruntled commenters in the post-game thread.
We took a young defense on the road to Autzen, and beat the crap out of Oregon in the first half. We were the more physical team, pretty much throughout the game, and the effort was solid from start to finish. Honestly, in the range of possible outcomes for this game, this was one of the more positive ones (ignoring the score). I understand that people are hoping to win, but were they *really* expecting a different outcome?
Our young players got worn down mentally and physically, and gave up some big plays in the second half. Frustrating, but that happens, especially given the athletes Oregon has on offense, with the result that basically any error on any play can lead to a TD.
Maynard had an off night - I think he'll bounce back against USC. More worrying to me is the fact that we've scored all of...3(?) points over the second half of the last two games, and the fact that we can't seem to punch the ball in in the red zone. Some of our troubles in the second half spring from the fact that we got down and had to pass all the time, but we are going to lose more games if we have to settle for field goals (duh).
BTW, always fun to watch Oregon's offense. I loved their 2-point conversion - drag the receiver in motion, snap the ball and have your other receivers push their defenders into the path of the motion receiver's defender -- poof, instant points, against a young defense that doesn't know how to react to it."
texashaterforlife - In case I didn't state this before, Jesse Palmer is a tool.
Oski4Heisman - "Up until halftime last night, Cal had played extremely impressive football for 10+ quarters going back to OT at Colorado. Yeah, the 2nd half was pretty abysmal, but overall, I came away thinking that we could be a very solid team if Maynard can gain some consistency in his throws. He has the physical ability and he seems to make good decisions for the most part (which is the hardest part to learn, usually). I'm reminded of the stories of Tedford teaching Rodgers the ""top shelf"" delivery. Hopefully this can turn out half as well as that.
Oh, and $C is going down. I'm excited to see a rocking AT&T Park."
alpha1906 - Well, the way they make shows is, they make one show. That show's called a pilot. Then they show that show to the people who make shows, and on the strength of that one show they decide if they're going to make more shows. Some pilots get picked and become television programs. Some don't, become nothing. She starred in one of the ones that became nothing.