A Cal road victory is rare enough that each should be cherished. Until the time that we are consistently winning on the road in the Pac-12, each one should be bottled up and placed on our mantle in clear plastic. Good to keep them in as mint condition as possible.
And this was a doozy of a road win. Not great defense, but still some huge highlights from our opportunistic D. For all the frustrations that stem from giving up so many points, there were even more highlights on both the offensive and special teams ends. The offense put on a clinic, dropping almost 50 points on ASU. Zach Maynard put together as perfect a game as we've seen from him. Isi Sofele, C.J. Anderson, and the offensive line really clicked to create a great rushing attack. And on the special teams side, the kicking combo of Giorgio Tavecchio and Bryan Anger were booming keys all over the place.
But enough about what I thought. This post is about what you thought. We again received tons of great comments. Thanks for all your awesome comments all year long, readership. We have one report card remaining (for the bowl game), so we hope to see more comments there to cap off the season. Check out the grades and comments after the jump. GO BEARS!
Win likelihood in bowl game
.742 (+ ∞ %)
Berkelium97: Feels good man.
When was the last time the Bears won the last game of the season, let alone the last game of the season on the road? The last time we won the last game was back in 2008 when Jahvid ran wild on an 0-12 Husky team. And the last season finale we won on the road was in 2005 when Steve Levy heroically led the Bears to Big Game glory.
The offense earned all-around solid marks, while the defense had okay scores. Some of us gave the defense low scores, while some gave high scores. The high standard deviation indicates mixed opinions.
Coaching continues to earn high marks, as it has all season.
We're pumping the sunshine heading into bowl season, despite not knowing who we will play. Moscow Doug refused to predict the chances of winning the bowl game and called it a "laughably retarded question." I can understand Doug's sentiment. It's tough to pump the sunshine in one of those Moscow winters when you only get two hours of daylight per day. For the rest of us, we got that sun shinin' 375 days a week!
No editor's choice awards this week. Y'all have to get more creative with your submissions!
We do, however, have our tried and true set of awards, the Old Blues and Tedford's Sunshine Pumpers.
We have several repeat offenders among the Old Blues, including sacman701 and 1988 goldenbear. The main difference between the Old Blues and Sunshine Pumpers was in the grades for the defense. On offense, everyone gave high scores. The Old Blues were more critical of the defense, however, and tended to hand out .20s and .30s to the defense. The Sunshine Pumpers, however, handed out .6s, .7s, and even a few .8s for the defense.
Do you think texashaterforlife will be a Sunshine Pumper if we defeat the Longhorns in a Holiday Bowl matchup? I would not bet against it!
Tedford's Sunshine Pumpers
||Net Score, Percentage
|2. TKE Prytanis
|Old Blues||Net Score, Percentage
|2. Scuttleduck||3.90, 55.7%|
The Voice of Reason
3. Ursus Aureus
4. Flag Guy
Next up we have The Voice of Reason for those whose scores most accurately reflect the group scores.
Flag Guy makes another appearance on this award list. Keep waving that flag of reason!
Now it's time to hear your thoughts on the game. Are any of you going to go all Pain Train on Osweiler next year because some ASU fans spit on your parents?
Keenan Allen Crabbe People - Had Utah not choked against Colorado, I suspect it would have been a much closer game. Thankfully, they Utah did choke. Arizona State was successful in spurts, but couldn't muster the mentality to keep up.
bigdruid - I had to stop watching the game at the end of the first half to put my kid to bed, and didn't get a chance to watch the second half until the next day. That was a miserable 12 hours, I can tell you - my mind came up with all kinds of terrible scenarios for how the 2nd half unfolded.
fuzzywuzzy - "Are there ANY fans in Concord not watching the game at home, or ESPN Tres? I guess they're all west of one of the more boring towns in the bay Area.
Since I am that cheap, and don't have cable, I ended up having to watch the game at two different sports bars and was the only Cal fan there; there was only one other guy who knew anything about college football, and, he hath cometh from the 3rd circle of hell (Alabama) you can only guess what he compared the game too all night long...thank Crom the Bears came through!"
bobsyerunkle - Nice way to end the day...drinking a final glass of beer with friends and neighbors and sitting back and watching a pretty exciting game.
Old Bear 71 - No In-ter-ceptions! ! ! ! !C
prd74 - Gosh, this is what the gameday experience is all about. It started with the unexpected Utah loss. "Hey Utes, welcome to our world of getting your hopes up and then having it snatched away by the unthinkable and thanks for sucking the motivation factor right out of the Sun Devils." Then came our turn, which was another of those "hope the planets align in our favor type", and instead of wishing on the stars the Bears showed that they are true warriors and won the game through hard work and desire. So proud of this coaching staff and team that after the fucla game was on the verge of flunking out school, but came back strong after that. Big Smile time and a "GO BEARS!" shoutout to everyone.
SurfinGreek - "Petty calls by officials. A couple poor calls also.
The ESPN announcers as usual had much to say about nothing except their life experiences and the press releases re ASU that they browsed before the game. I have a feeling that this game was scheduled to showcase ASU before their trip to the PAC 12 championship game. "
GuMiBears - Relaxing on my computer doing grad school apps during commercial break. This was a long close game so I starved myself till 11pm to eat dinner. Thank goodness we won.
Willis Chong - "Watched on ESPN3 on the East Coast. Watched while finishing up data coding for research.
Wanted to punch Craig James through the internet connection. Maybe it was me, but it sounded like he got directives from ESPN to be more supportive of Cal.
BTW, ASU held the ball last and we still won. Nice analysis Craig."
Jacobs - "Never thought this game would be won by our offense! Kudos to all parties involved.
What is with the PAC 12 officiating? Do they hate us? Of course, they seem to hate Burfict more :D"
sacman701 - I hope that asshole who pepper-sprayed 15 people at Walmart gets hard time.
DC Bear - Got yelled at by angry wife for shouting at the TV at 1:50 in the morning. I am hoping she thinks it was all a dream in the morning.
rocksndirt - watched on espn3, it was much better than trying to watch last week. it's hard not to yell at the computer.
VandyImport - Vicodin, gluten-free pumpkin pie, and the Itis. I wish every day was the day after Thanksgiving. Zzzzzzzzzzzz.
Flag Guy - Thanks for the stream PRD!
btown85 - "I watched at my in-laws' house and everyone (else) was asleep during the 4th quarter, so I couldn't YELL IN JUBILATION !!!! So I whispered in jubilation!
Truman Hugh - I love that we are to ASU what (up until a couple of weeks ago) Oregon State was to us. We ALWAYS beat Arizona State and I love it!
Truman Hugh - Maynard has had ZERO picks since the UCLA game. Clearly, the game is slowing down and he is finding his rhythm. Great job, Zach!
bigdruid - "One word: efficient. Maynard made very few mistakes (a few misthrown balls) but more than made up for it with *great* plays (threw the ball away to avoid a sack down near the red zone, the amazing touch pass to CJA). Marvin Jones was an unstoppable force - I have no idea how someone with his size is able to break tackles like that.
Still would like to see KA get the ball more, but I can't complain about us spreading the ball around. Plus, we only punted twice all day."
Ursus Aureus - "Maynard was sharp for possibly the entire game and when he is playing like that, we are tough to deal with as an offense. His accuracy has improved and the improvisation on the TD throw to CJ Anderson was a sign of incredible poise and maturity.
The lack of red zone passing is worrying though. Some semblance of that and a lot of our drives where we settle for FGs would end up in TDs.
All in all, I'm liking ZM in bowl game and 2012."
OldBear 71 - C. J. Awesome, KA21esque! ! !Ise
bobsyerunkle - well now, I found myself not cringing...kudos to Maynard who really is starting to look competent out there. I was a naysayer, I must admit. Glad to be proven wrong every once in a while (ahem).
SurfinGreek - "Sad to see that Tedford does not trust Maynard to make the short completion for a first down instead of punting. Niice touch by Maynard to CJ on the TD pass.
Maynard finally looked more confident."
Willis Chong - "Maynard has his moments and now is starting to have a little swagger. It was nice to see a real mobile QB that could make passes out of the pocket. That TD pass to CJA was just at thing of beauty. He spread the ball out as well. There are still things I'd like for him to improve on: short passes, play clock management (we lost 2 TOs to that), some better (though it was decent to good this game) zone reads.
We won and Maynard didn't lose it for us."
DC Bear - Nice. Although we should probably not rely on the PI calls for our offense.
CAPTAIN JAMESON - "for 2 weeks in a row Maynard came and did well beyond what he was asked to do. ZERO INTERCEPTIONS. missed a few throws. can hardly complain with his performance tonight. zone reads were superb.
also, doesn't really matter because we had CEEEEEEEEEEEEJJJJJAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYY"
sacman701 - Maynard has played like a veteran the past 4 games. Today there were no big mistakes, and his accuracy was generally good except for that one overthrow that should have been a TD. Again he did a good job of avoiding the rush and getting rid of the ball when nothing was available. Protection was generally good, receivers did well again. Even if you count Anderson's long TD as 15 yards instead of 74, we had a 72% completion rate and 7 yards per attempt with no sacks or interceptions. I'll take that any day.
1988goldenbear - Bad news - some horrible throws early, some short and some long. Good news - some awesome grabs (especially by Marvin) and a couple really good throws like the touch pass to CJ. I don't remember any near-picks. Starting to look pretty decent out there.
thetravesty - Maynard is improving rapidly, and we're playing to his strengths with the roll-outs and whatnot. It's nice to watch him improve every week
ScuttleDuck - Too many drops, but most of them came on ASU pass interferences, so it's okay.
lEastCoastBears - I thought Maynard was fairly accurate for the most part. On a couple of the long passes (that did draw defensive interference), Maynard hit his spot pretty well to give only the receive the chance to catch it (and I thought they should have been caught despite the penalty).
fuzzywuzzy -"Honey badger is definitely giving a SHIZZNIT!
No interceptions, pretty float pass to CJ on the run, and almost pretty darn good except for a few dropped passes (Hagan). Pass blocking not too shabby either, especially downfield by the Receivers.
Also effectively touched the Vontaze nerve, which helped remove some of the Cal emblems from all those flags. "
GuMiBears - Not surprisingly good. We are generally always good at this. Sofele was cutting back more which was good instead of just straight up trying to run North-South.
hey alumni go - Vintage Cal running game. OL pushing the DL around. Just 1 or 2 holds on the OL
VandyImport - "Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Forgive me Pappy for I have sinned, I thought Isi Sofele could not be an every-down back in a Tedford run offense. Say ten Hail Oskis and perform an Act of Inebriation.
On a related note, the offensive line really seems to have come together down the stretch, and that's keying everything else. My hope is that next year we really see the return of Coach M paying dividends."
Jacobs - I have never seen Sofele so good. Never thought he could pull off a day like this! Some of the cuts and dodges were spectacular - but it was efforts of grinding out yards after contact and turning bad plays into positive yardage that really impressed! Way to go!
cjwethers - Great vision and burst by Sofele to find those cutback lanes and reverse his field for big gains on a couple of runs that looked like they were going to be stuffed. Anderson=BEASTMODE. And it was great to see us gashing ASU with the zone read. Overall, a very complete performance, though Sofele's fumble inside the 10 was unnerving.
lEastCoastBears - The Maynard keeper is really something that I'm looking forward to see more of at the bowl game (and next year). Sofele and Anderson were able to gain positive yards despite getting the ball repeatedly way behind the line of scrimmage.
TKE Prytanis - H-O-L-Y S-H-I-T...is Isi for real or what. He has to be coming into next year as one of the top threats in the Pac 12. Love that he is strong on the inside as well as having the speed to cut back an punish...again, we are for real here. And a big shout out to CJ for having the presence of mind to separate to give Zach an outlet, leading to a 74 yd score...freaking wonderful
Ursus Aurseus - Fantastic effort by the Line/Sofele/Anderson to maintain run balance especially in the 4th quarter. Our ability to run the ball even when ASU stacked the box in the 4th quarter allowed us to march off a lot of time off the clock thereby allowing the defense to rest and be in a better position to deal with Osweiler. They imposed their style of play outside of AT&T which was very good to see.
osos deoro - Underutilized but effective. Maynard had a spectacular game but it seems like he made a couple bad decisions on running plays: should have handed off once down in the red zone, and also should have run to the outside in the red zone once rather than cutting in. Those decisions probably cost us 8 points. Isi was worthy of our proud running back tradition. Remember the days when you could touch him with a feather and down he'd go? Now once contact is made it seems like an extra 3-4 yards is guaranteed. Remarkable improvement. CJ was awesome.
prd74 - There cannot be any doubt that Ron Gould is master of his craft. He has turned a pile of goo into the crown jewels (again!). Is there anything more amazing than comparing the Isi Sofele that was being knocked down by a feather with the monster he has turned into. Tyndall's fumble recovery was so un-Cal like (where the Cal fans usually yell "Oh No!" and then we end up getting the short stick). Not this time. Seeing Deboskie Johnson in there was a feel good moment.
btown85 - Porous much? Don't get me wrong, The Stilt is a very good QB and put the ball where he needed to. When we didn't pressure him we were asking ALOT of our defensive backfield.
Keenan Allen Crabbe People - Between phantom pass interference calls and blown coverage, the Cal secondary looked unprepared. But ultimately, Osweiler was below his average and picked off twice at critical moments, so there's something to be thankful for.
slaphancock - I liked that final Osweiler interception. I could watch that play all day. Now if only it were Luck . . .
DC Bear - Good "have them drop it" game plan.
Jacobs - We had a pass defense? Ok, so I am being unfair. Some of the pass interference calls were... weird. However, if you are going to make contact with a receiver, do it to prevent a touchdown. The endzone is the one place were I am ok with pass interference penalties. Better a penalty than a touchdown!
dballisloose - The secondary looked to be our weakness again, but upon further review they made several key plays to get a hand in there. I was pretty excited about DJ Campbell getting a hand in there to cause the key fumble. Kendricks was all over the field, and DJ Holt was used with a lot of creativity today on delayed blitzes.
cjwethers - We played pretty good defense against the pass considering we had to defend against Osweiler's big arm, four quality receivers, Marshall, and the insane stupidity of Pac-12 refs. Half of those P.I. penalties were complete B.S. In fact, I remember asking my friend, "Was there a rule change that made batting down a pass equal interference?" SMH
GuMiBears - Too many big plays. Almost threw up at the end of the first half. Arizona State got away with TWO 4th and 10s. CMON!!!!! They seemed to have been targeting Steve Williams and Kameron (I think).
yorzepol - What pass defense? We got a couple of key interceptions though so I guess I shouldn't feel too bad but man! I hope we get better before the bowl game or I feel dooooooooooooooooooom!
OldBear71 - Pick. Picks. Take your pick!
Flag Guy - Too many big runs, but they also stuffed ASU fairly consistently. Feast or famine! Maybe its the 4-3 we have to run thats throwing us off.
sacman701 - Very poor but mitigated by the two forced fumbles. We gave up too many big plays especially considering that we were up against Marshall and his catalogue of nagging injuries.
cjwethers - Ehhh. Our front seven was mostly OK but on the occasions where Marshall found a hole and got to the second level, our safeties took terrible angles, which raised his YPC. But hey, at least we can blame the Marshall from the other team now rather than Steve MARSHALLLLLL!!!!
hardtobecalfan - porous. poor tackling. but i guess that's what happens when you have lots of players injured. but forcing two fumbles is pretty impressive.
1988goldenbear - We got gashed a bunch, but it didn't seem too bad overall. Made a couple good hits to cause fumbles.
texashaterforlife - Going to miss Holt, Kendricks, Guyton, and Owusu. Hopefully the Bowl game let's them really shine. Depth for next year looks to be stellar.
TKE Prytanis - Marshall is a stud, but for a couple of jail breaks, I always felt we had the upper hand.
koalaballa - There were a few plays where we just didn't contain the RB. Almost reminded me of Nevada 2009, as opposed to Oregon 2009. This is something that I'm not sure I understand - is it poor discipline? Being outschemed? Just not talented enough?
Ursus Aureusus - Got gashed a bit by Marshall but kept it together in the 4th.
thetravesty - KICK ALL THE FIELD GOALS!!!!
FiatSlug - "Kick coverage was spotty. Four ASU returns went beyond their 30 (one went to Cal's 45) and one KO was fair caught at ASU's 34.
Tavecchio's KOs were typically short of the goal line, setting up the longer returns. He did have 1 touchback kicking from Cal's 45 due to an ASU personal foul. One other KO did reach the end zone, but wasn't very deep. I will not miss Tavecchio on KOs.
Tavecchio's first FG attempt was good from 48 yards, lifting the team to a 3-0 lead. He made three other attempts of 27, 19 and 30 yards. Tavecchio has been money in FGs this year, rarely missing from anywhere on the field.
Anger was outstanding. He punted twice; once for 57 yards and a touchback, once for 41 yards with no return."
VandyImport - It's time for Genyk to be catapulted into a swamp. I have a feeling we may miss ol' Forza Italia more than we thought we would when he was driving PATs into the backs of linemen...
CAPTAIN JAMESON - "IF YOUR NUMBER IS NOT #5 OR #13, AND THE BALL COMES TO YOU. FALL. ON. THE. BALL. who remembers rule #17? DON'T. BE. A. HERO.
dballisloose - I was especially excited about special teams and Tavecchio; really proud of how he's grown in the program. I'm not clear who #4 was on kickoff coverage, the announcers said it was Avery Sebastian...I'm not even sure who that is, but he got downfield and blew up the ASU kick returner 2, maybe 3 times. This game was all about the little executions like that.
hardtobecalfan - giorgio has been money on FGs this year. why was richard rodgers even fielding the kick, much less trying to reverse field while loosely hanging on to the ball?!
SurfinGreek - "They shut down ASU's Miles, another Sun Devil darling of Patrick and James.
BTW, are they still the Sun Devils or is that considered devil worship. OOps, I almost capitalized ""Devil""."
OskiWow - "The good: Tavecchio, a perfect 4 for 4 on both FGs and PATs. I held my breath on his last FG, a very important one to move us ahead by two scores, and he came through. Viva Italia! Anger had a quiet, but effective game. No blocked punts, and he didn't shank any either.
The not so good: First-half fumble on the kickoff return by TE/ST Rodgers. I like the effort, but, as he is in there as a blocker and not a returner, he should just go down with the ball and let the offense take over. That was a HUGE momentum shift, after ASU had closed the game to within 6, and allowed ASU to go on to score a TD on a very short field and go into the half with a 1 point lead. Then, immediately after that, our kick returners flubbed the kickoff catch and had to just dive on the ball."
Ursus Aureus - 4 Field Goals were great but that fumble was an absolutely boneheaded play. Just...get....down already!
ososdeoro - With the exception of the last one, kickoff coverage was the usual joke. The kickers were money, except on kickoffs. And if the Bears actually did commit holding while defending against an extra point kick, then I am stunned beyond belief (I think the crappy referees probably screwed that one up though).
slaphancock - Excellently coached game. Good time management at the end of the game. I know some would have tried to pass in there, but I liked the non-Maynard approach.
Flag Guy - Offensive play calling was beautiful. Defensively I felt that players were generally in position they just didnt make the play.
CAPTAIN JAMESON - i was actually really scared of a faceplant after such a close loss to Furd last week. with a short week + holiday, i was really scared about Coach T & Co. not fueling the team enough motivation. that fear was gone during the first half of the second quarter, and all came rushing back at halftime. but for the first time this season our bears performed extremely well during the second half, and for that major, major kudos to the coaches. best performance of the year. no doubt.
dballisloose - I thought the big differences in this game came down to exceptional coaching by Coach P, creative playcalling by Tedford, and excellent execution on nearly every phase of the game.
Willis Chong - "Balanced playcalling worked well for the offense. Seemed okay all around, I guess. Things for the coaching to get better on:
1. Getting our offense to understand when the play clock starts so we don't waste TOs
2. Getting our pass defense how to play a better prevent defense. We give up way too much way too fast when play that style.
3. Blocking in a way that prevents the defense from switching off too quickly. We lost a TD by not locking the defenders down."
SurfinGreek - "Good game plan by Cal. Mix it up.
Nice to see Maynard run. Nice to see Maynard run some option. It was finally Marvin Jones' night.
I was glad to hear that Tedford eased up on his team after they played hard in that late night quagmire on the farm.
Poor Dennis Ericson."
ScuttleDuck - There is NO excuse for using 2nd half timeouts in the 3rd quarter. Coaches seriously need to start playing Madden, because any Madden player will tell you the importance of 2nd half timeouts at the end of games.
Maine Mode- Great offensive game-planning and execution
rocksndirt - W - only stat that matters.
VandyImport - I didn't have this penciled in as a win when the season started, but I didn't expect ASU to be a .500 team either. (How did these guys beat USC and then lose to LA and Wazzu??) The fact that we could go on the road after a heartbreaking Big Game loss and get a shootout victory says a lot about the character of this team after a long season and speaks well to our prospects for next year...
DC Bear - I think the consumption of Sierra Nevada and Connemara whiskey were the Isi and CJ of my night. Balanced and reliable along with smooth power.
Jacobs - Beating a good team, on the road, as underdogs... wow. I am psyched about 2012!!! If Maynard continues to progress, if the running game continues to progress... and if Pendergast takes our defense another step forward... next season will be a show down between Cal and the ducks for the north :)
SurfinGreek - "Nice to see Cal win a close one with good all- around play.
Is this where I can complain about the announcers' idiotic, agenda driven banter? They ignored the injury to Cal's back up DB, #21. Enough with how sensitive the Sun Devils were to Colorado's win over Utah.
OskiWow - "Inspired win. With less than four minutes left in the first half, we were up 27-14. Then, we went into the locker room at the half down 28-27, with ASU receiving the ball to start the half. On the road, the team could've folded in the face of this adversity, but instead they came out playing with passion, held ASU to a FG on their next possession, then we responded with a TD and never looked back.
Certainly, there are quite a few things to clean up: defense has been giving up big chunks of yardage on seemingly routine plays, special teams are still a work in progress, penalties are still a concern, but I like our trajectory.
Props to Tedford in sticking with Maynard, who has shown some considerable improvement in the past month. Here we are at 7-5, talking about whether we are going to the Pac-12 #2 Alamo, #3 Holiday or #4 Sun Bowl. Awesome (regardless why that might happen). Hope the team can keep this positive momentum going to the bowl game and through next season. Go Bears!!!"
JustBears - "we kept up in an offensive shootout game! that kind of game was the fist time in a long time.
Whenever we score more than 30, usually it's a blowout win for us. Whenever an opponent scores 30 or more, we usually get blown out.
surprised we were able to keep scoring 5 TDs and 4 FGs on the road."
koalaballa - "Our team really showed up to play in this game. They wanted it more than ASU did. All of the pieces again came together today and even with all the penalties and mistakes and one really poorly timed turnover, we still had the gusto and willpower to overcome all the obstacles and pull out a quality win on the road in the conference. And even though Tedford has had Erickson's number pretty much every year, you knew there was a real possibility that this one could at any moment slip away with a stalled drive.
And to add to all of this, I think its clear in Tedford's system - there's only room for one quarterback. The chosen quarterback is going to pretty much take 7 games to finally get it, and once he does, he's going to be pretty efficient. There's no room for a quarterback controversy. If the quarterback is bad at first, its because he hasn't learned enough yet. But Tedford proved with tonight's game that HE CAN GET IT DONE.
Throughout this whole season, the only games that we were truly out of were Oregon, USC, and UCLA. And not for the whole game either, for any of them.
Next year is looking great!"
Keenan Allen Crabbe People - I'm just glad the Bears didn't suffer too much of a Big Game let down. The game after the Big Game has been a trap lately, but this year, it's nice to win the last regular season game of the year. I am pumped and thankful for the bowl game.
Maine Mode- This win restored some of my faith in Tedford. My biggest problem with Tedford over the past few years has been the tendency of the team to come out completely flat (e.g. Oregon 2009, Washington 2009, Oregon St 2010, USC 2010, Stanford 2010 and to give up in the middle of games when faced with adversity (e.g. Oregon St 2009). This game screamed trap game given the rugged game last week but we seemed focused from the start. Also, after giving up the 27-14 lead on a 4th and 10 bomb and a bogus kickoff fumble we regrouped and held them to a fg on the first drive of the second half. In 2009 or 2010 we would have folded. It's nice to see the team show some resilience.
Thanks again for participating in the report cards this season! We'll be back after the bowl game with one final round of report cards.