What a cathartic game! Let's talk about the positives from this great game
TwistNHook: What are some of the positives from the Cal-UCLA game?
Berkelium97: Richard Rodgers! It finally felt like the offensive gameplan was well suited to our strengths and weaknesses on the field. Quick screens, slants, and other short passes worked well within our limitations at QB and O-line. The run game was a dynamic, consistent, three-headed monster. Picking up 4-6 yards on first down runs did wonders for the offense's ability to move the chains.
Pendergast's blitz packages were tenacious and disrupted Hundley and the passing game. Jim Mora went so far as to call the defense "maniacal." We had some success generating pressure against ASU but only occasionally blitzed, so I was happy to see us stick with what was working against UCLA. Kam Jackson filled in brilliantly for the injured Marc Anthony and Chris McCain looked like the ol' Pain Train out there.
Unclesam22: Cal played a complete game in all phases of the game. The running game was bruising and forced the UCLA defenders up into the box where they were looking run first and then we gashed them with the quick passes. The fact that we also managed to avoid 3rd and longs all night also made a huge difference.
Additionally, a couple of long sustained drives kept the D off the field and really took it out of the UCLA defense, so by the 4th quarter even our beleaguered OLine seemed to be having their way. The defense was incredible and managed to get consistent pressure and save a few missed tackles, Cal's open field work kept UCLA from getting into a rhythm all night. And then the huge thing was winning the turnover battle. The Bears were actively looking for the ball on every occasion and you could see UCLA deflating more and more after each big turnover.
NorCalNick: Credit the Cal coaching staff for changing it up on passing plays so that Maynard was able to get rid of the ball quickly. Lots of quick slants, screens, swing passes and quick patterns that gave our play-makers a chance.
But as I mentioned in earlier roundtables, the biggest positive is the continued positive contributions from lower classmen. Sophomores and freshmen (especially on defense) are carrying this team right now and that should give fans a bit of optimism for the remainder of this season and lots of optimism for next season.