(1) It Used to Hurt. Now it Doesn't. Unfortunately, things are at the point where you expect Cal to lose. Don't get me wrong... I'm still there in the stands supporting the team. But I just don't really expect to see a winning performance any more. It's sad to say it, but it's true.
(2) The Offensive Turnovers are Just Ridiculous. Four turnovers? I'm a little more understanding of the interception because those are easier to commit than the fumbles -- not to say I'm relieving Maynard of any responsibility for throwing that INT. But at least with the INT you're perhaps fooled by the defense or you don't see a defender or there is a botched route. But with the fumbles, there are no such excuses. The coaches tell these players day after day to protect the football. Use two arms to protect the football in heavy traffic. Keep it close to your body and not away from your body. It's so simple. But for some reason, Cal is kind of fumbles this year. The offense knows the defense will be stripping the ball or targeting the ball with their helmet. You have to protect the football to win games. I feel like such a doofus because I write the same crap every week. I must sound like a broken record. Aren't you guys tired of listening to me? You just can't expect to win a football game when you consistently turn the ball over 3+ times a game... even if the other team is turning the ball over just as many times as you are.
(3) Another Winnable Game Fumbled Away. While this team is losing, it's also not that far away from winning either. (I'm sure I'll get a few people calling me out as the world's biggest idiot for that comment but hear me out.) The Utah and USC games are the only games which really got out of hand pretty fast to the point where winning wasn't much of a reality. Other than that, the team has been losing by 7, 7, 10, 18, and 8 points. That's not a lot.
Look, I'm not trying to sugar coat things. (Cue more people claiming that HydroTech is trying to sugarcoat things.) But being 3-7 and losing by one to two touchdowns is a lot different than being 3-7 and losing by 21+ points each game. See Colorado, for example. If this team just cuts back on some penalties throughout the season, cuts back on some turnovers, and scores a touchdown or two instead on those drives per game, then we win a few more games (even despite all of our problems). And that's what I mean by these are all winnable games being lost. A lot of these errors we are committing are pretty much unforced errors. Playing clean ball and just getting beat (losing your positional battle) is different from playing dirty ball (making all sorts of filthy unforced errors). I'd rather have the former than the latter. It's not exactly like Cal is being dominated left and right from the get go like we're Colorado. We may be bad, but we're not god awful. Things could be worse. Seriously, they could be.
(4) An Already Shaky Offense Possibly Getting Worse. Starting QB questionable. Top two starting WRs out. Injuries to offensive linemen. Inexperienced backup QB likely to take the ropes. Cal might rely on the run more in the next few games (if it can) which puts the rock in the hands of the runningbacks who have shown a great ability to fumble the ball. Things were bad earlier, and I think they could be getting even worse on offense thanks to our latest string of injuries.
Frankly, I'm just hoping we can keep the Oregon game within 50 points. With our injuries, turnovers, and penalties (although strangely enough Cal avoided a lot of penalties against Washington), I wouldn't be surprised to see Oregon run away with this game with a 35 point lead at halftime.
(5) Tosh Who? I think for a lot of people this game was about revenge for the whole Tosh situation. For me though, I really didn't care about that. I just wanted to see this team win just to win. That was more important to me than committing any sort of revenge against Tosh and Sark. That being said though, it was pretty shitty to lose to a coach who bailed on us and have one of our former commitments (Shaq Thompson) intercept one of our passes.
(6) Speaking of Penalties... Cal only committed seven for 60 yards. Not bad. Not great. But definitely better than previous games.
(7) Props to the Defense... For keeping this game winnable and manageable. They got some turnovers, some critical fourth-down stops, and kept Cal in the game. Sure, they got away with one sure-fire dropped touchdown pass. But I guess that kind of equalizes out that fluke hail mary TE touchdown pass by Washington. Which, on that play, Steve Williams just misjudged the ball (a fairly rare mistake for him) and jumped too early to swat the ball. Oh well. You win some and you lose some jump balls. Williams has been winning more than he's lost.
(8) Harper Is Our Guy. Last week I criticized the WRs (minus Keenan Allen) for not stepping up to the plate and being that guy to get his ass open. Well, Chris Harper must have heard me (not really) because the dude just blew up. Talk about some ridiculous circus catches.
(9) Regarding Sefarian-Jenkins vs. Williams... A lot of people have been wondering why Pendergast put Williams (5'11" cornerback) on Sefarian-Jenkins (6'6" tight end). Good question. But it's not really what it seems like.
Most people think Pendergast put Williams on Sefarian-Jenkins. I don't think that's really a proper way to phrase it though. I would say that Washington put Sefarian-Jenkins on Williams. How does that make more sense?
Look, Cal runs RCB and LCB. That's right cornerback and left cornerback. We have our guys pretty much ONLY play one side of the field when they play zone. Williams is almost exclusively our RCB. Kameron Jackson and Marc Anthony are our LCBs. On those two plays where Sefarian-Jenkins won those two jump balls against Williams, it was because Cal was playing zone, and Sefarian-Jenkins was split out wide to the defense's right (Williams' side) as if he was a wide receiver. So it's not so much that Pendergast put Williams on Sefarian-Jenkins, it was UW exploiting a personnel mismatch.
It's just a good job by UW putting a tall ass receiver out side against a shorter defender, on a down and distance when they probably knew (via scouting Cal's tape) that Cal would most likely be in a zone. That's what people do in football.
(10) I'm Just Hoping We Keep It Within 40 Points Against Oregon. Are people really going to go to this game? I'll be there. But I'm just wondering if people are really going to want to show up for a late night game, in freezing weather, to see perhaps the best team in the nation run over our beloved Bears. Are people going to bail?