Well, there were definitely plenty to go around (kinda like the turnovers, amirite?) this week, but here's some of the negatives that we saw from the Washington game. What did we miss and what stood out to you as the most glaring bad spots?
LeonPowe: God the turnovers.
Berkelium97: Cal football is no longer an enjoyable experience.
I still enjoy watching other teams, analysis of plays, breaking down what went right/wrong, trying to determine who will be a good replacement coach for the Bears, etc. But watching the Bears try to compete on the field is not enjoyable. I've suffered through plenty of lousy seasons from my favorite sports teams, but none have been this disheartening.
Damn, where to start with this one. Clearly, this is a problem:
Receiving No. Yds TD Long
SeferianJenkins 8 154 1 43
And nothing good can come from this:
Passing Cmp-Att-Int Yds TD Long Sack
Maynard, Zach 15-29-1 175 0 36 2
Bridgford, Allan 2-7-0 26 0 23 0
Totals... 17-36-1 201 0 36 2
I thought Bridg played better than those numbers indicate. His first pass was WAY off target, I'll admit. But I thought he had some solid accuracy. Maybe some of those passes were dropped? I do not quite remember.
I do remember one BIG negative, which was the play call on the 4th down at the tail end of the game. Remember, last year, Cal was knocking on the door at UW. We almost beat them, but on 4th down at the goal line, we were not able score. The play call on that 4th down play? A fade route. I was extremely critical of that play call last year (yet, oddly, called not critical enough of the playcalling for some bizarre reason).
Well, this year, we again did a fade route on 4th down. Here's the deal with fade routes:
1. They require a QB with great accuracy.
2. They require (generally) a really tall receiver who can leap up Larry Fitzgerald style and grab the ball in mid air.
3. They require a good level of experience between the QB and the receiver.
Here, Bridg was throwing to C.J. Anderson. Now, I am not at the practice, so I do not know how much experience Bridg and Anderson have together. I suspect it is not a lot insomuch as Bridgford probably doesn't practice with the starters. I could be wrong, however.
Additionally, Bridgford has not shown a great deal of accuracy. And Anderson is not that tall of a gentleman. So, by making this play call, the coaching staff is putting Bridgford and Anderson in a low success situation that requires near perfect execution. As soon as Bridgford let go of the ball (WAAAAAAAAAY before Anderson was even close to the spot), I knew it was doomed to failure. Anderson never even really had a shot. I'm not certain he even saw the ball, to be honest.
So, that was frustrating for me. It was frustrating to see a poor play call that put the athletes in a difficult situation in the biggest play of the game! And it was frustrating to see no change from the same mistake last year! Triple Le Sigh!
: Here, you have the ball! No, you have the ball! No, no, we really insist, here you go! Oh no, we could not possibly impose on you; there you go!
I reserve judgment on the Maynard injury, but there is quite a bit of talk online of whether it was a dirty play.
JahvidKnowsBest: Turnovers. Also, Washington's offense treated us very much like Stanford's did. They continuously gashed us on the run, and their tight end had like a thousand yards receiving (8 catches for 152). I think this speaks to how beat up we are in the interior of our defense right now.
: Well, it seems like the same song each week with assignment errors and turnovers. So, I'll focus on the injuries. I feel very badly for Keni Kaufusi. It's really unfortunate to battle back from several shoulder injuries and then to be lost for the year right as he was starting to play well.
The Maynard injury was awful. I re-watched it live and it was a blatantly dirty play. The UW lineman, Danny Shelton, had already made the tackle and hit the ground. He deliberately chose to complete the play by twisting and rolling without releasing Maynard's legs. I hope the league suspends him because we all know that the UW coaching staff doesn't care about doing the right thing.
Unclesam22: The injuries, obviously. Look, I like Maynard. He's obviously limited in his ability to be a QB and he's hurt us, but he seems like a really good kid and to have his college career (probably) end on a dirty play is a huge negative. I'm with Kodiak in that I hope the league looks at that play again, but I doubt anything will happen. Either way though, HUGE negative to have Maynard go out like that.
The turnovers and execution and penalties etc are all the same stuff we rehashed here all season, and those are still bad. In the same vein, the lack of red zone touchdowns this season is mind-boggling. Cal has 3 good to great RB's and a probable first round WR. And yet Cal's red zone stats look like this:
In RZ Scored Pts TDs Pass TDs Run TDs FG's Made
33 25 130 14 7 7 11
That's a 75% scoring rate but only a 40% TD rate. 40%!!!!! That's terrible for being inside the 20 yard line. This game was just the continuation of what's been a really disturbing trend all season long.
The other negative is that Shaq Thompson seems like a really good player. I think we really could have used him this year and had To$h not blown up our class I really think the next 3-4 years of Cal football would have been something special. I found myself wondering, as I watched the game and they kept showing To$h on the sideline, if it really was worth it to give up something special at your alma mater for some extra money and minor recognition. Obviously he's wired differently than we are since he took the money and ran, but it just doesn't seem worth it to me. So bringing up all that angst and frustration over last January was also a huge negative for me.