COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 15: Quarterback Zach Maynard #15 of the California Golden Bears completes a pass in the second half against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium on September 15, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
TwistNHook: What I was really encouraged by was the preparation and execution. Although there were some dropped passes in there, overall the team looked significantly more prepared than in prior weeks. Penalties were cut down (and were mostly on that one CJ Anderson TD drive as frustrating as that drive was). The reality is that I had anticipated getting blown out in Columbus on national TV. In the past, Cal has shown up to big games like this and laid an egg. Whether it is against Oregon or USC or whatever. Independent of any of the smaller positives to come out of this game, the bigger picture of being prepared and executing really well (and almost knocking off the Buckeyes on the road!) was very encouraging to me.
unclesam22: I agree with Twist that it was a huge positive that Cal came out prepared and disciplined. Even in light of tOSU committing dumb penalties and the refs calling phantom penalties and not calling blatant offenses, we still kept it together and managed to remain competive until the very end. On national TV no less, which we all admit has been our kryptonite in recent years. One of the other positives that I saw was the variety in play calling that I felt wasn't there in the first few games. There were a few throws to the FB out of the backfield, Maynard and Allen had the double pass, and it generally seemed like we kept tOSU's defense on their heels, especially in the third quarter. Plus, Maynard looked like he could play shortstop for the A's as he was field all those groundball snaps and never once did it seem to break his rhythm or concentration. I really felt like Maynard was locked in and totally focused.
VincentS: I woke up fulling expecting another blowout on national TV. I was pleasantly surprised. The team I saw on TV on Saturday looked solid. Some of the most noteworthy positives:
Ohio Bear: The biggest positive I drew from the game is that it restored some semblance of hope for the rest of the season. Cal went into Ohio Stadium and went toe-to-toe with the 12th-ranked team in the country. Who among us thought that would be possible the way that Cal played the first two games of the season? I sure as hell didn't. I was as discouraged about the state of Cal football as anyone after the Nevada and Southern Utah games.
atomsareenough: Biggest positive:
Berkelium97: Toughness. I fully expected the team to fold once down 20-7 only 18 minutes into the game. I was expecting a 45-10 loss and a long, long week until USC.
Instead I was pleasantly surprised. Guys continued to execute, played hard, and put us in a position to win the game.
I am very impressed with how Maynard handles these tough situations. We were down 13 in front of 105k fans against a college football blueblood. Yet Maynard continued to deliver (for the most part) good-looking passes to help move us down the field. It's been a while since we've had a QB who doesn't fold in these kinds of situations. Kevin Riley struggled in these environments and Nate Longshore had a bad habit of throwing pick-sixes. Despite taking sack after sack, Maynard never seemed to lose his composure.