Washington 41, Cal 17: Different opponent, same script

Different jersey, same result. - Otto Greule Jr

It's déjà vu all over again.

55-16, 44-22, 37-10, 49-17, 41-17. On average? 45-17.

Cal has now played five Pac-12 games. Games against top 10 teams, games against borderline ranked teams, games against teams expected to finish near the bottom of the standings. Games against spread option teams, pro style teams, balanced teams and pass happy teams.

Every single game has been practically indistinguishable.

Opponent scores quickly. Cal can't answer on offense. Defense gets a stop or two, offense doesn't take advantage. Opponent scores on a deep pass over the top. Offense gets a score in the 2nd quarter that doesn't really matter. Fans desperately search for reasons to be optimistic in 2014.

There might be some unique wrinkles. Maybe an unforced fumble in the end zone. Maybe an ejection of an opposing defensive lineman. Maybe some crazy weather. But every single game has followed the same disheartening script.

Eight games into the season, we know exactly what this team is. Talented wide receivers, a decent defensive line (particularly in the middle), decent special teams, and really, not a whole lot else. Every other unit struggles to different degrees. And against what I believe is the best Pac conference in years, it's a formula for constant blowouts.

What is there interesting to say about today's game? Whatever interesting things we said last week probably apply again, right? I guess the fact that Cal covered the spread for the first time in more than a year it something different.

I guess we can talk about a rebuilt, reshuffled offensive line. Well, Cal running backs averaged 3.6 yards/carry before Khalfani Muhammad scored a 73 yard garbage time touchdown against UW's backups, and Jared Goff got sacked 5 times, so draw your own conclusions.

I guess we can talk about three players on the Cal roster throwing more passes than Zach Kline, which amuses me to no end but will likely anger many Cal fans and inspire spectacularly awesome/awful message board threads all week. I look forward to reading 50 different theories about what Austin Hinder's meaningless three minute cameo means. Wait, can I use the sarcasm font on main page posts?

I guess we can talk about how Cal clinched a bowl-less season. I hope you weren't holding out hope on that account.

We learned very little new about this team. Maybe somebody wants to dive into the film and break down how Chris Borrayo did in his true frosh Cal debut. Otherwise? Playing out the string.

See you all next week for another repeat viewing.

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