It was that kind of night for most Cal fans. The night that you would like to forget. But before we get all up in arms and start calling for Dykes' head, let's not forget that we are exactly where we thought we would be. Let's not forget that we have the second youngest team in terms of experience in America. Let's not forget that we were playing the number 2 team in the country in one of the toughest places to play in the country in torrential downpours and 30 mph winds. So before we get all angry that we are 1-3, let's not forget that we have played 3 ranked teams. We held are own against #22 (now #16) Northwestern, and if not for a couple fluke pick-6's, we might have won that game. Let's not forget that after going down 21-0 in the first 6 minutes against #4 Ohio State, the Bears showed tremendous fight and won the next 54 minutes of the game 34-31. So before we go calling for Andy Buh's head and Sonny Dykes' head, let's not forget where we were last year and how far we had to go. We have to be patient and keep looking for the positives. With that being said, there were not many positives from last nights game, but I will try....
The Good: Cal basketball practice has started!!! But seriously.... this is difficult. One of the few positives, check that. Probably the only positive that came out of Saturday's debacle was Sonny Dykes' willingness to switch quarterbacks, a trait not found in Jeff Tedford. He realized that Goff wasn't able to handle the rain, so he made a switch. Tedford would have kept Maynard in, and we probably would have lost 55-0. That's about all the good I can come up with, if you have any others, feel free to comment below.
The Bad: The run game continues to disappoint though it was not as terrible last night. Last night Cal managed 149 rush yards (which is not half bad if you throw for 300 yards a game). The frustrating thing is that no one has emerged as the running back who wants the majority of the carries. The Bears leading rusher against Oregon was Brendan Bigelow, but he only had 61 yards! So the run game might be improving a little bit, but it's still pretty bad. Hey!!! The defense has moved out of the ugly category and into the bad!!! Small victories! The Bears forced Oregon's first turnover of the season! Small victories! The Bears also gave up the fewest points of any other Oregon opponent yet this year. Small victories! And hey, the defense managed to keep it under 50 (Special teams were responsible for 14, see The UGLY). But seriously, defense, it's still pretty bad. Cal's inability to wrap up and tackle is baffling. The defensive issues currently are not scheme issues, they are talent issues. But at least they aren't in the ugly category anymore.
The UGLY: Well it would be very easy to say everything here because... well that is the truth, but I will try a little harder than that. We will start with the turnovers. 4 turnovers in the first 12 plays! Enough said. If you turn the ball over 4 times in a game you will probably lose, let alone the first eight minutes! The offense, for the first time this year, was ugly. Whether it was weather, or Autzen, or both... it was ugly. . And last but certainly not least... Special teams! I have neglected special teams in my other posts, so I will mention them now. Two punt return TD's! That's embarrassing guys. You were responsible for almost as many points as Oregon's defense. There is really nothing else to say here besides it was embarrassing. The tackling was pathetic. Enough said.
I could ramble on about the ugly for a long long time but nobody wants to hear that because we all watched the game, so I will leave it at that.
The Final Word: That was ugly. But let's not dwell on the past. Let's remember that if we had been asked in July where we thought we would be on September 29th, the realistic answer would have been 1-3. Be patient and give it time. As fans it is our job to support the team through thick and thin. Just remember, from here, it can only get better. As always, you will hear from me next week. Go Bears.