Why couldn't Cal handle the rain in Oregon?

Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears really need more practice in handling the elements after getting doused in Eugene.

Cal (particularly Goff) looked absolutely unprepared to play in the rain. Can you excuse the performance on the weather, or are you more disappointed at the inability for the Bears to prepare for the elements?

Vlad Belo: I cannot excuse the Bears' performance because of the weather. We knew it would rain. We knew it might be bad. We could prepare for that. Obviously, we were not as prepared to play in those elements as we should have been. Oregon had to play in it, too, and obviously did it much better than we did.

Berkelium97: I can envision two hypotheses for Goff's struggles: 1) the team simply didn't practice its wet ball mechanics or 2) Goff has some ball-handling issues that were exacerbated by the rain. 1 is simply inexcusable. 2 could be possible, especially considering Goff has already dropped multiple balls mid-throw in ideal circumstances. Is he not focusing enough on holding the ball? Are his hands a bit too small to securely grip the ball? Whatever the issue is, it needs to be fixed.

As for the rest of of the fumblers, they need to take better care of the ball. Bigelow's first fumble was particularly frustrating. He HAS to maintain multiple points of contact on the ball in any situation where he's getting hit, especially in the rain.

Sam Fielder: I agree with Berkelium that there are two options here. If the team didn't practice wet ball mechanics, then that is a really bad and might point to a larger issue of being unprepared to play in each of the 4 games they've played this season. But we don't know for sure, and now the the worst part of the schedule is behind us, we'll get to see what Cal looks like in normal situations against normal teams. I think that next week will be telling.

As far as whether or not Goff has ball handling issues, it certainly looked like it, but again, as a freshman coming into that situation, it isn't really all that surprising to see him look a little overwhelmed on the big stage, even though he's been pretty solid up to this point. I have no idea if he has small hands or not, or whether a glove would help, or anything else, but either way, at least we made some changes instead of doing the same thing for the entire game.

For the rest of the team, it is pretty frustrating to see. I know we're young and we're really over-matched, but I'd still like to see the team at least do well in the fundamentals like ball security. Even more so in a situation like a monsoon when you KNOW it is going to be an issue. Again, I don't know if this points to a larger trend of unpreparedness, but the evidence is starting to mount and I really don't like where it is pointing. We'll see how things look next week.

Leland Wong: The weather is helping temper my reaction. We all expected these kinds of mistakes, but the team should still be working to minimize them. The coaches should have conducted practices in simulated rain conditions. They should have stressed to the players the importance of ball security and it's the players' responsibility to execute that. On the KGO pregame show, former QB Mike Pawlawksi mentioned that he advised Goff to hold the ball a little more loosely, whereas one may intuitively try to hold tighter to secure it. I wonder if Goff tried to use that technique without adequate practice, thus holding on too loosely. Goff had a similar fumble, I believe in the Ohio State game, where he just lost his grip on the ball while bringing his arm up to throw, without any contact. That does not seem to related to the weather and he needs to get that fixed.

A forecast of heavy rain and strong winds screamed disadvantage for our pass-heavy team. There's no denying that strong winds are going to mess with a quarterback's ability to throw the ball; slick, wet balls are going to be harder to throw and catch. Teams with a strong running game can rely on that to reduce the risks and variables of passing in these conditions. While the TV commentators may claim there's no luck in recovering a fumble, that's a bunch of poop. While it's critical to teach fumble recovery--how to scoop up the ball or fall on it--it's foolish to suggest the ball is going to bounce in a manner that does not present an advantage to a team or a player.


Ruey Yen: The quotes that I have read seem to indicate that the Bears were expecting the weather. Unless they were playing with a brand new Nike ball design that is somehow slicker than the one that they have practiced with (some NBA fans might recall how the new synthetic skinned ball that the league tried to use few years ago ended up being slicker after a little bit of water...and the league ended up reverting back to the old leather ball mid-season), Bears should have done a better job holding on to the ball. On TV, it did not look like the crowd was that huge, particularly after the Ducks go up big, but perhaps the rowdy home crowd had something to do with the fumbles, in addition to the weather.
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