Here's the list of graders from this week!
secret ASian man, Rocksanddirt, Swamphunter, JakeDanHarry, Calbearfan, rurata, USAFGoldenBear, Ohio Bear, CaliforniaCMB, GBB4188, omnizzle, atomsareenough, BeggarEd, tommyelee7, bowlbasaur, iVinshe, carp, beson, calbearfan, JrBear, Monica's Dad, Kodiak, Berkelium97, Haas8388, JerrottWillard45
Thanks again to the 25 who took out their time to put in their opinions on the game, and big thanks to Twist for gathering the best comments.
The best gameday experience...goes to secret ASian man, who will soon post it on the Internets.
I have an epic video of an old, cracked out white guy do a keg stand on Tightwad Hill. I will load this on YouTube when I get the chance. Cal win+booze on Tightwad Hill equals good times.
Rest of the gameday experiences after the jump!
Calbearfan: It wasnt a packed stadium, but the atmosphere was there from the beginning
USAFGoldenBear: Its really hard to keep my concentration when the game is only on radio. I swear, I go into ADD mode...so I didnt listen to the entire game...
Ohio Bear: I stuck with Starkey the whole broadcast. Despite not knowing where the ball was at various points throughout the day, I didn't mind him too much. Unfortunately, because I was listening to the game instead of watching it, I may not have been paying the best attention when Mrs. Ohio Bear was trying to tell me things during the game. I hope I didn't agree to do something I don't want to do.
CaliforniaCMB: I just hope there is some video of this game, some where, save us Sandy, save us!
GBB4188: Half my face is burned, the other half is not. Damn you late October sun. My sister and her BF came down from Portland for the weekend/game so they enjoyed the burning at least.
omnizzle: It was kind of hot
BeggarEd: Great day in Berkeley (Sunny and 70's). Crowd was light, but parking was easy and I could stretch my legs in the stadium. Crowd was also a bit lethargic, but once you go up 21 points in half a quarter, it's kind of understandable.
iVinshe: Got up at 8:00 am, sped down from Davis to work concession stands (turkey legs - South Rim!!! They're massive; basically a meal for $8). Crowd was painfully small at kickoff; and the alumni side really is a graveyard. I think I like the visiting section seating better than the low rows of the student section simply because you can see both horizontally and vertically as plays develop. Am I weird?
carp: Outside the student section I saw Brian Holley's mom. At least I assume she was because she was wearing a #33 jersey with "Mama Holley" on the back. Let me tell you something, I know why Brian Holley has a big ass. Let's just say if she had eligibility left, she'd be starting.
beson: As this game was not televised, I had the interesting task of convincing people to come over for a Cal football listening party. As might be expected, the turn out was not as robust as usual, however, I did not let that ruin an otherwise awesome Saturday afternoon. I set up a TV in my backyard and spent the game bbqing and listening to the Cal game while watching the UO/Washington game from our jacuzzi, followed up with the OSU/USC game. 8 plus hours in a hot tub sure makes you prune-y.
JrBear: Anybody complaining about the student section did not endure what I did. This was just as bad as the ucla game in my opinion because the sun was directly on us the whole time. As for complaints about noise hey guess what? We were up by three touchdowns. If the rest of the stadium were louder than us you could have some beef, but without the students it was dead silent.
Kodiak: Got to listen to the game on radio while messing with my fishing tackle. My wife was good natured enough to respond to "Beer Wench!" and kept my thirst at bay. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.
Berkelium97: It was the first Cal game I didn't watch in I don't know how long. I even went up to Memorial for the Slingbox game in 2006. I'm very thankful for the clips that have been posted to give us an idea of what was going on. Listening to Starkey was...interesting. He always has some bizarre tidbit to say about everything.
JerrottWillard45: Great to hear the cannon so many times. Reminded me of old times having a regular afternoon game time. If you thought it was too sunny/hot, get a freakin' hat and sunscreen. Please - you are such a pussy, Twist. Our cheerleaders are hot this year. Several are All-Pac-10 contenders, so nice job on the recruiting there (who is our cheerleader coach, by the way?). Students didn't show enough, and left too early.
Alumni, though staying a bit longer (mostly the ones in the shade), were so pitifully quiet it was shameful.
Nice to have an offense again. Miss having defense.
Golden Rationality Award
tommyelee7 wins the award for reason this week! Here's his unedited report card.
QB: Good overall, but Riley still made some pretty bad decisions on the interception and another ball thrown in heavy traffic. He still tries to force things too often.
Sweeney looked good on his 3 pass attempts.
RB: As usual, Best and Vereen were solid. Loved the Covaughn hurdle over a defender and a stiff-arm at the end of the play. Had he broken that last tackle, that would've been the best college football play this year not shown on TV!
Receivers: Ross dropped a pass, but solid otherwise.
Run blocking: 8 yards per carry is pretty good.
Pass protection: No sacks allowed is pretty good.
Run defense: Limiting them to 2 yards per carry was pretty good.
Pass rush: From the AP game summary:
"Tuel had his best game yet in his third straight start, getting much more time than he did the previous game when the Cougars allowed 12 sacks against Arizona State."
Pass defense: The last few minutes of the first half were terrible. Corners were just running with their man instead of looking for the ball. Tuel looked OK, but we were giving him way too many options. We didn't take anything away from them. They were throwing short, medium, and long passes. There were several opportunities that WSU wasted with poor passes, miscommunication on routes, and drops.
Special teams: Kickoff distance remains an issue, our only field goal attempt was blocked, and Anger wasn't great. But we did score on a nice punt return by Ross and had some nice kickoff returns too.
Coaching: Glad Beau Sweeney got some reps throwing the ball. We were again conservative at the end of the first half, settling for a long field goal attempt even though we had timeouts and time for at least 1 more play.
The coaches made some adjustments at halftime. We responded after a poor end to the first half by pitching a shutout in the 2nd half.
Overall: Blowout win and no major injuries (that I'm aware of), so we did what we needed to do. We haven't played in a single game decided by less than 14 points, but that figures to change soon. At least we are relatively healthy going into that stretch. Our pass defense is going to really hurt us if it doesn't improve quickly.
Old Blue Award
|Average score (out of 4)
Monica's Dad took great photos of the game, but he also didn't like all that he saw.
Quarterbacks: Riley was mostly on-target, but the interception was unforced. You wonder what will happen when we face Arizona and Oregon State and their better defenses.
Receivers: Jones is a solid player who will be great, and I was impressed with his blocking. He's an all-around fine player. But the rest of our WRs disappear for long stretches. Ross is exciting from time to time, but we lack a consistent pass catcher. Maybe Lageman should get into the game more.
Pass rush: Blowout win and no major injuries (that I'm aware of), so we did what we needed to do. We haven't played in a single game decided by less than 14 points, but that figures to change soon. At least we are relatively healthy going into that stretch. Our pass defense is going to really hurt us if it doesn't improve quickly.
Pass defense: Syd is playing OK (just OK), but Hagan is really struggling on the other side. I'm not an expert, but look at the stats these past four games. Our secondary is getting torched. You'd have to say it's our greatest weakness.
Overall: I'm scared to death that, unless the D starts showing up, we may have just won our last home game of the year. How are we gonna stop the Rodgers brothers? Or Foles? Or Antolin? The trips to Stanford and Washington are no walks in the park either. The ASU game is the only one left I feel at all confident about.
Golden Sunglasses Award
|Average score (out of 4)
There were two Calbearfan's this week! One of them soured on what he saw, but the other really liked what he saw.
Quarterback: Riley made good decisions, except for the 1 interception and a couple of minor mistakes, where he could've ran for the first down instead of trying to throw it in.
Running back: Overall a great day for the backs
Receivers: Jeremy Ross came up big today
And finally, the best of the report card. Tried to include everyone in on it, sorry if I missed anyone!
JakeDanHarry - Kevin Riley had a few glaring mistakes and misses (forcing the pass on a roll-out and throwing the INT; overthrowing Jahvid Best in the end zone) but he was once again on the money for big throws. The touchdowns were cool, accurate passes, and the 61 yarder was a show of faith in Jeremy Ross that just dropped into his arms.
Riley was also good running the ball, and blocking on the edges in the Wildcat set.
USAFGoldenBear - 3 passes, 3 TDs...nice! He gets a B+ because a int to freakin Wazzu?!?! Thats been the one thing he hasnt sucked at.
iVinshe - Alas, if only Riley had kept his 1st quarter streak going... Not sure if the 1st and goal overthrow of Best was entirely his fault; Best looked like he took a bad angle into coverage before curving out for Riley's pass.
GBB4188 - Riley started off strong and threw some beautiful deep balls today. However, there were two poor choices made when he had an opportunity to pick up yards on the ground and instead forced passes into coverage, one incomplete and nearly picked, the other picked. So, Riley continues to be an enigma, able to make some great deep throws, unable to make the "easy" stuff underneath.
Sweeney came in and made some passes. I don't know that you can take anything away from that.
Swamphunter - Best and Vereen did a great job again this week. 328 yards on the ground total averaging 8.2 YPC. We also saw some great runs from the young-uns as well, including an amazing run by DeBoskie in the fourth quarter when he totally hurdled a WSU defender.
JakeDanHarry - Huge day for the running backs, who slashed through the Cougar defense with ease. The running game made it easy on the offense, with Best seemingly picking up a first down with every carry, and Shane Vereen putting in a solid game to supplement.
The 61-yarder from Best was bad-ass. The crowd was noticeably on edge for Best to get a signature touchdown-drive-in-a-single-
sprint and they got another from Jahvid today.
carp - Best had a great game. His ususual critiques (too damn fast, doesn't wait for blocks, doesn't "break" tackles) were also present today.
Vereen had a nice game as well. While he's no Jerome Bettis, I like how he gets forward momentum, can absorb a hit, and keep going.
Debo hurdled a sucka (aka pulled a Russell White).
I love the Sofele fly sweeps. He should get at least a few carries a game.
jrBear - 金色熊 #1!!!
Everyone was good, even the backups. The wildBEST was pretty good and I thought they sold the fakes quite well.
Omnizzle - Marvin Jones is a beast. Jeremy Ross needs to learn how to catch (specifically, the 5-10 yard hitch route that he dropped that killed a drive at the end of the 1st half, which subsequently led to a Wazzu touchdown)
BeggarEd - Jeremy Ross and Marvelous Marvin are stepping up to become Go To guys
JakeDanHarry - Dropped balls were what knocked 'em back. Tucker, Ross, and Calvin all dropped balls.
But the Bears had deep threats for much of the game. Marvin Jones had another big play, as did Jeremy Ross. They have a much easier job when it's just, "Block the edges until we tell you to go deep."
Swamphunter - Eleven guys touched the ball today. When you have a team with that many receivers to throw to, the other defense will have a hard time trying to find someone to key on. Not a perfect day as there were a couple of drops, but as a whole the receiving corp did a good job.
USAFGoldenBear - Couldnt see it, but given 309 rushing yards, I'll give em the benefit of the doubt
beson - I assume it must have been good because we ran all over them.
GBB4188 - On more than one occasion toss plays were blown up 5 yards deep due to missed blocks that have to be made, the toss is too valuable a tool with Best to allow it to be mucked up by poor blocking.
JrBear - Adequate. I only remember a couple of times where the pocket truly broke down.
Kodiak - Don't remember seeing Riley getting pressured...
Berkelium97 - No sacks and Riley didn't seem to be hurried too much. I can't complain.
Omnizzle - Held Wazzu to under 100 yards, pretty solid. D-line played well.
BeggarEd - Only 55 yards, seemed to shut down the running game up front
JrBear - Always the strong point of the defense. Truly resembles a steel curtain in how opposing backs have to run into a wall of LBs and linemen.
Monica's Dad - If we didn't jump out to a big lead early, we might have seen the Cougs running it more. When they did run, they had some success against us. And past games have shown we can be gashed.
Swamphunter - Five sacks, coming from a team that has had a recent problem trying to find some. This should be the game that will get the defense back into sniffing out the enemy QB.
OhioBear - Five sacks, but it didn't sound like we pressued Tuel consistently. Would love to know from witnesses what the pass rush was like. His 385 yards passing suggests to me that it wasn't consistently good.
JrBear - Adequate only, but I welcome the return of Cam Jordan. A good job by the defense to get a sack on fourth down in our territory.
Berkelium97 - It was alright given the LBs we're working with. As usual, D-lineman came up with all the sacks. It was nice to see Cam get some confidence heading into ASU, where he'll surely want to make an impression in front of his family and friends.
Secret Asian Man - While I was still sober I felt that our Bears played too muc soft zone, par for the course. But I can't really be a judge of this because I was wasted on Tightwad Hill for much of the second half.
rurata - It wasn't there all day.
SQT probably wasn't 100%, and the rest of the backfield couldn't stop anything either.
Making sure you get the tackle is great and all, but you GOTTA be able to get some pass break-ups.
OhioBear - So Tuel may as well have been Bledsoe, Leaf, Brink, or any of those WSU QBs throughout history who have torched the shit out of us. Yet another freshman QB whom we make look good.
carp - I was shocked to come home and see Teul threw for 385 yards. However, our pass defense looked similar to the kind we trotted out vs E-Wash when the game was well in-hand. The zone works when there's havoc in the backfield and I think that has to happen 50-66% of the passing plays to be effective. The sit back n wait bullshit requires fast, smart players. The other concerning thing is that the DBs don't turn their heads to find the ball. They played the receiver and didn't really do that either. I do like that Johnson is a big hitter.
Swamphunter - We returned a punt for a TD! Ross should be the go-to guy for the rest of the season.
Our kickoff coverage still needs some work though. And Anger needs to find his rhythm again, he seemed a bit off.
USAFGoldenBear - Nice return by Ross. Tavecchio continues showing that he is capable of kicking the long ball, but for some damn reason he can only do it enough to just piss you off all of the other times.
Omnizzle - J-Ross' return was sick. Giorgio needs to kick higher and not get blocked. Giorgio also needs to get kickoffs deeper. D'Amato isn't much better, but oh well. Anger needs to gain some consistency.
JrBear - Gregory needs to tighten up the D for arizona and or st.
Alamar rating last week: ALLLLAAAAMMMAAARRRR
This week: allllaaaaaMMMMMAAARrrrrrrr
Swamphunter - Ludwig went with a lot of wildcat calls again, but unlike against USC it worked well. It really can work when you have a team with a lot of speed against a defense like WSUs. This week Gregory's only problem was pass defense, and it comes from having a lack of seasoned DEs and coverage LBs.
Alamar was ALAMAAAAAR.
And Tedford was usual Tedford... which in my book is a good thing (I know there are some out there that would disagree).
JakeDanHarry - Loved the direct snaps they were calling, though Best seems to do this much better than Vereen. When the Bears used this setup so early, I was hoping that meant the coaching staff was going to use a variety of plays from a similar look. I was not disappointed.
OhioBear - The most formidable enemy was complacency, which bit us in the 2nd quarter. The coaching staff must have done something right motivation wise and adjustment wise, as we shut them out in the 2nd half.
BeggarEd - I liked the kneel down to end the game. Tedford is getting flack for not showing the "killer instinct" but in all seriousness, the outcome of this game was NEVER in doubt whatsoever.
Tommyelee7 - Glad Beau Sweeney got some reps throwing the ball. We were again conservative at the end of the first half, settling for a long field goal attempt even though we had timeouts and time for at least 1 more play.
The coaches made some adjustments at halftime. We responded after a poor end to the first half by pitching a shutout in the 2nd half.
CalBearFan - AGAIN CAL FANS ARE STUCK WITH A CONSERVATIVE COACH. FOR SOME REASON TEDFORD REFUSES TO RUN UP THE SCORE AND CREATE STYLE POINTS. NO IM NOT ONE TO DO THIS EITHER BUT AT THIS STAGE IN THE SEASON CAL NEEDS ALL THE HELP IT CAN GET. OPEN UP THE OFFENSE AND LET LOOSE. TIGHTEN UP ON DEFENSE BECAUSE NO ONE ELSE WE FACE ANG GIVE UP 440 YARDS TO WILL LOSE.
USAFGoldenBear - The offense seems to have gotten its mojo back. I'm really wondering how this defense is going to handle an offense with a pulse in the coming weeks. Hopefully theyre just in a funk, and were fortunate to have 2 inept offenses in a row, and make them look good btw.
OhioBear - The win is great. And a big win at that. But seriously...385 yards passing to Jeff Tuel? A freshman QB at WSU working with a patchwork offensive line? It might be time to just call a spade a spade: our defense just isn't good. We are who we are, and we seem to be a team you can throw the ball against at will.
Monica's Dad - I'm scared to death that, unless the D starts showing up, we may have just won our last home game of the year. How are we gonna stop the Rodgers brothers? Or Foles? Or Antolin? The trips to Stanford and Washington are no walks in the park either. The ASU game is the only one left I feel at all confident about.
Kodiak - Well, I feel like the blind lookout from that bad Mel Brooks flick "Men in Tights"...It's all clear, I think. Sounds like we pounded them early, lost focus and got really sloppy when the backups went in. Then, re-focused and kind of held serve for the rest of the game. I'm sure we'd love to have a start to finish dominating game, but we're just not that good.
The more I think about it, the more I think Ludwig is doing a really good job. Each week, I think he's tailoring the gameplan to accentuate Riley's strengths and hide his weaknesses. The whole feast or famine, big plays over meat n' potatoes approach is the result. I think Ludwig/Tedford know they can't rely on Riley to methodically march us anywhere. So they play the percentages and try to get our speed athletes in space. It's almost like building your team around 3-pt shooting when you don't have a reliable low-post game.
Our defense is perplexing. Considering his suspect hands and superior athleticism, I almost think that Ross would have made an awesome free safety. We're missing leadership, playmaking, and attitude. Some of the problems are execution and some of it is scheme. At least I see Gregory trying to make changes. I wish this stuff would have been figured out earlier...like, say, spring ball.