Don't forget to fill in your Report Cards. I wanted to put up a new thread quickly, because that other post-game thread was getting incredibly long. In my Inside The Numbers preview, I said that I felt Cal had to do 3 things to beat Stanford:
1. Minimize any special teams nightmares. Cal's special teams have been poor at times and Stanford can take advantage of special teams mistakes.
2. Stop Gerhart. Easier said than done, but Cal has had success stopping the run this season. Of course, we haven't quite faced a RB with the power of a Gerhart. Syd'Quan will be much needed in the run D here.
3. Control the game with our offense. In the 3 games that we lost, our offense sputtered. Whether it was a lack of holes for the RBs or Riley not being in sync with the WRs, we had a lot of quick drives that resulted in no points. This put the D back on the field, tired and weary. They are great players, but can only do so much. Especially considering that even if they manage to slow or stop Gerhart, they still have Luck to concern themselves with. I felt that the D played fairly well against OSU and USC, but wasn't helped by the O at all. Cal can't put the D in that position if we are going to win against Stanford. We need to control the clock and long, methodical drives between Vereen will hopefully help.
Regarding #1, they definitely had some special teams nightmares. We gave them a few short fields, including one really bad drive where they started at Cal's like 25. Of course, they went -1 yards and then missed a field goal. Although there were no run backs, it was still poor.
Regarding #2, stop was not the operative word. Gerhart ran 20 times for 139 yards. And 4 TDs! An average of 6.8 yards. All mind-blowing numbers. However, if you take away that first 61 yard TD run, it is 19 attempts for 78 yards. Still, an average of 4 and a very good day, but not the killer day that Stanford needed. Cal wasn't able to stop Gerhart, but they were able to slow him for most of the evening.
Regarding #3, Cal did it perfectly. We had gobs and gobs of yards, even if they didn't always turn into points. It didn't help that we had terrible field position often. But Cal really was able to control the game with long drives, especially with the running game. Our OLine really did a great number out there. This was, IMHO, the key to the game. Kept the D fresh and everything. So, continue discussing the game in here, we'll have a lot more to come in the next week.
GO BEARS! WHO HAS THE AXE? WE HAVE THE AXE!