In case you missed it, go here to download the Cal @ Stanford torrent. If you've already downloaded it, keep seeding! Remember the golden rule and try to reach at least a 1.0 ratio.
Another reminder: keep voting for Vereen in ESPN's All-America Player of the Week award!
Jon Wilner wonders an increasingly popular question as of late: is Vereen a more effective running back for this Cal team than Best is?
But after watching two all-Vereen, all-the-time performances, I do wonder if Cal is more effective right now with Vereen than it would be with Best healthy and starting and getting the ball 15-20 times per game.
If Cal had a high-precision passing game and could move the ball consistently with five- or seven- or 11-yard passes, maybe I’d feel differently. Then you want the best big-play tailback in the country.
But the Bears’ aerial attack is both high-risk and inconsistent. It’s not like Kevin Riley is a completion machine, or his receivers catch everything thrown to them or the offensive line is a pass protection wall of granite.
All of those things happen sometimes, but not nearly enough for Cal to move the ball effectively against quality defenses.
So without a consistent passing game, the Bears need something to help them in the ball-control department. I mean, an inconsistent aerial attack and an all-or-nothing running game is a recipe for trouble against sound defenses.
And Vereen seems like a better fit than Best in the ball-control department. He almost always runs straight ahead and almost always churns out three or four yards between the tackles — and he can bust one for 20 or 30 or 60 once in a while, too.
That’s how you win conference road games in November – not by hitting one or two long runs each game, but by churning out first downs, dominating the ball and overpowering opponents between the tackles.
Vereen gives Cal a better chance to do that then Best.
After the jump, we see why the Holiday, Sun, and Emerald bowls all want Cal, Tedford defends kneeling in midfield to set up the field goal, Montgomery talks zone D and injury updates at yesterday's press conference, Farudo posts his scouting report of tonight's opponent, Jacksonville, and more.
- Emerald Bowl executive director Gary Cavalli has his work cut out for him as he tries to figure out the Pac-10 bowl situation. Despite his preference not to have the same team play twice in a row, he says Cal and Stanford are special exceptions to that rule. Meanwhile, Holiday Bowl executive director Bruce Binkowski might be interested in choosing Cal in the event of a four-way tie for second place. He says "USC is appealing because we've never had them. But we know how Cal can deliver. We'll have to wait and see." Of course, the Sun Bowl would love to have Cal because they're the only Pac-10 team that has never played in that bowl.
- Daily Cal on Tedford's decision to center the ball on third down to set up the field goal. He said "They had to score a touchdown." He continued on, saying "You can always second-guess yourself, but there's still a lot of time left. We could've gotten the ball back and taken it right back."
- Here's an interesting stat, this was only Cal's second win as an underdog since 2003. The first was Oregon 2007.
- Farudo posts his scouting report for tonight's opponent, Jacksonville.
- Monty talked about this week's games in his press conference Monday. He said Theo will miss today's game, but his foot MRI "is looking pretty positive." He says Theo's absence makes the offense much easier to guard, which makes things tougher for PC and Randle.
- The Bears worked on interior offense and avoiding blocked shots (after being blocked 20 times in the last two games). They specifically worked on trying to draw contact and freezing up the defender with shot fakes.