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California 35 Minnesota 21: Postgame Thread + Grade the Bears



In the words of Jean Paul Sarte, 'au revoir gopher'.

This is solely for postgame discussion of the Cal game. If you want to discuss the rest of the Saturday games, go to this thread by clicking here! We'll have more formal writeups from our Marshawnthusiasts about the game later this weekend.

Quick thoughts on the game, I'd suggest you do the report card before reading this.

  • Kevin Riley had an up-and-down game. Yes his completion percentage was high, but some of his throws were elevated, others weren't on target. I recall Tucker having to come back and catch a pass instead of catching it in stride, Miller had to make a spectacular grab on an elevated throw. Good job by the receivers adjusting to make those throws.
  • But he delivered when it mattered, making the big throws of the game to Ross and Miller down the stretch. He also made the correct read and quick-snapped/rushed it straight up on that 4th and 1. Nice job there.
  • I was surprised with how much Cal ran the ball up the middle. Jahvid Best is not a down and distance guy and they kept on putting him into the hole. And Minnesota was stacking the box; the O-line didn't have the ability to seal them off late like they did in the second half. I see the Bears having lots of trouble with Pac-10 defenses who can seal the edge and the middle (Oregon State, UCLA, and of course USC come to mind).
  • I thought Ludwig had a great first two or three drives, then kind of got lost with his playcalling near the end. You could see the sort of things that Ducks and Utes fan got frustrated with, lots of running up the middle and not utilizing his talent in the way you would've liked him to use it.
  • Darian Hagan had his worst game as a Golden Bear. He was directly responsible for ALL of Minnesota's touchdowns. And I'm not even sure if it was his injury; he was faked out playing the run, played an intermediate receiver when he should've been on Decker and got beaten by Decker on another.
  • On the flip side, Cal's zone coverage wasn't very impressive either. Weber was smart enough to find the receivers on 1st and 2nd down, and he was precise enough to break the zone, using the elevated throws and relying on Decker and other receivers to bring them down in the middle of the field. It nearly paid off with an upset.
  • Okanes reports that Boateng has a fractured foot, which is why he didn't play much in the second half. Jeremy Ross stepped up big in his absence though.
  • If they keep on playing the way they've been playing, the special teams is going to lose us a game this year. We need to prepare ourselves for that.

Since the game ended earlier then the last two weeks, we're going to move up the report card deadline just a little. Get your grades in by Sunday night at midnight for them to count in the final stats. That way we can get your thoughts about the game summed up a little earlier than Wednesday, when most of you have probably already moved on. You can click the link here or go through the jump and fill out the form right out on the site!