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California-Arizona State Report Card

Let's take a look at what Cal just did.  Cal just dropped a fat 50 in crushing a team that:

a.  Lost to Wisconsin on the road by 1.

b.  Lost to OSU on the road by 3.

c.  Lost to Oregon by only 11. That might be the smallest margin of victory for Oregon this year!

d.  Beat Washington on the road.  Washington is, of course, the team that beat that team that destroyed us in the Coliseum last week. 

ASU's record is not indicative of the quality of team that Cal faced on Saturday.   A lot of comments complimented Cal's performance, but also discounted the performance, because it was against a "crappy" ASU team.  I know expectations were low for the Sun Devils heading into the season.  And I know in college football, perception is reality.  But dropping 50 and winning by 33 over a team of ASU's caliber, even if they are not perhaps Oregon, is still an impressive achievement.  Are we so entitled that such a crushing victory is to be swept aside?  Yes, the USC game was bitterly discouraging, I agree.  But let's enjoy every victory we can.  Who knows when we might see a victory of this level again? 

Lots of great comments by you guys this week.  All the numbers and excerpted comments after the jump.  Can I get a translation of this comment here?  GO BEARS!

aznpursuit - よくできました!


Mean Score
Standard Deviation

Pass Offense

Rush Offense
Pass Defense
Rush Defense
Special Teams
Win likelihood @ OSU
.450 (+.051)

Berkelium97:  It looks like everyone was much happier this week than they were last week.  Putting half a hundy on old man Erickson's team will do that to you.

Special teams are still a concern, but besides that everything was coming up Milhouse!  We're even slightly more confident against OSU! Keep on pumping that sunshine!







The win seems to have brought back some creativity in the report cards, so this week I have a pair of editor's awards to hand out.  First we are proud to reinstate BeastMode as president of the Keenan Allen Fan Club.  Every score in his report card was "KEENAN ALLEN."  Next up we have the Mehs Gonna Meh Award for...Mehs gonna meh.  You all are really taking the fun out of naming these awards.  Meh's submission for every score was "meh."

As always we have the Super Critics, whose report cards had the lowest total scores, and Tedford's Sunshine Pumpers, whose report cards had the highest total scores.  haters not gonna hate so much was still hating just a bit too much this week.

Tedford's Sunshine Pumpers
Net Score, Percentage
1. jali
6.20, 88.6%
2. hardtobeacalfan
6.15, 87.9%
3. aznpursuit
6.12, 87.4%
4. mrjpark
6.11, 87.3%
5. sacman701
6.10, 87.1%
Super Critics
Net Score, Percentage
1. haters not gonna hate so much
3.5, 50.0%
2. sactobear
4.43, 63.3%
3. LazyBear
4.50, 64.3%
4. calpbk91
4.60, 65.7%

5. Jerrott Willard45

4.69, 67.0%









CGB HIVEMIND Overall Deviation
1. alpha1906
2. ososdeoro
3. TrumanHugh
4. BTown85 .054
5. yorzepol


Lastly we have CGB HIVEMIND for those whose scores most accurately reflect the group scores.






Now, let's see how you use your words to describe how the game made you feel.


Gameday Experience




CalBeorning - knew this was going to happen. I knew we were going to suddenly come in hot against ASU after not showing up at SC. I spent the whole afternoon half-celebrating the the great plays we were suddenly pulling off and half-frustrated at the fact that we can't play like this anywhere but Memorial.

ososdeoro  - Nylon motorcycle pants over shorts work much better than levis on days like this, I have discovered. Now to get them waterproofed. And it was so easy to get out of Berkeley at the end that I had time to do other things!

beson - Met a friend a Barney's Beanery in Westwood. Due to UCLA's shellacking on Thursday, it was basically empty and we were able to get a dedicated screen with audio. Great game to watch!

jali  - Our fans our sad. Attendance was atrocious. Fun game to watch though, easy wins are a nice medicine for butt whoopings.

BTown85 - My 12 year old son and I walked up to the stadium and found the Women's BBall team next to Wilbur (?) (nee Kleeberger) Field. As a big fan I had to get an autograph, and there was Tierra Rodgers. She obliged and it brought a tear to my eye; here's a woman who can't play the game she loves cuz her heart can't take it.
At the game I took my Dad and son to the game; 3 generations of BTown85s cheering for the Bears (although my 80-year old Dad didn't last the whole cold game).

After the game my son and I threw around a football on Kleeberger field. Another kid came up to ask if he could play with us. VERY polite, VERY nice ~12-year old kid with, oddly, a wide receiver's build. After awhile we notice his Marvin Jones jersey doesn't look like the one's you get at Bancroft Clothing. Turns out it's MJ's jersey from the Poinsettia Bowl cuz this is his little brother. Took a picture with my son so when he becomes a Golder Bear I can remind him of the day.

JerrotWillard45 - So nice to have the fair weather fans gone! I felt like a much higher percentage of those who were there, wanted to be there. And no one tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to sit down today.
Then again, at 20 minutes before kick-off, the place was so empty I worried it would hurt team morale to come out of the tunnel to a mostly empty stadium. Decent turnout overall, but we wouldn't have made 50k without high-school band day!

TrumanHugh - I appreciate that I could, early on, sit back and enjoy this game. For the most part, the coaching staff kept the foot on the pedal and played a pretty aggressive game.

I certainly believe we can handle any team that comes to Memorial--and that includes Oregon--and I hope we can find a way to play just as successfully in our three remaining road games (See what I did? I included our bowl game!).

Nick - It was sunny and warm watching the game at home...OK, not sunny or warm, but it might as well have been compared to what I saw on the teevee from a few miles west of Memorial. I DID appreciate the Bears giving me an excuse to keep a close eye on Auburn-LSU, Iowa-Wisconsin, and Nebraska-Oklahoma. Can we schedule 12 home games next year?

Calpbk91 - Lots of season ticket holders bagged their tickets and stayed home. As a consequence, there were plenty of dilettante fans in the stands saying stuff like, "Is that Sofele on defense?" and "Mike (Kevin) Riley really needs to have a good game for us to win." Scary.

Weakest crowd in a long time at Memorial. That's what happens when you get destroyed by SC and the skies open up.

sacman701 - I ate too much guacamole.

alpha1906 - Much more pleasant that watching them play against USC.

hardtobeacalfan -  i really enjoyed seeing the seagulls!

VandyImport - Wet and cold enough that the wife insisted we leave after the opening drive of the second half. I was ill-equipped to argue up by 30, and in fact stopped on Bancroft to buy an extra sweater. Because I am old and frail in the absence of liquor

Redonkulous Bear - Seagulls FTW!


Pass Offense




CaliforniaPete - I'm beginning to rethink this whole Kevin-Riley-is-inconsistent thing. Actually, HE seems consistently mediocre to be now--never great, never god-awful--but the supporting cast around him are the schizophrenic ones. Some weeks his line gives him time on enough downs to make a few nice plays; some weeks the line doesn't. Some weeks his receivers seem to catch anything on which they can get even a fingertip, no matter how acrobatically then need to contort their bodies to do so; some weeks the receivers can only catch balls that are truly perfectly thrown.

I guess my main beef with Riley right now is that he never makes it easy for his receivers, and even the simplest throws require a significant adjustment to catch the ball. Against USC, the receivers utterly failed Riley making him look very, very bad. Against ASU, the receivers had their best collective game in years, and they made Riley look pretty darn good.

Haas - Even with fairly good results, Riley leaves me scratching my head. He always seems late on long balls. His best pass came when running for his life. He still bounce passes the occasional screen.

jali - Probably the best of the season (barring the warmups against Davis and Colorado). Riley played solidly and Marvin Jones was awesome. Receivers kept getting open and making their catches and Riley made smart decisions. Oline whiffed on some blocks and Vereen whiffed on at least one blitz pickup that I noticed, but all those issues were well within the realm of expected/can't hope for better at this point.

Calpbk91 - Very simple game plan. Riley's reads were limited b/c Tedford's afraid when he goes through his progressions. In Tedford's defense, Riley runs through his options too slowly and by the time he makes up his mind, the pocket begins to disintegrate. To Tedford's discredit, the offense is too complex and he keeps scaring off OCs, so Riley's had no continuity.

abbaddon - Pass protection was, for the most part, good. Riley was, for the most part, sharp. This is the best the passing attack has looked since Davis. (Even against CU and UCLA it was pretty off). Receivers were bailing out Riley when he made a poor throw. All around, best performance (considering opposition) by the passing game this season, by a lot.

mrjpark - It was more receivers making plays than Riley excelling. It's common knowledge that deep passes cannot be underthrown, yet he got away with it twice because Marvin Jones made ridiculous catches. The more obvious one was the second time around on the bomb to the ASU 5 where Jones had to rip the ball out of the defender's chest. But he didn't completely miss anything and the receivers were great, so I'll let them go on this one.

royrules22 - Riley looked sharp. Sure he didn't throw the best long balls, but he did make some great throws, had no picks and did lead two TDs. Marv was amazing. Keenan did good. Ross actually caught balls

JustBear - Marvin Jones was back to the real Marvin Jones himself. We missed him the last couple of games. It was unlikely of Marv to be dropping passes last two games. But now we got him back. Giving KA a lot of touches was great too.
And finally seeing deep ball, first time in a looong time, made me happy. We seem to be missing it since Tucker left last year.

JerrotWillard45 - A bunch of real, nice sharp passes, some great catches, and only a few errors. One of Riley's long underthrows I really disliked, but he was very effective today. Two times he held onto it too long, including one where he should have run (the other he needed to throw it away). However, other times he did get rid of it - and the good outweighed the bad by a solid margin today. Exceeded my expectations



Run Offense




CaliforniaPete - Ben Vereen has nothing on Shane Vereen. Nothing

mrjpark - Blocking could be better. Vereen was great, but it became blatantly obvious towards the end of the game how much of it was Vereen and not the offensive line. Once the back ups were in, they were just getting swarmed behind the line of scrimmage and losing yards. Deboskie-Jones has a 0.7 ypc and Sofele has a 4.2, which isn't HORRIBLE, but I expected more. Yeah, I've been spoiled by a decade of Cal running game excellence.

hardtobeacalfan - shane vereen is awesome, isi did some good things. run blocking was decent, but i thought the wildcat and shane's sheer awesomeness and patience were the best parts. i'm really liking dominic galas.

TrumanHugh - I should probably rewatch the game, but it seemed to me that ASU kept our running game in check. It always felt like Vereen was on the verge of breaking through with a big run, but he never really did.

I realize the ever-popular "running it up the middle" play pays off every 77 times or so, but it is so frustrating to watch. It seemed to me that if Vereen had just gone a little to his left a couple of times, he would have been able to gain more yardage. Of course, I'm sure that being there on the field is a little different then my sitting in my living room...

ososdeoro - No big breakers, but not horrible. O-Line didn't give our runners much to work with up the middle, but the lads were able to get outside nicely.

Redonkulous Bear - The OL seemed to get the job done most of the time. Again, if the OL handles their assignments, then the TB has time to find a hole and exploit it. If not, then you don't get any yardage. Consistency is needed on OL blocks etc. Sometimes guys seemed to be so focused on their assignments that they don't see the obvious blitz coming.



Pass Defense



abbaddon - After the flukey beginning, very solid, with good coverage all around and some big hits, as well as some nice INTs. Hilighted by Kendricks dropping back into coverage and making a great play on his INT.

hardtobeacalfan - great! two awesome interceptions and would have had another one if steve williams didn't have a cast on his hand, and that first tipped pass was the biggest chuck we gave up through the air all day. threet was getting pressured a lot.

yg - Chris Conte is a revelation at safety. Sean Cattouse had a memorable game as well.

Nick - After the first ASU drive I was ready for more embarrassment (HOW DO YOU DROP THAT INT!!?! Sigh.). But, uh, yeah...Cattouse and Conte, feel free to duplicate that performance.

TrumanHugh - We did a pretty good job rattling Threet and keeping ASU from completing big plays, but we still need to tighten up our pass protection. There were a couple of big gain plays which were thankfully called back on penalties, but I doubt we'll see another team that shoots itself in the foot as much as Arizona State.

jali - Very good. Generally covered very well with semi-decent pass rush pressure. Unlike last week, our DBs actually made plays on the ball in the air (with the unfortunate exception of Williams injured-hand influenced volleyball-style set).

ososdeoro - Let's plug up those 3rd-and-4 5 yard gainers, shall we? At least before Stanfurd comes a-calling. That is after all their bread-and-butter play. On the plus side, the coverage was good. Interesting that we always start out seeing if NOT pressuring the QB will work, and then we somehow always find it doesn't. This was recognized by the end of the first quarter, however.

Redonkulous Bear - It wasn't necessarily about scheme, it seemed to be more about matchups as coach P stated post-game. Our DB's were all over their receivers with the exception of a bobbled interception turned into a reception and a handful of other plays. Try doing the same thing against USC and I doubt you will get the same end result. Our DB's were matched up to whatever the ASU receivers brought when it came to coverage.


Run Defense




abbaddon - Solid, nothing to complain about, getting the job done. Not much to say since ASU had to go to the pass pretty early on.

mrjpark - Great. Looking forward to some more Cattouse and I'm liking Pendergast's NFL schemes. The pass rush looked effective almost every down, making it much easier on our defensive backs. It looks like the kids are picking up his defensive ideology a lot faster than I expected, so I have high hopes for next year, when we get most of our guys back and our line backing recruits all come in and hopefully contribute.

sacman701 - Again it starts with the DL. They got a great push, making it much easier for the other guys to clean up. ASU basically couldn't do anything.

yg - No PAC10 running back has put up over 100 yards on the Cal defense so far, but Jacqueasy could be difficult.

BeastMode - ASU ran the ball?

BTown85 - STUFFED 'em like a potato.

beson - Stout run defense. Cattouse was laying the wood. His second down hit when I thought for sure the RB was gonna get the first down was SICK!! His third down TFL was then icing on the cake.

Redonkulous Bear - Once again matchups. We matched up great against their run scheme because on our personnel. With one exception, a running quarterback. Against USC the QB doesn't run much because they have an NFLesque OL that protects well, with that in mind ASU is not as all that as USC so the QB has gotta run to get out of trouble. Threet and Syhdsjkahsdjkhaskdha were able to evade a few times. This will pose a problem against Dr. Katz and the Beavers next week ala Colin Kaepernick.



Special Teams





mrjpark - Blocked punts/kicks = fail, but they've been great every other week (minus AU for obvious reasons) so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. What it always comes down to is missed blocks, and I could point out which guys screwed up on first glance, so they're easy fixes for next week. A slap on the wrist and we're back to where we were before.

SoCalOski - They are just killing me. For every good play they have, they turn around and go all Alamar. It's really agonizing, because every special teams play is like playing Russian Roulette

royrules22 - Inconsistent? KOR for TD by Allan negated by a penalty, Ross with great returns and a fair catch inside the 10, blocked punt returned for TD by our ST, Anger's kick blocked for a TD, good KO coverage to stop them inside their 2, and bad KO coverage to give them good field pos.

TrumanHugh - We seemed to have regressed with our kick-off coverage. The Sun Devils were making pretty significant returns. Also, Jeremy Ross needs to learn that you don't call for a fair catch at the seven-yard-line when there is open field in front of it out, Jeremy, there wasn't anyone within 15 yards ahead of him!

JustBear  -KA!!! he returned the first kickoff for 40 yards, and the next one didnt come till second half, but he almost got a TD out of it. too bad there was a penalty but that was still 60 yard return. Ross made great returns too, and he let go of a punt inside the 10. Good job. and Conte's block and TD was awesome too.

JerrotWillard45 - Schizophrenic, and unfortunately more bad than good. Bad: PAT blocked and punt block returned for TD? Unacceptable. Anger inconsistent again, though certainly serviceable. Kickoff coverage - very bad, and kickoffs not deep/long enough. Good: Punt block for TD! A couple of great gunner-tackles. And the crazy bouncing kick that resulted in a 1/2 yard line start for ASU - nice (lucky, but we put ourselves in position to be there if the ball bounces well - that's good by me). Also Giorgio made a 41-yarder - and 3/3 overall. Good job

jali - Great and crappy all at once. Blocked punt for a score is nice, but giving up a blocked punt/XP stinks. Hopefully, this gets cleaned up so if we ever play a close game again this season, the special teams won't kill us. Considering the regression of the non-kicking aspects of special teams (kick protection/punt and kickoff coverage) and the poor TE play, Genyk is no longer looking like the clear improvement to Alamar as he was earlier. ALAMARR!!!!

ososdeoro - For every spectacular play there was an equally crappy one. Whoever blocked a Sun Devil in the back after Allen was already gone should have to watch the first half of the USC game 10 times. I put our blocked punt for an ASU TD down to lack of focus --- defenders don't block themselves, guys! Conte: wow. And some nifty runbacks by Ross, but he still fielded a punt at the 8 (and that right after he let one go at the 15 that went into the end zone). Tavecchio's kickoffs were really good for him, and he had a couple nice FGs (of course, not much was on the line). The kickoff that grounded ASU at the 1 yard line was very entertaining. Both kickoff and punt coverage were awful again, but then returns are about the only thing ASU does truly well, so SOME credit must go to them.








abbaddon - My rating would be higher if it weren't for last week. How can a team look so well-coached a week after looking like a JV high-school team? (Okay, mild exaggeration there... but only mild).

This week, the team was focused, fired up, and firing on all cylinders. Bottle it up for next week please!

VandyImport - Honestly, how much can you determine from a 33-point ass-kicking? the key to winning is to play at home against a craptacular team

Calpbk91 - Not really. What stands out from this performance is Tedford's inability to get his team motivated and prepared to play on the road. ASU isn't a dogmeat team, and they were dominated in virtually every phase of the game. That makes Cal's flop last week all the more unacceptable. You have to show some courage on the road, and when you consistently don't, it's on the staff.

Bearbacker  -Did it seem like the play calling was a bit more aggressive than normal. I felt as if Tedford was trying to prove something. Its easy to be aggressive when up 40-3 but I am not sure if they will stick with it in close games or even blow outs the other way.

JerrotWillard45 - Coaches had it easy today, and it's a good thing. Conservatism on offense that would lose a lot of other games. Conservatism on 4th down that doesn't value possession properly. More misdirection! More tricky play-calling!

However, there were several nice play calls I openly lauded in-game. Just do more of that, and stop trying to get Shane's clock cleaned when his O-line can't make a hole - you have lots of alternatives, especially since Riley and WRs had some game today.

jali - Nice that they were able to get the team to bounce back after that horrible game. I really loved going for the pass to Marvin with 6 sec left on the clock in the first half. That showed some intelligent aggressiveness. Calling that fade route to a hot receiver on a play made it very likely that it'd either be a touchdown or we'd have a couple seconds left for a FG attempt. Great call to go for it, nice play call, and almost perfect execution.

CaliforniaPete - Kudos for keeping this team motivated. And disciplined. Something we take for granted is how rarely Tedford's teams are penalized for stupid personal fouls. It happens from time to time, but never in the same sort of meltdown way we regularly see from other teams, such as ASU on Saturday. Even the great Bruce Snyder had some notoriously undisciplined teams at Cal, which pretty much cost the Bears the Axe in both 1990 and 1991.

ososdeoro - The team was extremely well prepared, and the coaches schemed perfectly. This time it was Dennis Erickson who refused to try a 4th and one from his own 40 down three TDs. Flabbergasting! Normally I'd give the coaches an A under the circumstances, especially considering it occurred to them to let Mansion play, but they still only get a B+ because I'm sure Mansion's recipe for growth doesn't include calling pass plays only on third and long.







CaliforniaPete - I didn't think I'd ever NOT be ecstatic over Cal thumping a Pac-10 opponent like the Bears did on Saturday. But I'm not ecstatic. Part of it is due to my attention being thoroughly absorbed by the Giants--your National League Champion San Francisco Giants!! More than that, though, every big win at home just frustrates me more and more and more that this team can't bring the same show on the road with them. Yes, performance will vary week to week, and playing on the road is always a stiffer challenge than playing at home. But to be so ON one week and so OFF the next is, frankly, infuriating. I almost prefer the Holmoe era of consistent suckitude to this. (Note I did say "almost"). At least when the team sucks that bad, the few wins they do get become incredibly exciting moments.

beson - Great game by the bears. Now if we could only play like that on the road.

mrjpark - Good bounce back from last week's humiliation. Not looking forward to next week, as Riley and the Beavs seem to have our number every year. But it's another step in the right direction. Riley's strong performance didn't really give me much faith in his ability, mostly because the receivers were mainly responsible for his success. I'm just looking forward to the coin flip that is our QB position next year -- should be exciting at the very least.

hardtobeacalfan - awesome, but i feel like we just had a lot of things go our way. i can't tell if we were that good or if asu offense was just really off today. but our defense played lights out, only responsible for giving up 3 pts on that first drive. cattouse and conte were beasts! first team offense played really well and i can kinda see why we don't ever pull riley out of games unless we are up big. i have no faith in our backups.

sacman701 - If we had done this against SC, we might have beaten them outright. ASU's back 7 is better than SC's, although their DL is weaker...anyway, this was the team's best game yet. ASU is better than UCLA or Colorado, and the Bears made them look silly.



aznpursuit - sexcellent.

CalBoerning - Frustrating. I'd almost rather see a consistently mediocre team than consistent blowouts - alternating between us blowing the other teams out and us getting blown out. I don't see any hope whatsoever that we're going to win next week. I gave us a 1% chance since, you know, it's possible something could make Oregon State have to forfeit or start a bunch of freshman electrical engineering majors. I think that's something our O-Line could handle on the road.

JerrotWillard45 - B+. And while I'm happy we had an offense - and even a pass offense today - a whole BUNCH of our success was actually ASU's failure. They really hurt themselves on Offense, Defense, and Special Teams. What we did right was to capitalize (mostly) on those mistakes - but if they'd played clean and smart (not bigger or faster or more accurate), we would have been punting more, and they would have scored more. I still think we were measurably better overall.

Brock Mansion and the 2's didn't get to show a lot in garbage time, but it wasn't impressive, which is disappointing. CDJ didn't have any good runs either. This may explain why JT keeps to Riley - maybe Brock ain't got it. I sure hope he can get it. Mike Costanza's sick tackle on the final INT runback was awesome - by that time, most people had left, and I went right down to the 5th row by the band and got to see that up close.

Oh yeah, and Jeremy Ross got a small hurdle in today - seems like he has to get AT LEAST one every game!

Rendonkulous Bear - Win big or lose big? We only win, and win big if the offense executes the scheme. If we don't we well get a USCesque/Nevadaesque result. Same goes for the defense. We need to properly evaluate are matchups each week to get the most out of our players and schemes then adjust accordingly

VandyImport - High school bands need to do a better job watching directors.