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California - Nevada Report Card

In many ways, being a Cal fan is like being a smoker.  Science has repeatedly proven that it is dangerous to your health.  Getting your children involved is not always advisable.  And it is killing you slowly.  We know this.  Everybody knows this.  But each year, we put our foam fingers on and root our hearts out just to get punched in the face.  The game against Nevada was no different.  Everybody knew that we'd get facepunched at least once this year, I hope this is the only time.  And that it's over with.

Nonetheless, that was rough.  Somebody hold me.  Please.  And I thought the report cards after Oregon and USC last year were bad.  Diving head first into this bad boy made me want to hire a therapist afterwards.  Preferably one who was a Cal fan, so they could really help me out.

"I guess the problems with my emotional state first started with Justin Vedder.  And I've never recovered!  I made brief progress in 2004, but I've just felt off-kilter since.  Yes, I'll need more Xanax, thanks." 

However, even with my recent Xanax prescription, I was not ready for this one comment here:

Bowlbasur - Tedford is getting stale, its obvious he can't get Cal over the hump... with the new stadium and facilities coming up the Bears need fresh blood at the coaching position to revitalize the program.

Troy Calhoun? Herm Edwards? anyone?

No!  NO!  NOOOO!  Look, you can question Tedford's readiness for coaching in the report card.  And you can even note that Herm Edwards was a Cal guy in the report card.  But you cannot AND WILL NOT propose that Herm Edwards comes to Cal.  I don't care how much punting is winning after all!  Which, of course, if you ask Bryan Anger, it is.  But, no way.  No how.  No Herm!

There are times I question my zeal in signing up for Report Card duty.  This was one of those times.  But whatever I can do to give our readers a chance to have their voice heard is the most important thing.  More than my mental sanity!  BUT WE'RE NOT HIRING HERM EDWARDS!  OVER MY DEAD BODY!


Mean Score
Standard Deviation

Pass Offense

Rush Offense
Pass Defense
Rush Defense
Special Teams
Win likelihood at Arizona
.391 (-.136)

Here are Berkelium97's charts, the formatting for which I have managed to screw up.  Ai! 

Notice the steep drop in win likelihood from you guys' pre-season prediction to now.  Ruh roh! 












Tedford's Sunshine Pumpers
Net Score, Percentage
1. UrsaMajor 5.9, 84.3%
2. calrosebowl 5.1, 72.9%
3. jali 4.65, 66.4%
4. JohnnyCalifornia 4.2,60.0%
5. JrBear 3.8, 54.3%
Super Critics
Net Score, Percentage
1. Californium [ed note: no relation to Berkelium]
1.2, 17.1%
2. the ghost of joe roth
1.3, 18.6%
3. Texpatriate 1.59, 22.7%
4. longshoredAGAIN 1.6, 22.9%

5. coolingfan

1.65, 23.6%














Gameday Experience




HKBear - - watched the first half over the internet. the second half was spent having dinner with the in-laws while a friend was feeding me updates via blackberry. i almost slammed my fist on the table several times. wife was getting pissed at me for being "distracted".

4EverGolden - Worst camera man ever did this game (Ed Note:  I KNOW!)

slaphancock - Drunk. Negra Modelo. Couldn't sleep at all--I kept having nightmares about getting faked out by Kaepernick. He would waggle the ball in front of my face, and then say "olay" as I grasped at air. Then he would laugh. Great big buddha belly laughs. It was worse because of his awful goatee. Getting outsmarted by a guy that looks that dumb is shameful.

bonbandus - I was teased for nearly four hours and the Bears never delivered. My faith in the defense and Reilly have taken a huge hit. I am not looking forward to next week at Arizona.

aznpursuit - I got a new DVR from Comcast just for this game. My first time ever recording a football game and Riley's POS performance ruined everything. FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDGGGGGGGGGEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE YOU RILEY.

JRBear - Fuck why is everybody on this team likable? Hawk, Syd, Marshawn, Hagan's story, Best, Mohamed, even Riley; the list goes on and on. We should have somebody like Rudy Carpenter on our team. So even if we lose I can go "Well at least _____ _____ got _____, yeah, screw that guy."

CalBear2007 - I was surrounded by UCLA Bruins and UCD Aggies, all of whom are jealous of our lovely Bears, and rejoiced in ridiculing us in our misfortune

UrsaMajor - Watched it on my couch with only dozens of virtual friends for company. The overwhelming negativity in the threads was a disconcerting though. I don't appreciate people trashing the people on the team.

Californium - @Cal bar in Chicago (Wrigleyville). Relatively few people there anyway. Dave Matthews Band @ Wrigley tonight...

I had an Irish car bomb every time we punted/turned the ball over. I'm not sure I had enough to drink. Possibly the worst night of Cal football that I've experienced since the OSU debacle. Then again, I'm pretty drunk, so my perspective may be skewed. I was pretty close to starting a fight with the first non-Cal-gear-wearing person I saw.

Pac10Lurker - I was rooting for the Bears, but they're not my team. Nevada might beat Boise. They're damn good.

Fiatslug  -Since I was at home, I'll defer from making comments except to say that David Norrie has got to be one of the most annoying commentators on ESPN.

Coolingfan -  It was terrible. Watched the game over the Internet, and my wireless Internet kept being disconnected whenever there was a bus passing by. After each buffering delay, I would hear "Touchdown Nevada!", adding to the frustration.

SwampHunter - There's a party going on at our townhouse as I'm typing this, so I'm gonna hit that up after I click this submit button.

Justbear - i came home at 10pm, the game was 38-24. i really wanted to see it, but couldnt.
glad i didnt.

OaklandishBear - Nice drive up to Reno Friday afternoon, arriving in plenty of time. Sat in Section M behind the swim team. On opening kick-off had some cranky old guy behind me tell me to sit down. WTF, people? Get up and make noise!!! And a double WTF who threw the bottle at the field, only to nearly take out a cheerleader. Beer in a hostile environment scared me, but no problems getting out of Dodge. Did anyone else get a chuckle out of the Pavlovian response of the crowd after the PA's "...and that is another Wolf Pack..." Stands: "FIRST DOWN!" Concussion from the f'ing cannon practically made my ears bleed. Embarrassed to say I stripped my colors before heading to the casino after the game, but my buddy and I walked off with $110 of Reno money. Paid for food and gas on the trip!



Pass Offense




SanMateoBear - Much as I've wanted Kevin to be our great QB, it just seems he lays an egg when we really need him to play well. Nevada had by far the better QB - made the passes he needed to, even when pressured. Kevin still overthrows on the "pitch and catch" passes. Still looks like he doesn't really check down - I see his eyes moving looking at defensive linemen, but pretty much locked on his primary receiver. The audible for the pick-6 was gut wrenching. Not what you'd expect from a red-shirt senior QB.

ben - I am probably alone in thinking this, but Riley had an okay game with the (BIG) exception of the turnovers. He made a few clutch throws under pressure (e.g. the slant and post routes under the blitz), and completed most of his gimmie throws (e.g. the roll-out passes to Miller). The low-to-mid 60's is not a terrible completion percentage (Greg McElroy completed 61% last year). Marvin Jones, as it has been said, was superb. That non-touchdown in the 3rd was just a good defensive play. The o-line and rb blitz pickup was good most of the time. Not being able to finish in the red zone was bad. The delay of game on 4th and 6 was bad. The turnovers were really bad. But I think it has to be said that, had the defense not been pounded into oblivion, the offense would have been pretty satisfactory (and all the passing would not have been necessary)


WTF we shouldnt be calling for his head (maybe we should, nah we shouldnt, ...). His three years as started have been whats defined the bears INCONSISTENT! This time we cant blame the OLine, the pass coverage, receivers, etc to give him the benefit of the doubt. Its his last year and he has got us through some great games but I am already looking forward to the post Riley era. Hopefully the next guy whoever he is, is atleast consistent (good or bad)

LazyBear - Riley messed up in critical situations that tended to put the game out of reach. Did have some good moments though that would have been better received if our defense could have put up any fight. I feel like Riley will get blamed for this game for his mistakes, but this is only partially fai

C98 - %#£><¥^^&!!

ACGiant97 - Why year after year do we all believe Riley can be a serviceable QB for this team. I have never seen a QB who is so inconsistent. How do you miss throws that my 6 year cousin could make. Riley has absolutely no touch on his passes. There were 4 or 5 passes that if he could have just dropped the ball in, easy TD. All in all Riley sucks

Coolingfan - I don't think it was as bad as it seemed. Looking at the box score, it did manage to put up some good numbers. Marvin Jones is confirmed to be legit, and I'm sure the loss will help Keenan Allen grow and prepare him for the upcoming games

Bowlbasur - Riley fucking sucks, how has Tedford not realized this? Its obvious Riley doesn't have the physical or mental makeup to be a good college QB, but Tedford sticks with him? He's short, slow, has a weak arm, long windup, makes bad decisions... Riley is garbage. Pure garbage.

Does this mean none of the other QBs on the roster are better than this? hope Maynard is, if not it will be years of shit from Cal football.

Wanugee - Should have done quick slants, outs, flares, screens and the like, but we didn't until the final minutes of the 4th quarter. Why not? And has Tedford ever done a hurry up to dictate tempo on the defense? NO! Most of the time we are so deliberate and slow, losing opportunities and momentum.

jali - Man, I wish we had a senior QB like Nevada does. Wait, what? You're saying we do? Why did our senior QB throw a momentum killing pick 6, consistently miss open receivers and flee too early from a good pocket?

Besides Riley, Allen has got to help on those throws behind him. Marvin Jones is a stud. Pass blocking was decent after early struggles.



Run Offense



OaklandishBear - SHANE VEREEN!!!!!

What more is there to say? I guess altitude hurt us here, a bit, as Shane couldn't go 25-30 rushes, which would have been nice.

I'm still not convinced Isi is the proper back-up. He wasn't effective Friday night. Need more Deboskie-Johnson!

VandyImport - Sugar Shane should sue somebody for lack of support. And I love what he brings as a changeup, but Sofele is simply not the answer. He's an outside fly sweep back, not a banger

JRBear - Not great blocking, I have to say. But year three of "Lightning and Lightning" isn't working well. Isi isn't Jacquizz, not without the same blocking and schemes. DeBoskie and Yarnway are both built for power, and I think we have to start building them up to take the pressure off Vereen and even the O-line. JJ had Marshawn. Marshawn had Forsett. We did well with alternating styles, even if we do consider that Lynch was top-class talent. Now we see a regression. Forsett was alone in '07. Best had Vereen for big-play potential, and ONLY big-play potential. Now we have Vereen and Isi who are both outstanding talents in their own right but not the ones that fit our current situation.

longshoredAGAIN - Isi is a smurf, and should not spell Shane, unless it was an actual smurf spell that gave shane speed and agility +3.

Jake88 - Vereen on the mend. Saw some good holes from the line, but not enough. Very concerned about Sofele as a running back. Not convinced by fullback blocking yet.

WilderThanGene - You have to wonder how bad is Nevada's run defense, yet we had no way to spell Vareen. And was Sofele giving a little attitude when Riley missed him in the endzone? That would've been uncool.

GrinandBearit - didn't get the sense that our OL dominated the line of scrimmage and created running lanes, but they did enough. Vereen did all of the rest. If we gave game balls to losing teams, he would get it.


Pass Defense





OaklandishBear - Again, I'm probably not as critical as most, but I didn't think the secondary played that badly. Couldn't get ANY pressure on Kaepernick, though, and he picked us apart in our zone coverage

CaliforniaPete - Time for Keenan Allen to play both ways.

Jim - Aside from Riley, perhaps the worst part of the game. Kaepernick just destroyed us. Nevada is NOT that good of a passing offense.

Fiatslug  - What pass defense? Granted, the passing D allowed less than 200 yards, but they didn't exactly shut down the Wolfpack, either.

Jake88 - Gave up a bunch of big plays, seemed like the Nevada quarterback was putting the ball where it needed to be, but was never under pressure.

Californium - Way, way too many Nevada receivers didn't have a Cal uniform within 5 yards of a catch. And the one time a Cal player was on the same screen as a Nevada receiver, it was a TD anyway (didn't these refs watch the Bears-Lions game?) Anyway, awful coverage. Dunno how guys get that wide ope

andrewxmok - i hate all of you\

beson - I don't know if the pass defense was bad, the schemes were bad, of if CK was just on fire, but in the first half, I think we got them into some long 3rd downs, only to see CK put it on his receiver for a first down. I was not pleased.


Run Defense



OaklandishBear - Mohamed, Mohamed, wherefore art thou Mohamed? I think #18 would have made a difference in the game. The middle of the field was soft, and MM's 3 subs combined for 10 tackles, and Holt did his part to take up the slack, but there were lots of whiffs on reads up the middle where MM surely would have made better decisions.
And Kendricks had a miserable game, biting down on the inside every time. Browner did the same, but at least he recovered a bit more in the 3rd qtr and got the strip of Kaepernick.

beson - Way too aggressive on the middle runs. No adjustments through the game. It makes watching the games very frustrating when you feel that nothing is being done to change. Maybe my joke of punt block on every down is such a bad idea.

bobandus - Mohamed was sorely missed. This game really made me think about how much the decommitment and ineligibility of freshman linebackers have hurt us. Keith Browner, Jarred Price, and Mohamed's backups looked so confused the whole game.

Haas8338 - Watching the game, it seemed clear that Owusu and Browner were really struggling and that Reno was targeting them pretty regularly. The replacement for Mohamed also struggled, but that should be expected given the lack of experience. Owusu is not good in run support; perhaps Guyton or Coleman should be starting. I have not been impressed with Payne this year at all and he did nothing last night to change my opinion

the ghost of joe roth  - Ole'

Texpatriate - You'd think our rushers and linebackers would adjust after the first 10-15 times Nevada ran the zone read. Nope. Yes, Kaepernick is a master of the play fake, but we overpursued the wrong guy repeatedly, leaving gaping holes for the actual ball carrier. Oregon is going to gouge us, plain and simple-- the lack of awareness will not be fixed by then.

bioecon - what run defense. when we i see it i'll comment on it.

jfwells - Oh my god, Oregon is going to run for 1,000 yards on 11/13.

C98 - %#£><¥^^&!!

sacman701 - The run defense was consistent. We consistently bought the fake to the RB, leaving the QB plenty of real estate. We also got gashed up the middle a lot. We could have used Mohamed.

Bowlbasur - WHERE IS THE FUCKING FOOTBALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????


Jali - Awful with signs of hope. Unlike with pass defense, I think the majority of the guys played fairly well for most of the game. Some guys (Keith Browner, I'm looking at you) were awful. Kendricks looked good when handling contain as the weakside linebacker, others did not. We probably missed Mohammed's defensive quarterbacking here. They weren't great, but there were areas of good play (Dline, Kendricks) and had a very tough challenge.



Special Teams



GrinAndBearit - I am actually pretty impressed. We look like we have a solid STs unit now. Kickoffs are definitely going deeper and we're not giving them great field position. Anger with his punts are fairly steady. I don't worry about Anger


LazyBear - Great kicking, good coverage. Even almost recovered an onside kick. One punt was a little short, but no complains. A bright spot among huge deficiencies.

jali - No complaints. Anger didn't have a great day, but not awful. The shanked punt seemed to be because he bobbled the snap and was worry about getting it off in time.

ben - Something in Cal's punt blocking scheme needs to change so that Jeremy Ross doesn't have would-be tacklers all over him in the punt return, forcing the fair catch. 0/2 returns/punts last night, 2/6 last week, 3/10 against Davis. I don't know what the usual stat for this is, but some better blocking would be nice.

sanmateobear - kickoffs looked good. kick returns were crummy. Anger laid an egg on his first punt, then kicked the second one too long. seems like when one facet of our team does poorly, it spreads..







HKBear - - nevada was often stacking the box in the first half. I would have liked to see Riley checking down into shorter passes - but instead we often handed off and got stuffed
- it looked like pendergast tried to make some adjustments at half time which was encouraging, but for the most part nevada did whatever they wanted on offense.
- a lot of stupid penalties

boomtho - Needs more Vereen. Dude was straight killing it today and we under-utilized him.

Defensive adjustments were piss-poor. Offensive play-calling was questionable, at best. Very disappointed in the gameplan that we came out with. Other teams have more success against teams like Nevada or Oregon by preventing their D-Line from getting too far upfield (N-S).

moosemastr - No matter what Tedford does, he will manage to fail. Losing by 20 on the road makes me sick to my stomach. This team needs a Goddamned spine

NativeSon - I actually liked going for it midway through the 4th quarter. There wasn't enough time for 2 more possessions. I didn't like the play call though. Didn't like the offensive play calling or defensive "bend then break" play calling either.

Fiatslug  - Sloppy performance on both sides of the ball. Riley has shown that he's no better than a mediocre QB. And yet, there may be some greatness in him yet because his potential is so amazing. He's just not yet mentally calm.

minostatebeav  - Charles Barkley said it best...Turrible.

UrsaMajor - I liked the call to go for it on 4th and 6 late. Again though, I wish that a run might have been called on 3rd down if Tedford knew he would go for it. They would not have expected it, and we did well with the draw play. I thought the play calling was well balanced. The calls by some posters to just run it down their throat seem out of touch with what happened in the game. Vereen was mostly getting consistent gains, but if we ran it every play, they would have loaded the box and slowed it down. We ran well because Riley was mostly a threat. Except for when he wasn't. But if Tedford just takes the ball out of Riley's hands, I think that has repercussions for the rest of the season.

Swamphunter - Pendergast just couldn't stop the Pistol.
It's that simple.

There was early speculation if he couldn't deal well against oddball college-brand offenses, and this game proved that the Pistol is one he just can't defend.

ChemiCalE - On defense, there didn't look like there were any answers to the Nevada Pistol. Hopefully this is because Pendergast hasn't encountered these sorts of offenses before.

A little unclear what happened with the running game after Vereen went out. Was Nevada still honed in on the run after Vereen gashed them? It felt like the offense had trouble starting up again after Vereen went on a giant run.

yg - Aggressive Tedford not really outshining conservative Tedford.





ozone - Another prime time face plant for the entire country to see

GB4188 - not again :(

CalBear2007 - FUCKITY FUCKITY FUCKITY FUCK! Why do I always let California get my hopes up?

JD - Nevada was the better team. At least my disappointment has come early this year, and I won't be expecting an amazing upset finish in the PAC10. I'm not sure Tedford will ever get us there.

SwampHunter - Coordinators just weren't prepared. Ted made some effort to get these guys back in the game in the second half but that didn't last long.

Overall it wasn't a problem with anyone in particular, it's just that Nevada had the keys to out-play us and in the end be the better team.

yg - The Bear did not quit. The Bear did not die. But the Bear should really reevaluate itself.

ChemiCalE - Well, special teams has certainly improved from last year. Other questions we had from last year still look to be here, however. That said, this is Game 3 of a 12 game season. Not enough data yet to base a trend for this season. Best we can say is we're not totally invincible, which I think is expected.

Go Bears!

tabear82 - This is a difficult time to be a bear supporter. I hope we can beat UCLA, but this could be a challenge. Nevada is a good team, but Cal did not show enough talent and resilience to make one optimistic about the pac 10 schedule.

GrinandBearit - Obviously, any worthwhile comments are made after reviewing tape, but I felt like the biggest disappointment in this game was Riley. We knew we would have our hands full with the Nevada offense, but Riley was making bad throws and decisions all throughout even when there didn't seem to be a ton of pressure.

Offensive line needs to get better, but like Riley, if you see the same guys giving you the same results week after week, that's a trend.

Texpatriate - It only took two weeks for the "low expectations" meme to be replaced with "good looking team." This kind of beating reminded me of Tennessee 06, or USC/Oregon 09, where the collective fan base convinced itself that things were really on the upswing. Do we gather ourselves and scorch the earth or roll over into the bottom third of the conference? I wish it was the former, but we've done a lot of rolling over since the 2006 run.

BamaBear - It really was dismal all the way around. I texted my Dad after the first touchdown with the prediction that it was going to be a long night and I was right. Later in the second half he replied that it would be a long year. Such is the life of a Cal fan. Life goes on.