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Cal Football 2010 Final Reviews: Biggest Surprises

What surprised you the most about 2010?

How bad the offense was without Kevin Riley. I know a lot of us were ready for the Riley era to be over, but after the Oregon State game was over I'm pretty sure all of us were yelping for him to come back. The poor quarterback development the past few years has been astonishing, especially for a Tedford-team that has generally had solid backups.

TwistNHook: How bad Mansion played.  I think Ayoob was better.  And that was saying a lot.  I don't know what the situation was.  Mansion seems to be an able-bodied QB.  He's been in the system for several years.  There are rumors that he was unmotivated.  That is on Tedford to motivate all of his players, whether 1st string or 3rd.  I never thought we'd have an offense at that level.

The fact of the matter is that our D was not that bad.  This D was good enough for a 7-8 win season.  Our O was a 3-4 win offense, however, especially after Riley went down.  How sad.

Kodiak: Unpleasant surprises:  How woeful and and inept our Oline play continued to be despite starting a couple of seniors and returning so many players with starting experience.  As a related issue, the disappearance of our TE's.  And as a general issue, the lack of mental toughness exhibited by the team in either blow-out losses, or in critical failures during close games.

Pleasant surprises:  Solid play from the secondary highlighted by a break-out year from Conte.  Considering we were relying on two young, and unproven guys (Williams/Anthony) for most of the year, and coming off such a bad group performance against the pass the previous year, this was an amazing turn-around.  Nice development at the FB position from Stevens.

Berkelium97: On offense: I was most surprised with how poorly Brock Mansion played.  I knew he wouldn't be as good as Kevin Riley, but I didn't think the passing game would disappear from our offense.

Defense: I was pleasantly surprised with how well the defense could play and shocked at how badly it would play at times.  We turned in a brilliant performance against Oregon, but we let USC run all over us.  We held Arizona's offense without a TD for 58 minutes, but let Luck torch us in the Big Game. The offense didn't help keep the defense off the field, but there was no excuse for giving up 3 or 4 TDs in a quarter in some losses.

atomsareenough: How awesome our defense was at times, how completely overwhelmed they were at times, and how poorly Mansion and Sweeney played.