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Cal versus Colorado Football Report Card

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Lots more thoughts this week.  Tons of great comments about this game.  Interestingly, usually there are not as many comments about the defense.  Most people gravitate to the offense.  Fair enough.  This week, there were many, many, many great comments about the pass defense to choose from.  People were very concerned regarding the pass offense.  I can certainly get that.  

We also have the grades in for this week.  So, there is a lot of stuff after the jump for your consumption.  How the CGB readership felt about the game and what the CGB readership said about the game.  Why am I writing any more introduction?  Who cares about me, let's talk about you.  GO BEARS!

Berkelium97:  Let's start off by diving straight into the numbers.

Average Score
Standard Deviation

Pass Offense

Rush Offense
Pass Defense
Rush Defense
Special Teams
Win likelihood vs Presbyterian
.939 (-4.1%)


The offense received grades pretty similar to what it received last week.  Maynard again enjoyed decent marks.  He still has plenty of room for improvement, mostly in terms of completion percentage (drops by some of his receivers undoubtedly hurt the ratings for pass offense).

Sofele and Anderson had okay numbers once again.  Not bad, but not fantastic.

Pass defense obviously had the worst grade of the day.  A career game for the Tyler Hansen and Paul Richardson will obviously lower our opinions of the pass D.  Initially I was surprised how high the rating was given that Hansen had 474 yards.  We did, however, have a decent first half and Williams had some crucial pass breakups in the fourth quarter.

Run defense received decent marks for mostly shutting down Rodney Stewart.

What surprises me most is that special teams only received a .622.  Other than the blocked PAT, it was a perfect day for special teams.  Tavecchio registered four touchbacks, equal to his number of touchbacks for the entire 2010 season.  He also nailed a 39-yard field goal.  Anger, meanwhile, had an impressive 51 yard average for punts.  On top of that, coverage was solid.  The blocked PAT was crucial, no doubt, but was it enough to drop special teams upwards of 40%?

Having nearly lost to Colorado, we're not quite so optimistic when the mighty Blue Hose come to town.  Our chances of winning, though still excellent, dropped about 4% compared to what they were in August.  Their win over North Greenville really put a fright into you, didn't it?


Now let's hand out some awards!  We'll start off with a few Editor's Choice awards

Editor's Choice Awards:

You're Doing it Wrong Award:

This award goes to iVinshe and alpha1906, who gave the pass defense negative scores.  We were so bad that we were assisting Colorado more than if we weren't on the field at all!  I can sympathize, however.  When you give up half a kilometer of distance through the air, you're obviously doing it wrong.

ಠ_ಠ Award:

This award goes to iVinshe and rocksanddirt, whose win predictions vs. Presbyterian were 0 and .1, respectively.  Are you really that afraid of Presby?  They are 225th (out of 246) in the Sagarin ratings!

BeastMode, Is That You? Award:

This goes to KEENAN ALLEN, whose response in every field was "KEENAN ALLEN."


Next up are the Sunshine Pumpers and the Old Blues.  The Sunshine Pumpers recall 1st and 30 conversions, Anthony Miller's stylish backpack, and brother-to-brother all day long.  The Old Blues, meanwhile, have had nightmares featuring Richardson, screen passes to Stewart, and Marshall's inexplicably impenetrable offensive line.  SoCal Oski returns to his usual position, atop the Old Blues.  Glad to have you back!

Tedford's Sunshine Pumpers
Net Score, Percentage
1. Pappy's Boy
5.40, 77.14%
2. TKE Prytanis 79
5.20, 74.29%
3. KempoBear
5.10, 72.86%
4. bigdruid
4.90, 70.00%
5. CalBear2007
4.80, 68.57%
Old Blues Net Score, Percentage
1. SoCal Oski
1.65, 23.56%
2. Truman Hugh 2.90, 41.43%
2. beson
2.90, 41.43%
3. Wyfind
3.00, 42.86%

5. SSG Christopher Whitaker, Class of 1996

3.05, 43.57% 


The Voice of Reason Total Deviation
1. sycasey
2. grinandbearit
3. IKolykedat
4. Mallrat92204 .079
5. Willis Chong


Finally we have The Voice of Reason for those whose scores most accurately reflect the group scores.

The top-three were much further off than last week's top three.  In fact, outside the top-two, none of these would have earned the award last week.  None of the mods earned an award in this category this week (though Hydro was 6th).  I guess we've reverted to being unreasonable tyrants.


Now let's see how you all felt about the game in words.  If any of you said "screen pass" more than twice, you'll face a one-day ban.

Gameday Experience


TKEPrytanis79 - Grilled Buffalo burgers at a buddy's house, chased down with some nice Colorado IPA's, leading to tremendous OT victory on the road...we eat what we kill....correlation or causality? be the judge

SpazzyMcGee - Somehow managed to be miserable for like 90% of the actual viewing time. Between the blocked PAT, Rod Stewart/Richardson putting on a show, the refs, and the slow Buffs comeback, watching was as stressful as any Cal game. For once it seems like we're on the lucky end of things.

Manwich - I had to drive through crappy USC and UCLA traffic to see a friend, as I listened to overtime on the radio. So much anguish and fist pumping in my car.

Mallrat92204 - Great atmosphere at Busby's West in Santa Monica, it is the place to be for any LA based fan. There was a small group of Stanfurd fans in the next room and we got to jeer them every time they came out to get a drink (the Cal section was near the bar).

quantumquinoa - It was nice to see a large Cal contingent at the stadium. CU is fired up for their new coach - it's been a while since the stadium was that full or the student section was that loud.

Lee ‘71 - "If you give wide receivers ten yards of cushion they are going to get 400+ yards passing. Even Presbyterian will get massive yardage if no one is aro9und their receivers. Also, where is our defensive line?
Maynard did a serviceable job, but I hope Jeff is giving Bridgeford meaningful reps with the ones.
c.J. will be starting sooner rather than later, and Mr. Miller is a load to tackle when he's moving.
And touchbacks!! how long since we've seen those bunched together, an elixir to my soul!
Brother to brother was a treat as well."

racsan - At least CSN switched to our game for the first snap from scrimmage.


OaklandishBear - "Do I win the prize for watching at the latest time zone? Original plans to fly to Boulder for the game were waylaid by a business trip, and so here I sit in Switzerland, where kick-off was 9:30 pm local time.

Thank you to the stream provided by ujiryan! I really appreciated the ability to watch live!!!"

SSG Christopher Whitaker, Class of 1996 -Ugly, ugly game. Too many missed opportunities and sloppy play. Defense was very weak, espcially against #6.

c98 - Maynard is going to give some Old Blues some heart attacks.

Truman Hugh - I had hoped the afternoons of racing blood pressure and shaking hands were a few weeks away...WHAT A DOG FIGHT!! Unfortunately, this is what being a Cal fan is all about...



Pass Offense


blackandblue(andgold) - I don't blame maynard for what seems like a low passing efficiency rating. Too many dropped balls by Jones and Miller, something totally uncharacteristic for the two of them. I don't know how many times it happened, but there were a few easy 1st downs in the first quarter that would have gone a long way to starting momentum that simply went in and out of there arms. It happened last week too, but with less obvious consequences. Also, tangentially, how horrible is comcast california at broadcasting football? There may have been 5 or 6 plays where the camera guy simply forgot to follow the ball, or they were zoomed in on the wrong guy while the play was going on. And then there stats? I believe they reported that Keenan Allen had 125 yards rushing in last week's game against Fresno st. That's almost worse than versus.

Grinandbearit - "It's weird. One of the knocks on Riley was his completion percentage, but here we have Maynard hovering around 50% and I would rather have him over Riley based on the first two games.

Maybe it's because he seems to be able to make all the throws, and although he's got some accuracy issues, he seems to have more zip on the ball. I remember one that he threw across his body and on the run to his brother for a big gain. Had nice touch on it.

Anyway, he still needs to be more accurate.

By the way, just need to say this, but WTF, refs, Edmond really didn't catch that ball in the 4th quarter, really? Maybe someone with HD can tell me that wasn't a catch."

EchoOfSilence - "Zach Maynard needs to settle the F down. Desperate throws while jumping backwards off his back foot will end up in INT's more often than not. His overthrows reminded me of Kevin Riley's.

Also, there were WAY too many untimely drops. Marv, Anthony, and Keenan? Aren't you guys supposed to be sure-handed?

BUT the reason I gave them their 0.8 is due to their ULTRA CLUTCH passes to win the game. We... Oh right, after we decided to kneel and go into OT. All is well.

And how about that SICK one-handed pass to Coleman? too bad we have dumb rules in place. And Michael Calvin showed up! Sad that a couple of his receptions were during penalties. Maynard came back from his jitters and getting BEAT UP very nicely.
We went to KEENAN ALLEN too much, i think. Maynards security blanket?"

mrjpark - "It seems we're going to be masochists more so than ever before this year. I feel like our pass offense has a tendency to put us in dire situations, and then come up with near miraculous plays to pull us out of it. I got my lithium sitting right here next to me, and it looks like it's gonna be staying here.

I've come to the conclusion that Maynard isn't going to be completing 70% of his passes. The passes he does complete will all be down the field, ignoring a few screens or come-back routes. Our receivers CANNOT drop the ball like they did today. I said this earlier in one of the quarter threads, and I'll say it again. Maynard doesn't need to focus on slowly moving down the field like a machine. Every time he throws the ball, he just needs to throw it where his receiver can get it and where the defenders can't. While this sounds obvious, it's actually pretty huge. He doesn't need to worry so much about whether or not he completes every throw, just making sure every throw is catchable, and a 55-60 completion percentage will most likely suffice with the aggressive nature of our play calling."

koalaballa - Even though Maynard is wildly inaccurate at times, the other times he hits his man, and he often does it in a critical situation, unlike the quarterbacks that cal has had recently. It will probably stop being successful for us, but it is definitely an interesting and possibly welcome change.

CannonBear - I'm still not sold on Maynard. He is fun to watch, but it really concerns me that he is only completing 50% of his passes. Not getting much help from the OL though.

SoCal Oski - Haphazard and sporadic spring to mind. Good efforts followed by complete and inexplicable disaster. A little consistency, either way, would be nice. I mean, at least with the Party Yacht behind center we knew not to get our hopes up.

ikoolykedat - Allen/Maynard combo boosted my rating--VERY underwhelmed by the OLine. Also frustrated that we were unable to combat the pressure...perhaps with some screens (can't believe I would ever be yearning for those!)


rocksndirt - "some nice throws, some aweful throws.

some nice catches, some aweful drops.

some well designed plays, some not so well designed plays."



Run Offense



Manwich - Tedford, you have an Igber/Echemandu situation here, Sofele on the outside sweeps, Anderson to power up the middle.

God bless Isi, I know he tries, but those two (especially with CJA today) add more flexibility to our ground game outside of north/south running."


hardtobeacalfan - run blocking is just so inconsistent. i think isi should run more to the outside because he gets stuffed when there aren't gaping holes for him. hopefully anderson will get better in his pass protection so he can get more touches. i though maynard should have run more.

1988goldenbear - Seemed to be adequate, and Isi did really well picking off those blitzes for the most part. CJ will be fun to watch as he gets better.

sec119 - Sofele + CJ = Thunder + lightning, poor man's Reggie/Lendale, or any other analogy that implies both finesse and power. For all the hand-wringing over whether Sofele can fill Vereen's shoes, he does a great job of hitting the gaps and following his blocks. He does as well as his blocking allows, which is all I ask for reasonably from a RB.

boomtho - Isi is not built to run between the tackles, period. He's got nice shiftiness but doesn't run through tackles. CJA brings much more power.

racsan - Sofele is awesome at blitz pickup - had a couple of awesome decleaters. The oline didn't make enough holes today. Anderson is the better between the tackel runner..

JustBear - "When there's blocks and holes, Isi runs well. But he cant create something out of nothing. Are we too spoiled? I really miss Marshawn/Forsett/Best/Vereen.
CJAnderson was nice"

cjwethers - When we got good blocking, we gained yards. When we didn't, we got stuffed. That's just the way it's going to be this year. I would have liked to see more jet sweeps and read options to utilize Maynard's legs and our dynamic WRs.


Pass Defense


sacman701 - Yuck. Pass rush was very weak. Williams had good and bad moments, the other DBs an absolute nightmare day. Even Kendricks and Holt had horrible whiifs on Stewart after the catch. I think they are capable of playing better than this, but the coaches have their work cut out for them.


UncleSam22 - Terrible. Torched for over 400 yards, no sacks, and yet Steve Williams saved the game on his play against Richardson. Both the line and secondary need to tighten up.

OaklandishBear- "What pass defense. To paraphrase ""Remember the Titans"", they got beat like they stole something.

For crying out loud, couldn't Pendy do SOMETHING to figure out how to stop Richardson? First time in over 6 years someone has thrown for more than 400 against us. Embarrassing.

Give credit to Anthony and Williams for making some plays at the end, when it mattered most, though.

And ZERO sacks? Really? I thought the front seven was the strength of our team? MUST IMPROVE PRESSURE!"

cruidzoid - atrocious. 400 yards passing..?

rurata - They got burned badly by Hansen and Richardson today. Hansen had like 450+ yards, and Richardson had 270? Wow. Undoubtedly this was because we couldn't get any rush whatsoever. Even the couple times we got close to their QB, he managed to slip away. The defense looked slow today, and I think that the altitude really affected their play. Also the screen play killed us today. It worked like 4/5 times they ran it? Gotta give props to their RB. He was really elusive, and almost never went down on first contact on these plays.

Willis Chong - "We got lit up by one of the less elite QBs of the Pac-12. I'm going to reserve judgment since our guys looked completely winded and didn't seem to be running at full power for most of the game.

We got no pressure on Hansen. Is it because we sent 3-4 guys most of the time, or did MARSHALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL suddenly know what he was doing? I'm guessing the Colorado O-line was super motivated to take revenge. That O-line did a good job getting those screen working.

Whatever conditioning our DBs did over the off season seems to help. There was no way that our defense would have been still chugging in the thin air last year. They made plays late. They wouldn't have had to if the Bears didn't get torched in the beginning of the game or if the defense hadn't dropped a couple of interceptions."



Run Defense



boomtho - Pretty good. Not too much penetration from the line, but in general the contain was decent. Need to improve tackling, especially on small shifty guys like Stewart.


LouisMurphy'sLaw - Shaky moments (especially to start OT), but overall pretty solid.

sincey - The screen. OMG the screen. + What more can be said when the opposing quarterback and wr had a record breaking day? I will say though that Anthony seemed to be getting smoked in the 2nd half more than the 1st... so perhaps the big hit at the end of the 1st was the culprit?

swamphunter - "Exploiting with screen plays in one thing. Allowing their RB to squirt through and around behind a Marshall O-line is another.

I put it all up to the thin air. The defense was out there a lot today and being on for extended periods at high altitude certainly doesn't leave a lot of room for mistakes at the physical level."

bearhangover - Colorado didn't need to run, Tyler Hansen was just handing off to receivers 15 yards down field.



Special Teams


Redonkulous Bear - Honey Badger: Honeybadger gives the Italian a pass, but 3 blocked PAT's is 3 blocked PAT's too many. Either way Honeybadger don't care. Honeybadger score points on his own.

coolingfan - It looked bad at first because we missed the first PAT, but other than that, it was solid. Looking at the number of yards Colorado stacked up in offense, I see special teams won this game by winning the field position game for us. Kickoffs have been flawless -- even when they carried the ball out of the endzone, we had good coverage. Anger showed his range as well.

JustBear - "Coverage was good, Giorgio's Kickoffs went for touchbacks, awesome.
But the blocked Extra point on first TD. Unacceptable. Three times in two weeks already.
If it wasnt for that, we would have won in regulation."

1988goldenbear - Another blocked PAT, really? And then Giorgio kicks off 80+ yards? In hindsight, the missed PAT put Colorado into a position where a FG takes them to overtime, so it might have worked out better that we did not have to stop Richardson from the end zone on their last drive.


yleexotee - Student body general call for kickers, we can be no worse than now.

Lee ‘71 - Missed TWO xp's? Again! How about kick the first two from the 20 or so?

Willis Chong - "We got lit up by one of the less elite QBs of the Pac-12. I'm going to reserve judgment since our guys looked completely winded and didn't seem to be running at full power for most of the game.

We got no pressure on Hansen. Is it because we sent 3-4 guys most of the time, or did MARSHALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL suddenly know what he was doing? I'm guessing the Colorado O-line was super motivated to take revenge. That O-line did a good job getting those screen working.

Whatever conditioning our DBs did over the off season seems to help. There was no way that our defense would have been still chugging in the thin air last year. They made plays late. They wouldn't have had to if the Bears didn't get torched in the beginning of the game or if the defense hadn't dropped a couple of interceptions."

Mallrat92204 - The coverages were good, punts were great, returns were also pretty good. My low marks are mainly due to the missed extra point. If we didn't miss that kick, when Colorado was driving at the end of the game they would have been down by 4 and needed a touchdown instead of being down by 3 and needing a field goal to tie. You can't miss those, they are "gimmes" for a reason.


ikoolykedat - Adapt! when the first ape could not get his thumb into his nostrils to pick that pesky booger, he tried his index finger. I bet it worked and felt darned great!

FrankBear21- They were a step ahead of us all game. Bootlegs and screens got us every single time. Ridiculous.

Truman Hugh - Last week I wrote with much surprised happiness of Tedford's more aggressive playcalling. This week? Taking a knee with 30 seconds to go in regulation and one timeout? Bah! There was enough time to see if a FG was possible. At least it didn't hurt us...this time.

ShajBear13 - No answer for richardson and hansen. Playcallin was somewhat more predictable. Need to get maynard on the move more.


CaliforniaPete - "The Good: significantly fewer penalties than last week; the team was prepared to deal with adversity and a loud, oxygen-deprived environment on the road; the Bears appear to truly believe in their team-first mantra

The Bad: once again, Clancy's defense didn't appear to have a Plan B. How many times can Cal's defense get burned by the same plays, and the same player(s), over and over again? Colorado neutralized the pass rush with a combination of rollouts and screen passes, and Richardson was too often able to find space against an isolated Cal defender. And on offense, while there were some clever and effective calls, especially in the first half, the Bears just didn't seem to have many answers for the blitz--or much of a commitment to the running game.

The Ugly: Marvin Jones getting penalized for changing his jersey on the field. Really? If you have two #1s on the same special-teams unit, and one of the #1s is expected to stay on the field for the following play, then why not give the other #1 the temporary jersey?"

Abaddon - "I actually thought the coaching was OK. We were getting destroyed on both lines in the passing game and I am not really sure why, hard to say whether that was a game-time coaching issue or what.

I will say I specifically agreed with the decision NOT to try a hail mary at the end of the game. Too many chances to turn the ball over and a TO would result in an easy FG to win the game for CU. Alternatively CU was not scoring in the red zone and overtime is all red zone plays, so I liked our chances going to OT. (I thought this before we stopped them)."

bigdruid - Loving the play calling. The bootleg right before the winning TD I thought was an amazing call even though it was sniffed out. Obviously the defense had a long day, and I can't say why we weren't able to mount a decent pass rush - coaching, altitude, personnel, home field advantage?


Overall Performance


UncleSam22 - We came out with the W. We were outplayed and outclassed but found a way to win, which hopefully goes a long way towards getting some momentum. Definitely plenty to work on in practice.

dirty - not gonna win against Pac12 teams if we play like this. Including future games w/ CU

GBB4188 - "Colorado won this game for the Bears by committing a bevy of penalties.

Keenan Allen sealed it when it counts while a certain lineman nearly kills it in OT.

Thank god for Keenan Allen because this team has issues it needs to solve in a hurry."

CalBear2007 - Lots of stuff to improve upon, but happy with a "W". Learn from it and get better. At least that's the only time we'll be a Mile High this year. it really hurt the boys.

yg - Things could have gone very differently, but a road win with five penalties (two in overtime) and Keenan Allen heroics make this a memorable game. Boulder is not an easy place to win at; the entire PAC12 will learn that soon. So let's not take this win for granted.

rurata - I did not expect this game to be this close. I think a lot of us were screaming "MAAARSHALLLLLLLLL!!!!" for the wrong reasons today. However, the play was much cleaner, and I didn't notice any egregious errors by the o-line, unlike last week. Maynard still has a lot of room to improve, but I have trust in Tedford, and even if it takes a few more games, I'm sure that Maynard will. I think we need to keep in mind that this was still just Maynard's second start for us. Also, I think that Maynard still has another year of eligibility left, so if he can make some technical improvements, the future looks bright.


hardtobeacalfan - left a bad taste in my mouth, but a win on the road is something to celebrate. my initial reaction is that the defense just did not show up, but it did hold them to field goals at the end to give us a chance.

quantumquinoa - WTH was going on with the refs? The referee's mic wasn't working in the stadium, so some of those calls were made even more mysterious than then may have otherwise been.....

Francois Dillinger - i'm not sure i've ever seen another game where a team got outplayed in every aspect of the game, and managed to win. go bears..

Redonkulous Bear - Honey Badger: Honeybadger don't care about spreads, rankings, and all that stuff. Honeybadger wins games, Honeybadger don't care about all that other crap.

yorzepol - I think that our line play better improve quick. That's two QB that've torched our supposed best-in-conference D for a ton of points. I don't remember either one being touted as the next Andrew Luck. Also, our running backs kept getting tackled behind the line. Also, our passing was inconsistent. So inconsistent D, inconsistent offense and inconsistent special teams. Other than those areas I think we played well.

JerrotWillard45 - "Winning is awesome, especially on the road against a Pac-12 opponent. And they were fired up. This was character building. But boy did it almost kill me. We look a lot less skilled than I thought in my secret, hoping, heart after Fresno St. Disappointing.
BUT - we have a lot more guts and 'scrappiness' than I would have thought possible from a young team. And we have a real passing threat - which can solve 3rd and long and 'we need a quick TD' problems.
Sadly, Colorado lost that game more than we won it. They did a better job stopping their own offense than our D did - without those penalties, they score 50. I was very impressed by Colorado - Go Buffs the rest of the year!
BUT - when another team lies down or tries to lose, you have to capitalize on that, and we did - we actually did! I could hardly believe it when it suddenly ended, but we won! Yeah!!! We won!!! Go Bears!!!! I'll be cheering my ass off all season, and I hope you'll be with me!"

iVinishe - This user is currently out of commission due to several heart attacks sustained during the course of this game. Please redirect all further correspondence to iVinshe's imaginary friend Bob for the duration of this emergency.