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Cal-Fresno State Football 9.3.11 Report Card

Our first Report Card of the season.  Basically, this is a post where we get to see what you, the readers, think.  There is a lot of us talking to you.  And that's OK.  I guess.  But what purpose is there in listening to us, if we can't also add your voices to that deafening cacophony.  After each Cal football game, an immediate post game thread goes up.  This allows for fresh discussion of the game in full.  In that post-game thread, there will be a report card where you can grade each aspect of the team and then provide your thoughts.  Then, I go through the results and put the comments together based on section.  Berkelium97 crunches the numbers and provides the grades.

Today, we are talking about the Cal-Fresno State game.  A solid Cal victory in a weekend when most other Pac-12 teams struggled.  But us being Cal fans, nothing comes easy.  Our neurosis is in full display on this report card as we chew over the complexities of Maynard's QB play and special teams struggles.  After the jumps, there are grades for each position and your comments.  Yes, you!  Thanks to all who were awesome enough to add something to the report card.  I tried to include something from everybody.  Unless you are a current CGB mod and you added your thoughts in the Report Card.  Then, I skipped past you.  You have your megaphone already!  GO BEARS! 

Berkelium97:  As Twist mentioned, I crunch the numbers and hand out the awards, so I'll walk you through the next few sections.  

First up we look at how you graded the offense, defense, special teams, coaching and overall experience.  The "Average Score" is the grade for the category and the "Standard Deviation" tells us how much variation there was in the category.  The larger the Standard Deviation, the more disagreement there was about the scores.

Average Score
Standard Deviation

Pass Offense

Rush Offense
Pass Defense
Rush Defense
Special Teams
Win likelihood vs Colorado
.804 (+.095)


Maynard must have impressed the lot of you, as the passing game had a score of .701.  Here's a fun fact: only three times last season was the passing game graded higher than .701.  A sign of great things to come from Maynard, or was he simply taking advantage of a sloppy, depleted defense?

The rushing game was not as generously graded.  Sofele's debut was given a .577.  Here's another fun fact: only three times last season was the running game given scores below .577.  Will Sofele fail to live up to his predecessors, or will the running game improve over the season?

While the running game was not given the highest marks, the only facet of the game that was given poor marks was the special teams.  Thankfully we will not be playing in the swirling winds of Candlestick Park all year round.

Our performance coupled with the Marshallpocalypse in last week's Colorado-Hawaii game has given us a big boost in confidence heading into next week's game.  We enjoyed a 10% increase in our chance of winning against the Buffs.  PUMP PUMP PUMP!


Next up is our awards section.  We always hand out the same trio of awards, but we reserve the right to hand out editor's choice awards to those submissions that truly stand out (for better or for worse).


Editor's Choice Award:

Returning President of the Keenan Allen Fan Club: BeastMode

Once again, BeastMode opens the season as the Keenan Allen Fan Club.  Every response in the report card, whether comment or score, was "KEENAN ALLEN."  We're glad to welcome you back as president, BeastMode.



Next up we have our usual pair of awards for the most and least optimistic of the bunch.  We have Tedford's Sunshine Pumpers who saw nothing but brilliance in the game and the Old Blues, whose nightmares have been plagued by consecutive false start penalties, fumbles returned for touchdowns, and kickoffs to the 15.

Tedford's Sunshine Pumpers
Net Score, Percentage
1. NapaBear
6.10, 87.14%
2. solarise
5.89, 84.14%
3. Swamphunter
5.76, 82.29%
4. Cugel
5.75, 82.14%
5. SCrosby
5.73, 81.86%
Old Blues Net Score, Percentage
1. WillardFan
3.40, 48.57%
2. norcalnick 3.60, 51.42%
3. ososdeoro
3.90, 55.71%
3. FiatSlug
3.90, 55.71%

5. coolingfan

4.00, 57.14% 


The Voice of Reason Total Deviation
1. atomsareenough
2. Abaddon
3. Spazzy McGee
4. rurata .067
5. royrules22


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

atoms once again demonstrates that we mods are not lost in our own echo chamber of brilliance.  Watch out, Spazzy is on his way to repeating his title as CGB's most rational participant.


Now let's see how you all felt about the game in words.  Please keep the barking and woofing to a minimum.


Gameday Experience

jpeng - Thank goodness I didn't connect to the stream until our 2nd drive... (Thank you very much for the stream btw!)

beson - Met up at Mr Pockets for the Southbay Cal Alumni party. Over 50 Cal fans there. Great game watching experience.

sincey - "Having attended the game, I give a 0.50 for the 12th man and the AD for scheduling this. We were in a difficult situation sure, but goddamn was that sight embarrassing. Stadium looked sooo empty and the fans were so passive."

SpazzyMcgee - Unique and odd. I want a Croix de Candlestick. I can't say I want to repeat the situation. I suppose playing here was better than @Fresno.

SwampHunter - "Missed the CGB tailgate due to finishing 2002 vs Baylor highlights. Sorry, but I felt doing that was a higher priority.

Also, ""15,000 DISAPPOINTED (FSU) FANS!"""

JerseyBear - Sat in section UB42, right below the Fresno State fan section. They were definitely louder than us, but other than that I thought it was a decent showing by Cal fans. No fights or anything after the game. Candlestick was cold and windy as usual. Seats were good, overall enjoyed my time, though I wish more people had come out.

crystallagrobear - Grilled hamburgers and hotdogs with a few friends before the game. We were grilling on my little Weber, but unfortunately a student group (it's Orientation season) had all the picnic tables reserved. So we set the little Weber on the ground and stood under a tree eating hamburgers and hot dogs. Then we snuck into a little-known place on campus where there's a 72" HDTV with Direct TV which no one uses to watch the game. All in all a success.

ososdeoro -Been nursing a cold, and played tennis and then music all day, so planned to watch the game from the comfort of my living room, except PG&E scheduled a 9-5 power outage at my place today, so I went down to the local sports bar to watch the first half. Came home for the second half.



royrules22 - "Seriously Cal fans? I flew over 800 miles for this game yet many students who live across the Bay (or many fans in SF!) didn't make it. Disgusting.

Also Candlesticks sucks. Hella windy"

Shak - Nice, but work in progress, win against a good well coached and motivated team plus an appreciative and loyal fan base. For those of us (as in Hawaii) having to find an internet radio feed, how insulting to have to go to a Fresno station because KGO was "blacked out" due to a greedy agreement between the U and the radio station. Shameful and mercenary. Who's bright idea was that I wonder (SB)?? Still got Joe on the radio though...Get real.


Pass Offense

boomtho - "Maynard is, at the very least, exciting. Throws his outs/comebacks/curls on a rope, but shows less than perfect touch on crossing/long passes. Love the connection with KA and Marv that is already evident. Plus, Miller caught a ball!

Best play call of the day was actually an incompletion, the one off CDJ's hands."

jpeng - Maynard has an uncanny connection with KA21... makes me shudder to think what would happen if either of our starting WO's goes down with an injury... Jones leaving in the 3rd quarter was pretty scary

coolingfan -Two 100+ yard receivers -- that's an achievement. Maynard did not seem to have totally settled in, but seemed to have good passing instincts and did not hesitate in some obvious situations.

Willis Chong - "Horrific 1st series. Then Maynard got really hot. Then the wheels sorta fell apart, though slower than Fresno St.'s wheels did. Maynard missed some really open guys, and we can't have that when we face better secondaries.

I would also feel much better if Maynard's comp % was closer to 60, not under 50.

On the plus side, Allen, Jones, and Miller got passes and contributed."

bearbacker - looked solid. Nice to see a QB who can trow on the run.

CaliforniaPete - The completion efficiency needs to improve, especially on short, quick-hitting throws. But Maynard showed real promise, and he delivered more big-time, down-the-field throws than I've seen in quite a while from a Cal QB, especially on third down. I'm becoming very optimistic, except for the fact that lack of consistency has been the Achilles Heel of Bears' QBs for several years now.



Run Offense

royrules22 - "My concerns for Sofele is warranted. He's good on the edge and when he has a huge gap. He's not good at grinding out yards. I want more CJA.

DeBo always sounds good in practice and then he's a no-show."

FiatSlug - "The OL looks like they have improved remarkably since Michalczik's return: ripping big holes for Sofele to run through and protecting Maynard well.

Then in the 3rd or 4th quarter the OL had a series in which they were called for three straight penalties: false starts and holding, resulting in 2nd & 31. Ugly."

VandyImport - I can't say it enough: DO NOT RUN ISI SOFELE UP THE MIDDLE WHEN HE GIVES AWAY A HUNDRED POUNDS TO EVERY TACKLER. Unless he was found in a rocketship in Kansas, he's not going to push the pile.

Socal Oski -A few sparks, but otherwise pretty sad. Sofele has heart, but this game didn't convince me that he's The Guy. And the OL isn't entirely to blame.

Nkick - Seems like the O-line had some success in the trenches for Isi. We'll need more of that if we want a run game.


Pass Defense

cugel - Pass defense was very good, both with the pressure the line brought with rushing four, or blitzing for sacks. The DB were excellent, Marc Anthony, Steve Williams and D.J. Campbell all played well, along with the rest of our crew. One LB breakdown (at least that's what I saw in real time) led to the one long pass by Fresno.

sincey - Defense was SICK. I give them an A. Some mistakes and bad holding calls and a personal foul but overall, Kendricks, Holt, Anthony, Williams, Campbell, Guyton, etc showed. up. to. play. Go Pendergast.

CaliforniaPete - Great game. Decent pressure on the QB, good coverage and good job limiting YAC when Carr was able to connect. Perhaps we could ask for another turnover or two, but that would be greedy. Today's performance would win a lot of games.

Ursa Major - Pretty solid all day. Nice QB pressure most of the day. There were a couple of cases of blown coverage, one leading to that amazing rundown by Campbell, but Carr never looked all that comfortable. CBs did a good job of open field tackling on the screens.

crystallagrobear - As far as I can tell, the offense was almost entirely responsible for the first two touchdowns Fresno scored. The pass defense was virtually impenetrable until Fresno's final drive, when most of Cal's second team was in. Pretty impressive.

SCrosby87 - Great coverage all day. Not many blown assignments, and when they were blown, they caught up to the mistake and made up for it. Gave time for the pass rushers to do some dirty work, disrupting throws. Linebackers were awesome here too.



Run Defense

GoldenBear77 - The best area of the game. I really like our front 7 (all of them, including the "backups"\.

yg - Bears swallow bulldogs.


boomtho - Our defense improved as the game went on, especially people like Tiny (!!!!) blowing up the backfield.

Hardtobeacalfan - i actually thought we would do better in run defense with our d-line vs. their inexperienced o-line.


Special Teams


Hardtobeacalfan - i see that we remain "special" teams. TWO blocked pats, ugly rugby punting, short kickoffs, penalties during returns. i expected better from anger and i hoped for better from tavecchio.

Willard Fan - Does Ray Wersching have any years of eligibility left?

dirt - I missed the fubar thing I read about in the threadz

boomtho - You have to take this performance with a grain of salt, since the Candlestick winds mess everything up. But Giorgio looked shaky (and I didn't even see the missed PAT's!), Anger's rugby punts make me sad. Coverage was not great but not terrible either.

cugel - OK, people should lighten up on both Tavecchio & Anger; they both played capably. Sure there were two blocked extra points, but that's a team thing. Tavecchio nailed a tough field goal in probably the toughest stadium in the country for field goals. Also, my number one concern was adequately handled yesterday: coverage on special teams was much improved, no big run backs and that's huge.

SwampHunter - "Yeaaaaah... needs work on that blocking scheme it seems.

May have been a fluke though, because it seemed to fix itself later.

Also, lack of Anger SMASH moments have me worried."



Hardtobeacalfan - i liked the playcalling. did not like the mental errors (illegal formation, etc) that could be attributed to not being prepared. i liked that we saw a lot of our young players get game experience even though it's obvious that being talented doesn't immediately transfer to being ready to be a starter.

Truman High - I liked that we were still passing right up to the end. It's nice to see that little bit of play-call aggression from Tedford.

Offense Shows Promise - Jeff Tedford... please stop the conservative play calling near the end of the game! We don't need game management, we need violent and humiliating defeat for our opponents!

yg - So so so good to see Coach Michalczik on the sidelines! He is a man made for close-ups. And who was the last offensive coordinator to coach from the sideline instead of up in the box?

Ursa Major - I was happy to see some of the young guys get snaps on defense during the 4th quarter. It led to the only real drive of the game for FSU, but I'd rather win by 2 TDs and have younger guys get experience then win by 3 TDs. During the game, I wanted to see Bridgford, but reflecting further, Maynard probably needed the snaps. Eventually getting Bridgford will be critical, given the higher likelihood of a running QB like Maynard missing some time due to getting banged up. 

California Pete - Frustrating to see the offensive disarray at times during the first half. But great preparation on the defensive side, and a few nice examples of the genius play calling of coach Tedford, even if sloppy execution (e.g., the overthrown ball to DeBoskie) limited the impact.


Overall Performance

crazedfan - Despite a rocky start, Cal really looked strong in this game. The defense really only gave up one touchdown and was thoroughly dominant. We're definitely gonna be relying on the defense to keep us in games, but with a quarterback who looks capable of actually getting the ball downfield to our terrific wide receivers, we could very well have a surprising little season on our hands.


Bring Bridg - Refs were horrible. Two words: Leg Whip.

rurata - There were way too many penalties, and miscues. That missed snap that turned into a TD was especially bad. I hope that the inexperience at center doesn't lose us a game. I hope Galas is a quick learner.

solarise - A good starting point for this season. I am waiting to see how Zach Maynard develops. Maynard may not be Aaron Rodgers but he can be Trent Dilfer who might still get us to the Rose Bowl. The Bears run a variety of formations and plays that will razzle dazzle the opponents as long as we execute without mistakes.

JerseyBear - Feel good about the passing game, despite some errant throws and dropped balls. Really worried about the run game- Isi seems like he can carry the load, but I was looking for more from CDJ or CJA, and didn't see much. Troubled by our o-line as well. Defense was solid. ST needs work. Overall, I'm encouraged we can win 7-8 games this season.

cugel - A solid win against a quality opponent, rather ragged and rough at parts, but something to build off of rather than a finished product. I'm looking forward to visiting Boulder, and feeling more confident of victory. Note to Carp, I bet there're some Fresno fans asking themselves why their program picked such a tough opponent for their first game; this was the first time Fresno hadn't won their first game since 2003.


Thanks for participating! Check back on Saturday night for the next report card!