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Holiday Bowl Report Card: Cal vs. Texas

Another season has come to an end, Cal fans. TwistNHook and I would like to thank each and every one of you who participated in our series of report cards for the 2011 season. These posts are always fun to put together, regardless of the outcome of the game (okay, they're a little more fun when we win).

In these posts we usually seem to cover the whole spectrum of opinions on the previous game, from the most optimistic sunshine pumpers to the most pessimistic Old Blues to the level-headed rational folks who sit somewhere in between. While we mods put a good amount of time and effort into this site, it would be far from complete without the vibrant, active community whose voices permeate the comments on this site.

So once again, thanks for sticking with us through the highs and lows of the season. Before we turn the 2011 season into a distant memory (for better or for worse), let's take a look at the final report card of the season: Cal vs Texas in the Holiday Bowl. After the jump we round up the scores and take a look at your comments on the game.

Average Score
Standard Deviation

Pass Offense

Rush Offense
Pass Defense
Rush Defense
Special Teams

Offense gets terrible scores while defense gets great scores...How many times have we seen that over the past two years. While this was the best defense we have seen since perhaps the 2008 USC defense, it was still frustrating to see the offense struggle so mightily against the ferocious Texas front seven. Unable to open up running lanes or protect Zach Maynard, poor O-line play doomed the offense against Texas.

On the other side of the ball, the defense was solid against the prolific Texas running game. While our focus on the run opened things up for Ash to make some big passes, the Texas passing game was mostly held in check.

Special teams earned another set of "okay" scores: not great, not bad.

Coaching earned some very low scores and this should not surprise us. Our sloppiness on offense (penalties, fumbles, ineptitude) seemed to suggest we were simply not ready to play.

Enough with the depressing numbers, though. Let's hand out some awards!

First off we have an Editor's Choice Award.

Editor's Choice Awards:

2011 Hater of the Year Award:

This award goes to native son, who put "Fuck Mack Brown" in every field of the report card form. HATE! HATE! HATE!

Next up are the Sunshine Pumpers and the Old Blues. Several of our usual Old Blues were missing in action, perhaps enjoying their time in San Diego or drowning their sorrows in alcohol. No matter! Several new faces filled the top-five spots in the list of Old Blues.

At the other end of the spectrum, we have our Sunshine Pumpers. Only three people gave the Bears an average of a passing grade in this game. You think we can have a rematch next semester to try to get a passing score this time?

Tedford's Sunshine Pumpers
Net Score, Percentage
1. texashaterforlife
4.42, 63.1%
2. gumibears
4.40, 62.9%
3. lEastCoastBears
4.30, 61.4%
4. FiatSlug
3.85, 55.0%
4. calas
3.85, 55.0%
Old Blues Net Score, Percentage
1. Mokadee !
0.00, 0.00%
2. UnhappyBlue 0.85, 12.1%
3. ResBear
1.50, 21.4%
3. Fire Jeff Tedford
1.50, 21.4%

5. Coach Tedterd

1.70, 24.3%

The Voice of Reason Total Deviation
1. sacman701
2. Berkelium97
3. 1988goldenbear
4. Cal_Fan2 .077
5. hardtobecalfan


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

I don't know how they do it, but 1988goldenbear and hardtobecalfan always seem to place among the top-five in the Voice of Reason. Of course, a certain mod managed to be even more reasonable than them! And at the top sits sacman701.

Now it's time to see to take a look at your comments on the game. Can we just talk about how pleasant San Diego and the Texas fans were instead?

Gameday Experience

nativeson: Fuck Mack Brown

Vforheisman: :(

gumibears: I thought I was lucky that the impromptu gathering with friends ended early so I could watch the game (they dont like watching football). Unfortunately, I think I would have enjoyed the gameday experience with friends instead of dying a slow and painful agony in front of my computer. My dad was watching with me and he was saying all day, "Cal sucks!," every time we had a turnover. It seems we can only have 1 turnover or 5 turnovers, never anything in between.

Old Bear 71: Agony. I'm an Old bear, I watched Texas do pretty much the same thing in 1969. It was painful then too.

1988goldenbear: Beautiful night in San Diego, traffic was bad but not too bad. UT fans were nice. Some drunk Cal fans in our section, but no one was out of control.

SoCal Oski: Mid-week bowl games suck. But then we more-or-less sucked this year, so we deserved it. But then, Ucla sucked more than us and they have a weekend bowl. But then they beat us when we were perhaps at our suckiest, so maybe they should be in a weekender while we were midweek.

prd74: Back in the 1960's a local San Jose channel (Channel 36) used to broadcast actual bullfights from Spain and Mexico. Last night's game brought back memories of these broadcasts as I watched our Oline play matador to the Texas Longhorn stampede. Ole. Run Zach run!

The game itself was like watching a soccer match. Little scoring and the winner was the one who makes the fewest mistakes. If all games were like last night's, I would stop watching football.

All right, we have now seen the worst college marching band uniforms ever.

March Grandioso again!! Why do all Texas schools play this? Hey Stanfurd, fucla, let's all play Conquest!

caligoldentrition: Bought tickets outside the stadium for face value, wasn't bad. Liked most of the Cal fans but I didn't like the 5 minute rant from the couple in front of me about how they had been to the Big Game for the last 20 years and they're 4 y/o has been to more games than me. Also didn't like getting called Tebow and a fair weather fan for leaving the game after Marv's second fumble.
Keenan Allen Crabbe People: I go to grad school in North Carolina, so the Holiday Bowl was my first Cal gameday experience of the year! The fact that Texas won does not detract from the absolute joy that is watching the Golden Bears live and in person. Everything from warm-ups to touchdowns to chatting with other Cal fans is just such a great treat. I am so happy to say that I was there for the first and last performances of Marvin Jones, Mychal Kendricks, Bryan Anger, and the other seniors. Go Bears forever!

fuzzywuzzy: Ya know it's gonna be one of those good ol' ugly road trips when Hwy 33 is faster than I5 south at 1:00 in the afternoon. How do people live in Los Angeles? It's almost worse than living in Texas. Thanks be to the pigskin gods that the game was in San that town...

Shitty traffic. Nice parade, great weather. Go Navy, great defense. Watched the police escort the team buses out, probably looking for loose footballs rolling out of the undercarriage. Bevo would probably be happier in the Gaslamp Strip Club than being the pet of the evil one.

Oh yeah, many thanks to the Manager at the Gaslamp Hilton for blowing off the whiny "but it's a pitbull" complaints. Yeah, he's big, he barks, but you should be out carousing anyway, not inside watching re-runs of the flying Texan sacking our QB.

Pass Offense

JABear: Apart from some nice throws to Keenan Allen and Marv Jones, pretty nonexistant. Not surprised though, Maynard had no time to throw, and was on the ground after every play.

sacman701: Yuck. Pass protection hit a new low. Given generally no time to throw, Maynard reverted to some of his old bad habits and forced balls that should not have been thrown.

Vforheisman: :(

Old Bear 71: It was offensive. Then O line was no match for the horses Texas unleashed. Maynard could not make them pay for their fast, aggressive schemes, a la RGlll, and make that little twerp of a def. coord. stay on the sideline (Why no flag on him?).

If the o line issues don't get fixed next year, QB play won't matter too much. we will still beat bad teams and get beat by good ones.

UnhappyBlue: In the games that we have lost due to multiple turnovers committed by our QB, I have noticed that Maynard goes back to the sideline after getting sacked or throwing an Int and he just sits on the bench sulking without talking to the coaches about what went wrong, he doesn't go over pre-snap reads, talk to the eyes in the sky, or make adjustments to correct the problems that just occurred. This is a major problem with his coaching and with his lack of attention to detail. We never see any corrections and the same type of problem happens over and over again. You would never see Aaron Rodgers just go sit on the bench and sulk after getting sacked or throwing an Int.

Keenan Allen Crabbe People: Aaron Rodgers could have been in that backfield and I still think Cal would have lost. It's not so much that Maynard was attacked; it was the dizzying frequency and isotropy of Texas' pass rush that makes me, for the first time I can ever recall, question Coach Michalczik. I mean, it can't all be talent gap, can it? Marvin Jones was a warrior though.

texashaterforlife: MARVIN! Great last game for him, really. Great sideline catches. Other than that...christ, it was like watching rodeo clowns trying to stop a full-speed cattle drive...Keenan did ok, but a passing offense needs to give even a mobile QB more time than that.

FiatSlug: Maynard will never be more than a little above average as a QB. The playbook needs to be simplified for Maynard to reach his potential.

Maynard often made big pass plays by zipping the ball into the receiver and Allen and Jones made great catches. But Maynard's one interception killed a drive and gave UT good field position at their 42. Fortunately, the defense bailed Maynard out.

What's worse were the snaps in the shotgun that ruined drives because Maynard had to cover the resulting fumble and take a loss. This shouldn't happen in the 13th game of the season.

Add to that Maynard sacked 6 times for losses of 54 yards and the pass offense looks ineffective.

Run Offense

sacman701: Yuck. Run blocking was terrible, most outside runs were doomed from the start, and Sofele let a guy who was blocked slap the ball right out of his hand.

Vforheisman: :(

oskiwow: Texas's D is stout, and when we don't have a reliable passing game for them to worry about, they were able to key in on our runs. The O-line and Isi just didn't get it done today.

prd74: We had our 5'7" running back keep running into a wall until he was knocked silly and started fumbling. Ron Gould in the hospital must have been a distraction as well.

caligoldentrition: this space has been left blank because there was none.


Keenan Allen Crabbe People: Isi is a replacement level back, CJ is even worse. Bigelow has shown nothing to make me think he is anything but replacement level as well.

FiatSlug: Played well early on, but wore down as the game went into the 2nd half. It seemed that UT figured out Cal's blocking schemes and brought the house after Cal's lone TD at the beginning of the 3rd quarter. Sofele rushed 6 times after the TD drive; 2 times in the 4th quarter.

The rushing statistics were adversely affected by the sack yardage (54 yards). Still, the OL looked ineffective in the 2nd half after the initial drive for a TD.

Pass Defense

Vforheisman: :|

1988goldenbear: Got burned a couple times on big gains, but for the most part we played great. We have a habit of getting burned consistently by delayed passes to the TE, and it happened again tonight. But we only gave up 21 points despite turning the ball over FIVE TIMES. So we played great.

rollonyoubears111: Except for giving up a few big plays, the pass defense seemed to perform okay. Then again, we were playing against a true freshman QB making his sixth start, so it's not like everyone deserves candy and presents.

califoldentrition: DBs were over committed to the run and got burned a few times. I'm not sure if I should be upset that no one covered Ash on the WR pass to him but I'm irked by it. There was also one time that a Texas WR was wide open for about 10 minutes but Ash couldn't get the ball to him thanks to our pass rush so we got lucky there.

CBBD: Oh hey look there goes the tight end untouched for a gain to our 3 yard line. Oh hey look theres a trick play and we never defend trick plays. Did i mention we had FOUR FUMBLES?!

calas: Front 7 looked good! ALMOST had a lot of sacks but just barely missed. I was sick watching texass #84 running 5 yards past our DB time after time! Thank god their QB was bad!

Keenan Allen Crabbe People: At some point, Texas realized that Cal's pass defense was not omniscient and could in fact be susceptible to misdirection.

fuzzywuzzy: Except for one or two blown coverages, pretty durn' good, plus the fact that the Texas QB couldn't hit the broadside of a cow with a bullet in the first half helped. Wanted to see a little more pressure, however, but they were still pretty good.

Run Defense

coolingfan: Our defense lived up to (if not exceeded) the expectation, except for giving up big yards on few play action plays. But our D kept us in the game. It reminded me of the Oregon game last year.

Vforheisman: :)

1988goldenbear: The UT run game was their strength, and for the most part we contained that part of their game. They were able to move the ball at the end of the game to burn clock when it was pretty much already decided, but with the exception of a couple plays they basically got nothing on our D.

Coach Tedterd: Our dline was creating havic and stuffed what was a very good Texas running game. Another amazing effort wasted.

SoCal Oski: I think our run defense caught those Texas kids by surprise. As shitty as the secondary was, our front seven were nails.

fuzzywuzzy: As pointed out in another article, most of the yards gained by the Horners came in like, three plays, so the run defense was pretty awesome. Tipoti had a breakout game, along with Kendricks and the rest of the D.

Special Teams

JABear: Gonna miss you, Mr. Anger.

Vforheisman: :/

Old Bear 71: Anger is going to play Sundays.Bigelow got some experience, & looked like next year will get one or two runbacks for td's.

oskiwow: Tavecchio continued his strong performance, making his only field goal attempt of the game. Don't know why we don't unleash Anger more often. The rugby punts are so bad. Bigelow had a few nice returns to the 30, 35. Hopefully he continues to get stronger and plays a bigger role in the team next year.

caligoldentrition: Will miss Anger Smash and Georgio. It was weird, even after the penalty on the FG attempt I was confident he'd make it, boy times do change.... Could have done better with the catching part of the return game but we by-in-large did well here. We contained them on returns and didn't give them good field position.

CBBD: What was with that first quarter punt return debacle? Thank you refs....

Keenan Allen Crabbe People: I, for one, believed Tavecchio would nail that second field goal after the illegal procedure penalty. But, I couldn't believe Bryan Anger would shank that punt. That was truly beneath him.

fuzzywuzzy: TAVECCHIO! Go ahead wizea guy, give me anotha five-a yardza, tack it on! No problemo! Point to the sky. Except for the shank, very good special teams. I think this is the first time they go the best score.

FiatSlug: Bryan Anger is an excellent punter. We will miss his excellence in punting and his contributions to the team by making field position for the opposition worse than it would be otherwise. UT had only 1 punt return for 0 yards, 3 fair catches. Good coverage, I think.

Tavecchio made his one FG attempt and only XP attempt. Kickoffs were reasonably deep and UT's starting position on kickoffs were around the UT 25. Again, good coverage.


JABear: Coaches shit the bed on this one. Lots and lots of fundamental errors.

sacman701: I have to question the offensive coaching. They did absolutely nothing to counter Texas' zone blitzes, and kept trying to run outside even after it should have been obvious that it was never going to work.

coolingfan: Our offense definitely seemed outschemed by the Texas D, to the point that it almost looked like they knew Tedford's signals.

Vforheisman: :O

oskiwow: They've had better days. Some of the playcalls were questionable. Seemed like we were getting a bit too clever (e.g., at the end of the game, down two scores, with ~5 minutes left, we continued to run the ball on first and second down, making life easier for Texas and running down the clock for them).

Unhappy Blue: There is a problem with the coaching of our QB. Maynard doesn't seem to care about correcting problems with his protection after getting sacked or try to talk to the eye in the sky about coverages after throwing a pick. There is no attention to detail. Why are we spending unnecessary time outs due to poor clock management?

caligoldentrition: Down 11 with a few minutes in the 4th and we run twice! I can but wonder what his logic was in calling those plays ("...hmm, well we haven't been able to run over them all day and need points in a sort time, but they're probably expecting pass, lets run!"). There were a few other questionable coaching decisions I disagreed with. I don't remember the exact plays anymore but there were quite a few plays that made me wonder why on earth we would run those plays.

CBBD: Beginning of the game? Lets be predictable! Run the ball straight up the middle! Sure, were down by 11 in the fourth quarter, lets just run the balls for consecutive downs!

fuzzywuzzy: Maybe shoulda practiced some more fundamentals or something, like HOLDING ON TO THE BALL AND BLOCKING


nativeson: Fuck Mack Brown

lEastCoastBears: we didn't beat Mack Brown (and Texas) and it really sucks


sacman701: The defense had some breakdowns, but overall it played well enough to win. Calling the offense a train wreck is an insult to train wrecks. Granted Texas' defense is light years ahead of anyone else we played this year, but the offense looked like an example of what football would be if blocking were outlawed. Overall, a disappointing game.

coolingfan: Humiliating. So much for revenge.

VforHeisman: >:(

oskiwow: I never demand that cal win every game because that is impossible. The only thing I ask is that the Bears compete hard and don't embarrass themselves with self-inflicted turnovers and penalties. Make them beat you, don't beat yourself. Even if the coaches did a better job of putting the players in position to be successful they have a regularly bad habit of not executing. Looked like the Niners of last year instead of the Niners of this year!

Better luck in 2012!

aznpursuit: Percentage at fault

Maynard 20% (Bad game management, bad interception, bad handoff)

Coaches 15% (Maybe more rollouts? I dunno...I felt the Texas D was just too good)

Oline 40% (Maynard was pressured all day. During the play where he fumbled, he had THREE, count it THREE, Texas players coming in from his blindside.)

Butterfingers 25% (Better not lay a finger on them)

oskiwow: 1-2-3-4-5 turnovers on us, and 0 for Texas. Even though Texas only scored off of one of those, each one killed any momentum we had. Just waiting to see what effect, if any, this performance will have on recruiting. The 2012 season can't start soon enough. Go Bears.

rollonyoubears111: The sloppy play means that the kids were not prepared. If they were not prepared, I put this mostly on the coaches for not making sure they were prepared. Bad snaps, bad hand-offs, poor ball handling, poor clock management...I am glad what Tedford did for Cal, but I am also holding my breath for when the next coach comes around. You know, like the Belotti to Kelly transition. I support our Bears, but I can't help but to give up hope uner his reign because there doesn't seem to be any more steam.

UnhappyBlue: This was an ugly game. Turnovers killed us. There were no in-game corrections made to handle the blitzes. This reminded me of the UCLA game failure. We need to open the QB competition up for next year. If this is the best we can do at QB, we will continue to be mediocre.

Coach Tedterd: What does the coaching staff do during practice?? They had a whole month and that offense team looked like they never saw a football in their lives. Hats off to the defense, they played hearts out.

caligoldentrition: Aweful, waste of a 150mi drive, waste of $60, waste of my time. Can't say I was surprised and maybe I should blame myself for not knowing better...


Keenan Allen Crabbe People: Take away the five turnovers, redo the shanked punt, and give Cal ten time outs. Then, we'd all be talking about revenge and Rose Bowls. But maybe we can dream of a new revenge: the 2012 recruits, who will get their shot at Texas in 2015.

fuzzywuzzy: Crap. Mack Brown's ears are now offically longer than Bevo's horns, and his eyes are deep, dark, black holes, he's so evil. And I'd rather live in California and lose continually than win while living in the giant pile of stink that is the state of texas.

texashaterforlife: I really wanted this to be a win, but was not expecting it. Five turnovers does not help.

FiatSlug: Again, defense and ST showed up.

The offense, however, played very poorly, indeed. 5 TOs. 4 penalties for 35 yards. 8 rushes for loss (-36 yds). 6 sacks for loss of 54 yards. Did I mention FIVE TURNOVERS? The offense would have benefitted from a simplified playbook, roll-outs, option plays, and short drops to keep UT's defense on its toes and back on its heels.

CALumbusBear: Our O-line cost us this game, period. It lead to the 6 sacks and played a role in the 5 turnovers. And Mack Brown is still a douchebag

After that kind of end to the season, I think we all could use a hug.