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What were the positives from the Cal-WSU game?

It was sloppy and disjointed, but it was still a win. Here's some of the positives from the WSU game.

James Snook-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire


Offensive line: they held Travis Long in check and did not surrender a single sack (I thought I remembered one sack, but play-by-play says otherwise). Additionally, I only remember one O-line penalty (holding). No false starts! They were opening up huge holes all night for the RBs. This was by far the best performance of the year for the line.

No fumbles!

Playcalling: We went with a 2:1 run-to-pass ratio, which plays well into our strengths. We added several Maynard runs, giving us a four-headed monster for the ground game. When we opted to pass, the Zach-to-Keenan connection burned the WSU defense all night long.

Pass defense: we ran mostly man coverage and guys did well in their individual assignments. Williams was the star this week with several pass breakups and an interception. There were occasional lapses, but that's bound to happen when the opponent throws 63 passes.

Check-with-mes: despite being on the road and having to deal with (minimal) crowd noise, we were able to change the play in about 8-10 seconds. We got burned once, but we seemed much faster about changing the plays this week.

Last positive: that there were so many positives to take away from the game!

Ohio Bear: Most of all, it was a win. As norcalnick described in his recap, it was an ugly, disjointed game. It would have been very easy for Cal to slip into a malaise given the flow (or lack thereof) of the game in the first half. But Cal did not. The Bears kept pounding the running game and beating WSU with a running attack that the Cougs really couldn't stop. It was a beautiful thing to run for over 300 yards. Another positive was the defense: Jeff Tuel, IMO, played very well when he brought in for an ineffective Connor Halliday. Cal defended the pass well for the most part, particularly Steve Williams who played an outstanding game.

Unclesam22: Obviously the running game was huge. It was great to see Cal finally just let it loose and run it down someone's throat. Granted, it was WSU, but still, seeing that kind of a display of power running really was incredible. And speaking of, the OLine came up huge. To see them open up huge running lanes and then to not allow a sack was a giant step forward for them and hopefully gets them pointed in the right direction. Keenan Allen going off was great too. He caught a ton of passes and averaged 15 ypc. Not bad at all. I also thought that the secondary, questionable penalties notwithstanding, played very well.

TwistNHook: Well, I'm big on the kick that Vincenzo D'Amato made. He only had one kick attempt on Saturday.

Field goal attempts
D'Amato, Vincen 3rd 02:02  52 yds - Good

After having some struggles this season, I think it was a great positive for him to hit this 52 yarder. The big misses from the tOSU game were not due to lack of distance. The problem was that he kept hooking them. So, I think that D'Amato does have leg strength. I hope that D'Amato can put some of his previous struggles behind him and have a great rest of the season! May this great kick give him the confidence going forward.

Another positive was the run D. Look at the numbers for WSU. 36 yards total! 70 total yards rushing with 34 yards lost. 2.0 yards per carry overall. Some parts of that relate to the fact that WSU abandoned the run and sacks came in to play. However, no matter how you look at it, those are numbers I'll take 10 out of 10 times.

Kodiak: The biggest positive for me is that we put together consecutive games with good effort, solid schemes, and improved play. The penalty yardage doesn't really bother me this week because many of the calls were ridiculously bad. Also, I don't mind penalties of aggression and effort as much as the self-inflicted/unforced variety. I'm liking the run-first, short-passing identity that we're developing on offense. And, I see the young players on defense continuing to improve.

JahvidKnowsBest: Running game was awesome. Loved seeing each back being effective, as well as Maynard. If we can keep that up against the Furd we will have a good shot at winning. Maynard played pretty well also. Those two picks were really off the hands of receivers. Loved seeing Keenan have a monster game as well. Also' D'mato's kick was awesome, even though I wish we tried to pick up the first in that situation. Pass coverage was also pretty stellar considering they threw 60+ times.

NorCalNick: Simply that it was an easy victory. Washington State is just not a talented team, and it doesn't matter if they are being coached by Mike Leach, Chip Kelly or Buddy Teevens. Although Cal's performance wasn't dominating, it was easily good enough for a comfortable road win. The Bears never trailed, and there was never a point in the game when I thought to myself, "Gee, we might lose this game."
That might not seem like much, but a few weeks ago there were Cal fans (possibly including me!) who thought that there wasn't a sure win on the schedule. Cal made this game look like a sure win.