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Pleasantries in Pullman: Cal-Washington State Report Card

Pretty solid night for the Bears. Despite a few (perplexing) penalties, as well as some interceptions, this game gave us the kind of momentum we need heading into the Big Game.

James Snook-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

It's a good thing that was an enjoyable game, considering it was nearly 4 hours. I don't understand why anyone thought it was a good idea to schedule a 7:30pm kickoff in Pullman in October. Can you imagine if they pulled that in November?

Category Average Score Standard Deviation
Pass offense .663 .147
Rush offense .879 .102
Pass defense .681 .138
Rush defense .764 .131
Special teams .768 .141
Coaching .746 .156
Overall .749 .121
Win probability vs. Stanfurd 56.9% (-1.6%) .208

For the first time all year everyone passed (even special teams)! Pass offense and pass defense barely scraped by, but many others enjoyed solid overall marks. While each individual category varied, the grades in general were almost identical to the UCLA game.

For the second week in a row Tedford and the coaches earned passing grades. Perhaps that hot seat has cooled off by a few degrees. A Big Game win will go a long way towards keeping Tedford employed next season.

The chance of winning the Big Game has dropped slightly. Considering how the first five games of the season turned out, I have no problem with being nearly on par with our preseason predictions. It certainly helps that the Lobsterback offense has so far looked incompetent.

Editor's Choice Awards:

First up we have the Jay Stricherz, Is That You? award for the following ballot:

Name P12Ref (Not Glasses Guy)
Pass offense Holding on every pass
Rush offense Holding on every run
Pass defense PI on every dropback
Rush defense Late Hit on every tackle
Special teams Illegal Blog on every return
Coaching My Crew Was Awesome
Overall 1 billion
Win probability vs. Stanford Ted Robinson

If I didn't know any better, I'd say that was a page straight out of the Pac-12 referees' handbook. Remember when Larry Scott became Pac-10 Commissioner and he said one of his biggest goals was to improve officiating? Neither do I.

Next up is the Speedy Award which goes to Steve Williams who gave a grade of "Steve Williams" in every category.

Finally we have the Whose Axe?! award for WantAxe, who wrote in "WantAxe" for each category.

Now onto the usual awards.

Tedford's Sunshine Pumpers:

Tedford's Sunshine Pumpers Total Score Percentage
1. koalaballa 6.59 94.07%
1. fuzzywuzzy 6.28 89.71%
3. Rose Bowl Oski 6.20 88.57%
4. Keenan Allen Crabbe People 6.10 87.14%
4. randythebear 6.10 87.14%

Solid scores all around.

Old Blues:

Old Blues Total Score Precentage
1. calfan4ever 2.30 32.86%
2. Terdford 3.30 47.14%
3. Oski Disciple 3.80 54.29%
4. bearocious 4.25 60.71%
5. calbear77x 4.40 62.86%

Once again calfan4ever is king of the Old Blues. I'm not sure why his (her?) jimmies are so rustled week after week. He/she refrains from leaving comments so we cannot get any explanation for these low scores. At least the total score was higher than last week's 28.57%.

Finally we have The Voice of Reason, which goes to those whose grades were closest to the community average.

The Voice of Reason:

The Voice of Reason Deviation
1. GBB4188 0.043
2. HydroTech 0.044
3. BandAlum 0.047
4. Flag Guy 0.047
5. Willis Chong 0.049

GBB4188 barely beats HydroTech for that number 1 spot. You all have been the most reasonable voters yet, as the deviations were lower than they have been in any of the previous weeks. Excellent work, comrades.

Thanks again to JahvidKnowsBest for sorting through all these comments. Fortunately the report cards have been much more pleasant than they were earlier in the year. May next week's report cards be equally pleasant.


Gameday Experience:

Prd74: At 3 AM, I am too tired to write anything except:

randythebear: Glad to be able to watch on Pac-12 TV. I wish they didn't schedule it to start so late.

FiatLux: Stanfurd's going down! The Axe will be back in Berkeley!!!!!

WantAxe: WantAxe

Oski4Heisman: WE WANT THE AXE

alpha1906: Fun.

hateford: Not a single campus bar was near capacity for watching the game. In fact most people paid more attention to the Yankees/Detroit game.

TruffleShuffle: Tedford's Bears have had so many disappointing road performances over the years, that I'm always pleasantly surprised when we come out with a strong showing (no matter how inferior the opponent).

CALumbus Bear: I woke up at 6 am Pacific time. While that sounds impressive, I live in the Eastern time zone. I had a very pleasant day, with golf and then 2 social events. Finally, somewhat decently lubricated, I was able to start watching at approximately 11:30 Eastern (time-shifted 1 hour on the DVR). Overall it was a nice day, because as we all know, Columbus is MUCH better than Pullman.

BrooklynBear: We MUST be close to leading the nation in 15 yard penalties. Though some were very questionable, it's touch to win when the defense gives up yards like that.

Were there 4 reviews in the first quarter? 3 essentially going WAZZU's favor.

That was the SLOWEST game. I didn't leave the Cal bar until 2:20AM. EEESH...

dbromon: still worried about penalties and turnovers stalling drives.

Oaklandishbear: First road game of the year I didn't make, and no P12N @ home. A friend let me use his user info to watch P12N on-line, and I must say the stream was pretty impressive. Could skip back, pause, and scan forward/back. Great video quality, too!

fuzzywuzzy: First of all, have to give credit to a former Cougar, my beautiful wife, as well as my dawg, (who looks like a small cougar) who let me have the living room and flat screen all to myself. My household executed on all three phases (the couch was number three) to come away with a win - well as some excellent poise and big plays on my phone playing Angry Birds during all those play reveiws. Need more rum. CFB needs new refs.

coolingfan: Pac-12 refs. Is there any hope that they could get better, at least not making obviously wrong calls?

Pass Offense:

SwampHunter: Aside from the two early picks, Maynard was in similar form from last week. Not as good overall, but the short passes worked.

hardtobecalfan: was keenan the only one open or something? good pass protection.

MJB: Passing game was very efficient. There is no way that Stanford will give Keenan Allen as much cushion as Wazzu did, but seeing your opportunities and taking what they give you is important, and the Bears did that well in Pullman.

Bearacious: Wark Attack!!!!! Keenan Allen statue for A) Faculty Glade B) Near Pappy's Bench C) B-Ball court at Tedford's house (select one only).

Oaklandishbear: Hmm. ZM 60%, so not bad, but as a total pass offense, Cal wasn't too spectacular. Two picks off deflections from Cal receivers. The first one should have been caught, the second throw wasn't great. ZM missed a few throws, and it was a shame only 3 completions NOT to KA21. That's a bit too one-sided for my tastes. But no sacks!

OldSoCalBear: This Maynard was somewhere between Good Maynard and Bad Maynard. Maybe you should add a category "Please grade which Maynard showed up, 0 = Bad Maynard and 1.0 = Good Maynard".

Good: a couple of perfect balls. Good protection from the line, good decisions on options.

Should have gotten Treggs and Harper in the game more. Bad pick in the red zone.

randythebear:KA21 great. However, why not mix in a few throws to other receivers?

Run Offense:

Keenan Allen Crabbe People: Take away the minus yards from sacks, and the entire Washington State running squad had the same yards as Brendan Bigelow, who was 4th in running on the day for Cal. I like the Jalen Jefferson and Nick Forbes combo.

rollonyoubears111: This was a strong showing. Though it took a while, the strategy of tiring out WSU with these runs made dividends.

FiatSlug: The air raid shelter worked well, for the most part. That being said, with all the concussion issues, I think they will eventually move to expel a player from the game if he causes a concussion.

Suddenly, the OL looks like it can block and open holes. Where was this against USC and ASU?

Nice to see Maynard using the option to get yards. There was one play where Maynard did not sell the option and it resulted in a 2 or 3 yard loss by Sofele.

Anderson and Bigelow continue to rip off big runs, making me hopeful for offensive improvement in upcoming games.

Willis Chong: It's nice when a classic Tedford plan comes together. It's nice to have CJ, Isi, and Bigs with different skill sets that opponents have to prepare for. Maynard did some good running as well. Even Stevens got some action, though not for much yardage.

But it's nice to spread the wealth.

TruffleShuffle: Was great to see the Bears establish dominance on the ground. There is a lot of talent (and complimentary skills) in the trio of CJA/Bigs/Isi. Moving forward, I'd like to see greater reliance on CJA/Bigs.

Flag Guy: MOOAAARRRR!!!!!! I liked the balance between Big, CJ, and ISI. The rotation keeps them fresh and maximizes the friendly competition.

Mallrat92204: The rushing offense was clicking today. When I was watching the game it seemed like we were averaging over 10 yards per rush. Of course we weren't, but the fact that it seemed like that shows how successful they were.

Pass Defense:

BTown85: Too many don't NEED to put your arm on the guy's back...... Great job, Steve Williams.

Keenan Allen Crabbe People: Steve Williams won more than he lost, but by the end of the game, he just seemed to blanket every Wazzu receiver. The refs were quite generous with pass interference penalties, but I'm glad that it didn't seem to change the secondary's aggressiveness.

TheHaywardFault: 394 yards in the air. Eesh. Steve Williams played out of his mind though. And there were so many bad PI calls on Williams and Kameron Jackson.

What I didn't like seeing was even when it seemed like we were blitzing 6/7/8 guys, we still couldn't get back to the QB.

rileyslaststand: williams and jackson are turning into quite the tandem...hill and sebastian solid

BandAlum: Gonna look a little iffy anytime you play leach, but really good from williams, couple of iffy PI's

koalaballa: totally victimized by BS PI calls all night. These refs had a total hard-on for #3 and #4. Doesn't help that their #1 receiver was out for most of the game, and we still got flagged like crazy.

fuzzywuzzy: STEVE WILLIAMS


Run Defense:

dbromon: where our pass defense was tested this week, our run defense will be tested next week.

TooUsedToGapage: A defense implies the need to actual defend against something. This battle was akin to watching a pirate ship trying to take on a fleet of USN destroyers.

hateford: Is this the first game that McCain didn't hurt his forearm?

Rose Bowl Oski:WSU ran the ball?

texashaterforlife: Did WSU even run the ball ten times? Our Run D was good, but we did not get tested much. Now that will change this week with Stanford. From playing in nickel packages to probably playing with at least 4 down D-lineman.

rollonyoubears111: WSU seemed to barely run (don't know the attempts overall), but when they did, our D looked average.

MJB: Good, but Wazzu doesn't have much of a running game. The run defense will need to bring its A game to the Big Game, because stopping Stanford's run game between the tackles is key.

Special Teams:

BrooklynBear: Personally, I like the 52 yard attempt. It is something to build upon.

mk27: No "full house" formation plays I believe. Hmmm...

52 yarder by Vince was a nice addition

Rose Bowl Oski: Mistake-free for a change, with a 52 yarder to boot. Nice.

hateford: Other than missed fg's, ST has been very quiet all year long. It feels like the quiet before the storm....a very bad storm.

FiatSlug: Out of 6 kickoffs, D'Amato caused 4 touchbacks. He also hit a 52-yard FG that pushed the margin to 14 points. There were only two returns for 28 and 20 yds respectively. While the 20 yard return indicated decent coverage, the 28 yard return could have been covered better, even if the kickoff was caught at the WSU 8.

Leininger had one great punt (61 yds; downed at WSU 10) and one subpar punt (34 yds; fair catch at WSU 34). He also had two solid punts, both fair catches. All in all, punt coverage was good.

Keenan Allen has two returns for 7 yards each, but each return had the look of nearly being broken open for big yards or a score. Allen is one of the more exciting returners in college football today.

Bigelow had a nice 29 yard kickoff return to start the 2nd half that looked like it could have gone for more.

Mike Manuel also had a nice return to the Cal 26 on a subsequent Wazzu kickoff in the 3rd quarter. There seems to be some talent on return teams, and there also seems to be improvement.

Cal was also called for two illegal blocks on the same punt return; the second time I can recall this has happened this season (ASU may have been the first time).

CruzinBears: VINCENZO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Probably like everyone else watch Vinny trot out for a 52 yard field goal, I covered my eyes at first. But man is that guy on a rebound for the season, lots of touchbacks and a booming FG, love it!

TJDJ: I still don't trust our kicking based on the results form earlier in the season, but I'm happy to be proven wrong!


Terdford: Please, Please, Please send Terdford packing.

This team has so much incredible talent I want to tear my hair out when I watch how they are used.

TJDJ: Please duplicate this same game plan for every single game the rest of the season. But why did it take so long to figure this out? Seems that just about everyone knew what Cal's strengths were except for the coaches.

VermontBear: They are maintaining the performance level of the previous game with continued improvement.

They have their work cut out for them preparing for Stanfurd, changing the defense over to stop the run. We need to see close to the same improvement in the DL as the OL had between UCLA and WSU. Being able to depend on the DB's to thwart the passing game will help the DL to concentrate more on the run.
Has the defense ever heard of a stunt or twists on the defense line. It looks like they just rush straight up the field and every now and the shoot a linebacker into the gaps.
Where is the WEST COAST offense??
Where the quarterback nit picks the defense with TE's, slot receivers, screen passes(not those wide receiver or X screens) to the backs. How about the backs circling out of the backfield into the vacated zones. What about getting Bigelow out into the flats in open space or screens. Terdford never did it with Javid Best, enough said!!!!

TruffleShuffle: Good to see Tedford able to get the team mentally/emotionally prepared for the road. Liked the play calling evolution that we've seen the last couple weeks with increased incorporation of short passes/quick drops which help Maynard and OL develop confidence.

puresilence: Better play calling, but for the love of Oski, please cut down on penalties and missed tackles.

MJB: I am happy that the coaches have now realized that the running game is a strength. Let's keep relying heavily on the run. The Bears' passing game is more effective when it's an additional feature of the offense rather than the primary focus.

OldSoCalBear: The last series of the first half was pathetic. So were the 3rd and 2nd to last drives of the 4th quarter - they left an extra 2 or 3 minutes on the clock for no reason.

Overall Performance:

Oski Disciple: Solid, which was all we needed, though still too many penalties. We'll have everything cleaned up for Axe reclamation day. "So then it's up with the blue and gold down with the red, California's out for the victory. We'll drop our battle axe on Stanfurd's head. When we meet her our team will surely beat her. Down on the Stanfurd farm there'll be no sound when our Oski rips through the air. Like our friend Mr. Jonah, Stanfurd's team will be found in the tummy of the Golden Bear...."

GoldenBear8933: Bring Home the Axe

EECS_bear: Does nothing for my confidence in terms of future games. WSU is a team we should beat, and we beat them handily. Penalties are a little disconcerting, but the refs got flag-happy. I'm neither more or less confident about the games going forward, but being a game within .500, especially considering how we started out, is definitely a good place to be in.

80Bear: Very satisfying to get this win.

CALumbus Bear: You could tell WSU is better than in previous years, yet we still outplayed them in all phases of the game. Perhaps Leach improved them from, say, the level of Blackbeard piracy (wooden sailing ships, old timey swords) to more of a Somali coast piracy, with AK-47s and RPGs. Still no match for the mighty Tedford Armada.

Willis Chong: The team looks like it can compete. Now let's see if they can be consistent.

Flag Guy: Solid game, if it wasn't for a couple of questionable PIs and that red zone interception Cal could have won 38 to 10. So there's that. I really feel like this team is growing which I haven't been able to say for all of Tedford's teams.