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What were the positives from the Cal-UCLA game?

What a cathartic game! Let's talk about the positives from this great game

TwistNHook: What are some of the positives from the Cal-UCLA game?

Berkelium97: Richard Rodgers! It finally felt like the offensive gameplan was well suited to our strengths and weaknesses on the field. Quick screens, slants, and other short passes worked well within our limitations at QB and O-line. The run game was a dynamic, consistent, three-headed monster. Picking up 4-6 yards on first down runs did wonders for the offense's ability to move the chains.

Pendergast's blitz packages were tenacious and disrupted Hundley and the passing game. Jim Mora went so far as to call the defense "maniacal." We had some success generating pressure against ASU but only occasionally blitzed, so I was happy to see us stick with what was working against UCLA. Kam Jackson filled in brilliantly for the injured Marc Anthony and Chris McCain looked like the ol' Pain Train out there.

Unclesam22: Cal played a complete game in all phases of the game. The running game was bruising and forced the UCLA defenders up into the box where they were looking run first and then we gashed them with the quick passes. The fact that we also managed to avoid 3rd and longs all night also made a huge difference.

Additionally, a couple of long sustained drives kept the D off the field and really took it out of the UCLA defense, so by the 4th quarter even our beleaguered OLine seemed to be having their way. The defense was incredible and managed to get consistent pressure and save a few missed tackles, Cal's open field work kept UCLA from getting into a rhythm all night. And then the huge thing was winning the turnover battle. The Bears were actively looking for the ball on every occasion and you could see UCLA deflating more and more after each big turnover.

NorCalNick: Credit the Cal coaching staff for changing it up on passing plays so that Maynard was able to get rid of the ball quickly. Lots of quick slants, screens, swing passes and quick patterns that gave our play-makers a chance.

But as I mentioned in earlier roundtables, the biggest positive is the continued positive contributions from lower classmen. Sophomores and freshmen (especially on defense) are carrying this team right now and that should give fans a bit of optimism for the remainder of this season and lots of optimism for next season.

TwistNHook: There are certainly a TON of positives regarding this game. I'd like to focus on one in particular that made me really happy: Chris McCain. MCCAIN 2012! BERKELEY FIRST. Looking at his stats, you can see a big impact on the game.

2.5 tackles for loss. 1.5 sacks. 2 quarterback hits (presumably hurrying Hundley prior to actually hitting him). He didn't have as many tackles as some other players, but he was making a lot of hay in the UCLA pocket. If you've ever seen McCain at Fan Day or whatnot, he looks like a beast.


He is 6'6", 225 pounds. Great speed, really flying around out there /Tedford'd. Seriously, though, he is only a sophomore, but he looked great out there.

OhioBear: Maynard's 25 of 30, 4 TD performance is a huge positive. Perhaps it gives us hope that we can expect more out of Maynard than what we've gotten. Kam Jackson filling in capably (to say the least) for Marc Anthony was a notable positive. It was also nice to see the defense get pressure on the quarterback and have us get more sacks than our opponent for once. Cal's D really came through despite being shorthanded on the D-line due to the injuries to Kaufisi and Tipoti.

The home crowd was an unexpected positive. The crowd was large and enthusiastic, which was unexpected given the 1-4 start and the general discord in the fanbase.