Lately, more than thinking about actual football games, we have been on a somewhat macabre watch over Coach Jeff Tedford's fate. But the fact of the matter is we have one more game to play. Even though today is the Saturday before Thanksgiving, we don't have the traditional excitement of a Big Game to dull the pain of an unsuccessful season. No, we don't even get that. This year's freakish Pac-12 schedule has the Bears finishing the campaign in damp and frigid Corvallis, Oregon, taking on the pesky Oregon State Beavers.
The conventional wisdom is that Tedford will be coaching his final game for Cal. There are even reports that Cal AD Sandy Barbour already a short list of candidates to pursue when Tedford is relieved of his duties, perhaps in the next couple of days. If tonight's game is, in fact, the final game of Tedford's Cal run, what better way to send him off than with an upset victory? It would be particularly sweet to do it against Oregon State, an old nemesis that pulled the feat of upsetting ranked Cal teams at Memorial Stadium in 2005 and (more infamously) in 2007.
Nothing has come easy this season for the Bears and tonight's game is no exception. Cal will be without WR Keenan Allen and likely without QB Zach Maynard for the second straight week. We shall see if Allan Bridgford can improve upon his 9-of-21 passing performance against Oregon last week and show us some indication that he might be the 2013 starting quarterback.
This is the pregame open thread. Watch for a link to the first quarter thread as kickoff time draws near.
GO BEARS! End this season -- and perhaps the Tedford era -- on a high note.
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Saturday, Nov. 17, 7:30 p.m. (PT)
Cal (3-8, 2-6) at Oregon State (7-2, 5-2)
Reser Stadium, Corvallis, OR
TV: Pac-12 Networks - Ted Robinson (Play-by-Play), Glenn Parker (Analyst), Ryan Nece (Sideline Reporter)
Cal Commercial Radio: KGO 810 AM (San Francisco) - Joe Starkey (Play-by-Play), Mike Pawlawski (Analyst, *Pregame Show), Todd McKim (Sideline, *Pregame Show), Lee Grosscup (^Postgame Show), Matt Foley (^Postgame Show) Postgame Show: Claremont Hotel Club & Spa, 41 Tunnel Road, Berkeley, CA
IMG College/Cal Radio Network Affiliates: *KFPT 790 AM (Fresno), KGO 810 AM (San Francisco), KLAA 830 AM (Los Angeles), KRAK 910 AM (Los Angeles), KAHI 950 AM (Sacramento), KESP 970 AM (Modesto), ^KFIG 1430 AM (Fresno), XEPE 1700 AM (San Diego) ^Primary, *Secondary
All-Access Radio: The Cal commercial radio broadcast of the Golden Bears' game at Oregon State can be heard on the Internet through the All-Access channel on CalBears.com. All-Access can be found under the Multimedia tab at the top of the page at CalBears.com.
Cal Student Radio: KALX 90.7 FM, kalx.berkeley.edu (Berkeley) - Isaac Wolf (Play-by-Play), Sam Gall (Analyst)
Sirius XM Satellite Radio: Oregon State's commercial radio broadcast feed of the Cal-Oregon State game can be heard on Sirius XM satellite radio on Sirius channel 123 and XM channel 194.
CalBears.com: Visit CalBears.com for complete coverage of Cal football, including a live play-by-play update via Gametracker.
Since this could, you know, be the end of an era, I'll throw in a few more bits of information:
Cal averaged 7.9 wins per year in the first 10 seasons (2002-11) under head coach Jeff Tedford and ranked tied for third among Pac-10 teams in victories during that period. After a brief one-year absence in 2010, Tedford led the Golden Bears back to a bowl game in 2011 with a trip to the Holiday Bowl against Texas. Tedford's most recent victory at Washington State on Oct. 13, 2012, was his 82nd career win and also his 50th conference triumph. Tedford is Cal's all-time winningest coach with an overall record of 82-56 (.594).Year Record Final Rankings Bowl2002 7-5 None Bowl eligible but not selected2003 8-6 None Insight (Cal 52, Virginia Tech 49)2004 10-2 No. 9 (AP/Coaches) Holiday (Texas Tech 45, Cal 31)2005 8-4 No. 25 (AP/Coaches) Las Vegas (Cal 35, BYU 28)2006* 10-3 No. 14 (AP/Coaches) Holiday (Cal 45, Texas A&M 10)2007 7-6 None Armed Forces (Cal 42, Air Force 36)2008 9-4 No. 25 (Coaches) Emerald (Cal 24, Miami, Fla. 17)2009 8-5 None Poinsettia (Utah 37, Cal 27)2010 5-7 None None2011 7-6 None Holiday (Texas 21, Cal 10)2012 3-8 Season in progress None
The last 11 years seasons have had their ups and downs. Unfortunately, a lot more down than up during the last few years.
On to the game. Can our offense put some points on the board against the Beavers? As usual, norcalnick previewed the opposing defense. He gives us stats of dubious value and an assessment of our chances.
22 turnovers forced (6 fumbles, 16 interceptions), 23rd in the nation.
16 interceptions is good for 7th in the country. Gulp.
Opponent conversion percentage of 27.42%, 5th in the nation
Opponent scoring percentage of 82.76%, 68th in the nation; Opponent touchdown percentage of 58.62%, 58th in the nation.
Well, that looks a little better. Cal found just a little bit of red zone success against Oregon, in part because their line was so beat up. It would be nice if that extended to Saturday's game. If Cal was really efficient in the red zone against OSU I'd upgrade their chances from slim to vaguely reasonable if you squint. Is that official sounding? Sorry, I make this up as I go.
As for the Oregon State offense, tonight's game may mark the return of Bay Area native Sean Mannion as the Beavers' starting quarterback. Mannion started the season like gangbusters before suffering a knee injury, forcing backup Cody Vaz into service But Vaz got injured last week in Oregon State's tough road loss at Stanford, so it's back to Mannion. In his final post on CGB, ManBearCal previews the Beavers' offense generally and Mannion in particular:
PROBABLE STARTER: Sean Mannion, Sophomore - 6'5, 212 lbs
After Cody Vaz sustained an ankle injury at the end of the Stanford game last week, it's looking like sophomore Sean Mannion will be the starter this weekend. Mannion started the first 4 games of the season for the Beavs, prior to missing 2 games with a knee injury. In those first 4 starts, he completed 63.3% of his passes and AVERAGED 339.5 yards per game through the air. He threw 7 touchdown pass against 4 interceptions. Vaz then stepped in and led the Beavers to wins against BYU and Utah while Mannion recovered from knee surgery. In a debatable move, Mike Riley handed the starting gig back to Mannion going into the Washington game. Whether Mannion was hurried back or just pushing too hard is unknown, but he really sucked against the Huskies; completing just under 53% of his passes in that game and throwing 4 interceptions against just one touchdown before being benched in favor of Vaz, who nearly led the Beavers to a win. Mannion is a smart kid with a good arm and plenty of ability, but it remains to be seen how he will respond with his confidence possibly shaken. The sample size is admittedly very small, but he didn't look like the same quarterback against the Huskies that he was earlier in the season.
Oregon State won five straight against Cal from 2007 to 2011 before the Bears finally got the
monkey beaver off their back last year, winning 23-6 at AT&T Park. Isi Sofele ran for a career-high 190 yards and the Cal defense held the Beavs without a touchdown. Can Cal make it two in a row? It would be a nice way to end the season and...you know.