Unclesam22: The biggest negative was just the inability to finish the game off. It was so close and we were playing so well and yet we had one bad lapse on defense and then couldn't convert on offense and that was the game. However, at least we were in the game til the end, which I think was more than any of us expected and the players all played hard and performed well in a difficult environment, so hopefully that carries over into next week.
VincentS: The question asks for one negative, but I'm going to provide two because I feel so strongly about both.
OhioBear: Biggest negative: For me, it's the obvious. Placekicking. I'm hoping this is just an instance of Vincenzo D'Amato having a bad day. He's certainly not the first guy in the history of football to miss three field goals in one game. One of the most dependable kickers in Cal history, Doug Brien, once (in)famously missed four field goals in a Big Game. So even good kickers have bad days. But what worries me is that D'Amato might be exactly what we saw out there -- less than dependable.
atomsareenough: I'm with Ohio Bear, clearly the placekicking, which cost us 9 points. Also, I'll note that we did an awful rugby punt which put the Buckeyes near midfield, and I believe it led to a touchdown (though I'm not sure about that).
LeonPowe: He did catch a touch against us
atomsareenough: Two of them, as I noted.
OhioBear: Don't know why or how I forgot to mention the shotgun snaps. Those were an issue all day long. It seemed that more of them were low than were good. I am surprised we didn't have more timing snafus on our plays because of it. Maynard did a good job to field the low snaps and avoid having the plays blow up because of them.
Berkelium97: Safety play. I was tempted to put field goal kicking, but we can gameplan around that to an extent (e.g. we can go for more 4th downs up to the 20-30 yard-lines). It's tough to adjust for poor safety play. Michael Lowe, who appeared to be shadowing Miller, let Stoneburner slip right past him for an uncontested TD pass midway through the fourth quarter. Alex Logan made a huge error on Miller's long TD run: he should have forced him inside but he blew the outside containment and allowed him to sprint up the sideline. (sidenote: the TD wasn't entirely Logan's fault. Miller froze up Jefferson and turned a two-yard loss into that TD run). Finally, Logan made another critical error in biting on Miller's run in the game-deciding touchdown. He let Devin Smith slip by and Miller took advantage to the tune of a 72-yard TD pass. I'm sure our safeties will be solid down the road, but these were some tough growing pains.
Going against a USC team whose playaction, pump-fakes, and rollouts have killed us in the past, I hope the safeties can be a bit more disciplined in their play this week and beyond. The issues at safety were a larger problem than field goals in Saturday's game.