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Moral Victory? The Cal Football vs. Arizona Report Card

Commence the slapfight about whether or not moral victories are a thing or count or are good or what? I don't know about all that, but I do know that Cal was IN a game in the 4th quarter and based on the report cards, you all were happy about it. So that's something right? Thanks to everyone who took the time to fill out a report card this week. Here's to a victory over U$C next week! GO BEARS!

Cal Bears Online

Berkelium97: That was much better! No, not good enough for any of the units to earn passing grades--don't be ridiculous. But they're getting closer. All categories earned remarkably similar grades. This alone is a big improvement, as previous games have had at least one category earn terrible grades (usually something defense-related). Shockingly, both defensive categories earned some of the highest scores this week.

Average Standard Deviation
Pass Offense .507 .206
Rush Offense .473 .227
Pass Defense .544 .195
Rush Defense .529 .184
Special Teams .487 .234
Coaching .528 .252
Overall .556 .202
Win Chance vs. USC .264 (-.176) .275

The win chance against USC has dropped considerably since preseason, but no one would have expected that we would be 1-8 going into this game.


Sonny Delight

Name Grade
1. rollonyoubears111 7.00 (100.0%)
1. Grading on a Curve 7.00 (100.0%)
3. Tezcalipoca 5.60 (80.0%)
4. prd74 5.43 (77.6%)
5. Btown 5.15 (73.6%)

rollonyoubears continues to lead the optimists. After the 100% grades, we had several reasonably high grades. In fact, Texcalipoca's 80% is the highest non-troll (sorry rollon!) grade since the Northwestern game. I hope we all have reason to chug the Sonny D when filling out next week's report cards.

Sonny Yikes!

Name Grade
1. schmidtty mcfunstuff 0.64 (9.2%)
2. 42Calbear 0.70 (10.0%)
3. pleasegiveklineashot 1.30 (18.6%)
4. No More Golden Bears in California 2.00 (28.6%)
5. Mitchgobears 2.50 (35.7%)

Several members of the Kline krowd didn't like what they saw this weekend. No More Golden Bears in California and Mitchgobears' scores are some of the highest we've seen in the Sonny Yikes since the beginning of the season. That's progress, I guess.

The Voice of Reason

Name Deviation
1. Bearly Legal .076
2. sup_doe_library .080
3. wifeisatroj .082
4. 1988 goldenbear .086
5. GoldenBoiler, I thought I may be cheering for the two worst teams in FBS. Now I think it's just the worst team in in FBS (Purdue) and a bad FBS team (Cal). So, that's am improvement. .087

Bearly Legal is this week's most reasonable grader. Bringing up the rear is Golden "Dostoyevsky" Boiler. We're glad you're feeling better though.

Now let's turn things over to Sam and the comments.

Sam Fielder: We lost some of our snarkiness and edge this week, but if that is the price to pay for a competitive football team, I AM ALL IN. Some really good analysis and observations this week, so keep the good stuff coming!


sacman701: I don't understand why the Pac-12 network is in a less accessible tier than the Big 10 network in the cable package I have. I couldn't see the game.

1988 goldenbear: Buffalo Wild Wings is not as good as I hoped it would be. I was really happy to see that we were in this game pretty much the whole way, there are some good things ahead for us.

Old Bear 71: Yes! I got to see the Bears play on the streaming brought to us by our Euro buddies. Best game since Northwestern.

Wifeisatroj: TV reception was quite good. CGB posts get a C--nothing great, not terrible, same stuff as usual, including from me.

Bearly Legal: Plenty of space in the student section. Spirited at times though.

Barrington: Goff is not the one to lead. He has his moments but I think Kline has more leadership potential.

I was impressed with the bears, the zebras gave the Wildcats a touchdown by continuing a drive that was short on 4th down, even upholding a challenge. the penalty on bigelow was unbelievable after he was interfered with. The defense played great for the most part and our young team was just stymied by a little more adversity than it could deal with.: a lot better, don't get discouraged

GoldenBoiler, I thought I may be cheering for the two worst teams in FBS. Now I think it's just the worst team in in FBS (Purdue) and a bad FBS team (Cal). So, that's am improvement.: had to work, so, as per usual, I watched the game as the family slept. The dog was happy to have her football buddy.

Jacobs.: Snagged cheap tickets in the F section - hello shade, seatbacks and cheerleaders. So much nicer than student section. Heck, that puts me at 3 tickets for the day, since I talked the gf into joining.

Oski Disciple: I love Memorial Stadium anytime of year but especially on crisp Autumn afternoons. It was a few degrees above crisp but still nice. The crowd was smaller than one would have liked, especially the student section, but made up for it in enthusiasm and appreciation for the team's efforts. The halftime show was the best of the season and one of the best in many years. I enjoyed the day with the notable exception of the final score.

HelloBowlesHall: Poor crowd, especially student section, which appears to have given up on the team. The team however did not give up on the season and fought hard. Props.

prd74: Fair weather fans suck. The student section was a disgrace for all the ages and should be moved as soon as possible to endzone. The Cal Band playing to an empty side of the stadium was UnF*ing believeable. No excuse staying home. Beautiful day, School spirit only when the team wins? F* that! Sonny Dykes and his crew had the team in this game until the bitter end. My entire section was high fiving each other all game long. So we didn't win. BFD. You fans who stayed home missed one of the most fun and enjoyable Cal football games I have ever attended.

Superguy: It was amazing having an opportunity to win in the fourth quarter, and having fans show their support late in the game. The team hasn't quit in any of our games this year, but the fans certainly have.

RhetoriCal: I was late to a gathering of friends because I decided to stick it out to the end just in case we pulled a miracle rally which, I suppose, is kinda a good thing.

BTown: Finally something to cheer for. Thanks, Bears.

Goff had a solid game, but the interceptions were killers, illustrating perfectly why Kline should have been given a start at some point (Formerly known as "How do you know Goff is the long term answer if you won't start Kline to see what he can do," and before that "Start Zach Kline" and "Rose Bowl Oski"): At last a game at a normal time.

rollonyoubears111: We are going to beat USC. I feel it in my bones... something awesome is going to happen. I had a feeling that we were going to beat Arizona. Even though we didn't, there was something about the youngsters that clicked. Sure, Arizona isn't an elite team, but there were glimmers of brilliance. There was a slight disconnect with the receivers and the qb again this game. The qb made some poor decisions for INT's, but this is going to improve on the next game. If Goff can read the defense, look more to his left (#10? seemed to be open a lot) he's going to make it happen. He needs to trust his O line more as they seem to be doing better at keeping their blocks.

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TooUsedToGapage: Great plays by Lawler. Goff's stat-line was very deceiving. On paper it looks pretty good, but in reality he did not have a good game by any stretch of the imagination. For every great pass he would throw, he'd then throw one or two stinkers. 3 of those TDs were earned by the WRs.

Slaphancock: Lawler got that stick-em on his gloves, an emerging star. Yet all kinds of miscommunication between WRs and QB, between linemen, etc.

sup_doe_library: LAWLER!!! While the pass offense played well enough to almost win the game, those 2 interceptions were killer. That being said, Goff had a lot of time to throw and I think the OL played pretty well. Back to the 2 interceptions, they were momentum killers and ultimately cost us the game, but I think only one you could completely pin on goff (the second). But I don't think it was necessarily a bad game for the true freshman. I think the play he made off the bad snap was a heads up play, and Goff made some key plays with his feet. All in all, once this running game gets going I think this was a solid game from the offense aside from the turnovers. We saw some really nice redzone possessions that resulted in touchdowns--both Lawler TD's and Mo's were well called and well executed. One thing that absolutely need to improve is blocking on flanker/slot screens. That play has become totally ineffective (aside from the misdirection screen TD to lawler).

Oski Disciple: My mantra in bad moments is that Goff is just a freshman. In good moments I marvel that the lad is but a freshman. Lawler will challenge Harper as the star receiver of the future. What a spectacular game he had. We've got the QB of the future a bevy of excellent WRs and an improving O Line. Goff often actually had time to look for a secondary receiver.

VermontBear: Much better protection this week, with no sacks, part of which was due to Goff' doing well avoiding pressure.

Fuzzywuzzy: Goff and Co. did ok, and Lawler gets the chameleon award...kind of hidden throughout the season, then snagging balls out of the air like Fantastic 4's stretchy guy. Nice game for him. The line gave plenty of protection, but then again AZ generally played a 3-3-5, so they didn't have that many guys to block;, and Goff had a lot of coverage t throw into. The 2nd pick was better than turning the ball over on downs in terms of field position, since I think we were beyond the 20, but he should have run for the 1st. Goff was streaky, but what I won't do is act like I have more experience coaching college football than Sonny and Co., and say we should put in Kline. I think if he was that much better, it would have shown up in practice, and it's not like there have been games where an easy comparison could be made. We're pretty one-dimensional, so any QB will be limited. Goff was streaky today.

No More Golden Bears in California: Kenny Lawler!! I met him at Pancho's the night after Washington State. The guy was humble and down-to-earth, but he was determined and focused. Glad to see him truly breakout with some highlight reel catches. He is a true athlete; I hope he becomes our red zone threat along with Rodgers. Speaking of Rodgers, I don't know why he hasn't been productive in the red zone. I think a 2-TE set of Rodgers and Anderson would be quite a threat on play action plays in the red zone.

schmidtty mcfunstuff: Goff was much worse than his stat line shows. His touchdown passes were actually very poor throws that our receivers made insane catches on. He should have thrown at least there more interceptions but he got lucky the Zona defenders dropped them. We had a chance to win and he derped it. I think going forward our grade for pass offense should be separated between the receivers and the QB... it's not fair to ding our WR corps for the crap play of Goff.


sacman701: Zona may have been overplaying the pass, but 5 yards per attempt on 26 attempts is solid. It wasn't distorted by a few big plays either, as the long run was just 22.

Jacobs.: O line was ok, running backs impressive at points. Slow and indecisive QB who gives plays away.

Mitchgobears: Run forward, not toward the sideline

HelloBowlesHall: Run offense did not impress overall, but I liked the fire from Lasco. Would not go down, fought and fought and fought. Really inspiring.

Superguy: Nice to see Lasco back. The safety was still a huge let-down, and it impacted the whole game (forced a long-shot fourth down attempt in the redone where a field goal would have otherwise been acceptable).

Calfootballaddict: Sooooo nice to see Lasco back. I hope get gets all the carries the rest of the year because he and Ervin are the only backs who consistently put their heads down and run straight. We gotta convert those 3rd or 4th and short on the ground.


Old Bear 71: improved. in that there were multiple mile long completions over the head of each db.

GoldenBoiler, I thought I may be cheering for the two worst teams in FBS. Now I think it's just the worst team in in FBS (Purdue) and a bad FBS team (Cal). So, that's am improvement.: no real complaints. A couple of mistake, but generally good. Improvement weekly. These personal foul calls are getting ridiculous. Spearing was always understood to be a foul, but it is not always possible to avoid contact above the shoulders.

Jacobs.: Mediocre (by PAC12 standards, so actually good!), which is a huge step forward! Way to put pressure on the QB!

HelloBowlesHall: Pass defense was better than before, but still not awesome. Some of the youngsters are getting valuable cycles and this will be a strength of the team in a couple years.

Fuzzywuzzy: Better, much better, and the refs ain't helping any...I think USC will makes us look far worse, but at least this time they weren't any obviously wide open receivers. Nice to see a few sacks.

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Wifeisatroj: Much better than expected. I thought Carey would get close to 300 yards on us.

TheHaywardFault: Considering we 'contained' the best RB in the country to 150 yards on the game, I'd say that was much better than expected. I think on a bad day this D could've gotten gashed for 300 yards on the ground, but for the most part made tackles in space and put pressure on the QB..even got a few sacks!

Bearly Legal: It was actually not a total nightmare trying to stop Carey (he still gained a lot of yards, but averaged "only" 5 yards a carry, which is not the disaster I envisioned), but we let Denker outflank us in crucial situations. Our ends and linebackers are still struggling to make plays, even when they have a clear opportunity.

Ososdeoro: Worked great except when it had to (also their answer for every other question)

Calfootballaddict: D-line played great...Moala and Coleman especially. Kragen got beat on that last read option and he looked pretty bad on that play, but other than that, pretty good. When a team rushes 52 times, they are gonna break off some big ones (unless of course, that team is Cal), so I thought we did a fine job against the best RB in the country. Pretty good tackling for the most part and I loved how we swarmed to the ball.


TooUsedToGapage: We had TWO blocking-out-of-bound PFs on punts? And then there was the muff late in the game that Lowe could have recovered if he didn't quit on that play. Inexcusable.

Bearly Legal: Muhammad looked good returning kicks. Treggs looked inept returning punts, although his sure hands are much appreciated.

the townie: Need better blocking on punt returns.

Mitchgobears: Not too special.

Osodero: Pretty good, except Arizona's was better

BTown: Treggs, I think the risks you're taking on punt returns are not worth the likelihood of a decent payout.

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Tezcalipoca: Disappointed in special teams today

1988 goldenbear: I think Buh had a good game plan overall and there was decent execution for the most part. Better tackling, better coverage. Held Arizona and forced a bunch of punts. Very confused about the offense still. I understand the growing pains with Goff, but the red zone execution is still really poor and we can't run in short yardage. Great opening drive though.

TheHaywardFault: This was a winnable game. The team was in it and fired up and looked very capable of winning this game and keeping up with Arizona. Don't understand why , when down by 5, come out and make three straight pass plays when Goff is having an off day. Should've given the ball to Lasco much more. This loss is not on the team, its on the coaches.

the townie: I liked going for it fourth and short.

prd74: Sonny Dykes did a great job of motivating our team despite the wretched and sickening attendance. Congrats to our coaching staff.

VermontBear: Coaches should never squat with their heads down like Dykes did, even if it's for a horrible call.

No More Golden Bears in California: The positive: Cal football came out this week hungry. For a season thats is mathematically over, these players came out with something to play for. I think Dykes and Co. should bring them out to this year's Bonfire before the Big Game to show his players how much the Stanford game will mean to Berkeley regardless if they are heading into that game 1-10. The negative: The play calling and personnel matchups were head-scratching. Its late in the year now, so these coaches have ample film to use to their advantage and to prevent mismatches. From here on out, Cal should be putting up a good fight against their opponents. Their athletes are raw and talented; the next step for their staff is to establish the notion that success is habitual. Lastly, let's the get the ball rolling on recruits!!

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Was never prouder than seeing both sons on Cal sidelines 4 the 1st time together 2day. They didn&#39;t play, but cheered 4 their Brother Bears</p>&mdash; Roderick Cochran (@CalPoppabear209) <a href="">November 3, 2013</a></blockquote>

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Tezcalipoca: Still shocked that we are talking about offense being bad. The KLAW is a real find. That guy is going to be a star

Puresilence: Good to see a close game that isn't against an FCS team...

Old Bear 71: Gritty and nobody gave up. played hard all four quarters and MAN did it feel good to get a td on the opening drive. and be ahead for once in the 1st q.

Slaphancock: Good effort from the team. It seemed like this game came down to a few mistakes on Cal's part (dropped passes, miscommunication on play calls). Clean those up, and everything looked much improved.

sup_doe_library: A loss is not what we wanted, but we competed and thought that this was a good game for a team desperately looking for confidence. Reduce just a couple of mistakes and we win this game. WR's making plays in the 2Q to keep some drives alive and we might have even gone into the half with a comfy lead and some confidence to win this game going away. But as should be the mantra, a young team is going to play inconsistently--on one hand you've got leaping one handed grabs from a keyed in klaw, and on the other hand you've got TO's in the endzone or safeties off of bad snaps, or trouble with Zone Read. But this game has to keep some Cal fans thinking that we're not too far away from winning a game. The beleaguered defense should hold its head high after today's game and I really think that Nickerson finally played a great game at MLB. I'm happy to see it because he's been struggling so much heretofore.

Barrington: I am not happy with with the qb situation.

AlohaBear: The team seemed to have life. This was much better than watching a blowout loss. They were in it until the very end, even if you never really believed they would come back (it is Cal football after all).

RhetoriCal: I wish things had started to come together a bit earlier, back when we were playing with confidence, but I like that despite a losing season our boys haven't shown a lack of fight. If all this frustrated energy translates into a vast emotional outburst of pure will in the 'furd game, I'll be surprisingly content with this season.

Goff had a solid game, but the interceptions were killers, illustrating perfectly why Kline should have been given a start at some point (Formerly known as "How do you know Goff is the long term answer if you won't start Kline to see what he can do," and before that "Start Zach Kline" and "Rose Bowl Oski"): There should be an opportunity to grade the officiating. My guess is it would get even lower scores than the team's report card. The personal foul on Arizona's first possession was a hideously bad call that put the defense in a hole and set the tone for the day. The flag came from an official that was at least 40 yards away from the play, when the three officials who were on top of it did not pull out their flags.

rollonyoubears111: I have a feeling that the QB and the receivers are going to work it out this week. Miscommunications will not be a factor anymore. They will hammer it out. This is going to be a great game against SC. Everyone is going to be on the same page. There will no longer be sayings like, "My bad!" or "It's on me!" Everyone is going to straight up get their sh*t together. No more dropped balls, no more penalties, no more interceptions, no more tosses to the outside linebacker, no more mistakes.

schmidtty mcfunstuff: I don't know... I want to be happy about it, but I got more sense of doom than hope. Clearly, the stubbornness of Dykes and Franklin are going to hurt us in the long-run. Their play-calling is poor, at best, and the continuing trend of the offense causing us to lose doesn't look like it is going to change. Goff, despite his stat line, had a poor day. He is just lucky his amazing receivers bailed him out so many times. Despite Goff's poor day, they kept calling passing plays and ignoring our successful (for the day) run game. It is very frustrating. I don't think we will win another game this season. Hopefully we get a good recruiting class this spring and we can maybe get a FBS win next year.

So there we have it. Thanks again to everyone for all the comments. GO BEARS!
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