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It counts as a W: Cal Football vs. Portland State Report Card

It's time once again for our weekly look at what you, the readers, had to say about the game against Portland State. Thanks to everyone that filled out report cards and took the time to leave comments. Remember, be sure to leave a handle if you want your comments included in the comment section.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Berkelium97: Well, that was interesting. For the second consecutive year we struggled mightily against an FCS team. Afterwards there was a mix of DOOOOOOOM and excuse-making based on our young/injured/poorly-coached-until-the-second-half defense. Did they all balance out? Did we excuse the defense's struggles? Are we ready to fire Buh? WHY DON'T WE FIND OUT

Average Standard Deviation
Pass Offense .751 .132
Rush Offense .474 .193
Pass Defense .270 .199
Rush Defense .220 .179
Special Teams .701 .160
Coaching .511 .182
Overall .448 .168
Win Chance vs. Ohio State .211 (-.117) .186

Goff and the pass offense received the exact same score again. The run offense received a slight boost in score this week, although we expected more against an FCS team. Then we get to the defense...

As expected, the defense received some miserable scores.

Vince D'Amato helped special teams earn some respectable scores. Even at its best, special teams never seems to break the .75 mark. What do poor D'Amato and Leininger have to do to get some top-tier marks?

Our chances against Ohio State have drooped somewhat. We seem much more worried that Braxton Miller and/or Kenny Guiton will continue to make our defense look silly.

Now let's hand out some awards.


For the first time in a while, we're handing out an Editor's Choice Award!

This week's honor goes to alpha1906 who had some unconventional grades for each category.

  • Passing offense: Goff goes off
  • Rushing offense: Mo got some mo
  • Passing defense: Gotta exist to grade
  • Rushing defense: Ball Run By Me University
  • Special teams: The Italian
  • Coaching: SNAFU
  • Overall: Brussel Sprouts
  • Win probability vs. Ohio State: Eclipse
You see, the key to making brussels sprouts taste good is by getting fresh ones, cutting them in half, then lightly brushing them with butter before throwing them on the grill for about 10 minutes. Will our overall grade next week be that we got cut in half, basted with butter, or grilled? I'm not sure which is best.

Now onto our usual awards.

Sonny Yikes!

1. CalBandGreat 0.00 (0.0%)
2. NinjaNed 1.90 (27.1%)
2. SoCal Oski 1.90 (27.1%)
4. puresilence 2.00 (28.6%)
5. Bearlicious 2.07 (29.6%)

We have some usual suspects here, including puresilence and SoCal Oski. At the top of the list is...CalBandGreat? What happened? Did Kieran McDonagh drop by the tailgate and eat all the food?

Sonny Delight

1. texashaterforlife 5.59 (79.9%)
2. RhetoriCal 5.00 (71.4%)
2. prd74 5.00 (71.4%)
4. DancingBear96 4.86 (69.4%)
5. Nor-Cal Scott 4.60 (65.7%)

I'm guessing most of you watched the game from home. I can't imagine your scores would be that high if you sat in the unseasonably warm sun for 4 hours while wondering how our defense could possibly be this bad.

The Voice of Reason

1. Jacobs. .062
2. HydroTech .064
3. ABVidale .066
4. Oski Disciple .068
5. Willis Chong .073

Hopefully you all can console the rest of us when Ohio State drops 1000 yards on us this week.

Now let's hear what you all said about the game. Many thanks to Vincent for gathering all these comments!


GameDay Experience
TrumanHugh: Way too nerve-wracking for a game against an FCS opponent. I was actually setting myself up for the idea that Cal would forever a be a FBS team that lost to the FCS. I don't want to be Stanfurd (UCDavis) (or any other of them...)!!
JABear: Missed the first 3 minutes of regulation because P12 Networks decided the last 4 minutes of the Utah blowout was more important. No complaints other than that. New uniforms look beautiful in HD.
Kieran McDonagh: Did you know I weigh 245 lbs?
Jacuzzi: Concessions are just as terrible as our defense. Who wants to wait 20 minutes only to be told they are out of almost everything before halftime! Second game in a row.
DancingBear96: It was hot and the players didn't get Fogg Dogg machines. Burger Meister on the east side was a nice addition. The timing of everything felt off kilter. In many years of watching Pac-1X football this was the worst officiating crew I've ever seen. The reviewed a play that was negated by an offsides and seemed like they hadn't seen football played before today.
CalBandGreat: The best part of the game was tailgating in our new spot in the Dwinelle parking lot. Everything that happened after I walked up to Memorial sucked balls.
ThatWasAWinIGuess: Last week was the most fun I had losing. This was the least fun I had winning in my 36 years of being a Bear.
Let loose the Goff Nuke: Had to stream live game updates from a wedding (WHO HAS A WEDDING ON A SATURDAY DURING COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON). At the same time, glad I didn't watch. My throat is still not fully healed from cheering at the bar against Northwestern first week.
ososdeoro: Alumni Band Day! Saw old friends, drank, ate. When I participate I always appreciate the enthusiastic crowd reception. However I'm never sure that I like it when said reception is more enthusiastic than said crowd's reception for the football team's performance.
Nor-Cal Scott: Arrived on concourse at 1:45pm to be told they were already out of the bobbleheads. WTF? Poor planning Gold Standard! At halftime the concession stand by CC was already out of Sprite, Lemon Freeze, and ice cream. WTF? Again, the game dragged on due to too many TV timeouts.
dpassage: Alumni Band Great! Nice to see them march in the actual halftime show, not just come in for Script California.
embarrassing: empty, not very exciting
Rose Bowl Oski: I'm thankful that the new press box casts a long shadow. It was a hot walk up to the stadium, tempered by a cold beer at Goldman Plaza, but it was really comfortable sitting in the stadium.

Pass Offense
sacman701: The one relative bright spot, but 31 completions in 49 attempts against a I-AA defense probably translates into something that can't sustain drives against a real defense. At least there were no interceptions.
RhetoriCal: Happy, but worried. Overthrows on open receivers on the posts need to be scarcer. O-line needs to hold the line.
Oski Disciple: Goff is better at decision-making as a true freshman in his second game than Bridgford, Maynard, Mansion or Riley ever were. In two games he's had only two INTs and both on tipped passes. The receiver corps is fantastic. Our passing game is going to be scary good in the coming years and its nothing to sneeze at now.
the yogi: Potential to be excellent.
golden oso: MAURICE HARRIS!!! Sick one handed grab for the TD!
Rollah: Goff has the talent, but watching from my cheap seat in front of the TV, I don't know why he missed 2 sure TDs and 1 other long play on overthrows. Wasn't he supposed to be the one w/ touch, not the gunslinger? I get the playcalling, though I don't agree with the take a shot down field approach. But just drive- and momentum-killing when he misses open targets. He can put up all the #s in the world, but 2 games in, it's still painfully obvious he's a true Frosh. Just manage the game, and let the wins go from there.
BTown85: On the Rogers II TD, Goff was running one way and threw backside to an open RR BECAUSE of the "misdirection." I think we need to build some of that into our playbook ON PURPOSE. Really.
Dahim0301: I guess they got the job done... Wasn't as convinced as last week. That being said, the fact that I'm disappointed at 37 points shows we've come a long way from Tedford football.
Bearclawz: thought Goff would leave after 5 or 6 touchdown passes!
scobutler: Memorial stadium is one of the most picturesque football facilities in the country. Small crowd made for easy transit to/from site. Club facilities outstanding but food offerings remain sub par.
JustBear: off is really good. I can see why he won the starting job. The 62 yard pass to Khalfani was a beauty. YAC was good overall too. Get the ball in the hands of play makers in space.

Run Offense
Flag Guy: Meh, some solid runs, but the line isnt getting enough push to really make the run a game changer.
FromCtoShining(Blue)C: Wasn't flashy but I guess it was relatively effective at times. We have two really good backs but our run-blocking is... meh.
bearhopeful: Need to get some blocking. We have so much talent in Bigelow and Mohhamid has huge potential... get him the ball... all speed.
Bearly Legal: Although we ended up running for a decent total by the end, the O-Line's inability to create any push has forced us to get too pass-happy. If we can't dominate Portland State at the line of scrimmage, this might be a long year.
MJB: Still disappointing. Not just the bad 3rd quarter turnover, really mostly the inability for RBs to take a handoff and turn the corner to the outside. It's Portland Frickin State, our RBs should be able to go around the end for 5-10 yards at least, but they can't.
Oaklandishbear: What run offense? This is starting to be a serious problem. Khalfani looks better after just a week, but we couldn't get anyone over 100 yds?
WhiskeyTedfordFoxtrot: Have we even tried any runs up the middle? I know the O-Line can't seem to open holes, but just taking a shot every now and then might keep defenses a little more honest. As it is, our run offense is based on quick guys getting the edge, and that's not going to go far against better defenses.
Lucky1715: There was a run offense? I sure wish Jahvid Best would come visit as a RB coach for a bit. I understand he's available (and yes, I still miss him). We have speed but these guys don't have the eyes for the field yet, nor how to maneuver in an open field.

Pass Defense
C98: Booooooooooooooooooooooooouh (their answer for all categories)
Bearlicious: FIRE BUH
djnoblin: BUHHHH!
hardtobecalfan: Ridiculous. We were repeatedly burned and were fortunate to have them drop that one long pass. D-line has no pressure AGAINST FCS TEAM!
NinjaNed: I'm not sure if it was the pistol, bad defensive scheme, execution, or a combination of them all, but the pass defense was disturbing. If we don't find a way to get our playmakers in the right spot at the right time, we're going to have a very long season ahead.
Cannonbear: Loved Portland State's sub 50% completion percentage. Didn't love that the average completion went for more than 25 yards. Our secondary is thing, young, and it's going to be a problem.
chruppel: Wow. Worst college defense ever played in the first half?
minesweeper: At least Andy Buh's defense is consistent. It looks like we can expect to give up 500+ yards and 30 points per game, regardless of the opponent.
dkcbears: We need much better pass rush especially with the way our DBs not named Kam played this past Saturday.

Run Defense
CalBearister: We played defense?
CoBears: Did we have one? Can we contain a run that goes outside even once? Will Ohio State run for like 300 yards on us?
coachBUUUUUUUHHHH!!!!: That coach, Buh, you know him? He needs to get, you know, like fired!
Goff4Heisman: Congrats to Hardy for being a bright spot!
BandAlum: PSU blocked the hell out of us for a quarter and a half. not just missed tackles, people who were just not in the play. tightened up later, but maybe at the expense of the pass. worst team segment today.
storky: The most troubling aspect of this troubling team.
rollonyoumatt: c'mon. C'MON.

Special Teams
GoldenBoiler: Nothing of note, played well. Missed FG was from distance
OskiGoDumb: Couple of semi-shanks. Weird 'illegal touching' calls on a few downed punts. One missed FG.
HelloBowlesHall: Quite good, especially kickoff coverage. Long kickoffs, well covered. Punts were decent to good. A lot of upside here. Missed field goal. Well it is Cal football, I would expect no less.
Jacobs.: Again, such a happy surprise to not have a heart attack every time they are on the field! Can they play instead of defense? Please? Pretty please? Sugar?
42calbear: Continues to do a great job.
Oski4Heisman: #ForzaItalia

Flag Guy: Kept the team together but damn were they not ready for those guys in the faux camo jerseys. Buh obviously made the needed adjustments for the second half. Offensive play calling is solid but I feel like we tried to hard to get a home run td throw which forced us into a lot of 3rd and longs.
VermontBear: I liked Sonny's intensity, pushing the team to the locker room at the end of the half.
what happened bears?: Fire Buh. RIght Now. Please. OMG. Can't deal with this any longer.
puresilence: Good to see relatively successful adjustments in the second half (particularly defensively).
CALiforniALUM: Well, whether we were ill prepared, or were just showing the extent of injuries, I still like the adjustments as the game went on. Or maybe those weren't adjustments so much as heart from the players.
zumabil: need to ramp up blitzes to compensate for young secondary
SoCal Oski: Buh's remark that PSU started out doing things we didn't expect still has me baffled. What, exactly, was unexpected? That they would line up and play football instead of roll over and just surrender? So far I am pretty unimpressed with Buh. Also, putting up only 37 points is really depressing. Our Red Zone play is about as close to crap as it can be, and while we seem quite capable of gaining buku yards, we seem like brain damages spasmodics when it comes to actually capitalizing. And the OL needs a LOT of coaching. So far I am only partially impressed with Sonny, Yesner, & Franklin.
the beer: Yes, I miss Clancy. This defense is proving horrible with our personnel. Buh, this is your first performance review: you are in the top quartile of compensation and in the bottom quartile of performance. Get your act together, or you will be replaced.

Overall Performance
Old Bear 71: It seemed to me that every offensive play was a third down. I don't know what was going on on first and second downs, but about two thirds of our total yards looked like they came on third down. Also, Bears played better as the game went on. D forced a lot of 3 n outs in the fourth quarter. Not enough, however, to help much against osu. Also Biggs is several steps slower than last year.
fuzzywuzzy: Big Bear-poop fest, salvaged by maturity of Division 1 talent...with a freshman QB. God we're in trouble. Hopefully they "overlooked" this team and smoked too much last night, but I doubt it. Congrats to Sonny and Co's first win...Keep calm and stay Sonny.
Willis Chong: I might have to revise my wins estimate to 1-2 this year. Sure the offense is better, but if the defense can be this bad against an supposed FCS basement dweller, we are screwed when we take on better FBS opponents. After today, I'm not sure if we can win another game this year with our schedule.
Swamphunter: Offense works, but defense fell flat on it's face this week early on, and thankfully stepped up to try and salvage it. I miss our D starters. God help us against tOSU.
texashaterforlife: No more scheduling teams that run the Pistol! We got the win, but there was enough mistakes for the team to get yelled at and practice hard regardless of playing tOSU. I can only hope PSU ends up a really good FCS team. If Cal is going to schedule a FCS team, we should schedule a really bad FCS team. Because the opposite result is what happened to Oregon State.
Bigdruid: I was actually embarrassed of our defense. Didn't think I was gonna feel that way this year. I'm flying 10 hours to see Cal vs tOSU and I sure hope the new Memorial is nice, because at this point the game itself looks like a bloodbath.
Wurster: Confusing given how close they stayed to Northwestern.
1988goldenbear: Shaky. No way we should struggle against Portland State, but this game was not decided until very, very late. I don't think there are too many positives to take from this performance. We had more favorable signs coming off the loss last weekend than the win this weekend. But I'm still hopeful that we will shock someone really good this year, so why can't it be tOSU! GO BEARS!

So there you have it! Again, thanks to everyone that filled out a report card and GO BEARS!