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Cal vs. WSU Report Card: The Night the Air Show came to Pullman

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Everybody still alive out there? OK, just checking cause I didn't think it possible but each game has been crazier than the last. This one had it all. Record setting performances? Special teams DERP and KABAM!? Cougin it? YES, YES, and YES. It all added up to a Golden Bears win so let's see what you thought about it.

No truth to the rumors that the refs arms were sore the next day from all the TD signals.
No truth to the rumors that the refs arms were sore the next day from all the TD signals.
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Berkelium97: I had a hard time putting last week's improbable win into words.  Fortunately we have numbers.  I like numbers.  Let's look at numbers.

Average Standard Deviation
Pass Offense .934 .077
Rush Offense .706 .194
Pass Defense .111 .154
Rush Defense .590 .252
Special Teams .844 .189
Coaching .700 .198
Overall .747 .161
Win Chance vs. Washington 63.1% (+23.5) 18.4

Goff earned his best score of the year and possibly the highest score we've ever seen in these report cards.  Rush offense keeps on improving its score week after week.  And at the other end of the spectrum we have our pass defense whose score keeps plummeting.  Run defense was merely adequate.

Just last week I was asking what special teams needed to do to earn a score above .75.  This week we got the answer: consecutive, nearly identical kickoff returns for touchdowns.  Those even managed to offset one of the worst onside kick defenses I have ever seen.  Coaching earned a strong score, as did overall.  Finally, our chance of beating Washington has grown tremendously.  UW's struggles have likely played a big role, as has our great leap forward on offense.

Let's hand out some awards.

Awards

First up we have another editor's choice award.  Well, it's not so much an award as a quandary.  alpha1906 gave the grade "THE KING IN THE NORTH" in every category while WEARETHENORTH gave the grade "WEARETHENORTH" in every category.  So which is it?  Are we the North or are we the King of the North?  I'll let you meditate on that for a while.

Next we have an award for my new favorite participant Gerbear.  This week Gerbear earns the Excellence in Cajiling Award for this, which was entered in the "name" field of the report card.

GERBEAR REPORTING: OMG! IWAS PLEASED THAT AFTER CAJILING THE BEARS TO PLEASE TRY  TRY SC SOME SCREEN PASSES ( OF WHICH I'D SEEN VERTUALLY NONE FOR THE PAST FIVE YEARS ) THEY DID GIVE IN AND TRIED A FEW IN THIS GAME BUT TO LITTLE AVAIL. MAYBE BECAUSE THEY WERE INTERIOR RATHER THAN WIDER, OUT SIDE. LASCO SEEMS TO HAVE A PROCLIVITY TO GET GOING BETTER AWAY FROM THE CENTER OF THE LINE. IF WE CAN GET A BETTER QB RUSH THE CHANCES OF MORE WINS WILL INCREASE EXPOENTIALLY!

Gold.  Pure gold.

And now to our usual awards.  We won, so we first recognize the highest scores.

Sonny Delight

Name Grade
1. #BearRaid 7.00 (100.0%)
2. iwastherefortheplay 6.40 (91.4%)
3. Rocksanddirt 6.00 (85.7%)
4. sec119 5.98 (85.4%)
5. NinjaNed 5.90 (84.3%)

Other than Rockasanddirt's second appearance of the season, we have a set of new faces here.  I can absolutely understand how one may have such a positive perspective on the game.  On the other hand, I can understand why one would give a terrible grade for this game.  Speaking of which...

Sonny Yikes

Name Grade
1. Charlie Whitehurst 2.00 (28.6%)
2. puresilence 3.35 (47.9%)
3. Wide Right 3.50 (50.0%)
4. sacman701 3.79 (54.1%)
5. mitchgobears 3.85 (55.0%)

Charlie Whitehurst leads the way.  According to Drake Whitehurst's profile on CalBears.com, neither his dad nor his two brothers is named Charlie, so I'm not sure who this is.  Next we have ol' reliable, puresilence.  The appropriately named Wide Right is third.  sacman701 makes his second appearance in the Yikes crowd after narrowly missing the cut in the first couple report cards.  Finally, mitchgobears rounds out the pessimists.

The Voice of Reason

Name Deviation
1. BlueAndGold .049
2. Kmac .052
3. SonnyDykesBookofBlackMotherfuckingVoodooMagic .054
4. mistergarth .066
5. frizzlewizzled .067

The real winner of this award earned an incredible .028.  That's one of the lowest scores we have ever seen.  This incredibly reasonable person did not provide a name when filling out the report card.  So this mystery man/woman will forever go unrecognized.  What a shame.

Now I turn things over to Sam, who rounded up the comments.

Sam Fielder: Plenty to say about the coaching and pass defense this week.  Also many thoughts about the need for heart meds for the Cal fanbase.  Maybe not such a bad idea...but if anything, this game just proved that our STURDY Golden Bears will not quit, will not die. GO BEARS!

GameDay Experience

BoxOfFlowers: That was probably the best Cal football game I've ever watched.

ALPHA1906: THE KING IN THE NORTH!!!

joeBerkeley: WHAT DID I JUST WATCH?!?!?

WEARETHENORTH: WE ARE THE NORTH!

BTown85: Staying up late keeping teenage boys away from my teenage daughter and watching the Cal game!!!!

Holy Shit: Heart Attack

PRD74: The gameday experience simply the best day of television watching I have ever experienced. The Cal's win was the cherry on top of an amazing day of awesome upsets and great comeback victories. I am numb.

LOL: LOL

Uthaithani: The only team that can stop the Cal offense is the Cal offense. They keep outdoing themselves! Trevor Davis... OMG!! I really feel bad for our defense, we were just outmatched again. But, damn, you can't beat Sonny Dykes football for entertainment! Really hope our D improves, though, for the players' sake.

#BearRaid: F everybody and FU of you disagree.

F the Zona Mildcats. They suck. And they're #1 in the south.

Cal is a nigtamare. No one wants to play us.

#BearRaid

Go Bears.

Roses

NinjaNed: I was at BUILD, watching the game with the Cal Band and some rally comm guys. The entire night was electric. We had high highs, low lows, but when we played palms of victory, I shed a tear. This is what being a Cal fan is all about.

TKE Prytanis 79: Was up early, as is my wont, and then started streaming Gameday at 6 am. Other than a long mountain bike ride and a bock and a beer at the pub, it was all sports until after midnight...the upsets, the effing Giants and them my glorious Golden Bears as the nightcap, while flipping over to revel in the fulca loss...my god, did I just dream all that?

AlohaBear: Crazy game. Too bad most of country missed due to the time and network.

GERBEAR REPORTING: OMG! IWAS PLEASED THAT AFTER CAJILING THE BEARS TO PLEASE TRY  TRY SC SOME SCREEN PASSES ( OF WHICH I'D SEEN VERTUALLY NONE FOR THE PAST FIVE YEARS ) THEY DID GIVE IN AND TRIED A FEW IN THIS GAME BUT TO LITTLE AVAIL. MAYBE BECAUSE THEY WERE INTERIOR RATHER THAN WIDER, OUT SIDE. LASCO SEEMS TO HAVE A PROCLIVITY TO GET GOING BETTER AWAY FROM THE CENTER OF THE LINE. IF WE CAN GET A BETTER QB RUSH THE CHANCES OF MORE WINS WILL INCREASE EXPOENTIALLY! :WATCHING THE CAL PASS DEFENCE TAKES AWAY THE JUBILANCE THAT COMES WITH VIEWING THE BEARS OFFENCE. AS AN OLD,OLD BLUE I'VE LEARNED TO SUFFER WATHCHING EVERY GAME, WIN OR LOSE BUT THESE LAST THREE GAMES ARE GIVING ME MORE TURNS OF THE STOMACH THAN USUAL.

rollonyoubears111:As this has been the 3rd game in the row where I have been sitting at the edge of my seat, I have decided to quit caffeine. Thank you for breaking my chemical addiction, Cal Football.

minesweeper: Pac-12 After Dark: Viewer Discretion Advised

BrooklynBear: 10:30pm ET. We left the bar at 2:42am! Insane. Only about 12 people left and went crazy (anti-UA ending), erupting onto the avenue amongst heavily drunk others.

dkcbears: I watched the game with my gf who is not a Cal alum but is a bears fan thanks to yours truly. We're in Pacific Time Zone, but we've also had a long and tiring day starting at 6 AM. So... after the Wicks run that was a near touchdown, my gf decides that she can't stay up to finish the game. She had been dozing off for a bit before that point and just couldn't keep her eyes open anymore.

Wazzu will probably get a touchdown, she said. Wazzu will at least score a field goal, she said. Cal won't have enough time to score again, she said. She's tired and is going to sleep and won't watch the bears lose, she said.

So off she goes to bed, and less than 5 minutes later, I'm yelling in her sleeping face, "WE WON!!! THEY MISSED A CHIP SHOT FIELD GOAL!! WE FREAKING WON!! AND YOU MISSED IT!!! SUCKER!! OK GO BACK TO SLEEP! GOOD NIGHT! LOVE YOU!"

She woke up, gave me a 'WTF are you saying?' look and went straight back to sleep. I couldn't sleep til 2 AM because of the adrenaline hit. So yea, the gameday experience was pretty good.

mitchgobears: I need a new AED.

Pass Offense

rocksanddirt: Darn good, except i'd like to see a few more slant throws, but that might be what the defense is giving.

sacman701: The pass offense kept us in the game. 9.9 yards per attempt, 1 sack and no picks on 53 attempts. They get the cheeseburger.

SonnyDykesBookOfBlack: Prolific, as expected. Got off to a slow start in the first half, mainly because of hopelessly outmatched play by the O line in the first quarter. After that it was mostly gold.

Flag Guy: Wow. It is kinda sad that this incredible performance is OVERSHADOWED by an even more amazing performance.

wifeisatroj: Took a bit off due to struggles in the first half. It's like judging figure skating--you have to leave room for a future performance that will be even BETTER.

My cardiologist says I have to give up watching Cal Football (aka Rose Bowl Oski): It's been a long time since I've seen a QB as poised and accurate as J. Goff. Exciting times for Cal Football.

Run Offense

BlueandGold: Lil bit of an off night but it was an air show after all

BearOverThere: It wasn't really utilized, but that may have been according to the game plan. Lasco looked good when he touched the ball, but they could have benefited from staying aggressive with the runs instead of defaulting to "Lead in second half = Enwere". Maybe more creative playcalling like the WR run to convert 4th down?

iwastherefortheplay: We can run! We're not quite up to Beast mode years but gaining momentum.

slaphancock: Both Lasco runs were things of beauty. Excellent quick decision making and good burst. I look forward to seeing a lot more of him next week.

NJ John: O-Line improving. Got the horses behind 'em, and through 'em.

Pass Defense

NVJ: Terrible. The worst Cal pass defense I have ever seen.

Joe Bandsmen: Step 1 be close to receivers

Step 2 put hand in between ball and player

Step 3 put hands on player should ball end up in player's hands

Step 4 DROP HIM!!!!

This team is not just based off of the safeties.  The linebackers and the corners have to pay attention

John: Something is wrong

UnBearable: Cal had a pass defense?

frizzlewizzle: Our pass defense is worse than Furd's ability to get their fans in the seats. We couldn't stop a spent bullet with an entire barn. Then again, injuries to McClure and C-Bass didn't help, but it's only the 1st quarter of the season...no pass ruck whatsoever. They gave better service to Halliday than I get at a Dennys.

AlohaBear: Help?

ironiCALly: What pass defense? There is none. Stems from lack of rush up front. Our DBs were often beat and not able to make the plays. This is our major area of concern, and we can't continue to rely on our offense being our best pass defense. Suspect that only recruiting and another season can fix this problem.

dbroman: There was a pass defense? Cal was just hoping they would drop the ball, because they were too open.

rollonyoubears111: Did you ever wonder what it'd be like to have an out of body experience? I do everytime Cal blows a 3rd and long leaving a guy wide open.

beson: Do not try to bend the defense. That's impossible. Instead try to realize the truth.

There is no defense.

Run Defense

nedbear: Looks like we keyed in on it and that paid off. We shut it down.

Ninjaned: I think our front 3/4 are very good at the run. The linebackers flow to the holes very well. But I think when everything is mixed up and no one is sure whether to prevent the run or pass, then we start getting beat. But on obvious running downs, we get stops when we need to.

Nor-Cal Scott: Pretty good. Up until that late 20yd scamper in the 4Q by Wicks we had eliminated any big runs.

Willis Chong: Wazzu ran quite a bit more than expected, and got lots of room to do it. But, we got a few TFLs, so a step up from our pass defense.

minical: Seemed like we stopped the run effectively. In fact, the only time we stopped them, was when they insisted on running.

Special Teams

crystallogrobear: Run Forest Run! And what was up with that on-side kick? Can we even defend against an on-side kick that perfect?

SCOOTIE: I want to have Trevor Davis's babies, whoever the hell he is.

CalBear2007: The 98 yard return was when I knew we were going to win.

darthdartagnan09: 2 KR Touchdowns for a missed PAT. I'd take that trade all damn day

BigDruid: Better than our opponents, for a change, but just barely. Gave up an onside kick (again), gave up a blocked extra point which could've lost the game for us, also we kicked a bunch of squib kicks which is kind of an admission that we didn't feel like we could defend WSU's return game consistently.

On the bright side, TREVOR DAVIS. Also, we didn't miss the game winning FG, so we get +0.1 points just for that.

Charlie Whitehurst: Yung Davis is addicted to endzones and premarital fornication, and he's all out of--what? Sorry dudes, coach just put me in.

Coaching

KTJ: Wow, that clock management in the last minute…

LEON POWE: Completely perplexing end of the game, until it worked out.

maxdarkfire: DC: Understandable to play beeeend.  The fact that our O was able to keep up made this game.

OC: This game was just ridiculous.  Soo many yard, soo few interceptions.

@TheNewCastro: Coulda/woulda/shoulda - but the last three minutes...should we have let them score? Not sure what to think on this one. The coaching for the other parts of the game were okay.

mrjpark: Okay, guys. Honestly. Those last 3 minutes. Terrible coaching. Or perfect coaching? Maybe he knew they would Coug it. But still, you can't put the entire game on the line in the hopes that they would fuck it up. We should have let them score and given our offense time to win it. That was a lost game that WSU gifted us.

GoldenBear8933: The records are great, but why did Cal allow that storyline to happen? Lasco was running great, why not use him to slow down the game and limit Wazzu's possesions? Muhammad and Enwere weren't even used. Why?  Sure Cal's offense really came alive after we abandoned the run and the 1st quarter was terrible, but after you've established the pass why not go back to the run game?

Mallrat92204: Good game plan on the offensive side, good decisions on 3rd/4th downs. You might knock them for their defensive plan, but I think that comes down more to personnel than anything else. In the future I think we need to rush more and drop 8 less. Even when you know that it's a pass the DBs just can't lock it down and it turns out that the QB has forever back there.

Jacobs.: So in the insanity of putting together a cohesive game of four quarters, we went from insanely well prepared for the first quarter and clueless in the fourth to being clueless in the first and a win from behind team in the fourth?!? Also, I still think that Kaufman is a good coordinator. Most of the time the scheme seems to be well set up, just to be shot down by defenders who look like they have never seen a pass before.

the townie: Is Buh playing corner?

Camhand: I am loving the enthusiasm. I would prefer fewer penalties. The team is exciting and improving. I won't try to find fault.

cruidzoid: i'm still perplexed as to why the coach would tell goff to air it deep in the penultimate drive. there's 4 minutes left in the 4th quarter. your defense hasn't been doing anything. instead of grinding out 4 minutes off the clock, goff chucks it for 51 yards and leaves 3 minutes on the clock.

Overall Performance

sf-gigantes: Excellent effort by all the offensive players. Defense didn't exist. Coaches lucked out but almost screwed up the end horribly.

puresilence: No business winning, but they coug'd it. I'll take it.

RhetoriCal: KING OF THE NORTH!

Livermorium116: Had the ball with 4 minutes left. Both teams unable to stop the other from scoring. Why not chew time off the clock before scoring? Thank you mother luck for second time in two weeks.

ABVidale: I'd like to have the Alka Seltzer franchise for Cal fans.

Tyler: Celebrate the win and the prolific offense, but Sony Dykes is proving to be a brawler, not a tactician. Goff is making Franklin look better than the scheme suggests, but our inability to adjust to opponents offenses is exposing our coaches.

KMac: The football gods shined on Berkeley for the first time in many years.

CoBears: Good enough, since I don't have a heart condition. Afraid for some Old Blues out there who do.

mistergarth: At least these Bears are entertaining.

1988goldenbear: What a crazy game. Both offenses were unstoppable in the second half. I'm very happy with the result and the overall record, but I'm also a bit worried about the prospect of facing a rugged defense. Wasn't the over/under around 65? Easy money.

NoneOtherThanTheShockmaster: Statistically, against Washington State, Cal had almost the EXACT same passing yards, rushing yards, and first downs as last year's game. But, they cut back on turnovers, penalties, and achieved badassery on the special teams. That was enough to overcome Halliday's special night.

Thanks to everyone that took the time to fill out a report card and submit their comments.  I say this every week but really, you all are the best and I do enjoy reading all the comments. Until next week...GO BEARS!