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Cal v. BYU Report Card - Punting is NOT Winning

Let's all shed a tear and pour one out for the 2014 football season. Such promise and many high hopes that ultimately were dashed in the most Cal way. So many 4th and ones not gone for. The glory of a bowl (and the extra practices) unfulfilled. So let's see what you all thought about the final game of the season.

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Berkelium97: Hello darkness, my old friend.  I've come to talk with you again...

Average Standard Deviation
Pass Offense .629 .237
Rush Offense .593 .233
Pass Defense .088 .133
Rush Defense .397 .224
Special Teams .432 .210
Coaching .202 .212
Overall .314 .206

We're back to the mid-season report cards where the offense gets solid marks while the defense receives terrible marks.  Special teams received another lousy game because...why not?  Aside from Trevor Davis' TDs, special teams has not been a memorable unit this year.  Coaching gets terrible grades thanks to Sonny's excessive conservatism and Kaufman's excessive aggression.  Remember when those two were switched?  I preferred those days.  Bend but don't break and go for it on most 4th downs.

How fantastic of a coincidence is it that the overall grade is pi on Thanksgiving weekend?

Speaking of fantastic things, let's hand out some awards.  We've lost so many games recently that you all know what's coming next: first we'll recognize the pessimists.

Sonny Yikes

Name Grade
1. BrooklynBear 0.00 (0.0%)
1. Dykes on bikes 0.00 (0.0%)
1. OhYeah?JustWaitTilNextYear! 0.00 (0.0%)
4. prd74 0.40 (5.7%)
5. Rollonyoubears111 1.27 (18.1%)

It's a three-way tie for first with three big ol' goose eggs. Why is it "goose egg" anyway and not chicken egg or duck egg or swan egg?  Are goose eggs really that much closer to the shape of a 0?  Do we have any oologists who can weigh in here?  Inquiring minds must know.

This is BrooklynBear's second Sonny Yikes of the year while the other first-place finishers are newbies.  prd74 finishes fourth and puts a Sonny Yikes award on the shelf to go along with three Sonny Delights from earlier this year.  Rollonyoubears111 finished fifth and earned a third Sonny Yikes of the year.

Next we have the Sonny Delight award for those who apparently only watched the first half of the game.

Sonny Delight

Name Grade
1. WaitTilNextYear! 4.50 (64.3%)
2. BTown85 4.35 (62.1%)
3. RhetoriCal 4.10 (58.6%)
5. wifeisatroj 3.85 (55.0%)

Is WaitTilNextYear! related to OhYeah?WaitTilNextYear! from the Sonny Yikes award winners? WTNY and BTown85 were the only graders to give the Bears a passing grade this week.  BTown's Sonny Delight is the fourth of the season.  RhetoriCal finished third to earn a second Sonny Delight of the year.  WOW SUCKS TO BE YOU.  WHAT GAME DID YOU WATCH? finished fourth.  Please use your inside voice next time.  Thanks.  Finally, wifeisatroj earns a second consecutive Sonny Delight award.

Finally, we have awards for those whose grades were closest to the community averages.

The Voice of Reason

Name Deviation
1. Rose Bowl Oski .060
2. sacman701 .068
3. john .082
4. Kmac .100
5. puresilence .102

Rose Bowl Oski leads the way with a respectable deviation of .060.  It's been a tumultuous second half of the season, so the deviations are not as low as they could be.  In fact, those .100 deviations would have a tough time qualifying during most weeks.  sacman701 earns his third Voice of Reason of the year and is followed by john, Kmac, and CGB's eternal pessimist puresilence.

Well, the last half of the season was pretty unpleasant.  We lost some winnable games and generally looked worse than we did during the first half of the season.  I thank those of you who participated during these dark times.  Despite the losses, these report cards are generally entertaining to put together.  I was hoping we'd have one final post-bowl report card this year, but we'll have to wait until next year.  Hopefully we'll all be chugging the Sonny Delight en route to a solid improvement over this year.

Sam Fielder: Pretty much everyone torched the pass defense (HIYO) and questioned the coaching.  I will say that I enjoyed seeing all of the folks that thanked the players for their effort this season.  No doubt, they played their hearts out.  Now onto the comments.

GameDay Experience

OhYeah?JustWaitTilNextYear!: This team is a joke. Next year? It will be better because we'll have all these upper-classmen? Yeah right. Anyone who can bail to the NFL will (even if they don't have any real chance of actually playing in the NFL - just like last year). I don't see any way this defense is going to get better. How? All these shitty players who can't cover, tackle, or apply ANY kind of pressure to QB's will all be a year older? They'll be a year more experienced at getting juked and/or pancaked? I don't know how it came to this, but here we are. This team SUCKS and that's not going to change. I don't know if I'm going to be watching next year.

Young_Bear: That false start call at the end killed us and was f*cking bullsh*t.

jrrad: Cal squandered a chance to become bowl-eligible in a season-ending game at home. I am so disappointed by what was an underachieving performance by a Cal team that had sufficient talent and experience to get to the 6-win mark for the season. Head Coach Dykes has one more season, in my mind, to move the team forward to more respectability.

alpha1906: We Lost.

XXXBear: Whatever...When will marketing really understand there will be fewer complaints if we win? What was up with the band's choice of songs and halftime show? Loved the frisbee dogs!

iwishitmattered: kids fought again, but coaching wasn't up to seemed to regress the second half of the season; to their credit, they fought...but coaches did not elevate their play…

WoeIsUs: For me,this was the most painful loss of the season. Zona and UCLA hurt for their closeness, Furd and SC hurt for obvious reasons. This one hurt for our sheer unpreparedness. BYU is not very good. We have comparable, if not better talent. And yet, every step of the way, we were out of position, shooting ourselves in the foot with ludicrous penalties, and making boneheaded decisions and playcalls. Kids played to win. Coaches didn't prep them to win. Feels bad man.

harmonpreservationsociety: The stadium was fittingly empty given the date, the team's record, the weather, and the general feelings about the team given their dismal 2nd half of the season. Not even the mormons and their 10 kids per family could bolster the ticket sales.

GoldenBear88: Being a Cal Football fan means a lifetime purgatory of close losses, of "almost but not quite enough". Why do the football gods hate us so? Maybe those tree protesters a few years ago were right and Memorial really is on top of a sacred Indian burial site. Sonny Dykes and his staff had better figure out a way to play defense next year or they are all out looking for work.

CoBears: I was sure we could win this game. Sad end to the season. So many missed opportunities this year.

Jacobs.: Persuaded a couple of friends that it was totally worth it to get tickets and hang out in the chair back section. Sub $20 tickets for the win! Apparently Cal is so improved that one friend will get season tickets next year.

Dykes on bikes: When the opposing fans are loud and chanting B-Y-U! B-Y-U! in the forth quarter, you know you are at a Cal game with Dykes as the coach.

Ohio Bear: Attended my first game at Memorial since the renovation. Despite the sparse crowd, my experience was AWESOME. Loved the stadium; loved the enthusiasm of the student section (which consisted of students AND people who moved over there); loved the CGB tailgate; loved taking my kids to their first Cal game and the fact that my daughter in particular got into it. Yeah, the loss sucked. But this was a wonderful day for me.

Pass Offense

crystallogrobear: Goff did everything he could. He was getting hit every other play thanks to abominable o-line play. And yet he stayed on his feet, and kept making some decent passes, and the poor ones I can forgive him, given how much pain he must have been in.

BrooklynBear: Does the "Tony Franklin System" have NO "max protect" concept? 4th quarter the BYU defense was really teeing off on Goff. Not fair to him and not adaptive. ZERO.

#BearRaid: Meh.

Lots been said about Treggs/Lawler/Harper going pro.

Got news for you: if you can't get separation against a bunch of Mormons, you ain't getting separation in the NFL... Which means you're selling cars/insurance in 3 years.

Goff had PLENTY of time today... Am the Storming Mormon DB's were on our receivers like herpes.

reminiscent of the 04 Holiday Bowl when none of the remaining receivers could give Rodgers a target.


ososdeoro: Rollouts? Moving pocket? Both way too under-utilized. Special thanks to Maurice Harris for single-handedly killing that first half drive. Goff was okay but a touch below his high standards. I'll credit BYU's linebackers and DBs though. I thought we had to make really good plays to beat them usually, and they rarely missed a tackle. And all that despite BYU's D-Line not being all that.

BTown85: Not Goff's best, but still good. Except for the INT and the last four passes. He was trying to force it into the end zone, a strategy that I put wholly on the coaches....... I'm looking forward to NEXT year's pass offense......

KMac: Goff is a warrior, proud to call that kid our quarterback. He stepped up play after play after play with little protection and a minimal running game.

Run Offense

EchoOfSilence: Was fairly obvious that we'd run on most first downs, but we were still productive. Good stuff.

hardtobecalfan: so proud of lasco's emergence this season, and he had a solid game. watson's td was a beauty.

NinjaNed: Lasco was a beast and trying to keep the bears in it. He was doing well enough that it made the multiple 4th and 1s worth going for.

harmonpreservationsociety: The run offense was ok at best. Lasco hit the holes hard and ran decisively as he has all season. Our OL did a bad job at times making holes for him. He was swarmed by the BYU front 7 for much of the game.

fuzzywuzzy: Lasco ran well, took some hits and kept on chugging. Watson needs to hit the holes faster, assuming they are there.

justbear: It was okay, nothing special, but not that bad either. Congrats to Lasco for a 100 yard game and 1,000 yard season.

Pass Defense

sf-gigantes: There was a pass defense?

Seriously, this performance was absolutely unacceptable. Players were rarely in position to make tackles, and when they were they missed. The image of defensive backs futilely chasing receivers downfield will endure for a long time.

jimb0rz: My kingdom for a pass rush. And corners. And safeties. Maybe the new ones can pick up all the pants that have been dropped by the current ones.

goldenboiler: I know we're young, I know we've had injuries. But, it is astounding how bad this pass defense truly is. Just out of position all of the time. I understand being outmuscled and or having a better athlete, I don't understand free running WRs.

rollonyoubears111: Roll outs to the left, no pressure on the qb, receivers running past safeties, corners out of position... art et co have no where else to go but up. Linebackers also need to tackle better- they let a walk on qb look like an elite.

cal18: We would still suck against a pop warner team.



PC: Embarrassing pass defense. Worst in the country! How can that be. The defensive coordinator and the DB coach have been flying under the radar all year. We need a massive change on defense. If the team does not improve then its coaching no matter how bad the players may be.

Run Defense

sacman701: Not great, but not the reason we lost. A few busts, but BYU was not able to sustain anything.

XXXBear: There are people on the D line who never seem to make any tackles and have only a vague familiarity with the location of the opposing QB.This is not high school. D1 players are expected to make plays.

WOW SUCKS TO BE YOU. WHAT GAME DID YOU WATCH?: Ok with a few brain farts.

DoesntMatter: Doesn't matter if an opposing offense realizes that, by rule, they can pass the ball as well.

RhetoriCal: Run D has gotten better, not that it's mattered since all that does is encourage teams to pass.

Nor-cal Scott: Looked good. The stats look good too; 39/107. And 49 of that was on 3 plays.

Special Teams

coachK of the grassbugs: Cole is a terrible punter and Anderson seems to have forgotten how to kick

iwastherefortheplay: Did we tire out our kicker and punter in warmups? what happened???

wifeisatroj: Our punting was a liability till RBZ kicked it

ososdeoro: The first kickoff we received was stupid. Leininger's punting was awful. The field goal was a decent try. The kick coverage was quite good. No penalties on kick returns. Still fielding punts at the seven yard line? Tsk Tsk. It all adds up to a mediocre grade.

RhetoriCal: Some oddly short punts, not that field position mattered to BYU.

Jacobs.: Pretty good, but please avoid tackling our own guys!

Rose Bowl Oski: It seemed like Leineger's (sp) production fell off the last few weeks. He didn't boom a single punt on Saturday. The pooch punt/coverage by Rubenzer/Lasco was excellent. Too bad it led to a 99-yard TD drive.


slaphancock: Dykes was able to pull out some games that we would have lost last year. It still isn't clear that the defense is any better than last year though. That is the big question going forward.

john: Undisciplined play resulting in penalties is on the coaches. Did not look like a clutch red zone team on the final 4 plays. No imagination, no execution, no clutch time performance.

BrooklynBear: 1st and goal from the 10 with 30 seconds. No timeouts. You CAN run once. You can throw slants.

3rd and goal from the 16 - why roll-out to the boundary side. So limiting. You can still try and get 8 yards.

Two times our Cal coaches punted on  4th & 1 plays. Really? BYU is averaging 4+ points/possession. Punting is akin to incrementing the difference by 4 points UNLESS you've seen a shift in defense to think that the points per possession are declining. ZERO.

How many 15 yard penalties can a team suffer?

prd74: Dykes has proved he can improve this team. This off-season he knows that this defense will get him canned. Today, our coaches get a big zero for losing the most important game of the year.

puresilence: why punt on 4th and relatively short with the defense being so awful?

WoeIsUs: Outcoached, outprepared, outfoxed. And yet, we were one TD away from a bowl game. The punts on 4th, the wasted timeouts, the bizarre blitz calls, the four passes to Lawler, the 50 yard Langford FG attempt, all just confusing. I really want to love this staff, but I just have no confidence in them anymore. These are bush league mistakes. Not to mention the lack of prep. We just don't seem to have a game plan, or at least our kids don' seem to be aware of it. Our kids deserve better.

chruppel: I think everyone felt defeat coming when we played conservative and punted on a very makeable fourth and one, though the offense made a decent go of it

Overall Performance

WaitTilNextYear!: This year was better than last. Next year will be better than this year. I hope recruits don't let this game or the 5-7 record let them down. This is a great place to come and play football and have a lot of fun and get a great education. Go Bears!

sacman701: Arguably the worst overall game of the year, although you could also argue for Furd or Washington. This game was also a microcosm of the season in that the run offense, pass offense, and run defense were good enough to win but the pass defense was nonexistent. Next year we should be better in every phase of the game as we don't lose many contributors, but the pass defense has to get significantly better. When you allow 8 yards per attempt (our season average) with very low sack and interception rates, your whole team has a low ceiling.

alpha1906: 9-10 games next year.

GoldenBoiler: I'll stay positive on this season, I thought we'd win 3-4 games and we won 5 and were much more competitive. But, I'm extremely concerned about our defense. With an offense like ours that typically has short drives, you need depth everywhere on defense. We don't even go 1 deep right now.

The silver lining is that we are very young and lose very little this offseason. Our Defense should certainly improve, I think Allensworth will be very good. Our OL should get better. And we return as deadly a set of skill position players as anyone in the nation.

Coaches certainly are able to keep these guys motivated and I like that the academics are improving. Now, let's just hope they can get stronger, smarter and continue improving.

CoBears: It is depressing to even write this.  Not as depressing as last year, so there's that, but we just aren't good enough yet.  We need better defensive players.  We can't afford to make every quarterback who plays against us look like a golden boy.  And while 5 wins is a big improvement from 1, our favorable home schedule next year has to yield more wins if this coaching staff is going to remain long term.

Go Bears!  Time for some b-ball!

Thanks to everyone that filled out a report card this game and all season long.  You made the wins more fun and the losses less horrible. I've enjoyed reading all your comments and hope we can come back for even more fun next season! GO BEARS!