Berkelium97: Don't be surprised if I stop running the numbers on these report cards at some point in the next couple weeks. I'm not sure how much more Cardiac Cal my heart can handle before it gives up. Again, I am most appreciative of those of you who filled out the report cards rather than 1) seeking immediate medical attention or 2) imbibing untold quantities of alcohol. I'm glad you know that CGB comes first before health and happiness.
|Win Chance vs. Utah||44.00% (-3.38)||22.28|
Once again the highest score of the week comes from the defense. Sure, it's run defense against a team that is famous for not running the ball, but...defense! It's a major step forward that we didn't give up 15,000 yards like we did last year against the Cougs. Coaching finishes second, followed by pass offense, and special teams. Wait. Special teams? Our special teams? We scored above .7 on special teams and are celebrating a strong performance on defense? We have officially entered the bizarro world.
Rush offense received the lowest grades of the week, as our line was beaten up by the Coug D-line. Aside from a highly improbable 3rd and 36 run from Enwere, the backs were mostly bottled up on Saturday. That our O-line was regularly beaten by the Wazzu D-line is a bad omen heading into Salt Lake City...Speaking of which, Utah's triumphant rise into the top-5 has only depressed our win predictions by about 3%. Optimism for our 5-0 record may counterbalance any concern about a suddenly terrifying Utah team.
Now is the time for awards.
No Editor's Choice this week. Maybe next week.
First we recognize those with the highest scores of the week.
|1. Rocksanddirt||7.00 (100.0%)|
|1. Old Bear 71||7.00 (100.0%)|
|1. FiatLux||7.00 (100.0%)|
|4. prd74||6.50 (92.9%)|
|4. Goldenlikethebear||6.50 (92.9%)|
Rocksanddirt and FiatLux are locked in battle royale for CGB's biggest sunshine pumper. Both have become mainstays on the Sonny Delight list this year.
And now, we recognize those who saw nothing but doom and gloom.
|1. Goff Needs to Stop Partying (rumor mill edition)||2.00 (28.6%)|
|2. Auricursine||2.10 (30.0%)|
|2. sunnybunnyfunnymoney||2.10 (30.0%)|
|4. 3rd and 36||2.35 (33.6%)|
|5. McClure played a spectacular game…need 2X the success against Ut!||2.90 (41.4%)|
The worst scores this week come from Goff Needs to Stop Partying (rumor mill edition). It sounds like someone wasn't invited to Goff's birthday party! That or he/she was not pleased that Goff was repeatedly invited to Wazzu's party in the backfield. I'm not sure how anyone referencing that 3rd and 36 run can possibly finish among the pessimists.
Finally, we recognize those whose scores were closest to the community average.
The Voice of Reason
sacalum66 dethrones last week's most reasonable grader, 1988goldenbear. Oaklandishbear, FrmrG8r, and LeonPowe round out the top five.
And now we turn from our warm, fuzzy numbers to your cold, calculated words and emotions.
Sam Fielder: All the usual suspects again this week. Not as many comments as the last few weeks, but given the opponent, no big surprise there. Anyway, onto the comments!
LeonPowe: WE ARE 5-0
Cait: I hate DirecTV
Los alamos bears: Good to see the stadium fill up after it looked a little empty initially.
Old Bear 71: My stars and garters! How do the Bears keep doing this? Crazy sacks, crazy take-aways, crazy 3rd n 36 Draw Play! WOW!
RhetoriCal: I'll admit it, I gave up hope early in the third quarter when it looked like our offense was never going to take the field. I gave up hope and embraced despair. How long will this crazy train of being lucky and just good enough last? I don't know, but I intend to enjoy every stop along the way.
ABVidale: Today is my birthday (no joke), and instead of getting one year older I aged ten, maybe twenty. By the end of this season I'll probably be 300 years old.
TrumanHugh: Remember the old Tedford/Belotti games? How each coach wanted to show his former boss/employee that he was better? And how, for pretty much every year they played under those coaches, it was (usually -- 2007, ha!) the home team's win?
That's kinda how I see Dykes/Leach games... I think, as long as they remain head coaches here, we're going to see tight games with Wazzu! As long as we keep winning, I am fine with that!
Oski Disciple: What is with all the late arriving students? Can we get them out there before the band takes the field? When the band comes out to a packed student section it sends chills down my spine. At least they should be there to greet the team. They certainly deserve a raucous reception from their fellow students.
goff2016: Beautiful day at Memorial Stadium. Once the stands filled and the stakes were raised, the crowd really got into it. Weather was perfect. Cal band performed excellently at halftime.
One complaint: no more top dog in stadium???
osodeoro: A perfect day in Berkeley
heyalumnigo: Got to the Portland Alumni Group (Soggy Bears) late because I had volunteered to help at a company event before I knew what the start time was. Watched starting the 2nd Q.
CoBears: Depressing. Exhilarating. Amazing. Concerning. Trying. Heart-stopping. #winning.
IroniCALly: Now that I've purchased a defibrillator, I'm ready for the rest of the season.
1988goldenbear: California Memorial Stadium is one of the most beautiful venues in college football.
FiatSlug: Comments about gameday experience? You want comments? I give you comments from start to finish.
Getting to Stadium Parking Structure was easy enough. Went very smoothly, indeed. Available parking inside the structure was plentiful, even at 11:40 AM (80 minutes to kickoff).
Mrs Slug made food and cocktails for consumption ahead of time. The gimlets were lovely. We chose to save the food for later.
Getting into the stadium was easy as pie.Getting to our seats was easy. Once in the seats, however, we found that others in our area had probably too much to drink judging from their slurred yells and it was about 25 minutes before kickoff. Ugh.
Stupid air raid siren went off. I get that Cal's offense is known as the Bear Raid, but an air raid siren? Really? In a stadium on a major fault line? It was dumb and stupid, if such a thing is possible.
The in-stadium promotional activities are increasingly annoying. It feels like the college football experience is less about spirit and tradition and is more about milking money from every possible source. About the only promotional experience that I enjoy at all is the Growl Off (or whatever it's called). The small ones bring an energy that reminds one of the joys of being young and being around little ones full of wonder and energy; they also make a genuine effort to show their spirit. Certain adults in charge of gameday preparations should take a cue from these ambassadors of genuine high spirits to cultivate an attractive gameday atmosphere.
The Marching Band gave it their best, but the Grambling halftime show still echoes in my very vivid memory. 'Nuff said.
Other trivial observations: the captioning of the PA announcing yielded a very silly result, indeed. Khalfani Muhammad was displayed as "CAL FUNNY MUHAMMED" after a run by said running back.
A replay of Drew's interception late in the 4th quarter had Joe Starkey breathlessly saying, "the Bears win the game!" Well, no, Joe, they still had to make another first down on Goff's 4th and 4 carry. I cannot wait for Joe Starkey to retire.
My enjoyment of going to Cal Memorial has been steadily eroded over the last 10 seasons. I am considering not renewing season tickets next year.
Auricursine: While I wasn't at the game, watching the game at Dave & Busters in Irvine, with the OC Alums, was it's own story and a half. Suffice to say, viewing conditions were such, was that we wound up with free beer because of the chaotic conditions!
FiatLux: That was simply the most entertaining game at Memorial i can remember in ages... Sacked QB fumble for a TD! Perfectly executed SURPRISE onside kick. One handed TD catches... a 3 and 35 CONVERSION! On a rushing play! and so many turnovers in our favor.
A little disappointed with the crowd,and the students in particular. I thought it was nice that the Cal Band played A LOT MORE. I really do believe Athletics is trying to listen to the fans.
minesweeper: Another beautiful day at Memorial. The west side filled in nicely, but the east side was sparely filled well past kickoff. I get that Wazzu isn't the most interesting opponent, but it would be nice to see Memorial filled to capacity again.
prd74: We may not be playing for the national championship ever in my lifetime, but every once in a while there will be a Cal game that will be so much fun that it will make anyone a fan of the California Golden Bears and love the beautiful sunny day in Memorial Stadium. This game was it. SUPER FUN DAY and GO BEARS!
golden oso: #GameDayTacos still undefeated
Uthaithani: Cal fans can't show up to homecoming when their team is ranked? That's pitiful. Yes this was WSU but games like this are why I love college football - the game was thoroughly fun and enjoyable, even when we were losing. I love this group of guys, their energy and spirit. Go Bears!
rollonyoubears111: While sitting in T/TT, I've noticed more wrinkled skin than usual. These are true fans, despite the constant griping I can overhear, they've been around for a while through thick and thin.
My kid and I wandered over to QQ as the guy next to us continued to have issues with my son's swinging feet (sorry, he's 3). QQ was practically empty. Where are the young alumni? Kinda sad.
napabear: Why yes, I do love agony and torture. I especially enjoy crummy ref calls which are not overturned upon review. That one Wazzu touchdown was such an overwhelmingly obvious "Bush push." However, not all the calls went against us. I could get used to that, just like I could get used to winning every game.
TheHaywardFault: Goff started off slow, but some of his balls were absolutely incredible, specifically the TDs to Lawler. Just perfect. He also showed some athleticism escaping the pocket.
#BearRaid: Goff was spun, receivers gotta stop reading their press clippings, oline was not firing. WTF? Gotta clean this up or lose the next 4 games.
crystallogrobear: Apart from Goff being tricked to throw into coverage on multiple occasions, the passing game was decent. Especially those nice catches by Lawler.
FrmrG8r: Sputtered but came up big when needed. Lawler is a joy to watch.
ballboy: Started out flat. Didn't really get the offense going 100%
J.lee: Seemed strangely out of sync despite the tds and yardage.
sacman701: Goff was throwing lasers again, and the receivers were making nice stabs. They had to be good, because the protection left much to be desired.
dantheman007: Passing Offense was solid. Kenny Lawler with some amazing catches. Jared Goff had a little trouble reading the Cover 2 that could of been disastrous and led to the INT.
I married a longhorn: Goff has taken way too many hits the past two weeks. That concerns me as we head to face a good defense.
Lucky1715: Lawler is still defying the laws so basic physics. Anderson is still not getting the full credit for his contribution - what a talent.
Yet, with all of these incredible weapons and talent we still can't close out a game for the life of us.
AKBear24: Pass often just did enough, but Cal had trouble getting receivers open against WSU. How does this bode for games against the likes of Utah and UCLA.
Nor-Cal Scott: Kenny Lawler is amazing. Between his two awesome TD catches and Bryce Treggs toe tap TD the nation has to see what we see: we have the best WR's in the nation! #nastywideouts
lacenaire: Goff looked distracted, even nervous, to start the game. Pass protection isn't always solid and Jared forced throws into coverage. We seemed to be certain that longer throws weren't possible down field until we were certain of our ability to handle the rush and that there was space on the back end by bringing the safeties up on the short throws underneath. Finally, when we stretched the field is when everything opened up. Some great throws and catches.
Mr. Gold Sky: Goff's 9:1 TD to INT rate is officially out the window, right? He needs to average 3 touchdowns (very doable) a game without a single interception in order to hit that, and that ain't happening with Cal's fluky luck. Or OLine.
OaklandishBear: 42 yds!!!!!
I would have given the team 0 points for run offense if it weren't for that one astounding run.
miniCal: There was no run offense in the first half. However, in the 2nd half Enwere's 40 yard run on 3rd and forever saved the run O from being awful to not-so-bad…
napabear: Enwere does it again!!! A couple nice moments from Muhammed. Otherwise, I was mostly thinking Uh-oh, if we don't sort out some blocking fundamentals, it will spell D-O-O-M down the road.
sunnybunnyfunnymoney: howd he get that first down
werj: They were bottled up, averaging less than 2 yards per carry, if you take away the two big runs... but those two big runs were Beastly!
FiatLux: When you pick up a first down on 3rd and 35 with a run, you don't get to complain about your run offense.
Mephistopheles: Cal is last in the nation in yards per carry on 3rd with 1-3 yards to go (.21 ypc) and averaging 2.69 yards per carry in conference play. It isn't fair to demand that Goff provide the entirety of the offense himself, but running plays are basically a waste of a down. Until they can get that fixed, the coaching staff needs to abandon the goal of an equal run:pass ratio.
We’re coming to your city: NOT GOOD!!!! LASCO???? Muhammad was alright had a key 40 yard pick up on 3rd and 35.
3rd and 36: 3rd and 36
calbear1984: Dismal. We miss last year's Lasco, evident he was rusty and should not have been given the ball early on crucial 3rd and 4th down situations in Q1.
But kudos to Enwere, some great runs.
gumibears: 3rd and 36. The running backs did what they needed to do. Make WSU respect our runs.
hardtobecalfan: outside of one highly improbable run, needs major work. run blocking is terrible.
why: that 3rd and 36 run was wow
Bear312: Muhammed/ Enwere combo gives us great versatility and our commitment to the run really has opened up the passing game
BTown85: Thanks, Notorius VIC, for that big play on 3 and 32 !!! Most the rest.....MEH!
5-OHMYGOFF: Did I really just rank pass DEFENSE above pass OFFENSE? Yes, yes I did.
Bowlesman: Damned fine, but we are still giving up too much time, despite some key sacks. If we rattled them, like they rattled us, this game would not have been so close. The secondary keep most the pass gains short.
ABVidale: The interception to seal the game was a thing of beauty.
RhetoriCal: I hate the three man rush nearly as much as I hate wheel routes and passes out to the flat. So, clearly, I did not enjoy this aspect of the game much. Game cinching pick gives back some points, though.
Old Bear 71: Picks. Sacks. More picks. More sacks. OK, you like picks & sacks? Have another!
crystallogrobear: The ease with which they passed the ball to the same guy again and again for first down was infuriating. However, when it mattered, they either held, or they made a big play.
Los alamos bears: Great pass rush for a lot of the game. Got burned a few times. Iced the game with that pick.
LeonPowe: White and Allensworth and Drew are really playing well. McClure had the great scoop and score. Poor Cedric Dozier got picked on badly though. But those INTs.
mistergarth: Made some key plays. Gave up a lot, too.
sup_doe_library: Tough game against a hi powered passing offense, but not only did they do enough to put us in position to win, they secured the win (Drew INT, Stef Fumble + Sack). 7 Sacks on the day is excellent in spite of the yardage totals and score, so glad that the Cal defense finally has a functional pass rush--it's no mystery why our secondary keeps making big plays on the ball.
I have to say that at this point, I feel happy for Stef and the other seniors on this defense. Guys like Stef and Broussard have been through the emotional meatgrinder for their entire time at Cal, from coaching regime change, 1-11 season, injuries, being a part of a bad '14 defense to now making big time plays and having fun. Congrats guys, you deserve all this...and more: let's keep it rolling in Utah!
mcjorge: Not that great, but WSU is always tough to defend in the passing game.
TKE Pyrtanis 79: Getting better but don't understand the wide open guys on 3rd and long
FiatSlug: What was going on with leaving Wazzu receivers uncovered for first down gains? Cedric Dozier seemed like he was out of position a number of times. Maybe I'm being unfair, but that's what it looked like.
Cal got lucky. I counted at least 4 passes that skipped off the hands of Cougar receivers. Each of those would have been for sizable gains of at least 10-15 yards at the catch to say nothing of potential YAC.
The DL line came up big with seven (count 'em: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7!) sacks of Falk. That's only possible if the DBs were doing their job at least part of the time.
IroniCALly: Obviously improved from last year but still vulnerable.
1988goldenbear: The run D was pretty solid all day. I know there is not much to defend, as Wazzu doesn't run very much, but I think we limited that aspect of their offense for the most part.
Lucky1715: Wait, WSU ran?
Actually, the pressure they put on the QB all day was impressive.
CoBears: They didn't really run much. Near goal-line stand was a strong effort, even if ultimately unsuccessful.
goff2016: Was it just me, or was the Washington State run game was a bit more effective than usual? Still, not many big plays allowed, and our knack for creating negative plays this afternoon more or less made up for it.
gumibears: Not much since WSU wanted to throw.
FrmrG8r: Solid, although admittedly against a pathetic rush offense
ballboy: Don't remember them running the ball more than 10 times so can't say much here..
TheHaywardFault: Overall not great, but bonus points for executing a perfect onside kick.
Los alamos bears: Sometimes you miss a pat. Then you kick a perfect surprise onside kick and totally redeem yourself.
#BearRaid: That on sides kick won the game. Greatest call since the first play of the tedford era against Baylor.
ABVidale: You can't miss PAT's. Yes, we executed the onside kick but sooner or later we're going to need to win a game with a field goal.
FrmrG8r: Bipolar, as usual. Great onside kick and fake punt, then miss an extra point. WTF???!!!
TrumanHugh: A great punt at the end--too bad we didn't necessarily want that ball to go into the end zone... Still, nice to know he's got it in him!
dantheman007: A tale of two halves. The special teams was bad in the first half with the missed XP and the kickoff out of bounds. However, they stepped it up huge in the second half with fumble recovery for a TD and the onside kick. Hope to see more of Cal excelling on special teams.
Oski Disciple: Let's see it depends on whether you focus on the missed PAT and a few more weak kick offs or on the onside kick and the fake punt stop and Cole's last punt. I'm a half full kind of guy, so I'm saying they were stellar.
@seriouslyrick: Coach Dykes is ballsy. I'm loving the aggressive play calling on 4th downs and of course, the onside kick!
yg: Gutsy calls and excellent execution equals game changing special teams.
Auricursine: Field goals are one thing, but missed a missed extra point caused all manner of chaos in the 2nd half trying to account for it. And once again, the kicking game seems wholly inconsistent in terms of kick-offs...not only does Sonny need to recruit defensive backs, he needs to place a priority on a kicker with both the leg to reach the back of the end zone and kick field goals. Cal used to do that...it needs to do that again!
FiatLux: SPECIAL TEAMS WERE F*CKING AWESOME. Ok, we had a kick out of bounds and the missed extra point... but some great punts and OH MY GOD the unmitigated joy in the stadium of that onside kick!!!
napabear: To spot their vulnerability to the onside, then have the guts to do it. Less uncertainty/errors in the little things: not wasting timeouts, challenges etc. Great job, Sonny and staff!
OaklandishBear: Big brass Sonny D on the onside kick. I like going for it on 4th and 1, but does every single play have to be straight up the middle? Of course, the 4th and 4 play call was even worse...
sup_doe_library: Really complete game by Dykes and co. Great game management, no strange decisions, and another W for Cal.
I do wonder, however, if opposing DC's are going to use WSU's Cover 2 disguise scheme more against Goff, and what tweaks we can make to combat that action going forward. A couple of really bad throws off of bad reads by Goff, who is usually A+ at making his reads is a little worrying, so I hope TF figures this one out.
I also have to say that the WR corps under Sonny's tutelage has been EXCELLENT so far. They went from being dangerous but inconsistent to nearly indefensible, and it's because they're doing subtle/small things better: blocking, route running, reads, etc. Sonny deserves a ton of credit.
minical: In general, great calls. Turned out the time-out after Treggs made the two point conversion was right on(they gave us the time-out back). At the time I was yelling what a waste of a time out it was.. But they reversed the call. Clearly there are problems with the pac-12 review team. This play should have been looked at. After all, it was a scoring play! The coach should not have to take a time out.
Mr Gold Sky: Gotta give the coaching staff credit for those brass balls they displayed in going for fourth down frequently and dialing up a surprise onside kick. That said, our play calling needs more creativity and someone needs to pay attention to what actually works on defensive schemes.
mcjorge: Much better. Good call taking the time-out instead of wasting the coach's challenge early, like we did in the Texas game.
Uthaithani: I felt the coaching was good, but the players, especially in the first half, executed as poorly as they've executed all year. The second half they made adjustments and really played well, nice to see Kaufman making big adjustments in games.
But some things just... huh? We're a spread offense but for the second week in a row we run stupid up-the-middle running plays that even Furd's coaches would consider predictable. WHY are we summoning the spirit of Boring Jeff Tedford on short-yardage plays when we finally have an exciting offense?
lacenaire: Kudos to the coaches for getting the team to 5-0. The defense may not be great but they're good enough and getting better. I still think we waste timeouts.
GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER STUDENTS!: This is a well-coached team.
Auricursine: Does Tony Franklin go mimis in the fourth quarter of each game? There's nothing in the rules that states that he's not allowed to use the game plan from the previous 3 quarters. Even more baffling, is when the clock was running in the 4th quarter, Goff was snapping the ball with 10-15 seconds still left on the play clock. While I saw less of Sonny's "Gilby" face yesterday, I was the one making it constantly on my end of the TV screen. Aside from the manner in which the team continued to avoid shooting itself in the foot with penalties, the team did not otherwise look ready. It can't continue to investigate new and different ways to get itself in and out of troubles.
Lucky1715: Great job to our defensive coaching staff for doing a pretty solid job in a very short period of time.
Seeing an improvement in our fourth quarter play - then again, we've had more practice than I would have preferred.
wiata78: I hear about it before the season started. I hoped but didn't really expect that we could be 5-0. So, high grades for everyone! Left some room to do even better though.
AlohaBear: I still worry we will be coming down to earth against good teams.
c98: They did just enough to pull their collective bloody paw out of the trap. I'll take it. 5-0.
ballboy: Had a feeling the team would come out flat, but yet again they prove that they find a way to get things done and to give Cal fans heart attacks
5-OHMYGOFF: Jeopardy Scenario
Contestant: I'll take "Unlikely Phrases to Hear in 2015" for $2000
Trebek: This statement was said after Cal improved to 5-0 against Washington State.
Contestant: What is "WE HAVE A DEFENSE!!!!"?
Bowlesman: Two more wins and this season goes beyond all expectations we could ask for from a team in rebuild mode! I am starting to dare to hope for a bowl, at least. But must we be tortured in the process?
Oski Disciple: Cal football 2015 has figured out how to win games. The team plays with heart, enthusiasm and far more intelligence than in preceding seasons. It was a wild and crazy game but the Bears know the bottom line is winning and that's what they do.
Beat the Utes!
Btown85: Solid effort, stayed in the game, got the win. Gameday next week....Eeeek !!!!
CoBears: I'm actually excited for the Utah game, as I think we will put up a fight. Today, this team really came of age and showed some grit when things weren't going their way. And we're 5-0 as a result.
Lucky1715: We just beat our first opponent with a winning record. San Diego State, Texas, and Washington are not the teams they once were - so I'm little concerned about Utah (obviously).
Could not be happier for the team going into week 6, but we still have a long way to go to improve to meet our goals.
I'll be watching next week, as usual. Probably within arm's reach of a defibulator and a bottle of tequila.
FiatSlug: Slow starts will kill this squad against better opponents. Those opponents will start showing up in the next four games. Cal's game will have to be kicked up two or three notches if they're going to hang with Utah, UCLA, USC, and Oregon. No opponent is so overwhelming that they can't be beat, but every opponent left on the schedule could take you apart if you give less than a full effort.
minesweeper: 5-0! A great comeback win against the feisty Cougs. We have a tall task playing @Utah, but if we fall to the Utes, it won't be for lack of heart or confidence.
Mitchgobears: The offense started slow and the run game never seemed to progress. We will not be able to do tgat in the next 4 games. Let's play an ENTIRE game!
lacenaire: All wins are good. Even the ugly ones. The season fell perfectly for this team as each week presented a different and stronger test. Clearing Washington State was essential for this season to be a success. But Utah is the first big step up. Before the season I counted this as a loss. I now think it could be closer than I thought. The key matchup is Cal's offensive line against Utah's defensive line. Our offense needs to be on track early to have our best chance at winning. At least one loss is almost certain over the next 4 weeks. How we lose and we we regroup will be interesting to watch.
Mr Gold Sky: Weirdly enough, I'm actually feeling more confident now that Utah is up to number 5 in the polls. Cal's #Pac12AfterDark debut, underdogs on the road against a highly ranked, undefeated team? We've practically won already! That's just how the Conference of Champions works.
I might be feeling even more confident if we were 4-1. Logic has no place here!
sup_doe_library: Basking in the glow of 5 wins a row for this team is familiar and foreign all at the same time. As a card carrying old blue, I find myself checking my pessimism these days, because as Cuonzo puts it: "Why not Cal?" In years prior I might be worried about the impending doom (I can't even DOOOOOM, anymore)--but these days I'm just happy to see the team win. Is Sonny not only changing the culture inside the program, but outside as well? I think so. So we go into UT next week to play what might be the biggest game in 8 years, with national attention and huge ramifications, and I'd usually be managing expectations right now--but instead I'm telling myself "Why not?"
OaklandishBear: Despite the close score it wasn't as nerve-wracking as it might have been. There is a certain confidence this year that has been absent in the past. We're 5-0 without really playing a good game. Are we capable of getting better to beat the Utes, Bruins, Trojans, Ducks, and Furd???
napabear: Room for improvement, but big contributions again from all three phases. I'll gladly take it.
Thanks again to everyone for taking the time to fill out a report card and we'll see you right back here after next weeks huge game against Utah! GO BEARS!