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Cal vs. Oregon State report cards: Win a game and moods suddenly improve

Turns out a big win over an outclassed opponent is all you need to improve the mood.

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Berkelium97: SIX WINS! BOWL ELIGIBILITY! DROP50! LOUD NOISES!  This past weekend was a much-needed reprieve from all the hand-wringing resulting from our seemingly endless four-game losing streak.  For the first time in many years we will watch our Bears play a game in December, which brings all sorts of benefits such as more than a dozen extra practices and those oddball goodie bags that accompany the bowls.  Plus, it gives us one more chance to see Jared Goff in a Cal uniform.  Anyway, I'm looking too far into the future.  Let's take a look back at our thoughts on this weekend's cathartic beatdown of the Beavers (and first win against them at Memorial since 1997, before some of the current players were born!).

Average Standard Deviation
Pass Offense .824 .113
Rush Offense .842 .141
Pass Defense .683 .180
Rush Defense .659 .215
Special Teams .706 .185
Coaching .756 .174
Overall .817 .141
Win Chance vs. Stanfurd 49.18% (-6.93) 30.4

A surprisingly diverse run defense leads all categories as Lasco, Muhammad, Watson, and Enwere ran wild on the Beavs.  I like this recent trend of running for 250+ yards against Oregon State (it has happened during three of our last five meetings!).  Jared Goff's rough first quarter narrowly prevented passing offense from being the highest rated category of the game.  A stifling pass defense (coupled with OSU's incompetence at QB) earned a strong grade, as did a run defense that yielded over 200 yards and a surprising 6.00 ypc (but only one TD!).  Special teams earned high marks for not screwing up and the coaches received solid scores for an all-around good team performance.  Across the board it was a great day for the Bears, especially because those insufferable Lobsterbacks across the bay also lost!

Speaking of which, our predictions of a glorious Big Game win have declined slightly.  Had we played them in September our predictions would have been much more rosy.  I still cannot believe that this is the same Leland Stanfurd Junior College team that scored 6 points against Northwestern and punted at the UCF 33 yard line.  May David Shaw earn a great NFL gig this offseason and send that undeserving fanbase back into the quagmire it deserves.

On that cheery note, let's recognize the sunshine pumpers from last week.

Sonny Delight!

Name Grade
1. Bowl Eligible 7.00 (100.0%)
1. FiatLux 7.00 (100.0%)
1. rocksanddirt 7.00 (100.0%)
1. Uthaithani 7.00 (100.0%)
1. VermontBear 7.00 (100.0%)

AW YEAH PERFECT SCORES! We have a five-way tie for first as these five inspired graders gave the Bears perfect scores.  If we notch the upset next week I'm expecting every one of you to give the Bears a perfect score.  Even if we win 2-0.

Next we'll highlight those whose sunshine pumps froze over during a chilly November night in Memorial Stadium.

Sonny Yikes

Name Grade
1. There are 8 teams that are bowl eligible .. ASU can earn bowl eligibility with a win over AU or CAL. CAL needs one more win ... otherwise no bowling. Based upon its record .. Only the WSU win is over a bowl eligible team. 3.20 (45.7%)
2. ChairmanMeow 3.60 (51.4%)
3. Mitchgobears 3.75 (53.6%)
4. Willie the Pimp 3.80 (54.3%)
5. ABVidale 3.90 (55.7%)

ChairmanMeow takes a great leap forward with a big improvement in this week's grades, but it's still enough to finish in second among the pessimists, behind There are 8 teams....  You've got to be exceedingly pessimistic to think that any bowl would pass up the ability to host the nation's top quarterback prospect.

Finally, we'll recognize those whose grades we closest to the community average.

The Voice of Reason

Name Deviation
1. cruidzoid .0513
2. leonpower .0566
3. @cleancutmedia .0591
4. #BearRaid .0689
5. Nor-Cal Scott .0710

After last week's embarrassment (spearheaded by yours truly), it's nice to see the winner earn the top VoR award with a more respectable score.  cruidzoid's .0513 is about half what last week's top finisher earned.  The rest all would have earned the top spot last week, but it is a bit easier to be reasonable amid a blinding display of sunshine.

Speaking of blinding, let's turn to our extra special guest—the blindingly beautiful Leland Wong!

Leland Wong: Herro!

The national treasure who typically co-runs this feature—Sam Fielder—is off doing Samwise things and I was just dying to do some more CGB work—especially on my janky keyboard that barely works.. After a big (bowl-snagging) win, let's hope that the comments are a little kinder this week! Sam is a way cooler person than I am—with the exception of my far superior sock game—so try to keep that in mind as I do a far inferior job compared to him.

Maybe it's just because I'm not used to reading all the report cards in their entirety, but it certainly seems like you guys are excited for some bowls. I make okay money, but I have at least five bowls at my apartment. You can come borrow one some time if you'd like. Still, winning and bowls weren't enough to get a big improvement in the number of responses since last week.

Gameday experience:

hardtobecalfan: late night games too late.

@cleancutmedia: night games are awesome but it was freezing cold. It was a battle trying to get some hot cocoa. they were running out left and right. think rather than giving out t-shirts, they should give out hot drinks for night games. So many people would be happier!

crowd came in slow (come on guys get here on time!) but got louder as the game went on. crowd was good, chants were decently loud. the poor cheerleaders on both sides probably all got sick.

any game day is always awesome. go bears.

iwastherefortheplay: So... frickin... cold... Why not hand out scarves or wool caps for this game?

leonpowe: I think my nose and feet are still frozen

goldenone: Great. Loved the way the Bears carried out the French flag when running out of the Bear's mouth.

prd74: Given the performance of the team the past few weeks, the late time of the game, and the chilly weather, I knew that only the diehard fans would be showing up. Just before kickoff, it was amazing how many of my friends were there and it was so much fun to see them there. Everyone there had come to have a good time and they were the real fans and not just the bandwagon wannabes.One notable thing, among the many, was the behavior and antics of the person who was Oski. OMG, Oski was amazing. Things that he did last night were reminiscent of Oskis from the past and he made me remember what a super fun mascot we have.

FiatLux: We are going to a bowl game. We have crossed another important hurdle in the turn around of this program. I could not be more proud of these players. That goes to for the coaches, but the players are the ones who COMMITTED to Cal when things were really bleak. They have represented us phenomenally, and we owe them great gratitude in what they have accomplished and the way they have done it. Seeing the pure joy they were experiencing after the game, the smiles on their faces and they GUSTO with which they sang FIGHT makes this (not really that) Old Blue swell with emotion. Job's not done but GO BEARS!!!!

Goldenlikethebear: Note: Do not bring your stanfurd friend to the Cal bar, who is wearing a 'furd sweater. Your friend will be yelled at, and told by all the Cal alumni to "Take off that red shirt!"

Nor-Cal Scott: The stadium looked empty on tv. Late 7:30pm kickoffs are killing attendance in the conference.

cruidzoid: damn bars all packed for the ronda rousey fight

minical: Where was everybody? I've never had such an easy time parking and getting in and out of the stadium...

Pass offense:

sf-gigantes: Looked solid. Some inaccurate throws and drops early, but came together late.

#BearRaid: Nice to see the Goff get in gear after a terrible month. Few drops and bad throws early had me worried, but they started to fire.

ChairmanMeow: It took a while to get going, but it got there. In other news we gave OSU one of their very few takeaways of the season. Still waiting for the day to come when we don't break/set streaks for other schools in a bad way.

Oski Disciple: Okay not the best opposition in the world but Goff was really on. He had good protection and his receivers were making nice runs after the catch. Fun to watch.

wiata78: The passing accuracy has come back, though it still doesn't seem to be quite where it was in the first five games. Hope it continues. No interceptions!

leonpowe: I hate to be a nit picker, or maybe I've just come to expect perfection from Goff, but even though he threw for 400+ yards and 6 touchdowns, he still seemed not sharp to me. That long throw to Trevor Davis seemed underthrown, he threw a long completion to Treggs that was behind him, and his interception should've been a touchdown, TD, had the guy beat, and if Goff throws a touch throw instead of a bullet, that's 6 more.

sacman701: Goff got eaten up by the rush a couple times and the pick was ugly, but apart from that it was slice and dice. He made a number of NFL plays. The Beavs mostly made it very easy for us.

OskiBear First-Ever Report Card: Bottom line: we set a new school record for passing yards.

FiatLux: LOVED finally seeing that little pass play to Malik!!! We saw that in the last Sunday practice and have been waiting all year for it.

Young_bear: Finally the game we've been waiting for from Jared

1988goldenbear: O-line played well enough to give Goff good looks downfield, and he hit a lot of middle and deep passes--that's a great improvement over the past few games. There were a few balls that should have been caught and a few on which the WRs bailed Goff out.

OsoDeOro83: The uptempo offense seemed to create a rhythm I have not seen in weeks. Do the math, Bears!

Run offense:

#BearRaid: I love Tre Watson. He's just different. Epic vision. Such a natural football player.

@cleancutmedia: Oregon State could not stop us. They stacked the box, they knew we were going to run, and they couldn't stop us. it's nice being on this side of the pain for once.

wiata78: Still missing Lasco, but glad the other guys stepped up. No fumbles!

heyalumnigo: Once we committed to running we ran well. Mostly because the OSU DL was overmatched more so than our superior blocking. Wish we could run like that all year.

1988goldenbear: The RBs played really well as a group, gaining chunks at a time. Great to see. Lasco looked healthy at the start, but then got dinged up again--poor kid. Again, nice to see the O-line block well and open up holes.


(There should be an ESPN video here, but their embeds can be kind of hit-or-miss. If you don't see it, then reload!)

Pass defense:

ballboy: Not great considering OSU's offense is bad.

#BearRaid: Couple dropped INTs need to be converted to beat Furd

Oski Disciple: Would it kill them to get a pick again? Decent performance against a bad team but I'd like to return to the good old days of September when we got interceptions.

Mitchgobears: Too many deep open receivers.

iwastherefortheplay: Pretty good job although their Beaver #13 was a pretty big guy and we had trouble covering 1x1 with our smaller corners. TEs seem to be running free when they went into patterns but their QB's didn't pick them up much. Lots of pre-snap motion but our defense seemed to be in sync. Had a few deep balls.

sacman701: You can't be too negative when the opponent gets just 5.4 yards per attempt, but the Beavs stopped themselves an awful lot. We weren't making a lot of plays out there and coverage was mostly pretty loose.

I married a Longhorn: There were several times when they had receivers wide open with no DBs in sight. We got lucky that for the most part their QB couldn't hit the open receiver. We also dropped an easy INT that would have prevented OSU from scoring before the half.

Nor-Cal Scott: 15/36 for only 194yds. The more I see Allensworth the more I like this kid.

OsoDeOro83: We gotta get back to catching the interceptions again instead of dropping them or we got no change against Furd. When we're good it keeps us in the game but if not...Better get it fixed by next Saturday.

Run defense:

@cleancutmedia: Struggled to contain the outside. Inside was pretty solid though.

Oski Disciple: I loved the 4th-down stop.

Mitchgobears: No outside contain, and again we let the quarterback run.

sacman701: Again the intensity level was poor. The line got blown out a lot, and no one really stepped up. Oregon St should not run for 200 yards at 6 yards a pop, especially with Collins out. The only mitigating factor is that they weren't able to sustain anything while the game was still close.

I married a Longhorn: OSU averaged 6 ypc. That is not good. Had they not shot themselves in the foot throughout the game, this could have been a real problem.

BTown85: SOLID!!! Like a DAM!!!!

FrmrG8r: So so. We're far from stifling but good enough this week.

OsoDeOro83: We gotta get back to making tackles near the line of scrimmage or we got no change against Furd.When we're good it keeps us in the game but if not...Better get it fixed by next Saturday. Think waves...

Special teams:

#BearRaid: A blocked PAT? Really?

harddobecalfan: Blocked XP?!! Still can't kick off to the end zone. But Anderson made a long FG and Davis had one good return!

Mitchgobears: Stop kick offs out of bounds.

leonpowe: Kicks offs seemed short, but didn't give up any thing big. One blocked XP which was bad.

goldenone: Good kick coverage and one excellent return by Trevor Davis.

Willie the Pimp: Steady ... which is what we want.

I married a Longhorn: Anderson has been a lot more consistent in field goals (making 10 of his last 11) and has hit from 48 and 45 the past two weeks. Those are really good sign. Got to take off though for the kickoff out of bounds and the blocked PAT.

OsoDeOro83: Better starting field position makes a huge difference doesn't it? No errors are a plus so keep up the good work. Better get those kicks into the end zone next week so McCaffrey can't run them!


(Again, ESPN video and all.)

Coaching:

sf-gigantes: Good play-calling.

#BearRaid: Congrats to the Coaches. We're bowling. Been a tough month.

Season changing opportunity awaits on the farm.

Go Bears

hardtobecalfan: Need to commit to the run when it's clearly working! Also, the uptempo offense just works better.

Oski Disciple: The young men on the team had just suffered four losses in a row, but they were ready to tear into an extremely vulnerable opponent. Props to the coaches for preparing the team and coming up with an offensive game plan that utilized all our weapons.

Mitchgobears: Why are we always not ready at the beginning of the game?

iwastherefortheplay: FINALLY some pace!!!!! We stayed aggressive for the most part for the game which was good. Had a nice balance of running down the clock, but keeping the pressure up in the second half.

goldenone: Good mixture of play calls, particularly the decision to go wide with the running game and the short pass. Case in point Tre Watson's 45-yard catch and run.

Willie the Pimp: Hard to tell. I expect a lot of people to suddenly start heaping praise on Sonny, but my feeling is using a win against a totally overmatched OSU team as justification for Dykes's coaching prowess is about as silly as using the losses against Oregon and UCLA as justification for his shortcomings.

Beat furd and perhaps all that talk about how great a job Dykes is doing with this team will have merit. Get massacred by them, and it may be that the Dykes-haters are correct.

FiatLux: GREAT job. It was a FUN game. Let's keep it going.

Goldenlikethebear: Can't tell if improving or not.

Nor-Cal Scott: Superior talent usually wins. That was the case last night. I think Nam & Avi could have coached the team to a win vs OSU.

1988goldenbear: Love to see Coach Dykes fired up and smiling on the sideline, and it was super cool that the players gave him the game ball in the locker room. The game plan took advantage of the match-ups, and the players executed.

OsoDeOro83: If we made a conscious decision to switch back to up-tempo, then brilliant and keep it up! Don't overthink it, just play your game!

Uthaithani: Great job, Dykes & Co turning the Cal program around. Let's get the AXE!!

Bowling ball: Jury's still out. Big Game win and things will be looking up.

Overall performance:

rocksanddirt: Only one stat matters. Just win, baby

sf-gigantes: Looks good, but I don't know if we can take anything from this game that'll translate to next week.

j.lee: We want the Axe.

Beat the furd!

#BearRaid: We look great against teams we should beat... not so against teams that are more talented.

Hopefully that changes Saturday.

Go Bears

WE'RE GOING TO A BOWL GAME: WE'RE GOING TO A BOWL GAME WE'RE GOING TO A BOWL GAME WE'RE GOING TO A BOWL GAME WE'RE GOING TO A BOWL GAME WE'RE GOING TO A BOWL GAME WE'RE GOING TO A BOWL GAME WE'RE GOING TO A BOWL GAME WE'RE GOING TO A BOWL GAME WE'RE GOING TO A BOWL GAME WE'RE GOING TO A BOWL GAME WE'RE GOING TO A BOWL GAME WE'RE GOING TO A BOWL GAME WE'RE GOING TO A BOWL GAME WE'RE GOING TO A BOWL GAME WE'RE GOING TO A BOWL GAME WE'RE GOING TO A BOWL GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oski Disciple: It was about as good as you could expect. The Bears showed no mercy against a weak opponent and became bowl eligible. The players were ecstatic after the game and that was so nice to see after the last few weeks. Go Bears let's bring home the Axe!

Mitchgobears: It's about time McMorris scored!

wiata78: Scored more points on Oregon State than any one else this season!

ABVidale: We look like an average team. Nothing I saw changed my view that we're competitive against average (and slightly better) teams, but will have problems against teams with good line play.

FiatLux: Just phenomenally proud of this team. As I said, we have more work to do but this team deserves a special level of respect, admiration, and appreciation from Cal fans. What they have had to go through, what they willingly accepted as a challenge speaks volumes to the kind of people Sonny has recruited to Cal.

BTown85: We needed this game. I needed this game......thank you Bears.

FrmrG8r: Bowl eligibility really does represent the next step in the development of this program.

Great to see the kids celebrating again this week.

ESPN next week, baby--no third egg, please...

1988goldenbear: Good solid night in all phases of the game. Now on to the Furd game! Tougher task to contain Hogan and McCaffrey, and we will certainly have to take advantage of every offensive possession--because there won't be as many of them.

rollonyoubears111: Looked like the usual last 4 games in the first quarter. Then things seemed to get better, then it became silly (in a good way), then it got silly in a bad way when OSU's QB looked almost like Texas' and OU's QBs--then he was out for the rest of the game, then it got silly in a good way again.

I'll take the bowl eligibility and it's a great experience for the team and fans...

Get that Axe! I'll be at the farm to witness it!

Thanks to everyone who participated and anyone who didn't participate is clearly just a terrible person. Nonetheless, may all of you great and terrible peoples enjoy Big Game Week!