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Cal Football vs. Arizona State Report Card - Magnificient 7

It was a dismal first half and an incredible second half. So what did you think about the huge win on a cold Senior night in Berkeley?

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Berkelium97: In what might be Jared Goff's (and possibly Sonny Dykes'?) final game at Memorial Stadium, the team put on a show in the second half.  Of course, the first half was a raging tire fire, but we won so we can focus a bit less on that.  Let's see how you all graded the game:

Average Standard Deviation
Pass Offense .896 .092
Rush Offense .765 .157
Pass Defense .607 .246
Rush Defense .661 .218
Special Teams .602 .267
Coaching .729 .231
Overall .830 .129

Passing scores for every category!  Pass offense earns the highest marks of the week once again.  It was nice to see what an effective Bear Raid offense looks like (even if it was enabled by a dysfunctional ASU defense).  The other half of the offense, the run game, fared well.  Despite giving up oodles of yards and dozens of points, the defense fared quite well in our grades.  A boost from winning certainly helped.  Coaching and overall both posted solid scores.

We didn't solicit predictions of a win for our bowl game, as we do not yet know the opponent.  Until we do know, however, let's just assume it's a 100% probability.

Now let's hand out some awards

Sonny Delight

Six-way tie for sunshine pumping!

Name Grade
1. VermontBear 7.00 (100.0%)
1. prd74 7.00 (100.0%)
1. heyalumnigo 7.00 (100.0%)
1. Fiatlux 7.00 (100.0%)
1. calbeargal 7.00 (100.0%)
1. #BearRaid 7.00 (100.0%)

Our highest grades of the week are all perfect scores!  Sure, it was a post-Thanksgiving, post-Big Game, sparsely attended game, but that didn't make the win any less satisfying.  Many of us had written off the game, the season, and perhaps even the Sonny Dykes era after that dreadful first half, but a remarkable turnaround salvaged all that.

Of course, not everyone was as pleased with the game (or perhaps they stopped watching at halftime).

Sonny Yikes

Name Grade
1. ChairmanMeow 3.10 (44.3%)
2. Mitchgobears 3.30 (47.1%)
3. iwastherefortheplay and iveneverbeensocold 3.35 (47.9%)
4. ABVidale 3.80 (54.3%)
5. puresilence 3.82 (54.6%)

What was the name of that old late-Maoist program...Let 100 Flowers Doom? ChairmanMeow certainly is familiar with that one, and once again the good Chairman tops our list of doomsayers.  Mitchgobears, iwasthereforetheplay, ABVidale, and puresilence round out the group with the lowest grades this week.

The Voice of Reason

Name Deviation
1. Stay Golden .0608
2. CoBears .0676
3. miniCal .0681
4. For the Love of Goff .0702
5. mallrat92204 .0762

Considering how up-and-down the team's performance was in this game, these Voice of Reason winners should be especially proud this week.  Staying reasonable through the highest highs and lowest lows must have been tough.  Fortunately, we here at CGB are proud to recognize your ability to stay reasonable.  Now please guide us through these tumultuous next couple weeks...

Before we take a ride on the coaching carousel, however, let's see how you felt about the game in words.  Hopefully they are good words.

Sam Fielder: Nothing like a big win to get people filling out report cards again! Once again you guys deliver the goods and I must say that this is a much more enjoyable task after a win.

GameDay Experience

-Joe Starkey

: Cold


: Watching from the luxury of home. First Quarter, I started getting that queasy feeling. Second quarter I let my wife watch whatever she wanted. Third to fourth quarter, took my son for a ride, so got to renew my mixed feelings about Mr. Starkey's unique broadcast style. BUT IT WAS WORTH THE WAIT! Holy smokes, got home just in time to see a beautiful event- ALMOST worthy of The Play! Wow, finally, we are the ones with the storybook end!

!: My win expectation early in the 3rd quarter was somewhere below zero.

: was a bit nerve wracking to watch.

#BearRaid: If you win the last game of the season on a last second FG after trailing 24-3 in Goff's last game at Memorial, you get all 1.0's... I don't care if I'm Sonny Delight or screwed the curve. Go Bears

: Had been planning to go to this game, but w/ 3 kids in tow and the temps getting low, decided to watch on TV. Great action, great back and forth, great comeback win.

: Giving us a 1.0 in everything, even though we may not deserve it. Was contemplating leaving the bar at halftime.

: this game was worth staying up for!! i'm so happy senior night was a success.

: What a special treat for the seniors and for those precious few Cal faithful who braved a really chilly night.
Decent crowd noise despite a dearth of fans.
YESSSSS !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oski Disciple:
A polar bear came and sat in our section, after a few minutes it said, "hell no this is way too cold," and got up and left. True story.

: In the first half I was glad I didn't go to the game.
In the second half, I wished I would have flown to Berkeley for the game.

: Grateful for the hearty fans who came out and enjoyed a good show. But grateful I got to enjoy this game snuggled up with my wife, nice and warm at home. Great way to end the regular season, such a fun game!

: It was cold but my kids loved it. Spent the day touring the campus with them and showing them what a special place Berkeley is. Tough looking at all of the yellow in the ESP seats.

iwastherefortheplay and iveneverbeensocold:
Night game on Thanksgiving weekend. At least hand out blankets to us.

: I sat between Elsa & Anna. Olaf said it was too cold.

: Bart n' brandy made everything A-ok. First half made me question why I do this, second half I figured it out, but least this time I dressed for it

: I had 8 tickets for this game and used all but one. There were 6 Cal fans in my minivan, we knew it was going to be freakishly cold, and yet we stopped for ice cream at Fenton's before the game. Did we think we were going to win like we did at the OSU game? Of course not. We showed up to say Thanks to a great group of seniors. Was the game perfect? No way. But the Bears made Plays. They made huge play after huge that will be frozen (literally) in my memories. You can talk about the West Side alums who do not stand and cheer, but damn, a whole lot of us showed up in conditions that were not for the feint of heart. This was not Palo Alto. This was Palo Alto with a nasty wind blowing from the South End thrown in. Thank You to the 2015 Cal Bears!

: I love night games. I didn't even mind that it was cold! I never put on a jacket, shirt sleeves the entire night! It was AWESOME to see the players and the seniors go out with such a great win. I'm typing this from 37000 feet on my 5:30 AM flight (what kind of idiot schedules a 5:30 AM flight for Thanksgiving weekend) to the east coast for meetings on Monday, but truth be told I'm not sure I needed a plane I've been so sky high.

: * Free passes to stadium club - great seats, free beer and food.
* Cold
* Drove home to LA after the game, no traffic after 3AM
the townie: Cold. So cold. Thought about not going. Student section was fun.

: After first half I couldn't watch....went to grab a beer with a buddy. Came home more "prepared" for the second half and was pleasantly surprised !!!!! Thank you, Juju, for hating Notre Dame more than Cal......

: Watched the entire game on free wifi on Southwest, and it was awesome!

: Tons of people left at half-time, and, at the time, I didn't blame them... It was damn cold, and it looked like we were going to get blown the hell out..

I was watching the game on DVR a few hours after kickoff, when my sister-in-law walked by and said, "Oh, didn't Cal lose?" and I asked her how she knew, and she said she didn't. She's also smart enough to lie about it.
Thus my game watching experience was spent trying to figure out when the other shoe was going to drop.
It never did. Go Bears.

Raoul Onyoo Bears
: The only thing uglier than the poor attendance were those white pants. They need to be boiled in poisoned oil, burned, and their ashes buried beneath 50 feet of concrete.
8-5 here we come!: Cold as hell but worth it! Finally Cal put it all together in the second half. Stay Jared stay!

Pass Offense

calinative UMstudent: Jared. Goff. In the second half they absolutely wrecked through the air. On to the bowl game!

: Jared Goff for Heisman, president, pope, king, chancellor, everything. Especially in the 2nd half. WOW. if NFL scouts aren't drooling over him after that game, that's their loss.

#BearRaid: Hideous to start the game. Drops, air balls... just a mess. Then it was like 6 week Fog-bank cleared and the boys just started balling. So fun to see them finally execute and set records and go out winners.
Best game in years. Ate those blitzes for breakfast.

: Goff definitely got accurate in the 2nd half. I think the wind in his face going N-S messed with him a bit. Underthrew the one on the offside where we got 50+ and also the one to Lawler down near the 15 yard line. But, made the throws when it counted.
I think his and the line's best game against the blitz by far. Usually it's us getting burned on the blitz.

: jared had some noticeably off passes, but protection was great and he made some wonderful moves in the pocket. receivers really stepped up in the 2nd half.

Oski Disciple
: There are not enough superlatives to describe Jared Goff. Among the greats in Cal football history. I'll miss him and all those senior WRs. Nice to see more and more out of Hansen who looks like he'll carry a big load next season.

: This was a tale of two halves for sure. I always get frustrated about the dropped passes but that was better than some previous games.

: saw all the things about Goff that NFL scouts love
Good protection by the o-line too

: Goff's pocket presence was amazing. His throws were off some times and the receivers dropped again, but it was a good passing game overall. Great protection too. A for the OL tonight.

4th Bear:
The best we've seen since the Rodgers era... but often hard to watch so many short balls. With the exception of a few games, lacked consistency with downfield balls (intermediate included). The best foes found our passing scheme predictable. O-line pass protection almost throughout was only average. Goff making them look better with his quick release.


: Second half Jared was the Jared we're used to.

: The OLine, overall, did a good job.

: Better pass blocking and we picked up a lot of blitzes! Goff still off target with receivers having to stop or shorten their routes to get to the ball but definitely catches are being made again.

: Wow. Goff is great. That was truly a spectacle.

: It started poorly. Hudson with a drop on the goal line. A few really poor throws. Hand it to the fellas! They truly turned it up and were fantastic. Goff still had some bad throws later on but players were wide open. That long pass to Treggs was severely underthrown, yet there were so many tremendous throws and Goff's scrambles were, well, EPIC!

Run Offense

FireExtendDykes: Tre good!


: I believed all along, in the Pac 12, the Cal RBs were best top to bottom. Watson had a good game, but next year, this squad has to deliver a min. of 125 yds per game. RBs underperformed all year unfortunately.

: Not overwhelming but effective when used to complement the pass.
Great to see second and third effort on a number of gutsy runs.
Several KEY first downs by 16 kept drives alive.

: Tre is going to be a special back. Kinda already is. Love how he runs. Given that ASU is so tough against the run, this game was very good, very happy.

4th Bear:
Matched expectations for the year. Average O-line seemed overwhelmed by better d-line opponents. Lasco loss was a setback. Bright spots were more patient backs as the season progressed. Noticeable improvements
in running back skills (blocking, speed modulation) as their experience mounted.

Nor-Cal Scott
: Tre Watson had a solid game and Kalfhani played well too. I'll have to watch the video but looked like our OL dominated the LOS running the ball too.

: Good enough. Feel very good about next year with Watson.

I married a longhorn
: They were solid at 6.3 ypc. Watson is looking more and more like the running back of the future.

: The run offense was just enough to keep us going and to keep them from completely keying in on Goff. Also Watson's run on that last drive was super key. It won't be on the highlight reels like Goff avoiding 3 sacks on one play, but when Watson turned a 2 yard clock-eating run into a 12 yard first down run turning Anderson's kick from ~36-39 yards to 26 yards that was actually pretty huge.

: Tre Watson is going to be fun to watch next year, what a performance. He picked his spots really well and got a bunch of YAC too.

Pass Defense

goff4president: good red zone defense in the 2nd half. definitely not the worst performance of the year.

: Pretty sad, except in the red zone

#BearRaid: Bend don't break can be exhausting, but they held ASU to a pile of FG's in the Red Zone and that was the difference.
(This is my official apology to AVI... teams that kick 3 or more FGs in the Red Zone deserve to lose. #BigGame #ND #ASU)
LOVED the pressure. Pass rush came on strong tonight.

: Tough to play pass defense with inconsistent rush. The rush did improve later in the game....

: How do you miss a tackle on a guy who's standing still? You play corner for Cal football, that's how. Dozier almost cost us the game, but it wouldn't be Cal football without a heart attack inducing ending.

MV Bear
: I think Rubenzer's best spot is QB; he seemed constantly out of position and tackling was poor. Gave up too many 1st downs on 3rd and long (again).

: They definitely used the run game to set up the passing game. Lucien was having a pretty good game against us even in tight coverage. Their QB throws a nice ball to spots and hits the receivers in stride so it's tough to defend in man coverage.

: need to even call them out...#6 got brutalized the first half, but at least he admitted it. Great red zone D 2nd half...but a lot of blown coverages and burns. They made a lot of tough catches. Again, good red zone Defense though

: This is not 2013, Baby! We got it done! Kinda.

Run Defense

coyote302: Can't remember a whole lot but they seemed to get stops when they needed them.
OsoDeOro83: I'm just happy we gave up on the 3 man rush experiment. And it tool us way too long to get to their QB...sub par performance but just enough to win!
I married a Longhorn: Surprisingly we held them to 3.7 ypc. We did get gashed a few times, but overall they held up.
BrooklynBear: Great push from the interior, yet still too many missed tackles that prolonged drives.
Mallrat92204: ASU's big backs scared me, but Cal held up pretty well
1988goldenbear: Good effort against the run, with only a few exceptions.
Raoul Onyoo Bears: Made the stops when they needed them.
8-5 here we come!: Held when needed.

Special Teams

CaliNative UMStudent: Possibly the worst kickoff team I have ever seen in my entire life. It would make infinitely more sense to just kick the ball out of bounds every time and give them the ball at the 35, it's basically where they start anyway, and it takes away the chance of a return.\

: botched punt was bad but the winning field goal cancels it out. Anderson had a GREAT ko that kind of squibbed where ASU had to start from their 13 yd line--more where that came from please

#BearRAid: Noa is gonna be a great player. Everyone knows it. He's special.
He had a couple shockers tonight, but all is forgiven.
Kick-offs were a mess, but all is forgiven.
Why... because Anderson kicked to win.

: we need to do something better about kickoffs.

: Good god. A game winning chipshot doesn't quite make up for 4 quarters of utter incompetence from our very "special" team. Good thing ASU couldn't capitalize all the way on getting handed field position on a silver platter kickoff after kickoff.

: anderson has blossomed into a great FG kicker, but still terrible with kick offs. noa's muffed punt was awful. field position was terrible all night.
For the love of Goff: Leninger can't punt.
Anderson's on

Oski Disciple
: We got a game winning field goal out of them, what more do you want? Anderson has been an excellent field goal kicker. Still some concerns in other areas of special teams.

: Had to keep kicking short like we've seen.
Dropped punt return almost hurt us.

: Terrible short kickoff strategy, Muffed punt.
Why is Davis not returning kickoffs or punts anymore?

: Last play!!!!!


minical: Special teams coach should be ashamed. What in the world were those kick-offs? Some of them barely go to the 30 yard line.. Did the kicker start kicking with his non-dominant leg? what happened? Ditto on the punter...

FireExtendDykes!: Did this game get Dykes that extension? If so, are the Dykes haters regretting the outcome? I did get mad about the punt at the end of the first half.

#BearRAid: So happy for our staff.
All year long they gave these kids the opportunities to win, but a lack of execution killed us. Tonight, a lack of execution left us for dead by the 2nd quarter.
Then something funny happen... the kids settled down and started playing CAL football.
Goff got in a zone and had his best game ever, the seniors like Treggs and Powe started to execute, and the future stars like Tre and Hanson and KM showed us how bright the future really is.
Congrats Sonny&Co... that was a great win.

: I actually agree with the punt at the end of the first half even though it took me a few minutes to come around. It was easy to forget that Arizona had 3 timeouts, and that could have spelled disaster.
You also have to give Coach Dykes and the rest of the staff credit for whatever they did in the locker room at the half to hold the team together. I will note that our team has some very strong player-leaders, but I think that it is important to remember that Dykes & Co. trained those guys, in many cases, to be the leaders that they are today. Coach Dykes has me on board because of the ability he has shown to create quality men out of the boys he brings to the program. The team has a culture that has really developed into something strong, and the coaches deserve credit for this.

: Great game plan, esp on offense. Made ASU's D look like a joke, that's impressive. Kaufman made adjustments that worked. Best coached game of Dykes Era.

MV Bear
: Need to raise expectations and salaries of the assistant coaches.

: Fantastic great call to run down the clock and kick the easy field goal.

: The offensive game plan effectively countered ASU's blitz and exploited their secondary. The coaches also deserve props for adjustments and whatever else they told the team at halftime.

FiatLux: I thought the first half was flat, for whatever reason but WOW WOW WOW - what phenomenal halftime adjustments!!!

the townie: Not thrilled with decision to to punt on 4th and short at end of first half but giving ASU field position and clock might have been a disaster had they scored a TD. I'm reluctantly ok with the safe play.
sup_doe_library: I'm all for hyperaggressiveness, but I think the pooch punt at the end of the 1H was the right call. It seems that Sonny was again content to trust his defense, and not rush the comeback and make things work.

Overall Performance

J.lee: So so very bad 1st half.
So so very good 2nd half.

goff4president: Goff and the seniors probably didn't have the best 3/4 years of football but to remember that as your last home game is HUGE. Goff should not come back. Excited to watch him on Sundays next year. Thank you Seniors, and GO BEARS

mendogriz: Nice comeback. I take back most of the bad things I've said about this team.

heyalumnigo: We won a game I thought for sure we'd be blown out at halftime. Just wish it wasn't Goff's last game at Memorial, though he put on a one half performance for the ages.

FrmrG8r: SO nice to finally defeat an evenly matched opponent.
The Bear fought hard and did not quit this week.
Hopefully we can build on the momentum through the bowl game and into next season.
YESSS !!!!!!!!

Oski Disicple: What a welcome tonic after the disappointment of the Big Game. A loss would have made this seem a pretty bleak season the bowl game notwithstanding. But winning, and in such dramatic fashion, puts a whole new light on the team and the season. It's great for the program and for moving towards our bowl game. Cal fans can and should be proud of the fine young men who represented the university with such spirit. I love this team and the way they battled back tonight.

4th Bear: We did what was expected. A record Less than 7-5 would have been disappointing. Hard not beat at least ONE better opponent. But.... never saw this team quit 9just saw them out-coached and over manned against upper echelon teams. The kids looked like they enjoyed each other in victory, humbled but undeflated in losses. A decisive bowl win would go a long way to forming a more confident and resilient team in 2016

Nor-Cal Scott
: This time has character. Down 21pts the Bears 5yrs ago would have given up, but not this team! The defense especially played with tenacity in the 2nd half.
Shout Out to all of the seniors!

: Imagine what could happen if we prepared for a game like we adjust at the half!

: When the Bear Raid goes three and out too often it puts undue pressure on an already over-worked defense. Slow starts and falling behind early is not a strategy we can build on, that has got to be addressed going forward if Dykes is going to be our leader. Otherwise, just another Bi-polar frantic football Saturday for the Blue and Gold faithful...keep your cardiologist on speed-dial!

: Great win for the team! The Bears are back!

: Glad the Bear did not quit; glad the Bear did not die.

Negabear: Should have lost so we could have a better chance at letting dykes go.

One of the most enjoyable regular season games ever. Reminded me of the 1993 Oregon game, which still holds a special place in my heart. I loved looking at the box score for the second half after the game (Cal TD/ASU FG/Cal TD/ASU FG/Cal TD/ASU FG/Cal TD/ASU FG/Cal TD/ASU TD/Cal FG).
Anytime we can score a point per play for nearly half the game, I'm going to be f&*%ing excited.

Raoul Onyoo Bears: This win was made by the players more than the coaches, and they should reap most of the praise. You could see their determination from the start of the 2nd half, and they would simply not be denied.
Some of that is because of the coaches and their relationship with the team. But as much praise as Dykes and his staff deserve for building a team that can will themselves to a huge come-from-behind win, they should also get the derision for putting this team in situations where they need to find that deep determination and bloody-mindedness in order to win.
Very proud of our Bears for their heart and guts. Very happy for the coaches that they were able to create a situation where the team could bring this out. Very unsure about next year.

Thanks to everyone that's filled out these report cards all season long and we'll see you after the bowl game! GO BEARS!