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Cal Football v. Air Force Report Card - Airing it out in Fort Worth

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I must say that was quite the satisfying way to end the 2015 football season. Jared Goff had a huge game in his last appearance as a Golden Bear and Cal managed to #Drop50 against an overwhelmed Air Force. I'll take it. But what did you think about the big bowl win?

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Berkelium97: For the first time since CGB started this report card series we won a bowl game!  And what a satisfying win that was.  After a shaky start the Bear Raid performed like the offense we had expected to see all season.  Jared Goff and Kenny Lawler ended their Cal careers with a couple tremendous performances and Sonny Dykes generated some positive momentum for the team going into a rebuilding year.  Let's see how you all felt about the game.

Average Standard Deviation
Pass Offense .944 .069
Rush Offense .728 .169
Pass Defense .660 .195
Rush Defense .639 .177
Special Teams .546 .245
Coaching .770 .162
Overall .841 .106
Wins in 2016 7.65 2.25

Jared Goff's masterful performance earns a .944 grade for the passing offense.  That is one of the highest grades we have ever seen.  Every category earned a passing grade except for special teams, whose botched fake kick and poor kick return coverages were among the few blemishes on a fantastic bowl game.  Overall was the second-highest grade and coaching was third-highest.  That Sonny had the team as well prepared as they were is quite an accomplishment after the unnecessarily public contract negotiations earlier in the month.

We had a new category this time as we asked you all to predict the number of games Cal will win in 2016.  Some of the sunshine pumpiest of you predicted an undefeated season capped with a win in the Pac-12 title game, a semi-final win, and a championship game victory for 15 total wins.  Most predictions were around 6 or 7 wins.  It looks like the bar has been set at bowl eligibility next season.  We have a tough schedule in a difficult rebuilding year and another bowl would go a long way towards maintaining the program's momentum.

Now let's hand out some awards.  The Bears won, so we'll start by recognizing those who gave out the highest grades.

Sonny Delight

Name Grade
1. Uthaithani 7.00 (100.0%)
1. rocksanddirt 7.00 (100.0%)
1. Old Bear 71 7.00 (100.0%)
4. prd74 6.40 (91.4%)
5. gph2os 6.30 (90.0%)

We have a three-way tie for first with Uthaithani, rocksanddirt, and Old Bear 71.  prd74 and gph2os round out the top-5.  With as satisfying as that win was, I'm surprised there weren't more prefect scores.

Next we'll see whose report cards had the lowest scores.

Sonny Yikes!

Name Grade
1. ChairmanMeow 2.70 (38.6%)
2. Reget California 3.75 (53.6%)
3. They should have beat Air Force more handily. Air force is a joke of a team compared to the Pac 12. Was not an impressive win. The offense looked decent and goff was great. The defensive was horrible. Many players partied the night before undoubtabley and they seem to enjoy it to much. Would Stanford come out that flat on defense? Cal had a good offensive year but losing goff hurts. The defense is still a joke. 4.10 (58.6%)
4. ACGiant97 4.33 (61.9%)
5. FrmrG8r 4.40 (62.9%)

It's no surprise that ChairmanMeow leads the way, as that has been the case in most games this season.  Reget California finishes second while Dostoyevsky finishes third.  Despite giving passing grades to the Bears, ACGiant97 and FrmrG8r still finish among the negabears.

In our final set of awards we highlight those whose grades were closest to the community average.

The Voice of Reason

Name Deviation
1. hardtobecalfan .0489
2. Ric Flair .0699
3. San Diego Oski .0762
4. 1988goldenbear .0767
5. Winebear .0810

Hopefully hardtobecalfan found it a little easier to be Cal fan after the bowl win. Ric Flair (WOOO!) finished second and San Diego Oski finished third.  1988goldenbear finally makes the cut after narrowly missing the VoR award on several occasions this season.  Finally, Winebear rounds out the top five.

Well, Cal fans, it's been fun this season.  We finally had a satisfying season and the report cards have been much more positive as a result.  We've lost some of the gallows humor this year, but I'd happily trade a few more wins for slightly fewer laughs.  Thanks to all of you who have participated this season and many, many thanks to those of you who participated on a regular basis.  We'll see you in August after the Bears kick off the 2016 season in Australia against Hawaii!

Sam Fielder: So playing a game at 11am on a Tuesday isn't exactly conducive to getting people to watch but enough of you still managed to see the game (plenty of them from their offices, me included) to fill out some comments. So without further ado I give you the final comments from the 2015 football season!

GameDay Experience

rocksanddirt: was able to get a stream of questionable legality to run in my office for most of the second half.  whoo hoo go bears!

SchwinnBear: Watched it on ESPN so I had to contend with the twitter feed being faster on the uptake BUT it was AWESOME!

sacman701: I still don't like the white pants.

FiatLucks13: had to work but came in dressed for the game in my Cal gear and watched it at my desk. good way to pass the time.

Uthaithani: Woohoo! We won a bowl!! Always nice to play against a classy opponent. If the option wasn't so boring, I'd say we should schedule more service academies.

Moosehead: All in all the Bears played sound football. I am just glad that they were on the winning side. I think that for a first time Cal did an outstanding job of dealing with the Triple Option. I think that in the future Cal is going to have to be weary of the pass with running teams. Cal is also going to need to run the ball some more times to get a better handle on the game. If Goff goes Pro (which he has a right to if he chooses) the new Quarterback will need some more support from the run.

wiata78: Nice to have a day game. Clear picture, good weather both there and locally.

goldenone: Cool - kind of special to see Cal win against the military industrial complex.

ballboy: The announcers said "What is surely Jared Goff's last game" way too much

San Diego Oski: TCU has a beautiful stadium that was overrun by the cold weather and air force fans. The stadium looked about 60% full and was very quiet.

1017: I was at the game, due to a happy circumstance. It was probably the best game I've ever been to. I was freezing up in the so called "student section" which consisted of around 8 students. But we still managed to start a pretty awesome "Hey Cal Fans GO" several times. An experience of a lifetime for me, for sure.

Jacobs.: Stay calm and drop 50

Stay calm and drop 50

Stay calm and drop 50

FrmrG8r: Surprisingly COLD on the Cal side in the shade. This was a daytime version of ASU.

Extremely polite AF fans, although playing in the Armed Forces Bowl, they got plenty of love on and off the field.

Great to see the seniors go out in style !!!

heyalumnigo: Was great streaming from my laptop onto the TV

Reget California: What could be more convenient for fans than having a game scheduled for 11AM. On a Tuesday.

1988goldenbear: Looked cold out there! It was great to see the kids fired up to play.

CALumbusBear: Was happily watching the game live while the plumber was installing a new hot water tank and doing some other work. Until a pipe burst in my basement requiring more sprinting, tackling and cursing than a defender being dumbfounded by the triple option.

coolingfan: This was surprisingly an easy game to watch, even in the early minutes when the game was close. I could see the players enjoying the game, and that also made me sit back and simply enjoy it myself. I am happy for the players who ended the season on a winning note.

iwastherefortheplay: I had to watch it on my phone since the IT guys at work kept shutting down the ESPN port…

prd74: Kinda sad that I couldn't make it to Fort Worth, but I woke up in cold NorCal feeling pretty good about our chances. As we find out every year, the bigger and better athletes usually find a way to win and, since we were projected as the team with the bigger and better players, well... and as a plus, it was very apparent in the ASU game that Goff had gotten his mojo back. In my mind, the game was over by halftime. This was not an AR needing to do his thing or Kevin Riley coming back kind of bowl game. This was an A&M getting beat down in SD kind of game. I haven't felt this good about the future of Cal football since that evening walking out of Qualcomm. Thank you 2015 Cal Bears Football.

Old Bear 71: Really fun to see the Bear Raid go as we all thought it would at the start of the season.

Goldenlikethebear: Glorious! Victorious! But I was cold. Awesome fans and a goregous campus. Well hosted and organized.

Pass Offense

Calinative UMstudent: Jared F-ink Goff. Greatest QB in Cal Football history, without a doubt. I hope he's as successful as Rodgers in the NFL.

Come back to win the Rose Bowl....Please?

jojosungy: Aside from a few drops/overthrows, amazing job today.

sacman701: A couple of glitches, but for the most part we did whatever we wanted. Goff and the receivers just outclassed the AF defense.

sacalum: A few drops and overthrows, but overall impressive.

BB: Goff over threw numerous receivers early in the game but settled down to dominate.

Ric Flair: WOOOOO!

goldenone: Very effective, gave Goff plenty of time and he sliced up the AF defense

Mephistopheles: 16/19 for 269 yds and 3 TDs + 4 carries for 17 yards and a TD vs. 25/37 for 467 and 6 TDs. That's hard to decide, but I think Riley leading Cal back from a 21-point deficit gives him the edge.

young_bear: We love you Jared

BTown85: Thank you,JGoff; thank you !!!!

Bowles Hall: Some key drops or Goff would have an even more spectacular day

ABVidale: Goff leaves on a high note.

Run Offense

SchwinnBear: Got the job done. Can't wait to see Tre and Vic tear it up next season.

sacman701: Watson in particular ran well. The run game was mostly effective on the rare occasions it was used in the first 3 quarters, and did a good job on the clock-killing drive at the end. Docked for the near-disaster on the Goff sneak, though.

FiatLucks13: pretty bummed out that Lasco didnt get to play, but overall i think we did a good job finding the gaps and extending our possessions. Look forward to see how our RBs step their game up next season, especially if Goff decides to move to the big league (which seems very likely).

Uthaithani: I'm feeling really good about the future of our running game, though I feel bad for Lasco missing most of the season.

1017: Did a good job being good enough to take pressure off of Jared. But that's about it. I'm looking forward to seeing Watson after another off-season's worth of practices.

heyalumnigo: Ran effectively enough to keep them honest

Reget California: Sporadic, inconsistent, occasionally amazing, sometimes embarrassing.

This is a point of concern for next year, when we won't have an NFL qb for other defenses to worry about.

Old Bear 71: Fourth quarter eight minute drive to eat the clock? Where did that come from? Please sir, may we have some more of that next year?

Pass Defense

jojosungy: On a curve, it's hard to focus on pass d with the triple option. The big plays were meh and two of the tds were meh, but RUBENZER MAKES IT ALL BETTER.

sacman701: A couple of busts, some loose coverage, but also made some plays. Low sample size.

hardtobecalfan: allowed some huge chunks, but had some good defending as well.

waita78: Rubenzer INT!

Moosehead: The pass defense was good but history has a way of repeating itself with Hail Mary passes leading to us losing.

goldenone: Needs some improvement in 2016

San Diego Oski: The DB's got gashed a few times for big plays, but they responded with some nice pass breakups and an INT.

FrmrG8r: Burnt a few times cheating up to stop the run but that's what AF does to everyone. Overall solid.

Winebear: Classic bend-don't-break, hope we have some solid JUCO secondary talent next year

1988goldenbear: Odd scheme to defend, and while there were a couple of good breakups there were even more long completions due to broken coverage. Not a surprise.

prd74: Hard to defend, but the Bears did enough to win.

ABVidale: Not bad, but we were playing run force, er, Air Force.

Run Defense

SchwinnBear: Did a fantastic job against the dive but was burned a lot on outside pitch plays. Still, held up when we needed them to (re: AF's touchback while driving)

FiatLucks13: As predictable as their runs were, we couldn't find a way to stop them consistently. But towards the end of the game we did start to contain them a little bit better than in the beginning.

PHILG8S: I KNOW WE HAVE NOT SEEN THAT STYLE OFFENSE ALL YR BUT COME, ABSOLUTELY NO DEFENSIVE ADJUSTMENTS AFTER HALFTIME???? THE DEFENSIVE ENDS WERE 2 FAR INSIDE ALL GAME.....I COULD POINT OUT A FEW OTHER THINGS BUT I WONT

BB: The option is always hard to prepare for. Scout teams just can not duplicate it during practice.

Jacobs.: PANIC!

heyalumnigo: Did better than I thought we would against the triple option.

CALumbusBear: I was expecting to get hammered more than a 3 bit hooker during Fleet Week, so was really impressed with the discipline against the triple option.

iwastherefortheplay: Not a bad day. Had a few breakdowns but we were able to recover most of the time.

prd74: AFA sure thought that they could run up the middle. WRONG!!

Old Bear 71: Got the triple option figured out...or not...yep, got it.

Special Teams

calinative UMstudent: Made some FGs

jojosungy: Punt and Kick receiving was good. Coverage, not so good. Fake FG call was good, execution bad.

sacman701: Return units were good, kickoff coverage was poor.

Moosehead: This has been a longtime area of improvement. We have to improve so our opponents can not use this phase of the game to defeat us.

Mephistopheles: It wouldn't be a 2015 Cal football gall with the other team not starting out with amazing field position on every drive. Whether the "fake" FG was intentional or not, it was a disaster either way and didn't look like it had much of a chance even if it was executed better.

FrmrG8r: Par for the course - short kick offs, a block in the back, botched fake FG. Nice hit and turnover mostly evened it out. Really need to figure this out before next season.

Coaching

SchwinnBear: Some questionable TOs taken again, but overall, the last drive was a thing of beauty that drained the clock efficiently.

jojosungy: Great job of preparing and adjusting in my opinion.

sacman701: IMO they got too cute with the fake FG. That's the sort of thing you do when you're an underdog and need to take big risks, not when you're playing a much less talented team that doesn't appear to have an answer to your plan A. Apart from that, the offensive coaches did a good job of taking what AF gave them and the defensive staff prepared well for the option attack. The whole staff deserves credit for keeping the team focused.

FiatLucks13: Sonny caught himself, and started managing the clock better in the 4th. I don't think I've ever seen him manage and shorten the clock like this before. I've always supported Sonny, and never really understood why some Cal fans hate him so much. But, next 2 years will be his true test now that Goff is most likely out of the picture. I'd like to see him develop our O-line, Def, and Special Teams in these next 2 years.

CalBear91: That Dykes had the team prepared enough to start fast and play hard is a credit to him. We played a really good team and beat them soundly. Credit to all the coaches.

heyalumnigo: Did what we were supposed to do, except for the screwup in the red zone on the first possession. Seemed to concentrate more on the pass, probably because they figured out we could almost get anything we wanted with the pass.

Reget California: Air Force was probably the best of all possible match-ups for Cal, and thus the coaching performance may have had a bit of an artificial boost.

That said, there was little about which to be upset in terms of Dykes & the staff. They got the team ready, they had an effective game plan, they made reasonable adjustments, and (for the most part) they employed sound decisions. Though silly time outs and the occasional confounding play call still remained.

1988goldenbear: It looks like they were prepared well - Air Force was affected by the loss of their safety, but Goff would've shredded them through the air whether he played or not. The defense adjusted pretty well in the first half, and the lead was good enough in the second half that the game was never in doubt.

prd74: Give Sonny and his staff time and they can make you pay. Ask Northwestern, ask Grambling State. Okay, don't ask fucla, SUC, the furd, or the ducks. Regardless, Congrats to Sonny and his staff for a fun year.

Goldenlikethebear: What was up with the QB sneak? Awful idea. Otherwise, this went well. Good adjustments on defense. Looked prepared. The bear raid was glorious.

Overall Performance

rocksanddirt: just win baby. 8-5 is a pretty good mark for the year.

SchwinnBear: Go Bears! First bowl win since 2009 and first 8-win season since 2008! Goff was a beast with 6 TDs and the sack at the end was the perfect cap for a defense that has been steadily improving. Looking forward to next season!

Calinative UMstudent: Well, Jared Goff is clearly the best QB in College, and without him this was probably a 4 win team.

sacman701: One of our best this season, along with Washington and SDSU. The defense was a bit ragged, but the offense was outstanding.

FiatLucks13: Felt proud of the boys today. Most of them winning their first Bowl game, it was a good moral victory to watch. I look forward to more significant and flower themed bowls hopefully within the next 3-5 seasons. From the interview afterwards, it looks like Goff is done. When the reported asked, he did the right thing and say he wasn't thinking about all that. But, when she asked if he's taking a moment to just take this all in, he did say that we was soaking it all in to remember it, and i saw in his eyes that he was done. I hope I'm wrong but it was a fun 3 seasons watching him grow from 1-11 to 8-5. Who woulda thought. Good eye from Coach Dykes in selecting him as our true freshman QB. Go BEARS!!

CalBear91: Delighted. A win in a bowl is a win, and AF is a good team. To do it in Texas will help recruiting. Some recruits must have been in attendance to see us dominate. A nice frosting to a good season and a great launch into the signing period and offseason.

Uthainani: So happy for these guys, such a great group of young men. A very impressive win and added to the Pac 12's win resume (LOL, UCLA). Going to miss this season. Go Bears!

Ric Flair: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

San Diego Oski: This is a great game for the wide receivers and Goff to end their Cal careers on. I'm glad the guys showed up and wanted to play. Great way to end the season.

FrmrG8r: A bowl win. A bowl win. A bowl win!

Best to Mr. Goff and the seniors and thanks for the memories.

The cupboard is NOT bare. A pass rush, some special teams and decent QB play and we could very well repeat this year's level of success.

GO BEARS !!!

heyalumnigo: BOWL WIN BABY!! Thanks for the last 3 years Jared Goff!

1988goldenbear: Love this group of seniors, very happy they got a good solid season under their belt before moving on. And they helped to establish a good foundation moving forward. If this was the last game for Goff and Lawler, they sure went out and put on a show. I hope this helps give us a bump in recruiting, because we need to shore up both lines and our secondary.

CALumbusBear: We won in an exciting and impressive fashion. Had a couple bounces and calls go our way, but great execution on offense (and a talent disparity) carried the day.

iwastherefortheplay: Very nice win and I love winning like that in Texas. Should help recruiting a lot.

prd74: I'm pretty darn happy. I am renewing my season tickets. Nuff said!

Old Bear 71: Exciting and fun. Just what I want to see when I dial up the Bears.

ABVidale: Cal had a "met expectations" year. The key for the future is continued improvement especially on defense. Given Goff leaving, the defense must improve or Cal could regress in 2016.

Thanks to everyone that filled out a report card all season long. You guys make this job fun! GO BEARS!