clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cal football coaches, playcalling, run defense all contributed to Oregon State loss

Everything was bad in Corvallis.

NCAA Football: California at Oregon State Cole Elsasser-USA TODAY Sports

What do you think were the biggest factors in Cal's loss to Oregon State? What coaching decisions and strategies do you believe were suboptimal?

HydroTech: The biggest factors in Cal's loss was the coaching staff's failure to realize that: (1) Cal needed to run the ball earlier and more; and (2) that Cal needed to commit its safeties to stopping the run rather than defending against a practically non-existent OSU pass threat. As for the latter, Cal didn't start committing its safeties to stopping the run until the fourth quarter. Of course, once Cal started doing this, the Cal Defense started seeing more success in limiting OSU runs.

Andy Johnston: Nothing has angered me more than the mind numbing penalties we commit which ultimately is preparation and coaching. The false start at the one yard line, blocking seven yards downfield on a first down gain, a holding call right after an interception and of course the late hit on the kickoff all had me ready to throw the remote. If you look back at past weeks whether it be Texas, Utah (Saffle) or any other game we commit the worlds dumbest penalties.

Our defensive strategy was literally worse than sub-optimal. How in the world we didn't force Garretson to throw the ball I will never understand. I was ok with our offensive strategy except that it look us forever to exploit one of the worst linebacking units in the country. Overall my report card had a whole lot of F's.

boomtho: Run defense is an obvious place to start. Cal gave up 3.7 points per possession, 9.5 yards per rush (h/t Nick’s Monday column)… there’s no excuse for that.

Second… despite the horrible run defense, Cal could have still won the game if they passing offense had not been so horrible, or if Spav had actually called plays which were working, aka runs. While the run/pass balance was nearly 50:50, this specific game, with Webb ailing and OSU selling out to stop the passing game, called for a heavy run balance.

Nik Jam: I hate getting the ball to start the game. It happened to Cal and the Raiders both because their opponents won the coin toss and deferred but I notice both teams tend to like to get the kickoff in the first half anyway.

It is great when you actually do something with the ball. The Raiders threw a pick to former Cal Bear Brandon Mebane yesterday (although the Chargers turned it right back, and now I won't bring up the NFL anymore, sorry!) and Cal went three and out. That's unacceptable. Because for all intents and purposes it's like the opposition got to get the ball to start both halves. The Beavers started the first half with a FG and the second half with a TD.

The game started to become a shootout in the second half and Cal somehow pulled out a comeback, but the first half was not good. Against a bad team, you want to take it to them early. Going three and out, and then not scoring much of the first half gave Oregon State hope and made them believe early that this was one they can win. If momentum is real, then we gave it to them after looking awful for our first few drives.

Oh yeah, and the defense. We knew they're going to struggle and it was unfortunate even the Beavers made good work out of our defense. Sure, they're going through an injury crisis that we've come to see every year since 2012. However, the defense bailed out the offense against Utah but couldn't do so on the road. Every time the offense struggled, except for the pick six it seemed like it was inevitable that Oregon State was going to score another one.

Kevin Wu: Webb is still a grad transfer. He has great chemistry with Hansen, but when both are either out or hurt, that chemistry goes kapoof. And, I've said this many times before, Cal's defense has - for many years now - been just atrocious is open-field tackling. Did you see all those misses?! My god! We don't deserve to win anything with tackling form that is THAT poor!