In terms of great defensive moments in Cal history, where would you place the seven goal-line stops on Utah?
LeonPowe: It was a great defensive stand, but history? History requires context, and while Utah is a conference member, this just isn't a historic rivalry, nor was this a huge game that clinched something big for Cal.
7 goal line stands is pretty great, but does it stack up to Marcus Ezeff at the Oregon goaline, Mike Mohammed against Stanford, Je'Rod Cherry stoning RIcky Whittle in the Miracle at Memorial, Des Bishop picking off UW in the Injury Cart game, Jerott Willard running back an INT 50 yards against Iowa? Right now, I don't think so - but let's give this a chance to breathe before insta-assigning it to an all time moment.
Nick Kranz: I pretty much agree with LP, though I think this one might end up standing out when we look back on it for two potential reasons. Either 1) this is remembered as a turning point, when a young Cal defense showed that they weren't merely fellow travelers alongside Cal's highly ranked offense or 2) this is remembered for the sheer improbability of a non-vintage Cal defense miraculously standing up on 7 straight plays.
Nik Jam: Colorado 2014 was the most recent big time defensive stop. There's also Mike Mohammed's game clinching interception to beat Stanford. I don't know if I've ever seen so many consecutive stops like that before by the Bears. It was incredible, and will be remembered fondly IF Cal can build on it for the rest of the season.
The Cal offense cobbled together explosive plays on offense with an extreme bend but don't break defense to get the win. Sounds a lot like peak Oregon! Are you a fan of this approach? What do you believe the Bears can do to improve upon this philosophy?
boomtho: I'm SO IMPRESSED by how far the Cal defense has come. I don't know whether the kudos go to the coaching staff or the players (probably both?) - but these guys are proving a lot of people wrong (myself definitely included) and I couldn't be prouder.
I don't know that the Bears need to do a ton to improve on this philosophy, besides somehow magically get better at creating turnovers. The only other area that I could think of would be to get a bit better about containing runs to the edge (my totally non-stats based feel is that Cal does better at interior runs, which Utah uses a lot of, instead of rushes to the edge like Oregon).
KWBears: No, most definitely not a fan of this approach. This is too gut-wrenching of a defensive strategy. A defense that bends but doesn't break is on the verge of breaking, which is no bueno. Let's say we didn't have Looney in there for a key defensive play (for whatever reason), we're toast. We can't live like that. Cal's offense needs to more consistently establish the rush (which they did very well on their scoring drive against Utah), then pounce on opponents with the deep pass (just like they did to Hansen and D-Rob against the Utes) - I liked that offensive strategy. Defensively, Cal needs to (like they have had to for years now) tackle better in the open field and not let big plays get by them.