clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cal vs. USC football report card

Went up against the odds, and Cal gave it their all.

NCAA Football: California at Southern California Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Berkelium97: As long as we have been doing these report cards we’ve been losing to USC. I bet you could copy+paste any of the intros I’ve written for the other losses into this one and you’d have a hard time telling the difference. Big early lead for USC. Bad defense. Offensive miscues. We’ve seen this all before.

Average Standard Deviation
Pass Offense 42.3% 23.3
Rush Offense 46.5% 26.2
Pass Defense 36.8% 24.5
Rush Defense 14.7% 20.9
Special Teams 33.2% 24.2
Coaching 33.5% 25.6
Overall 29.8% 22.4
Win Probability vs. UW 16.6% (-33.3) 23.4

Not a single category breaks the 50% barrier. Sad!

Our optimism for the game against UW is waning, as our pre-season prediction of a toss-up has dropped to a 1-in-6 chance.


We lost (oh, what a loss!) so first up is Sonny Yikes.

Sonny Yikes!

Name Grade
1. ChairmanMeow 0.00 (0.0%)
1. David Shaw Eats Babies 0.00 (0.0%)
1. Grade Inflation 0.00 (0.0%)
1. IroniCALly 0.00 (0.0%)
1. we ARE sadness 0.00 (0.0%)

Five-way tie!

Next, the optimists.

Sonny Delight

Name Grade
1. Uthaithani 7.00 (100.0%)
2. "Hire me pls" 3.77 (53.9%)
3. 1988goldenbear 3.60 (51.4%)
4. thebeer 3.50 (50.0%)
4. PRD74 3.50 (50.0%)

Bruuuuuuuh. Uthaithani, did you even watch the game?

The Voice of Reason

Name Deviation
1. young_bear .0433
2. FrmrG8r .0444
3. hardtobecalfan .0915
4. sacman701 .1052
5. ABVidale .1142
6. Berkelium97 .1245

I don’t know how some of you people manage to earn a VoR award week after week. I can only seem to earn one by cheating and giving out six awards!

The fewer words I spend on this game, the better I feel. So I’ll hand it over to GBB and your comments.

GoldenBearsBandwagon: Proud of Cal because they gave it their all. Let’s not get started on the scheduling debacle...

Gameday Experience

Davis Shaw Eats Babies: I was excited all day at work thinking that maybe this is the year we beat U$C since 2003.

Sat down on the couch and popped open my beer. The VT vs Pitt game was still on. Boom, that game ended and they went to the Cal game. I took one look at Cal warming up, turned to my wife and said, "it will be 21-0 very soon and we are going to lose. No joke.

WantARoseBowlB4IDie: Once again, too late for us in the East. F you, Larry Scott.

Hardtobecalfan: horrible time for our student athletes and for an east-coaster

BTown85: Expected a bloodbath, and got one........Love me my Bears, though !!!!

San Diego Oski: I just hope I get to see Cal beat U$C in my lifetime... I don't even care about a Rose Bowl anymore. I just want to beat U$C.

PRD74: What I love about Sonny Dykes is that he doesn't BS about the team. If he says that the scheduling was a travesty and that his team was tired, well, I guess that was the truth. Combine that with a well rested, more talented sc squad, and, well, we're not playing mediocre Texas team at Memorial. This team balled out as much as it could, given the circumstances. A forgettable game, for sure. Beat Washington!

Uthaithani: Giving love to a team that plays hard every week and catches all the bad breaks. I'm still with you guys! Go Bears!!

Grade Inflation: What's the point of playing Thursday or Friday games if they start when most of the east coast is asleep?

1988goldenbear: Would've loved to go to this one but downtown LA traffic on a weeknight and the prospect of the game going until 11:30pm made it an easy decision to watch from home.

Pass Offense

"Hire me pls": Is Davis okay? Are the receivers okay? Can we move off the ball?

Sacman701: Too many drops, and the one pick was a very poor decision. We moved the ball well at times, and the receivers made some nice plays to go along with the awful ones. One positive: no sacks.

WantARoseBowlB4IDie: Some bad throws, some nice plays, a really bad drop that possibly makes it more competitive... meh

BrooklynBear: 4 early drops really seemed to doom the offense. We have so little margin of error. Robertson's 1st quarter drop of a likely TD. Hudson's drop of a critical 3rd down. Stovall's 2 early drops. All created a lot of tough situations.

Nice to see Jack Austin getting targets.

And towards the end of the game, Davis Webb gets no protection when we have 5 (or 6) blockers to USC's 3 pass rushing defensive lineman. Brutal.

Hardtobecalfan: the drops really hurt us early. davis webb continues to make poor decisions at times for INTs or near INTs.

the beer: hot reads on a blitz shouldn't be 30 yard downfield back foot lobs

SuperEQ: Game was over in the 1st half because of dropped passes. DRob is amazing and a sweet kid, but that dropped TD was a killer. I think he and Stovall will remember this game for their entire careers and get redemption. Webb really needed Chad. $C secondary was too good to hope to win with a bunch of freshman and 1st year starters

BTown85: You've GOT to make that catch, DRob. You're stud, but the entire game I kept thinking back to that missed opportunity to shock SC Nation.......

San Diego Oski: Webb looked pretty terrible all night (by his standards). He was bailed out by some of his receivers making catches where the ball was 2 yards behind them. Then he'd throw a good pass and someone would drop it.

1988goldenbear: Webb was decent and the O-line gave him time to throw. Drive-killing drops were critical while SC jumped out to the big lead that turned out to be the winning margin. Young receivers will continue to improve. Hope Cochran can get back soon.

Run Offense

"Hire me pls": You definitely tried, and I liked most of it.

Sacman701: The one area that was good enough to win. 4.7 yards a pop against SC is nothing to be ashamed of.

WantARoseBowlB4IDie: good, suffered with Cochran out. Khalfani is mini-Beast Mode! Tre does his thing too, nice TD catch and run

BrooklynBear: Muhammad continues to impress. Man he runs patiently and strongly. Not enough holes consistently.

SuperEQ: Kal is a beast. What a performance. If the pass game was on point, it would have been a nice balance. But down 21, we had to move away from it, and it became apparent our WR's were no match for the SC secondary.

BTown85: Impressed by our RBs. KMu runs, as the announcers said, like he's packing an extra 40 lbs.

PRD74: Looked tired and the big man broke his foot. KM and Watson will come back strong next week.

Harmonpreservationsociety: The OL was able to create some gap, and Muhammed in particular made good use of his speed and shiftiness. It certainly wasn't as bottled-up as I feared it might be.

Uthaithani: Again, short-handed but play their hearts out.

1988goldenbear: Khalfani looks good, and the run blocking wasn't bad. Still can't run up the middle - we are undermanned on that front.

Pass Defense

we ARE sadness: doesn't exist in the dictionary

Sacman701: Not good, but some of that was down to having a third string corner in there. The pass rush was mostly ineffective.

Justbear: Too many completions given up. Wide open, covered, doesn't matter.

Hardtobecalfan: other than on that one bad underthrow by sc's qb, we couldn't do anything

SuperEQ: Just looked thin and tired. Can't blame them.

San Diego Oski: I'm going to give the defense a pass this week due to the injuries and short rest. They were never going to win this battle.

Harmonpreservationsociety: Gaps were exploited in zone coverage (as expected). We didn't get scorched on the deep ball, and we avoided penalties for the most part. If the refs call the blatant push-off, then Marloshawn Franklin ends up with a pretty good night.

Uthaithani: Some young talent about a year away from being good - and decimated by injuries. But they played hard despite the adversity. Go Bears!!

Mendogriz: Why did USC bother to pass at all? But yeah, the pass defense forced some turnovers and was generally decent.

1988goldenbear: Darold looks like he has all the tools. He could've picked us apart all night long if they wanted, but since the run game was so explosive there was no need. Once again, almost zero pressure the whole game.

Run Defense

we ARE sadness: doesn't exist in the dictionary

"Hire me pls": Me, screaming, "can we read a run route!! am I missing something?! Helpppppp"

Sacman701: Awful. Line got little push, we didn't set the edge nearly enough, people went to the wrong holes and failed to shed blocks, and DBs took bad angles.

Justbear: Absolutely the worst. How many missed tackles? Are we 2013 again?

WantARoseBowlB4IDie: Nothing you can print

BrooklynBear: Terrible. Ronald Jones was averaging 15+ YPC well into the second half. And when Rubenzer leads the team with 11 tackles, that's not a good sign.

Hardtobecalfan: like cutting through butter. rubenzer has heart, but overruns and whiffs too often.

the beer: safeties either stand flat footed or take the wrong angles. not sure what the fix is here 2/3 thru the season.

BTown85: MAN were the stats right about us on this. Crap.

San Diego Oski: I'm going to give the defense a pass this week due to the injuries and short rest. They were never going to win this battle.

PRD74: Tired from two O/T games, a short week, and all nighters from studying for midterms. Rough going, but not unexpected.

Mitchgobears: It was BAD!

Uthaithani: This Bear is still on your side! This was a brutal game with all the bad luck thrown at you. It'll get better. Go Bears!!

FrmrG8r: Tackle someone, please

Special Teams

Sacman701: Poor. Bad returns, weak kick coverage.

Justbear: We should have never kicked to Adoree Jackson.

We kicked away from Oregon return man. Why did we not do that in the first half today?

WantARoseBowlB4IDie: Klumph was juiced up and outkicked his coverage too many times. KO Return coverage? Holy.....

Hardtobecalfan: terrible punt return coverage. i feel like muffing the first touch set the tone.


It was like a Tosh.0 segment.

BTown85: Hate the pooch kick in this situation. Agree not to out punt the coverage.

PRD74: QB kick improved.

Harmonpreservationsociety: We did a poor job executing the pop-up kickoff. If we're going to give SC an easy return to the 45, maybe we should just kick the ball out of bounds. Or onside. Think about it. Onside. All. Day.

Uthaithani: Tough assignment in that game and all kinds of injuries and issues to deal with. I'm pulling for you!

IroniCALly: Please, no more short, non-onsides kickoffs.

1988goldenbear: We shouldn't have kicked to Jackson at all, but we should be able to do better than popped up kick-offs that they can fair catch at the 45. We would be better off kicking it out of bounds at the 5-10 yard line.


we ARE sadness: doesn't exist in the dictionary

"Hire me pls": ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Sacman701: The team didn't quit, which I suppose reflects well on the coaches.

BrooklynBear: Davis Webb in the 1st quarter with a pooch punt on 4th and 1 was brutal. Coach Tommerdahl's inability to field quality punt and kick coverage teams is starting to really irritate me.

BTown85: Middling......

San Diego Oski: Two timeouts to freeze the kicker! AND IT WORKED! Good job Sonny.

Mitchgobears: Didn't they see that you started waving the white flag after the Oregon game?

Harmonpreservationsociety: How much can you blame a race-car driver when his car only has 2 wheels? I don't think our defensive scheme is bad, but we don't have warm (or particularly skilled) bodies to plug into that scheme. At some point however, that falls on the coaching staff. If Kaufman can't sell the merits of immediate playing time and a world-class education to even mediocre defensive players then it's time to make a change. I think it's time for Cal to roll the dice on a hot-recruiting mid-major DC or power-5 position coach for D Coordinator.

I'm still a fan of Sonny Dykes and I like what Spavital has brought to the

Uthaithani: Sonny and Co - I've got your back. Keep rebuilding the program and don't listen to the haters.

Mendogriz: Short week or not, there's got to be a hint of a trace of preparation.

Grade Inflation: There are literally only two reasons to not can Sonny Dykes:

1) Money

2) The team hasn't quit on him. Yet.

1988goldenbear: Coach Dykes has the support of the kids, at least it sure looks like it with the effort they put out every week. I don't mind if he voices his opinion about the crap scheduling out of the Pac-12, especially in light of the roll-over-and-play-dead attitude of our AD. Coach Kaufman has not made a positive impact over his 2+ years at Cal - time to go.

Overall Performance

"Hire me pls": SC is a big opp. to go against being such an allegedly "volatile" team. Don't know how much better we would have done 100% healthy because of porous defense we need work on. Go Bears

ChairmanMeow: I'm actually way less bummed about this one as opposed to previous weeks, because we never had the lead and never looked competitive. So it was certainly safer for my heart but crappy nonetheless.

Sacman701: The deck was stacked against us in basically every way: we were on the road against probably the second best team in the league, we were on short rest and they were coming off a bye, and our best offensive and best defensive players were both out. The program has at least gotten to the point where we lose by 21 when everything goes wrong. We used to lose this kind of game by 40.

WantARoseBowlB4IDie: Expected. They tried their best... too many factors against them

BrooklynBear: Hey, great effort but just not good enough to be competitive with a team full of high-quality players that are surging.

Hardtobecalfan: it was a short week and injuries piled up. at least we had less penalties this week.

the beer: play calling was decent, execution was erratic. defense was tired from the go. offense out of sync. seems the overall on field product represented the coaches prep week defeatist attitude. even though they kept fighting, they didn't expect to win.

BTown85: Another sad loss in a long (LONG) string of losses. I don't see this turning around any time soon.........

San Diego Oski: I just hope I get to see Cal beat U$C in my lifetime... I don't even care about a Rose Bowl anymore. I just want to beat U$C.

PRD74: After the first quarter I focused on filling out my mail in ballot. Totally forgettable game. Not just for me, but the team, too. Time for the Bears to get some rest and go out and shock the world when they upset UW.

Harmonpreservationsociety: We missed a window of opportunity over the last couple of years to end the streak against SC. I fear said streak will persist for awhile longer now. This game was disappointing, and I felt like the instant that USC got the ball that the game was over.

Uthaithani: One nice thing about the team getting blown out early is I could get to sleep at a decent hour and be refreshed today at work.

Seriously, though, brutal game, brutal circumstances, but you Bears played tough and I'm with you through thick and thin. Go Bears!!

FrmrG8r: Basically a repeat of last year's UCLA debacle. Even the announcers were embarrassed at Cal's defense and pass catching. The score provides no indication of how uncompetitive this sorry game was.

1988goldenbear: We are left wondering what might have happened if we were able to score first on that beautiful pass from Webb to DRob. But realistically, the final score would probably have been about the same. No quit in these Bears, that is becoming a hallmark of Coach Dykes' teams that is great to see. Let's see if we can shock the Huskies and the world!

Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you next week. Go Bears!