HydroTech: My biggest concern on defense was the lack of a pass rush. I don't think any of our pass rushers got close enough to the Hawaii QB to even smell his farts. On offense, my biggest concern was that our WRs seemed to have a hard time getting good separation against the UH defenders. I was hoping to see more speed and athleticism from our young WRs.
KWBears: Cal's defense is not very disciplined and quite porous. On some of those head-shaking Hawaii TDs, Cal's defense was in all the wrong positions. And, in my opinion, for some years now, Cal's defensive players have not been good in tackling, particularly open field tackling. When playing wide-open offenses these days, poor 1-on-1 tackling is going to be very problematic.
Piotr Le: As I mentioned before: interior run defense and DE pass rush. Not much can be changed once S&C is over. What can we do? Maybe dial up blitzes more, such as A-gap blitzes on run plays or nickel blitzes on passing downs.
boomtho: Defense, defense, defense. Stop me if you've heard this before: no pressure on the QB, very little 'havoc' wreaked in the backfield on run plays, and a relatively unheralded QB finding decent success for long stretches of the game. I honestly don't know what Kaufman is supposed to do with the defense - ultimately a lot of success/failure is driven by the DL's ability to create pressure by only bringing 4 or 5, and I just don't think we have the personnel to do so. I was really hoping to see much more from Devante Wilson and the DL, but alas, Hawaii did a pretty great job on them all night. At the LB level, it's going to be really hard for us to win games if we consistently miss tackles, but again, I really doubt that gets significantly improved through the season.
I also have one more minor gripe about the number of conservative run plays we called on 3rd and intermediate, though I actually think that had we gained say 3-4 yards on many of those, Dykes would have gone for it. As it turned out we ended up either punting or kicking the FG.
Andrew G Miller: The biggest downside of last week’s game is that there’s no Cal football to watch this weekend…although I swear I remember something from the broadcast about this being the greatest opening weekend ever? Not sure what that’s all about. But yeah, I’ll add to the long list of complaints about our defense. There are plenty of excuses for the D's performance (not giving away too much of the playbook, Hawaii’s mystery offensive scheme, playing lots of 2nd and 3rd stringers, etc.), but to once again lack any semblance of a pass rush is incredibly frustrating. And wasn’t that sold on the improvement of Cal’s secondary either. Hawaii seemed to have a lot of opportunities that turned into dropped passes, but we won’t always be so lucky.