In the words of Bruno Mars, “Don’t believe me, just watch.” And yet, we believed and we watched, and we face-palmed,
and we threw the remote out the door, and we threw the phone out the door, and we threw the computer out the door, and we screamed off the balcony, and we poured ourselves a scotch, and then we realized that we probably shouldn't have believed, and we probably shouldn’t have watched.
The Bears took a bye week after returning home from Australia, and turned their attention to the Aztecs of San Diego State University. Preparation time? Check. Familiarity with opponents and personnel? Check. Game Plan Defense? Check. Game Plan Offense? Check. Execution? ... ... ... ... ... Hello?
We begin in the first quarter.
The First Quarter: This is What You Came For
The beginnings of a shoot-out. Aerial Attack vs The Run. The Draw vs. The Play-Action. The Bears got off to a slow start on offense scoring their first TD with 4:19 left to play in the quarter. Davis Webb threw for 2 TDs in the first half, one to Bug Rivera and another to Chad Hansen. The defense could not hold SDSU, and the Aztecs got ahead earlier in the quarter and answered with 2 TDs of their own to end the quarter in a 14-14 deadlock.
The Second Quarter: Cheap Thrills or Cold Water or Work
However you looked at this quarter, the Bears needed to either get stops or score. They seemed to do neither. Pumphrey scored on a 33 yard run, Lakalaka scored on a pick-6 and John Baron hit a 39-Yard FG. Cal scored early in the 2nd quarter with a 21 yard TD from Davis Webb to Ray Hudson, but that was the only points the could manage on what would end up being the point margin that Cal could not break. So Cal heads into the locker room down 31-21, but with the Aztecs ground game working so efficiently and smoothly against the Bears, There wasn’t much hope it could overturned in the second half.
The Third Quarter: I Hate U I Love U
Donnell Pumphrey scored on a 57 yard run about 6 minutes into the third quarter and thats when it seemed to be over. SDSU led 38-21, our defense couldn't stop the run, our offense couldn’t move the chains. It seemed destined to be the exact opposite of the SDSU game in Berkeley last season. But do we forget the names of our top recruits and freshman? Demetris Robertson got himself on the scoreboard with a 56- yard Passing TD from Davis Webb, and so began his Cal Football career (after only playing a handful of snaps in Australia). Matt Anderson then hit a FGs from 45 yards after the defense provided the Bears with a TO. 38-31. We were alive.
The Fourth Quarter: Don’t Let Me Down
Crashing, hit a wall. Right now I need a miracle. and we got one with another TO created by the defense which leads to a 36-yard FG by Matt Anderson with 13:27 left to play in the quarter. 38-34. after trading possessions and flipping the field over and over and over again, the Aztecs punched a 4-yard TD in through the hands of Pumphrey. All seemed lost.
But the Bears drove down the field in a 2-Min drill and scored on a 2-yard Pass Play from Webb to Hudson. 56 Seconds Left. Cal goes for 2. Fails to convert. 45-40. Now we need an onside kick AND a TD. DO WE BELIEVE IN MIRACLES? Noah Beito with an OUTSTANDING kick and PERFECT bounce, allowed Derron Brown to recover the football. CAL BALL. THIS IS HAPPENING. Davis Webb leads the Bears down the field to the SDSU 22. Webb to Robertson, off the mark. Webb throws to Vic Wharton!!!!! And Damontae Kazee (Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year in 2015) tips the ball to himself and gets the INT. effectively ending the game with the exception of one SDSU QB Kneel.
It was a roller-coaster of emotions. It was the face-palm moment of being a Cal fan. It was the inability to stop the run (Pumphrey ran for 281 Yards and 3 TDs). It was the inability to capitalize on turnover and keep the chains moving. It was a lot of things, but we know one thing. we can’t linger on this game too long, because the Longhorns are coming to town.