LeonPowe: Well, every single aspect of our team contributed to our loss - special teams gave up huge returns. Defense couldn't tackle. Offense with - what - two red zone turnovers? a pick six? Some questionable coaching decisions - going away from Enwere. Having Webb wing the ball - was it 71 times?
Improvement needs - tackle. Stop throwing the ball to the other team. If we improve those two, we win easily going away tonight - but I don't know how you improve those two over the course of six days.
boomtho: Hmm, again like LeonPowe, I don't think there's one phase that contributed in outsized fashion to the loss. The easy answer after reading the box score is the defense, because SDSU scored 45 points and Donnel Pumphrey is still dodging tacklers en route to a 1000 yard game. However, as we all know the 45 points is a bit deceiving, given 14 of them came on a special teams return and a pick six. So the defense truly surrendered 31 points, with turnovers from us... that feels a bit better. The tackling will definitely need to be cleaned up for us to compete with the best of the Pac-12, but we also knew that heading into the game.
Besides that, I'd say the special teams disappointed me as well. After Week 1 i was hoping we'd be at least neutral on this dimension... now it looks like another negative to go along with the defense.
Berkelium97: Every single phase of the game contributed to the loss, so at least there's plenty of room for improvement! What I found to be most disappointing is that we're getting more evidence that Webb is a streaky QB. When he's accurate the passing game is unstoppable, but he seems to several drives per game where his accuracy is off. We saw that early on against Hawaii and we saw that on several occasions this past weekend. We missed several sure TDs on overthrown passes, highlighted by what would have been the go-ahead TD to Hansen in the closing minute. He even overthrew a screen pass during his cold streak in the fourth quarter.
The defense continues to be bad, but at the same time just good enough to keep us in the game (a la 2015). We saw several of the same issues we saw last week against Hawaii and that we've seen for the past couple seasons: poor tackling, minimal pressure on the opposing QB. But our lack of outside contain really stood out in that game. We had many, many instances of one of the SDSU RBs charging up the middle and then bouncing outside past a Cal LB who went too far inside.
Matt Anderson has been a pleasant surprise over the past season, but everything else about Tommerdahl's special teams is a disaster. I don't know why he wasn't replaced last offseason.
Finally, I don't know what Sonny was thinking when we punted with 3 seconds left in the first half. We were at midfield with a strong-armed QB and an army of big, physical receivers. Why not go for the Hail Mary there? An interception wouldn't matter because the half was over and a pick six is all but impossible in that situation. It's essentially a no-risk play with potential for a big reward.
Avinash: Tackling has been mentioned, but I'm getting really worried about whether the Bear Raid is going to regress back into every other typical Air Raid offense, where the run game is completely supplanted by the short passing game. The run-pass ratio is crazy, but short passes are technically supposed to be the same thing as runs in the Air Raid, so it's probably not as bad. That's fine in some respects--we have good wide receivers in the slot and they force defenses to guard us sideline to sideline. But Cal has a good running back trio and they shouldn't be neglected throughout an entire football game, particularly when the Bears are within a touchdown for most of the first half and fourth quarter.
Nik Jam: Too many turnovers. And it seemed like when the offense really needed to score in the second half they sputtered. The most demoralizing thing about the loss wasn't the defense but 3 failed 4th quarter drives with the chance to tie or take the lead. I believe in two of those situations (including after the SDSU fumbled snap) we didn't even get a first down! That has to change. Webb has to show better poise.