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2016 Football: Cal vs. ASU Report Card

Disappointing loss for Cal in Tempe.

NCAA Football: California at Arizona State Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Berkelium97: This was a hard one to grade. The first 26 minutes were excellent. The rest of the game was two hours of my television taunting me for recording the game and spending an otherwise spectacular Sunday morning watching Cal give up 41 second-half points. I graded somewhere in the middle of the two halves, although I think I graded the defense a little gentler because I was impressed with that first-half performance. I can certainly understand why someone would grade both halves with equal weight or put more weight on the second half, as that turned the game in ASU’s favor. So how did you all grade the game?

Average Standard Deviation
Pass Offense 60.3% 19.0
Rush Offense 52.0% 18.0
Pass Defense 49.6% 19.2
Rush Defense 48.1% 21.7
Special Teams 54.0% 24.5
Coaching 41.1% 23.0
Overall 46.8% 16.7
Win Probability vs. Utah 35.0% (-19.5) 24.7

I’m surprised that the standard deviations aren’t larger. These look like our typical standard deviations in our grades. I expected more variation based on how much variation there was in Cal’s performance. The scores were not only consistent within categories, but across categories too. Every category is between 40% and 60%. That’s not good but not awful. That sounds like an average of both halves. It looks like that’s how most of us graded the game, by applying an average.

Except for these people.


The Bears lost so we’ll examine the worst report cards first.

Sonny Yikes!

Name Grade
1. 0.00 (0.0%)
2. The ghost of Buh 1.20 (17.1%)
3. sf-gigantes 1.50 (21.4%)
4. ChairmanMeow 2.40 (34.3%)
5. the townie 2.60 (37.1%)

At the top of our list is , who gave the Bears a bunch of eggs. The rest of the pessimists’ scores aren’t too bad, given the frustrating second half and spectacular 31 points surrendered in the 4th.

Sonny Delight

Name Grade
1. Bowlesman 5.35 (76.4%)
2. Nor-Cal Scott 5.30 (75.7%)
3. nedbear 4.80 (68.6%)
4. BerkeleyTransplantThusRecentBear 4.725 (67.5%)
5. Goldenlikethebear 4.60 (65.7%)

At the opposite end of the spectrum we have our most optimistic graders of the week.

The Voice of Reason

And finally, we have the report cards closest to the community average.

Name Deviation
1. SuperEQ .0404
2. Those who live by the sword .0560
3. AAHQ .0627
4. pierrezod .0811
5. BearOnAMesa .0903

SuperEQ leads the way followed by Those who live by the sword. AAHQ and pierrezod swap 3rd and 4th after finishing in the opposite order last week. And fresh off an Editor’s Choice Award last week, BearOnAMesa gets a VoR award this week.

Now let us see how you all felt about the game in vibrant, colorful words rather than cold, uncaring numbers. (It’s okay numbers, I still love you).

GoldenBearsBandwagon: Honestly thinking about keeping my high hopes for Cal to myself from now on. Let’s see what everyone else has to say about the performance.

Gameday Experience

Bowlesman: "Paddles!


EKG Beep, beep, pause, beep

"He's got a rhythm again, Doctor."

"People have to stop watching Cal games."

"I know, Doctor, every E.R. is reporting similar cases of people with Cal gear on."

"When will this madness stop?"

*Dramatic music

Moosehead.: It is very disappointing to see your team play so well in the first half and then go completely flat during the second half. I don't know what it was but Cal has got to stop doing that. I think that Davis Webb made some poor choices in during the second half which is going to cost him in the long run. Cal really should not play these late night games if they are going to lose. At this point I don't think that we are a bowl team.

BerkeleyTransplantThusRecentBear: Watched with fraternity brothers on Piedmont. Viewing party started at 7, with the intention of turning into a party following the game. People began arriving in force around 10, only for spirits to fall (not flow) at the end. Party ended at 11. Biggest buzzkill I've ever seen.

BTown85: Visiting my son in Annapolis, the game didn't start until 10pm. How do U east coasters watch college football???? Stayed up to the bitter end.......and bitter it was......

Nor-Cal Scott: My recliner was awesome! Hot Wings & cold beer, what more could I ask for?

Bearturd: Typical CAL they get your hopes up and the next week bring you right back to reality!

Alpha1906: Like a football mullet: Great in the first half, terrible in the second half.

FiatLux - seriously, why can't you fix the size of this box. It's making me SO ANGRY!!!!: ASU has "downsized" Sun Devil Stadium and the result is terrific. They've got ride of the entire end zone upper deck and it has totally changed the feel. The crowd last night felt great. Same crowd last year it would have felt really empty.

Stayed at new AC hotel in Tempe, view of stadium from suite and rooftop pool, easy walk so that was cool.

ASU fans were on surprisingly good manners. Taunting during the game, which you expect and I just ignore, but after all pretty cool.

These may sound paradoxical, but going to a loss is a lot less annoying than watching at home. Road trips are fun. More people should do them.

PRD74: So I was home all day. By 7:00 PM I was footballed out and kinda numb. The Cal game had a sad ending, but after almost a half century of watching Cal lose, I knew that this was not the end of the world. I went to bed knowing that I was in a much better place than Duck, Trojan, Bruin, Wildcat, Spartan, or Irish fans.

Oski Wept: Late starts suck.

Pass Offense

Justbear: Hansen is Megatron.

but Webb keys on Hansen too much.

Those 4th Q INTs... brings back Longshore memories.

ChairmanMeow: Nothing like 2 back to back INTs to really, really twist the knife and show your fanbase how determined you are to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Nedbear: Webb is too emotional. Too affected by setbacks.

Bowlesman: Not their day, but I still believe in them.

Sacman701: Awful. We occasionally moved the ball, but there were a lot of miscommunications, outright drops, and blown protections. The two picks that cost us the game were unforgivable.

BearOnAMesa: Webb is...well, there's room for improvement. He frequently stared down receivers, threw into heavy coverage, and made off-balance throws. Outside tackles were both outplayed. Receivers not named Hansen, Robertson, or Stovall were out of sync with Webb.

Those who live by the sword: Those who live by the sword

BTown85: I like our passing game. Webb is a stud. When he needs to MAKE something happen, maybe he forces too hard.....Too many dropped passes, but some SPECTACULAR ones, too (Hansen and Roberts).

Nor-Cal Scott: 32/56, 478yds, 5 TDs, 2 INTs, 60.5 QBR. Great stats on paper but the 2 INTs in the 4Q killed us. Webb tried to force both passes. Never should have been thrown due to tight coverage. Stovall and Robertson sure don't play like true freshmen.

Bearturd: We now know that Webb can put up great numbers but when the money is on the line, he folds like a tent. In San Diego with the game on the line he missed a TD throw and threw a interception. Again, last night with the game on the line he made two absolutely terrible throws to seal the victory for ASU.

FiatLux - seriously, why can't you fix the size of this box. It's making me SO ANGRY!!!!: Talk about binary. It was 1s or 0s. Some of those passes and catches were things of beauty. But, you just can't have two picks like that on back to back possessions.

1988goldenbear: Webb looks great in the first half then disappears for the 3rd quarter and makes some bad decisions/reads in the 4th quarter trying to catch up. I think ASU either made some good adjustments or executed better and we couldn't keep up. Felt like the O-line was pretty good most of the game. On the good side DRob and Singleton made their presence known - we need to have options besides Hansen. And maybe plan a "Block U down" after the game instead of in the first quarter?

Run Offense

Ricardo Rincon: I'm confused as to why we cannot run better than we do. Hire Beastmode as our new RB coach please.

Sacman701: Not the reason we lost. The RBs had 180 yards on 30 carries, which is very good.

BearOnAMesa: Got stuffed just about every time on 1st down. Made significant gains on any other down. Maybe be less predictable? Khalfani getting injured really stifled them.

Moosehead.: The run offense is getting better but is still very shaky. We still cannot rely on the running game when the game is on the line.

Sf-gigantes: Muhammad looked solid.

Mitchgobears: good tough running up the middle

Nor-Cal Scott: Improved. Take out Webbs sacks and we had 180yds for about a 5.5yd average. Muhammad looks to have improved his drive in the pile pumping those feet for extra yards.

Bearturd: Three really good backs and really no production.

Hardtobecalfan: couldn't get it done in the 2nd half

FrmrG8r: APB issued Q4.

1988goldenbear: Khalfani looked great in the first half, did he get injured? Nice bursts and good holes from the O-line for a half, then ASU closed things down. Nice to see Tre Watson on that catch-and-run (I know it was a pass), great speed and great blocking from the WRs.

Pass Defense

: What pass defense?

Bowlesman: It all looked solid in the first half. Still okay in the second half.

Sacman701: We got some pass rush and Allensworth had a nice pick, but the coverage was very poor for the most part. ASU should never average close to 19 yards per attempt.

BearOnAMesa: Played well enough to win for most of the game. Totally gassed at the end because they got no help from the offense.

Sf-gigantes: It only looks reasonable because no one needs to throw against this defense.

Mitchgobears: little lapses but competent

PRD74: Nothing. Again.

SuperEQ: Great thru three quarters

FrmrG8r: 2H collapse a mystery.

1988goldenbear: Still getting torched by TEs... the song remains the same. That was a huge misplay in the 4th quarter to let that guy run free. We continue to have problems with mobile QBs, although there was certainly some decent pressure on occasion by the D-line.

Run Defense

Justbear: Better than expected, but we lost so who knows.

Bowlesman: Some awesome stops!

Sacman701: Not the reason we lost. A few bad sequences, but mostly we kept ASU's ground game in check. Line push and tackling were better than against SDSU and Texas.

BearOnAMesa: Looked surprisingly good early on and struggled in the second half. Still, they came up with enough stops that we could have won if our offense functioned.

Moosehead.: Getting better but we must be able to stop running quarterbacks.

Sf-gigantes: Awful. I can already see the sunshine pumping coming. There are no excuses here. You have to play solid defense for four quarters, even when your offense isn't moving. There is absolutely nothing to feel good about here. There are no moral victories in FBS football, and even if there were you wouldn't find them here.

Mitchgobears: fundamentals. like tackling

Nor-Cal Scott: 50/164. Solid performance from the front seven. Of course ASU didn't have their best RB most of the game.

Bearturd: What run defense? We are now in the fourth game of the season and to say the tackling is bad would be a complement. Luke Rubenzer appears to be the only one who can tackle.

PRD74: For the first half - hope. Second half - doom.

1988goldenbear: ASU has some really good and really big backs, and I felt like we did a decent job managing the run game for the most part. But I'm guessing we had to stack the box and rely on our DBs a lot, and that hurt us when the QB got loose for runs or had too much time to throw.

Special Teams

Justbear: Just gave up a TD on failed onside kick... 2013 all over again.

(well it was better they scored TD and gave the ball back to us than taking a knee)

Bowlesman: Still good.

BearOnAMesa: Ehhh, mixed bag. A couple decent special teams plays, but the missed FG could have been the difference and the difficult onside kick at the end was a flop. Limited opportunities for returns given ASU's excellent punting and place-kicking.

Nor-Cal Scott: Other than the FG miss and the botched onside kick for a TD it was a solid game. Klumph continues to impress. 5/248yds for a 49.6 average.

Bearturd: They maybe the only part of this team that is stable.

PRD74: Missed field goal. Failed kickoff returns. The worst onside kick ever. Sad face.

Oski Wept: No mistakes! Yay, the high water mark for Cal football.

Hardtobecalfan: they were much much better than us in special teams.

FrmrG8r: Bi-polar, as usual.

1988goldenbear: Not a great game. Anderson's missed FG. Poor field position relative to ASU. ASU's kicker is pretty impressive. That onside kick returned for a TD was ridiculous but irrelevant unless you needed it to cover the over.


Bowlesman: Sonny might have poured a little salt on the Texas win, just to keep it real. This was a learning experience, not a collapse. Less swaggering and more grabbing grass.

Sacman701: The screen call against ASU's blitz to retake the lead in the second half was good, but for the most part we had no answers to the adjustments they made.

BearOnAMesa: Came out with a good game plan in the first half and utterly failed to anticipate or adjust in the second half. Incredibly predictable playcalling that ASU clearly caught on to.

Moosehead.: I don't know what the coaches were doing at half-time. Even though Cal was leading at the half they should have also made some adjustments to prepare for ASU.

Sf-gigantes: Criticizing the in-game coaching isn't necessary. This game was lost because the coaches have failed year after year to bring in PAC-12 talent on defense.

Mitchgobears: The usual good adjustments at the half didn't happen.

Nor-Cal Scott: Spavital- not impressed with his play calling in the 4Q. Fairly predictable going to Hansen in key 3rd downs. After a 50/50% balance last week Cal was 56 pass & 37 run.

Kaufman- too much zone, and why didn't we have a guy assigned to watch Wilkins? He killed us with his running, getting key first downs with the QB draw.

FiatLux - seriously, why can't you fix the size of this box. It's making me SO ANGRY!!!!: I thought it was a well coached game, for the most part. One series sort of annoyed me... Third quarter we had first and goal inside the 10 and we tried four (thanks to a penalty) straight fade passes. When those work they're wonderful, but that close in, I don't know, I think there were better plays.

Oski Wept: After the first half both teams went into the locker room. One made critical adjustments that served to spur them on to an inspired second half. One didn't.

Once again Sonny finds a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Cal football. Embrace the malaise!

Hardtobecalfan: coaching adjustments fell apart/were non-existant in the 2nd half.

SuperEQ: Play calling went flat again in 3rd quarter.

FrmrG8r: Great start, zero halftime adjustments.

1988goldenbear: Despite the result, I don't think we necessarily got out-coached. The offensive game plan was sound, and it generated a decent lead at halftime. We scored enough to win, but hats off to ASU for coming back in the second half after getting punched in the mouth. We made too many mistakes in the second half - blown coverages on D, interceptions from Webb - and the halftime lead disappeared. And it still felt like we had a chance to pull even late in the game.

Overall Performance

Justbear: So Cal. We can never have good things.

Ricardo Rincon: Better luck next week!

Nedbear: I'm not sold on Webb. He's too emotional. He lets things get to him. He doesn't have that Goff ability to let things slide off his back. I don't want to see our QB get upset at set backs. I want to see him stoically persevere and get excited at success. We should have been up by 35 points in the first half, but the combo of Dykes and Webb just kept shooting us in the foot. I'm tired of being a Cal fan!

I just don't think Sonny is mature enough to be a good coach. It's like he's 13 years old the way he pouts and emotes on the sideline. He's been here for four years and he can't control his team enough to hold the lead he had? WTF?

Bowlesman: "Arrghhh, I cant stand it."

-Charlie Brown

"Curse you, Red Baron (Sun Devils)!"

-Snoopy a.k.a. World War One Flying Ace

Honestly, until the second interception, we were still in the game with a greatly underrated opponent. The team did not quit, but it did tire. Too many celebratory drinks following the UT game? Can we replay the second half? A Mulligan?

Sacman701: Very disappointing. We were in good position to win with the score tied and then down by just 3, and we literally threw the game away.

BearOnAMesa: This loss is 100% on the offense and the coaching. They looked good but not great in the first half and mostly putrid in the second half. Defense had no time to catch their breath and figure out how to stop ASU.

Moosehead.: Very disappointing. Cal is a team that is playing in the Big Leagues. It should not be going flat when a game is on the line. There are no medals for trying. I don't know what is going to happen against Utah.

feels bad, man: feels bad, man

Sf-gigantes: Terrible, yet typical. I might sell my season tickets. If there's another weak defensive recruiting class or if these defensive coaches are still here next season I probably won't renew. This product as-is isn't worth the paper the tickets are printed on. I don't care to see Dykes winning 6-7 regular season games per year for the next decade.

BTown85: Another game we had and should have won. Tough to be a Cal fan.

Nor-Cal Scott: Cal lost this game in the 4th Qtr. This should have been a W. Too many mistakes and poor defensive play calling doomed the Bears chances when it mattered most.

Looking at the conference Cal has the opportunity to beat both USC & Oregon this year. But with this loss we'll be lucky to go 6-6 and very easily 4-8.

FiatLux - seriously, why can't you fix the size of this box. It's making me SO ANGRY!!!!: It's over. Let's beat Utah.

PRD74: Felt like 2014 AZ game. Years ago Cal lost to Maryland and I was convinced that the oppressive humidity was a huge reason why we lost. The way we played, against ASU, again I think that the heat just sapped our players of their energy. We do not have the depth to keep fresh players out there. They looked gassed in the fourth quarter. I am sure we will come back and beat Utah.

Hardtobecalfan: disheartening after the wonderful effort against texas.

SuperEQ: Everyone is gonna go on and on about the offense and the defense and Webb and the turnovers and the depth and the coaching... i'm focusing on on thing:


We've looked average on real guess. 1-2.

Biggest win in a decade on was Turf. We're a faster, cleaner, meaner machine on TURF.

Next 3 games are on Turf

Utah better get ready for a carpet bombing #BearRaid

We Got This! ROSES!

Go Bears

FrmrG8r: No one we can't beat, no one who can't beat us. Will need 50+ each week to win. Looks like we will average over 40 points/ game this year but will be bowl ineligible. With a bevy of programs looking for offense, the coaching staff would appear to be seriously at risk.

1988goldenbear: Disappointed, because this felt winnable especially with the lead at the half. Huge momentum-killing penalty on DRob for blocking downfield on the Hansen reception - that was a killer call not just because it was ridiculously incorrect but because that was such a huge swing at the time. Gotta get up for Utah. Webb has to make better decisions and look for other options besides Hansen - we obviously have some great WRs, and if they key on Hansen then the other guys should be open.

And that’s all folks. Thanks for stopping by, and hope to see you again next week.