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2016 Cal vs. UCLA Report Card

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Our Golden Bears come through with a solid win on Senior Night!

NCAA Football: UCLA at California Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

GoldenBearsBandwagon: Did I post almost every positive comment about the run defense? Maybe. Should I do that? Probably not. Am I biased? Probably. Should I be? Eh. Am I still on a high about crushing the baby bears? Yes. Am I hopeful that we might get a bowl berth? Crossing my fingers. Did I just jinx us? Hopefully not.... Anyways, on to the comments for this week.

Gameday Experience

Heyalumnigo: In my sister's warm house in Boston watching the game on my computer and not out in the rain!

Nor-Cal Scott: Sad that Thanksgiving and rain kept so many fans from attending. These 19 seniors deserved better.

Rocksanddirt: spent most of the game sanding and staining the stairs.

woo hoo go bears!

NinjaNed: Seniors were hyped, so was I.

Jacobs. : One of the few games that I could watch to the end from my exile in Philadelphia. Nice to go to bed on a win, and before 4am!

Bean: Right behind the band, weather better than expected, and early-ish kickoff made this a great game to attend with a kid.

Skatethompson: Tickets for 9 - $140.00

Food and Hot Dogs - $100.00

Watching the looks on the faces of your nephews at their first Cal Football Game - Priceless.

Wiata78: Another rainy day, and at night to boot. Much more comfortable watching from home this week. It's nice to get a win for the seniors last game.

SonnyYikesShouldTakeAnotherJob: Stopped going to games, I require some form of defense to let entice me to attend.

84Bear: It was great to see Cal dominate a rival in every way for the first time in many years.

Mitchgobears: All that the TV announcers could talk about was ucla. Their outside chance of going to a bowl, and the story of their defensive player, etc. Why not talk about the team that is winning the game?

FrmrG8r: Another wet Saturday in Berkeley. A real treat for those few who made it to Kabam for a meaningless final game.

Oski Disciple: The crowd was thin but those of there made extra noise. There were more students than I expected. The weather was not horrible and indeed made it feel like a football game. I had a blast.

Broden_Duff: Similar weather to the Big Game, but seeing your team winning helps you forget all that. Keeping the fans in their seats regardless of the circumstances was something Cal needed to do last week but didn't.

Pass Offense

Heyalumnigo: Webb looked good. Got lucky on that one WR bubble screen but the DB had a case of the dropsies (not the only UCLA player to)

Nor-Cal Scott: 66% 302 yards. Webb should be a 1st round draft pick. Late.

NinjaNed: Red Zone offense is pretty bad, but when UCLA's defense got tired, we were gashing them. There was this nice quick slant by Hansen that picked up like 8 yards and a first down that was so wide open it made me wonder where that playcalling was the rest of the year. There were a couple possible pick 6s that could've changed this game around, but luckily UCLA had a case of the dropsies all day.

Jacobs. : Solid beat down of a good pac12 defense, excellent work! Webb going out of his way (and running half way across the side of the field) to make sure Bug got a touchdown was pure class!

Bean: Tricky with wet ball to start the game, but mostly good in spite of some misses.

J.lee: Hansen so hot right now...

If we only had him healthy all season...

Skatethompson: The pass offense seemed to really click today. Although, I would argue Cal commitment to the run is what really open up the passing game. Cal had an opportunity to exploit the middle of the field all game. They started going to Hansen on the slant and they were successful. An overall good performance.

84Bear: Webb tried to give it away, but the Bruins were too inept to take advantage of it. Webb threw several dangerous passes, three of which went right to defenders. He also made a terrible pitch for a fumble.

BTown85: Not a huge fan of the WR screen……seems too risky. We should thank the Bruin DBs for having slippery hands…….

FrmrG8r: Solid - took what a good UCLA defense gave them and dodged several large caliber bullets which could have been 3 pick sixes. Loved the run/ pass balance! Chad was a beast.

Oski Disciple: Very good. Webb got rushed a few times, in fact, the pass rush seemed to be the one strong suit UC Los Angeles had. Webb botched a few passes but overall was excellent including a few pin point passes to Hansen. I've grown to appreciate Webb, wish he could stick around.

BrooklynBear: There were some flashes of 'Bear Raid' on Saturday. It's been awhile but there were some. And let's not forget the 8 first downs Cal received from UCLA penalties. That was very generous of them. At least 1 pick six was dropped by UCLA. Also very generous. And still a lot of drops! I'm convinced now that our offense NEEDS no (maybe 1) drops per game. Nonetheless, love the way our WRs run after the catch.

Run Offense

oSoGood: Good decision to run more

Jacobs. : If only we had let our running backs off the leash earlier in the season, who knows? We might have gone 7-5 instead of 5-7. Seeing Malik McMorris finally get to do a short yardage rush for a touchdown made my night!

Bean: Khalfani and Tre were great, but McMorris calls were spectacular.

Skatethompson: It was finally nice to see Cal really stick to the run game. They controlled the clock, they move the chains, they had many 3rd and 5's and not 3rd and 10's. Too little to late, but a good win.

84Bear: Good hard running and decent line play meant that Sonny could go for it on 4th down twice and had a reasonable likelihood of converting, which they did

Mitchgobears: Finally, Spav realizes that we can RUN the ball and lets Khalfani win the game.

FrmrG8r: Did my eyes deceive me? Finally some holes and running lanes. Nice job O-line and a great way for KM to exit.

Oski Disciple: Terrific. Holes were opened and even when they weren't Muhammad and Watson fought for yards. Finally using McMorris in short yardage made a lot of us very happy, especially as he came through. I'm glad Khalid went out with such a strong performance.

Prd74: Our RBs are flat out studs. KM is electric, Tre has great vision, the FB is outstanding. The OL kept the talented bruin frontline in check. Really liked how our center has learned to snap the ball at the first hint of a bruin offsides. Saved us on a couple of occasions.

Sacman701: Watson and Muhammad ran with purpose all night. Combined they went 46 for 194, a bit over 4 yards a pop. With a long run of just 15, that's also enough to keep the chains moving consistently.

Justbear: Great game for Khalfani and Tre.

Pass Defense

AlohaBear: Performed well, but grading this one on a curve ...

Heyalumnigo: Was more the inability of Fafaul than our great defense. The TE curses us again a couple of times. The INT was a nice play by Downs

Jacobs. : Incredible! And by that I mean that I am still pinching myself to make sure that wasn't a dream. I bet Devante Downs will never ever let go off that intercepted ball.

Uthaithani : Defense was great! Yes UCLA helped by being bad, but defense stepped up.

Bean: Burned by TE, but pretty good overall. Drayden did well.

Skatethompson: Overall they looked good. Their were many dropped balls by UCLA, and it really could have been a different game if half of the passes were caught. But UCLA's quarterback did not have a stellar game. He missed a lot of throws.

84Bear: Other than the safeties getting burned for some big plays over the middle. I was pretty happy with the pass defense in limiting the YAC to a minimum

BTown85: Bend, but don't break.

ABVidale: While it did a statistically superb job, the reality was that there were open receivers. Luckily, Fafaul's aim wasn't particularly good. Fafaul (in the LA Times) said that he felt pressure all game.

Oski Disciple: To be fair they were facing one of the worst passing attacks I've ever seen a Pac 12 team have. Still they did their job and a couple of third quarter drives aside, shut the bruins down.

BrooklynBear: SACKS! That's exciting to see. Downs got deep enough for a pick.

Sacman701: For the first time all year, the pass rush was a real force. Coverage wasn't great and the Ruins often stopped themselves, but there were still far fewer breakdowns than usual.

Justbear: UCLA QB was terrible, but still a solid performance.

There were times in second half when opposing WRs were wide open.

Run Defense

Heyalumnigo: If I remember for the most part we bottled them up.

Nor-Cal Scott: ucla's running game has sucked all year, but for OUR defense to hold anyone to only 84 yards is a big deal! Kudos to the front 7!

oSoGood: Against that run offense, it was good enough

NinjaNed: I was really impressed with the run defense though. They really keyed in on the run fits, and there weren't many broken plays. Only letting UCLA have 3 yards a run when they couldn't pass is a big win for the metagame and a big reason we won the game in general.

Jacobs. : We have run defense? We? Defend? Run?

I am going to have so many bruises from pinching myself!

Uthaithani : Defense really good and inspired! Gives me a little hope for next year.

Bean: Great for most of the game. So much better at limiting long runs

Bear87: All week, every article on the game talked about 2nd worst run defense against 2nd worst run offense. I think Cal won this one.

Skatethompson: Solid run defense today. Quite surprising actually. More blitz packages allowed us to get to the Quarterback often. Cal kept UCLA from going north to south most of the game.

84Bear: The line and backers had an excellent day

BTown85: Well, you looked great……against the worst run offense in the Pac.

Mitchgobears: Stops. Finally.

FrmrG8r: Wait a minute, who are these guys and where were they for yhe last month? A really gutty effort.

ABVidale: If you had told me before the game that we would stop the run against UCLA, I would have laughed at you. But we did.

Old Bear 71: Stopped the stoppable

Oski Disciple: Stellar. UsuckLA had to abandon their running game and throw which, given their QB, doomed them.

Beer and Nachos: Good game against an inferior and mentally checked out offense.

BrooklynBear: Really impressed with Saffle and Weaver's growth and ability to string out the outside runs.Sacman701: UCLA seldom runs the ball and that was the case again this week. They had a decent average on their few attempts, but we didn't get gashed like we usually do.

Broden_Duff: With a grain of salt, it looked good. Tackles for loss and even a couple of sacs.

Justbear: Good

Special Teams

Heyalumnigo: No missed FGs and we did get the fumble on the pooch KO

oSoGood: No big plays is a good thing, and no miseed FGS is great

NinjaNed: Probably played the best out of all the phases on the field. We nailed all the field goals, got good field position on the punt, got a recovery off the kickoff, and had a deep return on kickoff. We had one bad kickoff that went out of bounds, but other than that, it was a pretty perfect day by the special teams unit.

Uthaithani : FG kicking - wow! ST overall played really well. Good game.

Bean: Game clinching fumble recovery on short kickoff. Some short kickoffs weren't as well executed. Matt Anderson was steady.

Bear87: The kickoff strategy looked questionable, but paid off in the end.

Wiata78: It seems that the team did what it was told to do. Are the coaches really that afraid of our inability to stop a return?

Also, aided by UCLA penalties.

84Bear: I liked the high, somewhat short kickoffs which forced a fair catch many times and gave us a chance at a turnover, which ucla obliged with once. Anderson was exceptional in his field goals

BTown85: I was HATING the pooch kickoffs……….until that guy tried to catch the ball with his shoulder pads.

FrmrG8r: Full disclosure, I'm still not 100% sold on these short kickoffs but it sure worked this week - no big plays and a turnover. Matty Ice was rock solid this week.

ABVidale: Five made field goals, a good runback to midfield, a fumble recovery on a pooch kickoff---what's not to like?

Justbear: Kickoff still needs work.

Great game for Anderson. Nice return by Khalfani.

Coaching

AlohaBear: We saw a QB other than Webb! Very happy that this team came out looking motivated and ready to play.

Heyalumnigo: For the most part aggressive when we needed to be. They way we were holding them down on D I thought we would've gone for it on 4th more often.

Nor-Cal Scott: Once again, Jake's play calling needs improvement. If you're running the ball at will why go to 3 straight passes inside the 10yd line? Three pass plays and a FG. Rinse & repeat.

Rocksanddirt: would like to have seen a bit more of the reserves, especially after we went up three scores to open the 4th q.

oSoGood: I like the approach today. They had a plan and it worked.

Jacobs. : I was yelling "Run it on first downs!" at the start of second half (and probably a lot of less savory comments), and Cal started running it on first downs. Wohooo!

Uthaithani : Cal thoroughly beat UCLA. Gotta give Sonny and Co credit for that success.

Bean: Tough conditions to start the game, but overall a good plan to compensate for the weather. 42 minutes of possession was impressive.

Bear87: Coaches did a good job, which was a good answer to a lot of criticism they have been receiving.

Skatethompson: A well coached game. Hats off to our OC's balanced approach today. But Cal fans should not become jaded by a win over a team that obviously did not come to play, and had nothing to play for. Every ounce of UCLA did not want to be there today. UCLA was uninspired and it was obvious the kids were playing with half of the effort not to risk injury.

Cal beat a team they should have beat today. That is it. The seniors have something to celebrate. I am proud of all of them. But rest assured, Cal still needs to make a coaching change.

And judging by the speed of the transaction at Texas and LSU today, either Cal gets in the game now, or they could lose out on a top tier coach that this program so badly deserves.

Wiata78: We out coached the other team! Woo Hoo!

84Bear: I was really upset over the poor clock management on what I believe was the final touchdown. Cal had something like first and goal from the 5 and elected to pass the ball rather than just ram the ball down their throat. Webb almost threw a pick and the clock stopped. Later in the 4th quarter, Webb was having the ball snapped with 15 seconds left on the play clock, showing a complete lack of understanding of the game situation

BTown85: Mixed it up well, no clock issues, went for FGs when we should have (largely)……..well done. Can we play UCLA every week?

FrmrG8r: Whatever was in the coaches water bottles this week, please rinse and repeat. By far the best job all year with solid offensive, defensive and special teams game plans. OK, so UCLA was terrible but we actually blew them out. Well done.

Oski Disciple: After the disappointment of the previous week and the losing streak, the coaches got the team ready both in terms of schemes and psychologically. Good game plan and good in-game decisions.

Prd74: Happy for Sonny and his crew. Lot of happy family members at this game.

BrooklynBear: I still don't get the pooch kick offs. The expected value of a pooch kick off is UCLA ball at the the 35. If Beito can get the ball 4 yards deep, do Coaches Tommerdahl and Dykes think the expected return for Adams is 39 yards? Or is this a 'rest our players a bit since they play on defense' strategy?

Sacman701: Ball control! So nice to see. UCLA ran just 54 plays! We mixed the run and pass well even though screens got blown up a few times. More importantly, Cal was focused for 60 minutes whereas UCLA was flat for 60 minutes, and we were coming off a depressing loss to our crosstown rival just like they were. A lot of that is on the coaches.

Broden_Duff: The overall lack of aggression was bothersome. 4th and short against a rival to leave your mark on the season and possibly your tenure and you decide to kick anyways? Was good to finally see backup players in at the end of the game. Even if it was for only a few snaps.

Overall Performance

AlohaBear: Good job on senior day Bears!

Nor-Cal Scott: Excellent effort for those Seniors! This team could have mailed it in like the Bruins did, but this squad has never given up. Losing builds character and man this team has character!

Jacobs. : I have thoroughly missed Memorial Stadium and my beloved Golden Bears this season. I though a year on the East Coast wouldn't be to bad, but part of my heart is still left in Berkeley.

Overall, I though this season could be as bad as 4-8, or as good as 6-6. We ended in the middle, but beat Texas (Sorry Charlie Strong!), beat Utah and we beat UCLA. Good times. Next year, healthy defense and another break out QB and we will be the true kings of the North!

Uthaithani : Easily the most impressive Pac 12 win of the Sonny Dykes Era. Can the program build on this? Hope so. Feels good anyway. Great win! Go Bears!

Bean: Beating LA never gets old, and it was great to see the guys playing so hard in what could be the last 2016 game. Thankful for Khalfani's 29 carries, Bug's TD, and a wonderful send-off for the seniors.

84Bear: Other than Webb's decision making on some of his throws and the poor clock management in those two situations, it was an excellent showing

BTown85: It was GREAT to get a Pac12 win against a California school. Jim Mora looked defeated after the first quarter; no wonder his team did, too.

Mitchgobears: The best overall performance of the year.

FrmrG8r: A gutty, solid, all around performance by the Bears. This is the kind of hope needed to sustain players sndfans alike over a long off season. Now get out and recruit some defensive players.

ABVidale: Can we bottle this performance and have it come out periodically (say, ten times) next year?

Old Bear 71: Glorious, Victorious, one k.....

Oski Disciple: Yes they were playing a weak, uninspired team but they took advantage and gave them a whipping. Great to see the seniors go out winner and some fine performances all around. The team, coaches and fans really needed a game like this to finish a rocky season.

The Bears are now 9-3 at home over the last two years. I'm liking that trend.

It was also great to finally beat one of our rivals. Let's have more of that next season.

Beer and Nachos: Solid effort all the way around. Great night for the Seniors.

Prd74: I love beating the fight song stealing Cal wannabes. Beautiful win. Great way to end the season.

Sacman701: That was our best all-around game of the year, we were solid in every phase. UCLA was off the charts horrible and this performance wouldn't have resulted in a 26 point win against any other P12 team, but if we had played like that against Furd we probably would have taken them to the wire.

Broden_Duff: Lackluster. LA lost that game more than we won it. The LA defense looked good but increasingly tired while the offense was vastly unable to do anything against one of the worst defenses in the nation. And let's not forget, LA was more than happy to give Cal more than enough key penalties when we stopped ourselves.

Justbear: Winning is a lot more fun than losing.

Thanks for stopping by. Crossing my fingers for a bowl game (If I say it again, it jinxes my first jinx right?). But definitely hope to see you all back during the 2017 season.