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2017 Cal vs. Weber State Report Card

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Cal sneaks out a close one.. come see what the fans think

Weber State v California Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Berkelium97: Welcome back, Cal fans! I know many of us have spent the last week imagining what great heights we would ascend to during Wilcox’s first season. And then this game happened. It felt like we were transported right back in the good ol’ days of the early Sonny Dykes era. It wasn’t a loss, but it was as uncomfortable of a win as you’ll see. On the heels of a fantastic win in Chapel Hill we watched 50 minutes of what-on-earth-am-I-watching-ball followed by 10 fairly pleasant minutes of Patrick Laird steamrolling everyone in Alameda County. So how did you grade the game? Did you focus more on the first 50 minutes, more on the last 10, a mix of both, or did you skip the report card and go straight for the liquor cabinet?

Average Standard Deviation
Pass Offense 49.2% 19.7
Rush Offense 69.1% 18.6
Pass Defense 31.8% 21.5
Rush Defense 50.5% 21.4
Special Teams 65.4% 19.1
Coaching 57.7% 19.2
Overall 51.4% 19.1
Win Probability vs. Ole Miss 49.2% (-0.4) 21.3

After we were .9% short of seeing every category earn a passing grade, this week we only have two categories with passing grades. Aside from the pass defense (what pass defense?) at least the scores weren’t abysmal; no other categories really stood out in their greatness of turribleness. What did stand out, however, was how large the standard deviations are. That reflects that our grades were all over the place this week.

After one great game and one less-than-great game, our predictions for the Ole Miss game are statistically indistinguishable from our preseason predictions.

At the opposite end of indistinguishable are our wonderful award winners this week. Let us marvel in their greatness.

Awards!

Editor’s Choice Award

We have an editor’s choice award this week! alpha1906 earns the President of the Patrick Laird Fan Club award for giving every category a grade of “Patrick Laird.” I’m not sure what it means to earn “Patrick Laird” on special teams, but I am certain that I’m going to revisit the tape of last week’s game to find out.

Next we have our highest grades of the week.

Justinspiring!

Name Grade
1. Rocksanddirt 7.00 (100.0%)
1. David Shaw eats U$C's ass 7.00 (100.0%)
3. mrjpark 5.70 (81.4%)
4. GregInDublin 5.40 (77.1%)
5. VegasBear 5.00 (71.4%)

Two perfect scores? Are you sure you didn’t catch a replay of last week’s game? Actually that’s probably pretty unlikely because no one would know how to find the ACC Network to catch the replay.

And now, our pessimists.

Justinept!

Name Grade
1. Goldenbears02 0.00 (0.0%)
2. Uthaithani 1.00 (14.3%)
3. ChairmanMeow 1.30 (18.6%)
4. Ghost of the Play 1.60 (22.9%)
5. Berkelium97 2.55 (36.4%)

Clearly I wasn’t the only one whose Saturday was less fun than expected for about 2 hours and 45 minutes. Praise be to Oski for those final few drives and the hard running of Patrick Laird.

Finally, we have those whose report cards were closest to the community average.

The Voice of Reason

Name Deviation
1. sacman701 .0426
2. BigGBear .0557
3. @seriouslyrick .0570
4. mistergarth .0728
5. 1988goldenbear .0733

With sacman701 and 1988goldenbear earning spots in the top five, this award list is looking a lot like our VoR awards from last year when those two were fixtures on this list. Welcome back!

Now let’s see how you all felt about this game in words.

GoldenBearsBandwagon: Not exactly the inspired performance that I’d hoped for after a big win last week, but you know... it was good to see Cal come out on top in a closer-than-expected game. Looking forward to seeing how we come out of the gate next week.

Gameday Experience

Calpaladin: I was supposed to get some work done today as I watched the game; got drunk and at halftime, when I looked at what I dictated in the first half, had to use ctrl-H to find all the profanities and remove them. I stopped working after that.

Bearsupporter: No game on Comcast on the coast but was able to use CBS sports game tracker to keep current with play be play during game.

Heyalumnigo: My living room was very comfortable

2004-present: The new uniforms and paint in the end zones were hideous.

David Schweddy Balls: I was there! There was a fair amount of dread, all the way until Laird's game sealing TD. Also, why does it always seem 15 degrees hotter at the stadium than when i leave my house?

@seriouslyrick: It was disappointing the stadium was half-empty for the first home game of the season!

Caneschicken: Good to be back.

Uthaithani: No home fans showed up to watch a game where the home team also didn't show up. Thank you Weber State for providing quality football to Memorial this Saturday, the Cal Bears certainly didn't. The wrong team won, IMO.

VegasBear: Familiar, since 1960.

Ososdeoro: Lovely weather. Concerned for a while that we didn't show up on the right day. Nice performance by the band today, given it's the first performance of the season.

TKE Prytanis 79: Lovely weather ...wish there were more students, many leaving at half and not returning

BearMD: Great day! Weather was awesome, and some fans received a new UA Cal cap as a gift! Loved the fact that it was a day game and that they introduced a new shortened halftime show to 15 minutes...that way I didn't have to drag my young son out of the game at unimaginable hours. I hope they make that a permanent fixture and not just a trial. Games are getting longer and longer already.

Rollonyoubears111: The student section looks so sad. It was half empty. The card stunt was difficult to decipher and should change to 18bit format because of how few pixel/students there are. They should really find a way to give an incentive for student attendance, like giveaway tshirts and topdogs/lemonade, instagram/facebook/snapchat contests for students books, etc.

The shorter halftime experience was interesting...they should've spent less time reviewing plays as I felt that they were far more fatiguing.

Otherwise the day was wonderful and a win is a win.

Oski Disciple: I've got decades worth of games at Memorial Stadium under my belt and I think that was the smallest group of opposing fans I've ever seen. The home fans didn't turn out in droves either and I felt the student section was a tad on the quiet side. Still it was Strawberry Canyon on game day and the Bears won so it was glorious.

Nor-Cal Scott: Loved the 2pm kickoff time, it reminded me of the good ol' days.

Randythebear: Would love a story about the new dance group seated in an area at the bottom of the rooting section. They were attired in gold, shiny outfits. Style was like something you would see at Grambling or Southern.

Wiata78: Warm sunny day, yet nice and cool in the shady seats where I sat for the first time. About 40% full. Student section was maybe 60% full, but some folks went over to fill in for the card stunts. Which were still not at all clear, but I appreciated the effort. Weber State folks seemed like a good group. I ran into some Cal grads who were now Weber State faculty. One of them had lived in Bowles Hall! We sang with the band.

There were so MANY, SLOW reviews! I suggest that UC Optometry get away from sponsoring reviews. It gives them a bad name.

PRD74: Gameday experience was kind of like the halftime. Cut down, bare bones. Not enough of anything special. It was cool to see Jason Kidd in a Cal baseball cap. That was new. Pretty empty stadium. Reminding of the pre-Tedford days. This year we moved to new seats in what can be described as being in the middle of section and better than our old ones at the bottom of the same section. One thing that I noticed is that there is a whole of lot weird creepy guys who are looking for empty seats for sit in. We got there late and there were these people sitting in our seats who didn't want to move. Where were the people who should have kept them from coming into our section in the first place? Anyway, it was fun to win. To me, it never felt like we were going to lose. One truly forgettable game.

1988goldenbear: CMS is beautiful, but the crowd was pretty sparse, especially in the ESP sections. Kudos to the student section for keeping things lively.

Pass Offense

Sacman701: Pass pro was a real problem and seems likely to be a problem all year. Bowers was mostly running for his life. Given that, he did a good job of improvising and was mostly accurate on short and medium throws.

FrmrG8r: Sputtered and frustratingly inconsistent.

Still staring down receivers making it easy on the defense.

Mrjpark: The right side of our offensive line was exposed today, and they're going to need major coaching if they're going to hold up against PAC-12 defenses. Bowers needs better protection if he's going to do anything this season.

Hardtobecalfan: bowers is very hit or miss. his downfield throws are not there yet. right side of the line is also not there yet. snaps were also bad.

Rugbear: Our receivers need to figure out how to get open and we need to get D-Rob the ball more. O-line needs to learn how to block better. Bowers has to move his feet and learn how to avoid the sack and he HAS to find his hot read earlier. He also needs to be able to look off coverage better (this will all come with experience).

SuperEQ: Pretty anemic today. Bowers missed some easy throws. Play calling seemed super conservative

McOski: My biggest concern throughout the game was the way they handled us in the trenches--particularly their D-line against our O-line in pass pro. Bowers seemed like he was under duress on most of his drop-backs.

Rollonyoubears111: pass protection needs to improve. it felt as though the qb had no time to go through any of his progression most of the time. it felt that quite often that we had poor 3rd down yardage, and passing during most of those times was easily stopped.

as there were no passing td's and minimal 3rd down conversions, we may see a bit of a problem moving forward.

Oski Disciple: It was off in so many ways. Part of it was a lack of pass protection but there was no rhythm to it and there were no deep balls. We should have a pass attack in which DRob catches a few deep balls, Wharton is constantly open in key situations and Vesey is a reliable threat. Not there yet.

Iwasthere4theplay: Seemed like they couldn't get things going. Completed passes required receivers reaching for the ball. Not much time to throw though - OL was not providing much time. Shallow crosses were covered well and we seemed to go to that route a lot.

Lucky1715: We still are not throwing the ball farther than 20 yds (give or take). How can DRob not get open against Weber State downfield? Or how can Bowers not throw deep to him? This is very concerning.

Run Offense

Lithiumsorbet: Barely got any push / opened any holes. Most of our big gains seemed to be Laird magic.

Mistergarth: Patrick Laird saves the day

Rugbear: Patrick Laird is a stud.

Vick the Brick needs to learn how to put his head down and use that big body to hit someone. If he ran N/S like Laird he'd have huge yardage (he need to learn how to hit people!) O-Line really has to get a LOT better.

Texashaterforlife: uhh...Laird was alright, as for the rest...

2004-present: Pathetic showing by the offensive line today. A few big outside runs masked an abysmal interior-line performance. 10 TFL? Against an FCS team?! That is beyond unacceptable.

Uthaithani: If not for Laird making something on his own and Robertson running a reverse, our run offense was nonexistent. And if not for those running efforts, the Bears would have lost handily. And even with those efforts the run game was mediocre overall. The Pac 12 is going to eat this offense alive.

BearMD: Tre Watson's leaving the game is worrisome. Finding Laird's talents was a godsend...but I am not really sure if he can continue to produce against Power five conference foes. Make no mistake, the guy's got something and I am anxious to see the next man step up! What about Ali-Baggio? I would have thought that a game like this was one to try out the younger backs to see what they can do. I do hope that Watson's injury is temporary and not season-ending. Enwere should really learn to better utilize his bruising body to power through...to be honest, I don't think he generates enough power like Marshawn Lynch did...maybe it has to do with his lower leg motors. There were times when I felt like he fell too easily when if he had just motored his legs more, he could have pushed through some of the defenses.

Oski Disciple: Laird for Heisman! Hoping Tre is okay and that we can utilize Vic better but Laird had two great long runs and a stud's touchdown from a yard out bouncing off the D line and scoring. We've got some threats but need bigger holes from the O line.

Nor-Cal Scott: #LairdForHeisman! Another great Walk-On story.

Watson looked OK, but Enwere had a poor game.

Iwasthere4theplay: OL run blocking was not too good today. Laird of course has a monster day but on just a few plays. Laird has a lot of patience and good vision, good footwork. Faster than he appears as the defense kept taking bad angles on him. Stretch plays allowed a lot of penetration due to missed blocks. Pulling blockers were not able to get to their blocks in time.

Lucky1715: Well, there's Laird and then there's the rest of the Cal offense. Which one are you referring to? Laird is a machine all by himself - kudos!

Watson was injured, but has failed to show any explosiveness. Enwere is trying to be tricky instead of running straight ahead and using his power and size to his advantage - very disappointed in his performance thus far.

Wiata78: Seemed like there were several series in which we got 5 yards on first down, then went 3 and out. Enwere is big and strong, but didn't look like it against Weber.

California Love: Coming out party for Patrick Laird. He showed a lot of talent and vision running inside and outside. Plays where Enwere tried to bounce outside did not work (he's at his best between the tackles), otherwise, running game made major contributions to the win.

Pass Defense

Lithiumsorbet: Huge blown coverage, miscues... idk what happened.

Sacman701: Yuck. Far too many breakdowns for a veteran secondary. Pass rush was mostly pretty weak until we started mixing different blitzes in later in the game. Weber was just 25/45 on the day which isn't bad, but those completions went for an average of more than 17 yards.

Mrjpark: I expected better of them, honestly. They didn't play POORLY. A lot of the scoring came off a handful of large plays. It looks like our safeties are still young, which is why we put Rubenzer back in the game towards the end, and you could tell what his experience brought to the table. We need to remember that this is a VERY young crew that will have learning curves.

ABVidale: Oy vay.

LeonPowe: How many wide open receivers were we going to leave?

McOski: Pass D was decent--though those big completions against were not great... and we might have gotten lucky on a couple other key break-ups--like the one in the south endzone near the end of the 3rd.

@seriouslyrick: The secondary brought back frightful memories of last season. Our defense shouldn't be letting a non-FBS team throw bombs downfield.

VegasBear: There was a "pass defense"? I must have blinked.

BearMD: Oh my...this was a complete undressing. How in the world do we give up multiple plays of 50+ yard passes to an offense that is known primarily as a power running offense? I think the glaring deficiencies in our secondaries were exposed and this will only portend to how the rest of the season will play out. Coach Wilcox will have to do the best with what he has...discipline and new coaching can only take us so far. Let's temper our expectations and accept we will have this kind of defense for the foreseeable season.

Rollonyoubears111: number 8 seemed to be wide open and had people behind him many times. SC will have at least 4 players like number 8 and the TE.

the takeaways barely negated the deficiencies

Nor-Cal Scott: Retro Dykes-Kaufman era numbers: 431 yards. Horrible. Could have easily been more but Luke made some great plays over the top hitting WRs just as ball arrived. Next weeks opponent had 489yds passing on Saturday. Yikes. And we only had 2 sacks.

Goldenlikethebears: I was not pleased by those multiple huge gains.

Wiata78: Gave up so many long passes! How did Weber keep getting so open? Probably weren't expecting Weber to pass so well.

sacalum: hard to watch. i haven't seen so many blown assignments since.....well, last year.

Run Defense

Calpaladin: Actually wasn't too bad, but the defense was clearly gassed for parts of the 2nd half, when Weber State was getting 5-6 yards a running play. Glad they stepped up in the last 5 minutes of the game.

Sacman701: Not too bad. The line got pushed around more than you'd like against an FCS team, but the team did a good job of tracking Cantwell on designed runs. Weber's longest run was just 12 yards.

Mrjpark: I feel like overall we did...alright? Their offense is designed to get yards, and we don't have the elite defense to stop anyone like that completely. They made stops when they needed to and it wasn't like they were letting everyone through.

ABVidale: A bright spot today.

Heyalumnigo: Started poorly. Got much better after their first drive of the 2nd half (I think...one with the failed fake FG). Not sure if we changed up the scheme or they got tired.

Rugbear: Still problems on the edge. Outside LB's need to sep up in the hole and force the RB to slow down and make a move (that way they can tackle him). If they wait for him two or three yards back from the hole the RB will blow right by them.

SuperEQ: loved all the stripping

Texashaterforlife: did not improve from last week. Took a step back.

2004-present: Like the offense, the DLine consistently got outworked in the trenches by a much smaller group. The word that came to mind when watching us defend the run was SLOW. Sooooo slow. Not something a PAC 12 defense can afford.

David Schweddy Balls: Should i be worried about what the upcoming O-lines are gonna do to Cal?

VegasBear: We got pushed around by Big Sky?

Ososdeoro: Generally okay when it wasn't a keeper.

Rollonyoubears111: we will have trouble against duel threat qb's. having one of our key LB's out was pretty evident

Nor-Cal Scott: Solid effort. 38 runs, 140 yards, 3.7 avg, and the longest run was only 12 yards

Randythebear: Couldn't we have assigned a "spy" to their QB? He also tortured us. Great job creating fumbles!!!

Iwasthere4theplay: Hard to stop the QB. I couldn't believe the 4th and 11 that they converted at the end. The 2 TE personel was killing the defense. Also had trouble with the jet sweep/fake that they kept running. In the first half did a bad job setting the edge although that got better in the second half.

Lucky1715: Again, our form looks horrible for the front 3. They are getting engulfed and man-handled by lower level athletes. They are failing to use their hands, they are not hitting the gaps quickly enough, they are not getting off the ball with any explosiveness. I mark this one up to really bad coaching of the D Line this week. Terrible.

Special Teams

Lithiumsorbet: Blocked kick, yielded field position... at least we punted well?

Calpaladin: Just short of a perfect score after the botched extra point attempt and one good kickoff return by Weber State. Overall, not bad.

Mrjpark: Aside from the muffed kick, our ST felt like we could actually somewhat rely on them in kick coverage.

LeonPowe: Punts fine. Kicks - I mean if we're going to have a great field goal kicker, let's handicap him.

Heyalumnigo: Everything was good except for the 1 long KR

Rugbear: Work on snaps and holds for FG's and PAT's.

SuperEQ: Fakes were well defended. That was huge

@seriouslyrick: Good job not letting them get away with a fake field goal or onside kick.

Caneschicken: Didn't fall for trick plays/onside kick.

Ososdeoro: Mostly fine. Bad coverage on a runback at a fairly important part of the game.

Oski Disciple: On the one hand yielded one long kickoff return and botched a PAT. One the other hand all other kickoffs went well, as did our punts. Anderson nailed both his FG attempts.

Iwasthere4theplay: Kickoffs are too short and we got lucky on the one that may have gone OOB if the guy hadn't picked it up. Punting seemed decent with decent hang times and PAT had penalties that made the kicks longer but they converted. One bad snap on the final PAT though.

Goldenlikethebears: Did not screw up, but did not really make a large positive impact.

Coaching

Lithiumsorbet: Second half adjustments good. Needing second half adjustments vs Weber State not so good. Overall disappointed that the team came out flat / looked uninspired vs an overlooked foe.

Calpaladin: I'm not sure if being cute in the first half with the offense has anything to do with it, but nice adjustments made in the 2nd half - Weber State didn't score at all after halftime. I honestly wonder whether Weber State's familiarity with Beau Baldwin was to our detriment.

Sacman701: We made good halftime adjustments on defense, in terms of tracking runs and mixing up different blitzes.

Mrjpark: I think they did a great job. We needed to beat Weber without showing Ole Miss and the PAC-12 too much. It was an uphill battle. They stuck to their style, coached up the kids, and we came out with a win. Can't ask for much more than that.

LeonPowe: Game was fine - game prep probably needed some work.

Heyalumnigo: Seemed to adjust after halftime on D.

Rugbear: Early in the season so it would be hard to know what they were going to throw at us. I think our game time adjustments could have been better.

SuperEQ: Love the lack of panic when everything was going wrong. Adjustments at half time helped us "win the second half"and secure a victory.

2004-present: I don't know what to say. I can't figure out how this staff could talk so much about expecting to win in Chapel Hill, back it up, and then come out and look like Kansas a week later. The players didn't suddenly lose their talent. The message can't have changed at all. But then why could the pendulum swing that far the other way? No explanation.

Uthaithani: I kind of miss Sonny Dykes. At least when his teams weren't playing well he had those comical expressions for the refs. That was fun. Today the coaching was just lousy without the sideline entertainment.

But Weber State - that was a well-coached team. Hats off to those coaches, solid effort. Take notes, Wilcox, cuz you got BADLY out-coached in this game.

Fire Starkey: Team did not seem prepared and looked like they assumed they'd stroll to a win. Really poor prep in that regard.

Ososdeoro: One of the hardest things about coaching, I imagine, is to keep a team focused and motivated when the stadium is a quarter full, the opponent is on paper a massive underdog but who beat their opponents 76-0 last week, and the team has a big game coming up next week. I hope our current staff will learn how to do this.

Oski Disciple: Don't know if its on them completely but the Bears did not appear ready to take on an FBS school. The offense seemed off kilter and needed two big plays, the defense was getting shredded in the first half. The game seemed a learning experience for the staff.

Nor-Cal Scott: Average. For a HC with a lot of D experience, and a DC with tons of D experience, how come they could not get our DBs/LBs in better positions to be successful on passing plays.

Randythebear: Defensive coaching did not have adequate scheme to stop their QB runs. They got their receivers WIDE OPEN many times. Scheme failure?

Iwasthere4theplay: Except for the reverse for the first TD, it seemed like we wanted to stay vanilla with both O and D. Didn't blitz much until we got behind. The LB blitzes didn't work well but the corner blitzes were getting there. Maybe some more screens to help the OL?

Ghost of the Play: It seems as if Wilcox may need to figure out a way to ensure that the kids are ready to play every team.

PRD74: If ever a team looked like it was going through the motions and looking forward to the next couple of games, it was today. The plays called were pretty vanilla. This was just one forgettable game.

Go Eat A Taco: Coaching kept them in the game, Special teams could have botched the on-side and fake field goal but they were prepared. Coaches opened up the playbook on offense: reverse / bearcat. So, good to show some things that our opponents will now have to prepare for. Defense...meh, a one-off (hopefully)!!

Overall Performance

Mistergarth: whew. At least we avoided a humiliating loss.

Calpaladin: Disappointing performance that only highlights our pre-season concerns. I suppose we should be glad the weak points have been highlighted and can be worked on, but if we face off against a competent QB, our secondary may get gashed hard.

FrmrG8r: When you have arguably the toughest D1 schedule in the nation, a nail biter week 2 against Weber State doesn't bode well. That nauseating, sinking feeling is back.

Mrjpark: I think a lot of people were overreacting. Unlike UNC, Weber State had videos of us from last week and took advantage of tendencies in the first half. We coached that out of us and didn't give up a point in the 2nd half. I think that's fine. They were a disciplined, VERY well-coached team. We struggled to deal with their attack initially, and then just wore them down over the remainder of the game. The score may have been close, but I honestly felt like the game was never really in doubt.

Bearsupporter: We're 2-0 regardless how we got there! Held them to 20 which is 50 points below their last weeks output.

Alpha1906: Patrick Laird

SuperEQ: Who knew Cal could have a trap game... but we did!

Great to come away with a win after a weird awkward game. Very proud of the way the team persevered.

On to Ole Miss

GO BEARS

2004-present: Typical Cal football. Just when I dare to raise expectations even a little, something like this happens. I know we won the game, but we really lost. We managed to undo every little positive thing we did in Chapel Hill last week. We looked like the worst parts of Tedford's teams met the worst parts of Dykes' teams: predictable offense and mental weakness combined with abysmal defense and subpar play in the trenches. In my 14 years watching Cal football I cannot recall a single performance after which I said the team I'd just witnessed would go winless if they showed up all season (and I've seen some hideous performances). I'm very very concerned after this-that is all.

Ososdeoro: I found myself wondering on a regular basis why quarterbacks and receivers of the skill level displayed by Weber State don't play at the FBS level. As for us, I sure hope a lot of our quick hitting plays are stashed away in the playbook somewhere, because we didn't seem to use any of them. Glad to see the team wake up when it did.

Rollonyoubears111: almost felt like portland state 2.0. a W is a W. I hope the players are coached up against Ole Miss.

Oski Disciple: Expectations can ruin an experience. After beating UNC on the road Cal fans could have been forgiven for expecting a cakewalk against an FBS school, when that didn't happen and the game became something of a nail bitter many fans were greatly disappointed and foresaw a difficult season ahead. Calm down everybody. Weber State is a decent football, never mind their level, with some really big fellas on their lines. The Bears pulled it out with big plays on offense and a clutch second half defense that pitched a shut out. Bottom line is a win and 2-0 start and many lessons to learn from as the schedule gets gnarly but not impossible.

Nor-Cal Scott: This was the situation I was worried about. Big win last week on the road vs ACC opponent, FCS trap game as team and coaches look ahead to next weeks SEC opponent. We did just enough to win. If not for Laird's two long TD runs this could have been a loss.

Randythebear: They were tougher than I anticipated. Glad our guys were resilient, kept fighting, and came out with a win.

Iwasthere4theplay: I think we were lucky to win this game. Not sure what would have happened if that HB option throw to the QB was on target... Both the OL and DL need to improve or we could have some blowouts coming our way. I'm hoping the coaches have a more creative game plan going forward. I realize they are new coaches with new defense and offense playbooks but we don't have the team yet that can compete with the upper tier of the P12 IMHO.

Lucky1715: Looks like the Cal of old (not a good thing). Bowers concerned me in this game because he's lacking either the confidence or the accuracy to throw long. Defense is going to get a really bad wake-up call over the next few weeks with Ole Miss, USC, Oregon, and Washington coming up. It could get very ugly if we cannot put pressure on the passer, stop the run, or cover the receivers better.

There was simply no excuse for the poor of play against a team (albeit a strong contender in their class) like this.

Goldenlikethebears: Biggest difference is our ability to generate turnovers on defense. This has been wonderful. We need to capitalize on those. We are still not where we need to be as a complete team, but improving. Ole Miss will be a good barometer on how we bounce back and can compete at a higher level in all 3 phases.

oski74: Both lines seemed dominated in the first half. Much improved in the 2nd half. Thank heavens for Laird. His ability to read the hole and hit it quickly was key to his success.

Pass defense was confused in the 1st half with wide open receivers. Personnel and scheme changes in the 2nd half helped considerable. Rubenzer proved that experience makes a difference.

Oaklandishbear: We were so lucky to win this game. Weber gave away the game on the missed on-side kick recovery, the botched fake FG, missed some passes on the last drive before Laird's clenching run. Not sure we were the better team on Saturday, so better improve before Ole Miss arrives.