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2017 Cal vs. Ole Miss Report Card

The Bear will not quit, the Bear will not die!

Mississippi v California Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Berkelium97: We did it, CGB! We finally did it! No, I’m not talking about beating another SEC team or having a defense or starting the season 3-0. We finally put together a performance that earned passing grades in every single category. It’s been years since we’ve done that. And after falling short by less than a single percentage point of accomplishing this feat in the first game of the Wilcox Era, we managed to achieve this triumph in the third game.

Average Standard Deviation
Pass Offense 67.9% 14.7
Rush Offense 70.3% 13.7
Pass Defense 76.1% 15.7
Rush Defense 84.1% 12.4
Special Teams 61.9% 19.4
Coaching 90.0% 13.7
Overall 84.3% 12.3
Win Probability vs. Ole Miss USC 64.1% (+41.2) 28.7

In another first, we have a coaching score that broke the 90% mark. In the 8 seasons we’ve been doing these report cards, this is the first time we’ve hit 90 in the coaching category. This breaks the record of 88.6% set by Wilcox and friends a couple weeks ago in Chapel Hill. And it is an honor that was well deserved. It was immensely satisfying to watch Baldwin outflank the attacking Ole Miss defense and to watch DeRuyter’s schemes frustrate and confuse the Ole Miss offense. And this was only the third game under this staff. The schedule continues to get tougher in the coming weeks, but it seems much less formidable thanks to the prowess of this staff.

Elsewhere, we have strong grades all around. All this positivity has given a huge boost to our predictions of a win over USC. That, or it was the fact that we accidentally asked you all to give us Cal’s chances of beating Ole Miss. Most of you seemed to figure out though, as several mentioned USC in the form. Still I’d like to think that our strong performance coupled with USC’s surprising struggles are the sole reasons that our predictions of a win have tripled since last month.


First we have our highest grades of the week. After a win like this, you know what this category is going to look like.


Name Grade
1. Uthaithani 7.00 (100.0%)
1. rocksanddirt 7.00 (100.0%)
1. Oski4Heisman 7.00 (100.0%)
1. goldenbears02 7.00 (100.0%)
1. FuckTheAnnouncers 7.00 (100.0%)
1. David Shaw eats SDSU ass 7.00 (100.0%)
1. Berkelium97 7.00 (100.0%)

100% scores all around! No room here for anyone but the sunshine pumpiest of us!

Next we have our lowest scores of the week, all likely belonging to the collection of depressed Red Cup Rebellion readers who decided to stick around on our site after the loss.


Name Grade
1. Inoaverylittle 3.40 (48.6%)
2. JoeBandsmen 4.10 (58.6%)
2. Mitchgobears 4.10 (58.6%)
2. sec119 4.10 (58.6%)
5. bearfanatic 4.30 (61.4%)

Actually, these are some pretty good scores for the pessimists. These would have qualified for the Sonny Delight award in a few games last year...

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

The Voice of Reason

Name Deviation
1. LR .0449
2. VegasBear .0498
3. NinjaNed .0576
4. Calbears .0582
5. FrmrG8r .0583

These scores have been remarkably uniform over the past three weeks, as the winner has always been somewhere between .042 and .047. One of these weeks someone is going to become telepathic and post something around .02. Maybe next week...

Until then, let’s look over a particularly exuberant collection of comments.

GoldenBearsBandwagon: What a sight to behold. Defense in Berkeley.

Gameday Experience

WhenTheYearEndsIn7webeatSEC: Watched this during the arvo here in australia. Dad was at the game whatsapping me every score. Felt like I was at home!

Bearsupporter: I made my family leave the room halfway through the 4th. All girls who wanted to talk about their night out .... I'm not a good husband, father, grandfather :-(

FrmrG8r: Beautiful night, late arriving crowd, noise when needed.

Goldenone: A bit of a smallish crowd to start the game but folks kept filing in well into the 2nd quarter. By the 4th quarter the place was electric

Bowlesman: I have to be honest, when I flashed onto the SEC Network during the First Quarter and Ole Miss scored so quickly to go ahead, I said, "Uh, okay, I cannot stomach a blowout" and tuned out.

For the **** of it, I checked in on the game, late in the 3rd Quarter, and could not believe it. Once again, though, I suspected that somehow, we would blow it and cringed as Miss was driving early in the Fourth Quarter.

Time marched on, calls went our way, the "D" played tough and smart, and a miracle happened in Strawberry Canyon!

Nik Jam: Fantastic tailgate yesterday, I had "ski shots" for the first time! Look it up.

LR: Enjoyed CMS as always. Ole Miss fans quite spirited at the beginning & through the first half, though got much quieter towards the end of the contest.

The refs suuuucked. Don't know how it looked on TV, but we were getting mugged out there. Probably ~10 missed calls at least.

Texashaterforlife: Sitting at home watching one game on the TV and other games online was great. Not only did Cal have a comeback win, but Texas and the Furd both lost. If USC plays the way they did this past week against us next Saturday, Cal will win.

Rollonyoubears111: Though certainly not 2007, but by the end of the night, Memorial Stadium was abuzz with an energy I have not felt for quite some time. It was refreshing to see that the student section, though 3/4 full if that, was revved up especially later in the game. It almost made a parasympathetic trigger to make my lacrimal glands excrete isotonic fluids.

They keep running out of the caps that I have a coupon for for my season tickets...oh well. I'd gladly trade in my cap for a win.

ABVidale: I'm definitely not a fan of Pac-12 After Dark. It hurts attendance, but the almighty dollar, aka TV, rules.

Pass Offense

Calbear1984: Bowers really coming into his own. Some rookie mistakes, but playing beyond his experience (which was none before this season).

LeonPowe: Bowers was tough - and making good decisions all day (except for the pick and the almost pick) Ole Miss dbacks were all over our wide outs making the passes tough downfield, but Bowers was placing the ball well - I think he played better than his stats.

Sec119: Bowers still looks like he's locked in on his first read. But it did look like the playbook got opened up a bit more.

Sacman701: Very uneven. Pass pro was a problem again. Bowers did a good job of avoiding sacks, but his accuracy was worse than usual. Noa has become a steady possession receiver.

Ososdeoro: Great experience for $C, since their DBs will also be faster than our receivers. And their receivers will be faster than our DBs. i was amazed we held them to the two TDs.

BearMD: I'll give Bowers credit for taking a lick while making that throw to Wharton. The guy's got guts to stand in his pocket and take a monstrous hit. BUT, the costly interception at the end zone to stall the momentum is quickly becoming all too familiar habit of our young QB. He needs to quickly develop the ability to read 2nd, 3rd, 4th targets in a hurry. The guy has all the capable weapons besides Wharton, DRob, and Noa (who I think has the best hands I've seen thus far). Needs to quickly read his progressions and dump as fast as possible. BTW, what happened to DRob???

GuMiBears: We have glimpses of a good pass offense. I wonder if keeping Robertson out was a calculated strategy to keep him hidden for USC game. We need Robertson to collect double teams which makes it easier on our other receivers. Wharton was getting half getting good catches and other half kept dropping. Good thing Veasy's catch was ruled incomplete. Singleton and Noa had more catches than usual with Robertson out.

Jerseybear94: Was not great, but adequate to gain yards when needed. Got better as the game went on.

I married a Longhorn: Bowers is still a bit inconsistent. He made some very precise passes, but also threw a bad interception and missed some of the deep balls. That being said, I'm impressed with his leadership and ability to shake off the mistakes. Oh, and please don't dive head first again.

Mrjpark: Maybe it's D-Rob and Stovall missing, but it just lacks...explosion and power. It's basically exasperation until Noa gets another 3rd down catch.

J4e: Bad drops and Bowers threw a couple stupid passes, but he made a few really nice ones too and bounced back well from the uncalled targeting. Like how Bowers is elusive and can scramble but still looks to throw. Don't like the drops. Need D-Rob, lack of a deep threat meant that Ole Miss was showing blitz and running man press with only the deep safety off the line of scrimmage, and Cal couldn't punish them for it

Run Offense

Heyalumnigo: Just enough to allow the passing game to be effective

FireTomHolmoe!: I kept waiting for Laird to bust a long one, but i think he was saving it for USC.

Sacman701: Our run game did some damage, but we got dropped for losses an awful lot. Much like our passing game, it blows hot and cold.

VegasBear: The "Bears Laird" and Enwere one two punch seems to be working well now that Enwere is understanding his skills. Laird is proving to be tougher than anyone thought.

BearMD: Nice run day...against a defense that is supposed to be bad a run defense! That's really not saying much. 4 yards/carry might be decent against this defense, but it probably won't do much against stronger Power 5 opponents we will be facing rest of the season. Using Laird as power back at times got my head scratching...he's more of a lateral cut back. I would think that misdirection or reverse type plays fit him better where he can make the corner and bust for a run. I suspect the defense loaded up more against the run after seeing Laird's output last week. But I'll give Laird props for putting his head down to get that TD! Gutsy move. The guy deserves a retroactive scholarship for the other 3 years before!

NinjaNed: Laird is my hero. His ability to hit a hole if it's there and movement in open space is incredibly heartwarming. Also when Enwere is running downhill 1 on 1 against a tired linebacker, it's so money to watch.

Cleancutmedia: all i kept saying was.. run, run, run. stop passing. just run.

2004-present: Meh. Again showed up when it mattered but still too many negative plays for my liking

eAlchemist: Running between the tackles got a little easier as their D got tired. But, in general, we need to get outside the tackles more. I also think we can't run plays that go east/west against fast teams like Ole Miss.

Bowlesman: Even the SEC Network was singing, albeit token, praises of Number 99. Some well done blocks and runs.

Nik Jam: A little too vanilla. Multiple times it looked like the team knew when they were coming and were able to stop us.

Nor-Cal Scott: Solid 1-2 punch with Laird and Enwere. No huge runs this week but good numbers for both. We tired out Ole Miss' defense and it showed in the 4Q. OL is much better than I expected, Greatwood is doing a great job coaching up these kids.

Pass Defense

Heyalumnigo: Didn't drop their heads after the 1st Q. That 2nd half was the best half all year by far

OskiTX_Owen: Cameron Bynum is the GOAT

LeonPowe: Cam Bynum, Downs, Franklin really tightened up after getting smoked badly twice in the first half. No complaints about the second half - 9 straight scoreless possessions!

Hardtobecalfan: burned in the first half on 2 TD plays, but some beautiful INTs and PBUs to end the game. also loved the sacks.

VegasBear: Little, actual, pass defense in the first half. Amazing pass defense in the second half.

Week by week we are becoming a force in the Pac 12 North.

BearMD: We got undressed last week. We got undressed again this week! Cardiac Cal strikes again. My heart was racing seeing our secondaries give-up those two costly touchdowns in the first half! Can you please save me from a heart attack? I would have given a 0.1, were it not for Bynum's incredible PBUs in the last series to help Cal seal the win. Must be the nice adjustments the coaching staff made to account for the first half miscues. Or was it that we took out their star wideout Brown in the first half? Had he remained healthy, perhaps I might have been writing a different tune on this section.

NinjaNed: Allowing those long passes were pretty terrible, but everything after that was golden. Good coverage was making Ole Miss hold onto the ball, and we were actually getting into the backfield to capitalize. There were multiple 1 on 1 battles between the cornerback and wide receiver that we won! We had 3 interceptions with a pick-6 won us the game!

GuMiBears: Aside from the beginning long passes, 2nd half adjustments did really well cause the Ole Miss receivers got covered or kept dropping balls.

Bynum had good pass breakups.

2004-present: After the first half I thought this was the slowest secondary I've ever seen--good god those guys got smoked by the Ole Miss WR speed. But then they were on lockdown for most of the second half. I can't remember the last time the pass rush was that relentless.

Jerseybear94: Awesome. I've not been this excited about our defense since in forever.

LR: Besides getting burned those 2 big TD plays, wow! Multiple sacks, INTs, PBUs, and more! Was fun to watch Bynum, Allensworth, etc get stuff done out there. Funches, Downs, etc with the pressures/sacks - really don't remember seeing a D like this since undergrad.

Texashaterforlife: Not only did they show improvement from last week, Cal showed improvement from the beginning to the end of the game. That was so different from the Dykes era. They made mistakes early and corrected them. Ole Miss most definitely had faster, bigger receivers. Cal had more heart playing in front of the home crowd.

Rollonyoubears111: rating of 0/10 for the first half and 11/10 for the second half. #24 was awesome, swatting down those balls on Ole Miss' last posession. Also, not sure who the safety was (he was kinda too far for my aged eyes) but he did so much better at changing the look from playing off from the inside receiver then moving up to make Patterson second guess allowing for coverage sacks and scrambles.

Nice containment by the d line. The LB's were beasts.

Run Defense

WhenTheYearEndsIn7webeatSEC: They ran?

OskiTX_Owen: That was amazing, front 5 were awesome.

Hardtobecalfan: they didn't try to run much, but when they did, we were right there to meet them.

Ososdeoro: It was good enough. I feel like Mississippi probably should have run more in order to win. Wilcox was smart to commit to the run --- although while it tuckered out the Ole Miss D, they didn't get tired enough!

GuMiBears: Decent? Ole Miss still got their 1st downs on runs, so I dont know why they kept going away from it. We did stop a lot of other runs in the backfield though. Couldnt sack Shea all the time even though we had him in the backfield. Seems like we caught up to him in the 4th quarter.

Cleancutmedia: is this our defense? oh YES it is. yes it is.

2004-present: Solid--guys were in the right places and tackling was mostly good. They missed some huge loss opportunities though because they're just smaller and slower than most of the guys on Ole Miss, which worries me a tad going forward.

Goldenone: Mississipi had only 54 yards rushing - excellent

Texashaterforlife: showed improvement from last week. Cal played with aggression as if to say last week was a fluke. If one CAL player wasn't enough to get Ole Miss down, he held on long enough for teammates to help especially late in the game. Improved Individual and team effort was even mentioned by the ESPN announcers in the second half.

McOski: The Run D did it's job--though Ole Miss didnt bring much of a run game to Berkeley.

Special Teams

FireTomHolmoe!: Glad we could get away with a couple of field goal misses.

LeonPowe: Concerning - what is wrong with Matty Ice?

Ososdeoro: Kicks didn't reach the end zone enough. Kickoff coverage is sub-par. Missed FGs. Good punting and punt coverage.

VegasBear: Still have problems with return coverage. I have faith, however, in our coaching working to fix this.

Bearsupporter: Well we managed to get a critical field goal when needed and there were no returns of great distance for them throughout the game. Anderson's misses were making palms wet.

eAlchemist: Everything but the FG kicking was great.

Bowlesman: Love Anderson and I know he will dial it in. Some GREAT downfield coverage on some of our punts and kicks.

LR: So their K getting injured... wow their replacement K/P really sucked.

Anderson not being automatic a bit worrisome. Overall the ST really favored us but not really due to any amazing play on our parts.

McOski: Aside for the missed FG's, Special Teams got the job done. Punting was the strongest part of special teams play yesterday.

ABVidale: Two missed field goals doesn't make me happy.

J4e: Cold night, hard ball, missed FGs. Matt Anderson doesn't look good this year but it's Matt Anderson, not too worried. Klumph does a good job, kick/punt coverage is worlds better than under Dykes, return game is fine. Still lowering their score cause missed FGs nearly killed us


Calbear1984: LOVE the new Coaches!!! Stars and happy faces :)

LeonPowe: One bad timeout, but otherwise pretty spot on. Great defensive adjustments from Alexander and DeRyuter was bringing blitzes from everywhere! Shea didn't know where to look.

Hardtobecalfan: the 2nd half adjustments of this staff are amazing.

Sec119: I love that this team, especially the D, is turning into a second half team, which speaks volumes about the halftime adjustments and quick learning curve.

Sacman701: We just MacGyvered our way to a double digit win over a much more talented team. After a rough start, our defensive coaches made adjustments and ran rings around Ole Miss, always dialing up the right pressure packages to keep them off balance.

VegasBear: We are seeing the reason so many people have been talking about the staff that Head Coach Wilcox put together. Mostly the same, or less experienced, personnel and much better result. No Pac 12 team should feel CAL an "automatic" any more. Not even USC!

NinjaNed: Offensive gameplanning is a bit lackluster in my opinion. I know we're relatively young and don't want to be one dimensional, but you gotta take some shots here and there. But we won so it doesn't matter. But Tim DeRuyter (DC) is such a baller. His defensive adjustments as well as different blitzing schemes really messed with Ole Miss's head. Having a late linebacker blitz or a corner blitz come rushed the quarterback into making bad decisions. I have faith that these coaches are doing the right thing to put us in a position to win in the future and even now in the present.

2004-present: I'm noticing a great trend--we win second halves decisively. That is outstanding coaching, and bodes well for the future. I love how Wilcox is willing to go for it on 4th downs but not all the time like Dykes was. He picks his spots, and it's enormously effective.

Oski Disciple: It was super duper fantastic.

eAlchemist: Holy sh*t. Can we please sign these guys to extensions Monday morning? Their phones are already ringing- let's be honest.

I married a Longhorn: I'm excited about this "blitzing" thing we're doing now. That makes all the difference in the world. Our halftime adjustments are fantastic. I do get the feel that we're come out pretty vanilla on defense at the start of the game to feel out their strategy. I'd like to see us better prepared at the start of the game.

Bowlesman: Whatever we're paying him, needs to double! Sonny was good and smart, but Wilcox gives an edge. Credit to Sonny for building up the team and fixing the APR problem. Looks like no more shoot outs and no more 80+ point over/under, but, gee, I'll take the win over the Cardiac Cal finishes. I love that the pundits and know-it-alls made Wilcox a dark horse, because, already, he's beat the odds and I do not think he's done yet!

Nik Jam: It was a difficult first half. Props on the coaches for keeping the team motivated. Sure, the team has comeback under Sonny as well (ASU 2015, Texas 2015 and 2016) but the late INT in the first half and missed FGs could have killed the psyche of the team, not to mention the easy TDs by Ole Miss early. I believe the team has bought into Wilcox, Baldwin and DeRuyter.

Texashaterforlife: Former ESPN Pac-12 writer Ted Miller would say we Cal fans love writing 3000 word papers on our Bears, good and bad. I would write a paper on the very noticeable change in the Cal Bears on just their attitude, emotions, and mental toughness. Wilcox and his staff are doing wonders. If there is one statement I'd say to publish above the rest it would be: "I loved Wilcox getting an unsportsmanlike penalty for yelling at the referees for badly missed calls. All coaches yell at referees, but it takes fortitude to do it enough to earn a penalty. He is standing up for his guys."

Mrjpark: I'm honestly very impressed with our coaching staff. Again, we're blessed to have two coordinators with head coaching experience. In general, I our strategy is: 1) look at tape and come up with a game plan; 2) execute said game plan; 3) see what opponent is doing to beat us; 4) adjust, shut them out in 2nd half, and win. Of course, this is everyone's strategy, but I don't think everyone else is up like 60-10 in the 2nd half of their games. I don't know what kind of adjustments we're actually making, but holy shit is this working.

McOski: I am so impressed--down 16-7 at half, things could have been poised to turn on us, and doubt could have been creeping in... when Brock Huard returned to the booth after half time and gushed about how calm and confident the staff was; then the team came out of the locker room and pitfhed a shutout--I knew our coaching staff was one of the best i have ever seen at Cal. These guys are strong!

ABVidale: A great job. Adjustments were made, and the defense improved during the game.

highly improbable: Wilcox is no doubt the clear leader for PAC 12 coach of the year... admittedly having only played 1/4 of the season so far.

J4e: Real deal. The team can tackle, they can cover on ST, mental toughness is top notch now, both Baldwin and DeRuyter seem to have effective schemes, and halftime adjustments are elite (3 HCs probably helps). OM had more talent but their interim coach got thoroughly outcoached, especially after halftime adjustments. We don't win that game under Dykes/Franklin/Kaufman.

Overall Performance

Rocksanddirt: 3-0, only one stat matters.

Sec119: The offense was a little anemic, but good teams find ways to win despite not firing on all cylinders, and it was fun to be on the receiving end of that.

Sacman701: This team doesn't really pass the eye test. Both the running and passing games are unreliable, as the OL often fails to get any push and struggles to protect Bowers. The run defense is steady but not very disruptive. The pass defense is susceptible to big plays and has to get creative to get much pressure. Yet we're 3-0 with a road win over UNC and an 11 point win over Ole Miss. When was the last time a Cal team overachieved like this? 2003?

Ososdeoro: Gutty. That was a gutty performance. UMiss was a faster, more athletic team, and the guys did it by playing smart (mostly, except for some PFs) and executing well.

BearMD: Defense is becoming a pleasure to see! What a statement sack by Downs to effectively end the game. INTs are becoming the norm rather than the exception. Can we say that we ARE succeeding defensively? Jury is still a bit out as we haven't really faced the meat of the schedule for the year...but if this pattern continues, I will renew my season tickets for next year in a heartbeat!

Bearsupporter: We're 3 - 0, held them to 16 points, hopefully impressed the visiting recruits, and will rise in the polls.

2004-present: I thought we were in for a rough night and rough season after the first half, but the team that came out of the tunnel for the second half looked like a totally different group. Ole Miss somewhat gift-wrapped this game with so many awful penalties and turnovers (as I expected them to given everything going on with them), but our guys still had to take advantage and they found a way to do so. I worry about us against the better teams in the conference but if this coaching staff can stay together we can be a serious player in a few years. Excellent job with OOC this year!

eAlchemist: The difference in open field tackling is night and day to last year. This is the result of good coaching.

You know what other phones are starting to ring? The recruiting phones. This start will definitely help with recruitment. A good showing next week and dang. A win? Look out!

FrmrG8r: This was a huge win on a national stage against an admittedly flawed opponent. Do my eyes deceive me or are we actually improving every week. Suddenly, U$C doesn't seem so unbeatable.

Goldenone: Cardiac bears survive once again! Go Bears!

Bowlesman: Bring on the Kool Aid, I am ready to drink it! I believe!

Nik Jam: I didn't renew my season tickets for a few reasons... and although I'm low on cash, I may just renew my tickets now because the team has earned my money, rather than me buying cheap tickets on Stubhub. Plus, I'm sure USC tickets are going to shoot up in price on the second market...


Texashaterforlife: Before the season began, I had Cal winning only three games and going 1-2 in OOC schedule. Those early Ole Miss TD strikes had me saying we still have much work to do and bowl eligibility was for next year or later (based on speed and talent needed). I can now see Cal reaching 6 or 7 wins. The next three conference games will be the real report card.

Go get 'em you Sturdy Golden Bears!

Rollonyoubears111: Although it was ugly and Ole Miss was many times giving us yards (which we also gave away) it could've easily gone in their favor. But when given opportunities, the team actually gives me hope for the future; not that I haven't had hope in the past, but this team is actually making me become a believer.


Nor-Cal Scott: With the exception of Bowers (who was OK) the team played really well. Kudos to Beau & Tim for their play calls.

J4e: Too messy, too many mistakes, but they did what they needed to do and won without many big individual plays (good). *Really* have to clean up the mistakes and execution to stand a chance against SC. Coaching staff has us trending upwards, very promising start to a new era