- Bears are encouraged by last week’s success in the running game, but now they want it to be consistent.
Coming into Saturday’s game, Oregon’s defense had given up a measly 2.1 yards per rush and 75.5 yards per game to its opponents. But when they faced the Bears, Cal was able to average almost six yards a carry and finished the game with 241 rushing yards.
It was a big performance for the Bears, who had struggled to get much of anything going this season in the run game. And it was an especially big performance for running back Patrick Laird, who, against the Ducks, rushed for an average of 5.1 yards a carry, 92 yards and a touchdown after being limited to less than three yards a carry in Cal’s first three games this season.
- The Bears are looking to avoid last season’s end-of-season slide.
- Learn about special teams coach Charlie Ragle as he returns to his former school in Arizona.
- Does the Bears have an offensive identity and do they need one?
- The Bears are practicing like they will play Khalil Tate, and a good ‘17 Tate, even though he may miss the game with an injury. Golden Bear Report has more. Cal Bears Maven also covers the subject, quotes are from the latter article.
In any case, the Bears are expecting anything and everything both Tate and the Arizona offense can throw at them.
“He’s a dynamic player, a dynamic runner, but he hasn’t shown much of it this year. He showed a lot last year,” Cal linebacker Jordan Kunaszyk said. “He’s very mobile and very elusive. He’s an elite player, so we’ll be ready.”
DeRuyter points out that opposing defenses are gearing up to stop Tate, but adds, “When he wants to, he can make a lot of guys look silly with his speed.”
But Tate is operating differently in first-year coach Sumlin’s offense, working to develop his passing skills. Even when he drops back to pass, DeRuyter said, Tate’s ability on his feet can be game-changing.
“That’s one of our emphases this week - trying to keep him in the pocket,” DeRuyter said. “When he breaks out and extends the play, they do a great job of converting (pass) routes and he can throw it about a mile.”
- Jake Ashton had a very sad upbringing but he has been a shining light to the UC Berkeley campus.
- The Bears haven’t won a road Pac-12 game since beating Washington in 2015... will the streak end this Saturday? Cal Bears Maven lists the score for every single loss, not quite the trip through memory lane I was hoping for today.
- But CBM makes up for it with a better trip through memory lane. The Bears may not win in Tucson often but in 1996 they triumphed over the Wildcats in FOUR overtimes!
- Jon Wilner predicts the Bears will be in the Sun Bowl but notes anything less than 3-0 in the next 3 games will make things very dicey.
- Picks! Wish I had some good news here, but I don’t. The possibly biased Cal Bears Maven predicts a Cal win... other than that, SB Nation, Athlon Sports and 54% of Yahoo Pick-Em Players have Arizona winning... (Nothing from Wilner at the moment)
- At last Saturday’s Cal game, the Bears honored Robert Paylor of Cal Rugby. Made the trip from LA worth it even if the game itself wasn’t all that good. If you were at the game, like I was, you may not have known that Fox Sports 1 also showed it. Here’s a recap of that story.
- Congrats to Layshia Clarendon as she and Team USA won the FIBA World Cup!
- Elisabeth Crandall-Howell was promoted to WGYM co-head coach position with husband Justin Howell. Congrats to her as well!
- Not only is Gianni Taranto a great water polo player, he is also a great tutor.
- Leon Powe is still making contributions to the NBA despite no longer playing.
Forever Oakland. Always.