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Roundtables: Beating SC and ending the streak.

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NCAA Football: California at Southern California Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

THE STREAK IS OVER. WE BEAT SC IN LA FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2000 AND BEAT SC OUTRIGHT FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2003. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE MOMENT OF THE GAME? WHY AM I STILL SCREAMING?

Vincent S: Garbers scramble and “slide” that was marked short of a first down. We’ve been screwed so many times by calls at the Coliseum (Patrick Turner did not catch that ball in 2008) that I was fully expecting defeat snatched out of the jaws of victory, yet again. That feeling made Laird’s first down run all the more sweet.

Rick Chen: I was impressed by our team’s second-half. Going into halftime, I was sure the losing streak would continue. The best part of the game was USC’s 22-yard safety--that kind of play usually only happens to us!

YOU’RE SCREAMING BECAUSE THIS WAS A GREAT DAY FOR CAL FOOTBALL!

boomtho: [deep breath] HOW DO YOU PICK A FAVORITE MOMENT IN A GAME LIKE THIS? A GAME WHERE CAL EXORCISED THE DEMONS OF YEARS PAST, A GAME WHERE CAL’S DEFENSE ABSOLUTELY TOOK IT TO THE TROJAN IN THEIR HOME STADIUM, A GAME WHERE AN UNDERPOWERED CAL OFFENSE DID JUST ENOUGH TO WIN DESPITE PLAYING FROM A FIELD POSITION DISADVANTAGE ALL GAME?

Phew.

There’s no way I’m going to be able to pick a favorite moment from a game like this. So, a few in no particular order:

-Cal snuffing out the USC fake field goal. Cal is just so solid under Wilcox’s leadership

-Wharton, hobbling and looking limited, absolutely roasting a talented USC CB (who, by the way, was talking a ton of trash) at the top of his route and tracking a floater from Garbers into the end zone

-Cal’s OL and RB, despite a ton of struggles in short yardage all year, sealing the game on a 4th and 1 with a powerful run

-Cal shaking off early setbacks (the called back TD, Garbers’ iffy fumble) to just keep fighting all game

What a win - I’m so proud of these players and coaches.

Berkelium97: I grew up in LA and have several friends who attended USC, so this losing streak has been especially painful. Since I have never seen the Bears beat USC (I joined the Cal fanbase just in time to enjoy 13 of those 14 consecutive losses), I have nothing but contempt for the Trojans and their fanbase. So my favorite moments from Saturday’s win are drenched in schaedenfreude. The first moment that delighted me was when Vic Wharton scored a TD after getting some great separation from CB Olaijah Griffin, who had been talking trash all throughout the previous series. Nothing shuts up a mouthy freshman DB like hauling in a TD reception at his expense. Second was in the waning minutes following Garbers’ pass to Remigio, who had hauled in the pass as he stepped out of bounds. CB Iman Marshall walked towards the Cal sideline and was mouthing off to a sideline who paid him no attention whatsoever. However, as soon as the ref threw that flag for unsportsmanlike conduct, the Cal sideline blew up in riotous delight at his expense. Finally, I savored every moment of the “This is Bear Territory!” chant in the closing seconds.

And one more bonus moment: the ongoing second-half montage of sad USC fans was the *chef’s kiss* on an incredibly gratifying win.

Piotr T Le: My favorite play has to be 2nd Weaver sack. We attacked the A gap with the same ILB blitz and drilled the young QB for a massive loss. I think this and many other physical plays set the tone of the second half of “every yard gained will cost more than you are willing to pay”.

Rob Hwang: Any of the sacks by Weaver and Bequette. Actually, I’ll take the second sack by Weaver. IT WAS THE EXACT SAME PLAY AS THE FIRST ONE, but USC could not read it and it resulted in a huge play for us. What a defensive performance by this team.

Anything else you want to say in regards to beating SC?

Rick Chen: I am sorry I ever doubted this team! I was especially impressed by our coaches’ decision not to play Brandon McIlwain all game.

boomtho: For so many years, it felt like our timing with USC was just unfortunate. Cal was ascending under Tedford when USC was at the top of its game (and well, the top of college football). When USC was shaky, Cal was down (like in 2010-2011, or 2012). I’m so happy the stars have finally aligned - that when USC was vulnerable, there was a Cal team, and coaches, that were ready to take advantage.

Another unrelated thought: I never really thought Cal would be able to go to LA, and in the Coliseum, physically take it to the Trojans. Cal has operated at a recruiting deficit vs USC for so long that I’m used to us just getting beat up at the line of scrimmage. Huge kudos to the Cal players and coaches for embracing the physicality and making a commitment to be the tougher team on the field. Really impressive.

Piotr T Le: I have never been a fan of the over hyped, money over substance school in Downtown LA. The lack of redeeming qualities of the general student population and general hoity-toity attitude of its fans who think they are the kings of LA bothers me to no end (being related to two UCLA alums adds to this feeling). As much as I want to say I hate Furd more than USC from an institution wide standpoint, at least Furd academia earn their keep on some occasions. Add the suffering Cal fans have had for the last 13 years losing to this sorry excuse of a college attached to a football program and it will make for a great moment in my memories for 2018. One of my friends who somehow is a SC fan and a Cal fan (no real SC affiliations at all) tried to pull the “1st time in 15 years don’t get used to it” line and I tell him and to all the SC fans: “f-off sc boy. 15-14 boy”

Rob Hwang: I became a fan when I got to campus on 2007. Never did I think that the streak would go this long. There were so many years where the game was close and it seemed we were on the cusp of turning it around against SC. Eleven years removed from my first SC game, which was at Memorial in the pouring rain, the Bears would lose after a crucial fumble in the redzone by Jahvid Best (a freshman like me at the time). It felt like we had a chance this year, but it was rarely different from any other year, and that’s why this one feels even more special. There’s something about this team that doesn’t just pull out upsets because things went right. This team is pulling upsets from the hard work and consistency they’ve managed to show through adversity. So once again, it is finally over, and now it’s time to start a streak of our own.