Saturday, November 11, 2006

Sadness, Reflection, Recognition

Sadness...
Cal lost to an inspired Arizona team. Longshore played his worst game as a Bear. Worse than the Tennessee game which featured a lot of drop balls by the receivers. Longshore was out of rhythm and consistently under or over threw open receivers. More importantly, he was late delivering the ball. This was part of the reason for Casons pick six which put Arizona in front. That and the fact that Longshore stared at Jackson for nine seconds before delivering the ball.
He is not solely to blame for this lose, but it is hard to find a more obvious reason for losing to a lower tier Pac 10 team.

Reflection...
It looked like Cal was controlling the game leading up to halftime. DeSean Jackson had an amazing game. Two touchdown and almost another give or take 2 inches. Marshawn had a solid game but Cal gave up on the run too quickly toward the end of the game. A couple draw plays against a scrambling Arizona defense on the last drive could have gotten considerable yards.
The defense gave up only 17 points and could have held the Wildcats to less if a couple calls had gone Cal's way. Hughes had a nullifies interception in the end zone on a bad pass interference call. A lot of the excess yardage that Cal's defense gave up in the UCLA game was not evident in this game. They consistently pressured a very mobile QB and were able to stuff the run for most of the game.

Recognition...
Pipe dreams of a national championship were always nice. An undefeated Pac 10 record would have been great. A final ranking in the top 5 would have been validation. But, let's keep all this in perspective. Cal is still in control of its destiny for the Rose Bowl. Regardless of what happen in the Oregon-USC game, if Cal beats USC next week, it will play in the Rose Bowl. (Assuming that the Stanford game is the cakewalk everyone expects it to be.)
As long as Cal makes it into the Rose Bowl this year, it will be considered a great year by most if not all Cal fans. Take this loss in stride, hope that Cal comes out inspired against USC and get ready for a trip to Pasadena. Go Bears.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

let's hope desean is 100% for next week! go bears!

Jennifer Lee said...

I am seriously depressed about this loss and the calls that didn't go our way. I don't know what to say...just...disbelief, really, disbelief. We should be going into next week's game undefeated in the Pac-10.

Ken Crawford said...

See my comments on pac-10 scenarios at my blog. We don't need to beat Stanford, just USC:

http://thecrawfordfamily.net/blog/?p=298

cato said...

test

NUWILDCAT said...

Longshore - 2 Key Interceptions in the waning moments of the game essentially lost the game for The Bears. Horrible decision making and possibly an "unlucky" tip at the end but still - sophomore mistakes abound! Hughes was robbed. Even the commentators agree it was a legit INT.

Cato said...

Problem Saturday vs Arizona was play calling by Tedford. He made several awful calls, But the worst was the FG in the 4th qtr. It makes no sense on 4th and goal on the 4 yd line to kick a FG when you are down by 7. You still have to score a TD later to have a chance, so why not go for the TD immediately? If you make it you don't have to worry about getting in the red zone again. These Bears remind me of the Old Bears = off tackle right, off tackle left, incomplete pass, punt. Will we ever have a coach with the IQ that would be required of a Cal student?

Go Bears said...

While I agree that there was some questionable play calling I am not ready to throw Tedford under the bus. Late in the game you could see Tedford on the sideline imploring Longshore to throw over the top rather than underneath. I think Longshore had his confidence rattled and was not willing to put the ball up and allow the receivers to make a play on the ball.
It was a tough loss and there were a number of things that could have turned that game into a victory. I just hope the team will be inspired next week.

Cato said...

The double plus of going for the TD rather than the FG on 4th down and goal at the 4 yd line (and down by 7 points) is: If you make the TD great, but if you don't still OK because Arizona has to take over on downs at their own 4. Instead, Cal converted the (useless) FG, but then had to kick off and Arizona can (and did) run it back into good field position. I only see bad in kicking the FG at that point.

Anonymous said...

i can't believe this cato cat is turning his back on tedford - tedford is a godsend, longshore was absolutely OFF and lets hope four our sanity that he gets on for the sc game. future people, future!

Pete Morris said...

The field goal was absolutely the correct decision, people. Let's not forget that Cal was in great shape at the end to WIN the game, not simply tie it. Moreover, after the first three plays starting with First and Goal on the one, scoring on fourth down was anything but guaranteed. Remember how Wazzu pissed away any chance of coming back against the Bears this year by not kicking the field goal and stubbornly going for it on 4th down, only to get stuffed by our inspired D?

I admit to second-guessing Tedford's decision to not go for it on fourth down at midfield on the next possession with only five minutes left. The field-position gain from punting was negligible, and there was no guarantee Cal would ever see the ball again. That said, the defense came through, the Bears displayed exquisite clock management, and Nate made a bunch of great, clutch throws to march them down the field. Unfortunately, a tough replay reversal and a nice play on the D-line to tip the ball ended our hopes. It happens.

Believe me, as frustrating as this loss was, it doesn't even make my top (err, bottom) ten. I've seen much, much worse--starting with Tennessee this year and UCLA and Oregon last year. (And don't even get me started about Big Games 1990 and 1991.) The national championship was not on the line in Tucson; there is absolutely no way that Cal would have leapfrogged the SEC champ, the Big 10 runner up, a possible one-loss Notre Dame, and even a possibly undefeated Rutgers, to earn the #2 slot in Glendale.

Beat SC Saturday night, and all is forgotten. Save the national championship dreams for next year; this year, it's all about the Roses.