In real life, no matter how hard you try, clear cut redemption is a very difficult thing to come by. Thank goodness for sports and home and home contracts. By any measure, last season’s campaign was a great success. Ten wins, co-Pac 10 champions, and a blowout win over Texas A&M in the Holiday Bowl. But nationally, nobody ever gave
This lack of respect and the need to expunge the shame of last season fueled the Golden Bears in Saturday’s season opening win over the #15 ranked Tennessee Volunteers. While the game pretty much unfolded according to most people’s expectations (that the Bears would have too much offensive talent for the Vol’s to keep pace), the 45-31 victory was still as satisfying a win as I’ve ever experienced as a
Full Recap of the Game (for those who didn’t watch, for those who did, skip down to the next section)
Sick of hearing how much more physical
It wasn’t until 10 mins remaining in the first quarter that the Bear offense finally took the field, and the Longshore led Bears didn’t disappoint. With Coach Tedford reclaiming the play calling duties, the offense also demonstrated that they were ready to smack people in the mouth. The first drive featured several strong runs by RB Justin Forsett, and was capped off by a 2 yd QB sneak for a TD.
However, with about 9 minutes remaining in the half, Ainge connected on his longest completion of the day for 43 yards to Lucas Taylor putting
Not to be outdone, the
With momentum shifting almost completely in their favor, the Bears could have put this one away here. However, after DeSean Jackson sprained a thumb and left the game, the Bears seemed to lose some of their momentum.
The third quarter ended with
The Bear Defense forced three incomplete passes, but the Vols drew within seven points after a 41 yard FG.
DeSean Jackson re-entered the game at this point, but the Bears went three and out again giving
If the goal line stand in the 3rd quarter was the most critical defensive possession, this next series proved to be the ultimate turning point in the game. Helped out by a false start penalty and a very conservative play call on third down, the Bear defense forced the Vols to go three and out.
With the game seemingly starting to slip away, the Golden Bears came up huge on this drive. Longshore misfired on first down, but then connected on his next three attempts for gains of 24, 23, and 10 yards respectively. Forsett capped off this impressive drive with a powerful 13 yard touchdown run which sealed the deal for the Golden Bears.
The rest of the game was pretty uneventful.
Thoughts & Comments
The noise level was really very good throughout most of the game as well. I couldn’t tell from the TV broadcast if the free megaphones were being used, but if they were…make sure you guys bring them to every game, and if they weren’t….then even greater job on making noise to support your boys.
I was pretty impressed with how
The one gripe I have about the
On to more positive thoughts…
There were a whole lot of positives to take from this game; even apart from the whole revenge/redemption angle. The offense proved the pre-season hype about its maturity and abundance of depth at the skill positions. Longshore showed the poise and leadership that can only come from experience, DeSean cemented his place as the most electrifying player in the nation, and most importantly, Forsett proved he has what it takes to fill the starter’s role.
While I always liked Forsett, I never fully believed that he could be a big time runner for
The superstar freshman streak continues. Jahvid “the Jet” Best blasted onto the scene in tonight’s game; following in the footsteps of Marshawn Lynch and DeSean Jackson. I remember the days when the only big time freshman
Not really about the offense, but DAMN I love hearing that victory chant. Also not strictly offense related, but the new kickoff rules are going to be playing havoc with teams all year. Teams end up at or near midfield with just one first down...kind of crazy, but maybe benefits teams like Cal...especially against defenses like usc...
Clutch kicking by the backup kicker Jordan Kay.Final thought on the offense…I absolutely love how Tedford recruits, coaches, and utilizes our fullbacks. They always seem to get at least one run and one catch per game, and they almost always cash in on their opportunities. Tonight, Will Ta’ufo’ou (coming back from an injury that was supposed to keep him out of this game) caught a pass, ran for 15 yards, and then knocked the helmet off the Tennessee defender who tried to tackle him. There’s just something great about giving those big guys their chance and seeing them always come through. Great job.
So we all knew that the defense was going to be the big question mark this year, and yes they could’ve done more to make
Syd’Quan Thompson got his own measure of personal revenge by coming up with a couple of big hits and tackles for losses. The linebackers looked real solid, and the loss of Desmond Bishop doesn’t look like it’ll be a big factor this year. The defensive line still wasn’t able to generate much of a pass rush, but they did do a decent job against the run, and DE Rulon Davis definitely looks like the real deal.
While it’s usually offenses that take a few games to get going and gel into a unit, I really believe that this year’s defense will evolve into a very solid team after a few more games. The most important thing to remember is that we have big play ability on defense, and with our offense, the D won’t be called upon to win games for us.
This game represented a lot more than just a chance to get off to a great start for the football team. Don’t underestimate the fact that this game was in prime time, the only matchup of ranked opponents this weekend, and televised nationally. As