Sunday, October 14, 2007

Some thoughts (I needed a day to think)

Wow, that was a tough loss. Any loss is tough but because of the way the game ended those negative feels just stay with you longer. It just deflates you to lose like that. I now know how Oregon fans felt two weeks ago.

So what does this mean going forward?
Check out any of the Cal blogs, listed on the right, and there is an overwhelming amount of support for the team. Yes, the loss was tough, but not the end of the world. Particularly in this season of college football, where anything can happen, one loss does not eliminate a team from anything, national championship or Rose Bowl.

What should we be concerned with?
- Pressure on the QB from just the defensive line. What happened to the Alualu we saw for that three game stretch earlier? Where is the emergence of Derrick Hill and Cameron Jordan?
- Pressure from the linebackers. Follett and Williams are great at blitzing. Follett off the edge and Williams timing the snap count up the middle. Why aren't they being sent after the QB more?
- Turnovers!!! Cal came into the game second in the nation in turnover margin. Is this a trend? Probably not but I can guarantee you that Best will learn to protect the ball better.

Is Riley a goat?
- Yes, he made a boneheaded play even though he was trying to make a play and thus he is the goat. No one remembers Bill Buckner's stats the year the BoSox were in the World Series, they just remember the ball rolled through his legs.
- But Riley is a gamer and his temporary mental lapse will be forgotten. The kid throws a great deep ball and seems to have that natural leadership you see in great QB's. When Longshore graduates the team will be in good hands.
- Take heart in the fact that Riley is a redshirt freshman. If, Cal had pulled out that game the message boards probably would have been filled with threads about QB controversy. Overall, Riley had a good game and that is what Cal fans should focus on.

What is left for this season?
- An outside shot at the National Championship. Cal is still in the top ten of the polls and with big games against Arizona St and USC, they can continue to climb up the polls.
- A very good shot at the Rose Bowl. If Cal takes care of business the rest of the season, then they will go to the Rose Bowl.

Lastly, there are 2 ways to look at this game.
1) The defense was finally expose. Cal was overrated. This is the beginning of the decline.
2) Cal played a bad game with a first time starter. The defense was hurt by poor field position but played good. This will refocus a team that was maybe feeling too high.

I am going to go with the second option. This is still a very very good Bear's team that has an explosive offense and a defense that makes stops and comes up with big plays.

Fairviewbears will have a recap of the game once he pulls himself out of the dark place he is currently inhabiting.


Concerned Citizen said...

I sure hope you're right about the defense Danny. How confident are you in your assertions?

Danny said...

I am pretty confident in my assertions. Turnovers that give the opponent a short field are hard for any defense to handle. The biggest concern is getting pressure on the QB but that has been a concern at Cal forever. Maybe when Rulon Davis comes back things will be different.

fairviewbears said...

Just want to add on to what Danny's not unheard of for Cal to get a great pass rush w/ just the D linemen.

During my tenure as a Cal fan, two big examples pop into mind...Andre Carter & Ryan Riddle. Riddle's 04 season is probably the most instructive in that it was a Bob Gregory coached defense (meaning it wasn't a totally different scheme).

I'm not saying that Rulon Davis is going to come back and have the same kind of season Riddle did (19 TFL, 14.5 Sacks), but he was showing some flashes before he went down. Before last week, Alualu was improving each game, & our other young ends have shown flashes of potential. Granted, there's not much time to wait for potential to become reality...but there is enough there to give Bear fans some confidence.

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