Monday, November 19, 2007

Frustration Part II: Cal vs UDub

Wow, that was even more frustrating to watch. That game put me in a very reflective mood. Here are some things that I miss...

1) I miss being able to stop the run...

Against Cal's run defense:
USC's Chauncey Washington = LenDale White
UW's Louis Rankin = Reggie Bush/Adrian Peterson
If this keeps up, Stanfurd's starting tailback will look like the second coming of Bo Jackson.

2) I miss the days when a QB stat line of 3TDs and 250+ yards was always a win...

Three touchdowns and one pick for a little under 300 yards. Numbers wise that is a solid to great game. Many of the passes were on target and the three TD passes were all right on. The throw to Montgomery was a great touch throw.
But there was still a bit of frustration with the performance. On the pick, Longshore looked like he lost track of the linebacker who was playing underneath. It was not so much the pick as the timing of the pick. It was a huge momentum killer.
Also, the underthrown ball to Jordan was a sure TD. Jordan has at least three steps on the defender and had to actually come back to catch the ball. Of course the result was a field goal.

3) I miss being able to score from within the 5 yard line...

Three TD's were scored from within the 20 yard line and outside the 10 yard line. All on great passes. When Cal got inside the 5, things just went downhill, as has happened in the previous 6 games. While the UDub linebacker made a great play to destroy Forsett in the backfield on second down, it makes it a lot easier to do that when you are no blocked and have a free shot at the RB.
The goal line offense just astounds me now. I don't have the numbers but I would guess that in the past 6 games total yards gained on plays from inside the 5 would be negative. From now on, if Cal gets inside the 5, it should false start on purpose, to move the ball back to the 10.

4) I miss being able to return the ball at least once to start a half...

5) I miss DeSean Jackson (v. 2006)...
Let's hope that DeSean can make it back for the Big Game. There seem to be more and more DeSean haters these days but his presence on the field is better for Cal. Even when he is not catching the ball, he requires constant attention from the defense so it opens things up for the other receivers.

6) I miss Brandon Mebane...
His work rarely showed up in the stat line, but the way he was able to clog up the middle and take on multiple blockers is sorely missed this year. Inexperience and injuries have really hurt the D line. Lets hope that next year things get better.

7) I miss Desmond Bishop...
Though all three of the current LB's are better athletes than Bishop, his nose for the ball is sorely missed. Bishop rarely overpursued and usually made solid tackles.

8) I miss Daymeion Hughes...
I can't remember the last time a Cal DB had an INT. Hughes was a true playmaker who often times shut down half of the field. True, he gambled a lot and sometimes paid for it, but most times he made the right decisions.

9) I miss Marshawn Lynch...
Only because he was fun to watch. Forsett has done a fantastic job of stepping into Lynch's shoes and is really the only Bear playing consistently well.

10) I miss having a competitive Big Game...
For the last decade or so, the Big Game has been one sided. Maybe not always in score, but in the direction both teams were heading. I think more people will be tuned into this year's Big Game simply because no team is heavily favored to win.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

I miss not sucking.

Pete Morris said...

I'm pretty much in agreement, except for your assessment of Desmond Bishop. He was a valued playmaker who is indeed missed this year, but I long had the opposite impression of him: gifted athlete who frequently misread and overpursued plays. Thus, the guys I miss are (in no particular order): Jerrot Willard, David Ortega, and Hardy Nickerson. And while I'm recalling great Cal defenders of the past couple of decades, go ahead and throw in Andre Carter and Deltha O'Neal, too.

Keon said...

My comments: the goal line offense is entirely a play-calling disaster. The problem is that forsett is too small to fight through D-linemen and linebackers for the extra 2 yards. Montgomery or the fullback would be a better choice. The option does not work here because Longshore is not a running threat.

The main cause for the lack of success lately is Tedfords reluctance to go to his backup QB (as was the problem with Ayoob). Tedford is too damn stubborn to realize his QB is not up to the challenge (Ayoob just sucked, and Longshore is hurt). Longshore simply has no footwork anymore. All of his downfield passes lack the zip and/or depth required because he cannot set his feet properly on his bad ankle. Watch for it, you'll see. This simply is unacceptable, it is costing us each and every game. This is the reason for his numerous INTs in our losses-they started right around his injury. Also notable, Longshore has 11 INT in his career in the 4th quarter to 1 TD. Horrible. Choke artist.

Beyond that, Tedford has just shown a lack of an ability to get his players up for these games. I lay much of that responsibility on him, with one caveat. The dropoff for the pac10 is much too high for the caliber of the teams involved. Here's what I mean: If you finish first *(or possibly second some years) in the pac10, you'll likely get a trip to the Rose Bowl (or Championship). Everyone else gets to play a garbage team in a garbage bowl. The bowls that the big east, big 10, and SEC play in are good, all the way down to the 5th game. The 3rd place team in the pac10 will play someone like a texas tech, kansas state, or okla st each year (no big names really) while in the other conferences, growing programs like rutgers and louisville get to play big schools like Georgia, Tennessee, Auburn, etc. There is just nothing to look forward to once you've lost 2 or 3 games. Things have to change

Anonymous said...

Cal was guilty of believing all the hype that began in pre-season. They have been suspect all year. Did anyone really believe that they were the caliber of a #2 in the nation team? Get real.

Look at the bright side......you'll get to live another year. If Cal went to the Rose Bowl, you'd be worrying.....

J said...

"I miss not sucking."

Biggest laugh (only, it hurts when I laugh) all day.

While it lasted, it was cool to not suck. Well, there's always:

Aug. 30 - Michigan State
Sept. 6 - at Washington State
Sept. 13 - at Maryland
Sept. 27 - Colorado State
Oct. 4 - Arizona State
Oct. 11 - Washington
Oct. 18 - at Arizona
Oct. 25 - UCLA
Nov. 1 - Oregon
Nov. 8 - at USC
Nov. 15 - at Oregon State
Nov. 22 - 'furd

Rulon U. Bears said...

I'm looking forward to the Bears spanking the 'Furd so hard they'll WISH they were losing to UC Davis again.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch (you didn't think I would say the Farm, did you?), a great pre-Big Game Top 10 list was posted today. Check it out:
http://sportsbythebay.com/blog/2007/11/30/i-hate-stanford/

GO BEARS!!!

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