Monday, November 12, 2007

Frustration

Man, that game was frustrating. Actually, the last 5 games have been extremely frustrating. It always seems like Cal is just a couple plays away from winning these games.

Here are some thoughts on the USC game:

QB Nate Longshore
- The first interception was the result of a miscommunication. The receiver, Jordan, ran an out, while Longshore threw it in. Based on the coverage, it seemed like Jordan made the right read because the DB and safety were playing inside. But there appeared to be a DB or corner underneath the out route so I am not sure the play would have work either way. But if there are 3 guys covering that receiver, shouldn't someone else be open or in man coverage? Frustrating...
- The fumbled snap is something that happens in rain games. Booty had a couple and Longshore was bound to have one in those conditions. But the timing of Longshore's fumble was a momentum killer. Frustrating...
- The second interception was where the frustration comes in. Jordan was open on the wheel route. If the ball had more loft or arc, that would have been 6 for Cal. Also, it looked like DeSean had a step on the safety on his post route. A very well designed play called at the right time. The execution just was not there. Frustrating...
- Hawkins makes a great catch for a TD, but that was unnecessary if not for an overthrown ball. Frustrating...
- Sideline passes. I can recall four only one of which was completed. The deep ball to DeSean near the end of the half. The other three actually gave the receiver no chance because the ball was thrown out of bounds. Frustrating...
- I am trying be more diplomatic with this analysis, because there is plenty of ranting and raving about Longshore elsewhere. Longshore did make some nice throws at other points in the game and was able to covert some key third downs. We tend to only remember the picks and final stats in a loss, so that is what we dwell on.

The Running Game
- Justin Forsett was the man. He was hitting the hole hard, breaking tackles, spinning left and right. The man could not be stopped. It was great to see him have a huge game after a couple weeks of sub-Forsett performances.
- Big ups to the O-line guys. They opened some big holes for Forsett in the running game and they also kept Longshore upright with the exception of 1 sack (which was on an overloaded blitz on the blindside).
- I have not seen any updates on Jahvid Best's injury. Let's hope that it is not serious and that he is back for the next game.
- The best run by Forsett was when he ran for a first down but the line was called for holding. So on the next play Forsett runs for 20+ yards. The man could not be stopped.

The Wide Receivers
- Overall a solid game. They got open and caught the ball in difficult conditions.
- They are also tough guys. There were a couple passes where they got hung out by high passes and were crushed by USC's safeties. Craig Stevens took a brutal hit and Hawkins also took one over the middle.

The Defense
- Run defense was not very good. Chauncey Washington is not an elite back. Even USC fans will admit to that. He is tough to bring down but there were times when the Cal defense made him look like Marshawn. Frustrating...
- Overall, the defense played well and made plays when needed. DeCoud had a huge hit on Washington to cause the fumble near the goal line.
- Follett played a good game but there were a couple plays when it looked like he was in position to tackle the runner for a loss but he just missed the tackle. Frustrating...
- Booty scrambled for 2 first downs against the Cal D. This is a QB who some say is more immobile than Longshore. Frustrating...

Special Teams
- It looked like USC was willing to kick to DeSean and had excellent coverage on those plays.
- Either Ronald Johnson is going to be the best kick returner in the NCAA next year or Cal needs to shore up the kick off return game a little. He never broke one for a TD but it was mighty close a couple times. Frustrating...

Inside the 5 offense
- Cal was inside the 5 once during the game. And the result was a field goal. The short yardage running plays near the goal line just aren't working. Frustrating...
- First and goal from the 2. Forsett is dropped for a 3 yard loss. Frustrating...
- It was almost a relief (almost) when Cal got pushed back for the false start. Obvious passing situation now and Longshore has been good on the short passes and the receivers are getting open on their breaks. But alas, it was a draw to Forsett. Frustrating...

Final result... Frustrating...

25 comments:

my-cal said...

/sigh ... cal games should be 3 quarters.

On a lighter note, this was a pretty cool performance by the Cal Band:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QNI3W8UB-s

Anonymous said...

Go ahead and drop the diplomacy. Longhore threw a lot of garbage out there, hanging receivers out, missing the sideline passes, misreading routes, overthrowing a couple, flat out missing a couple. This is not a good QB right now. Unfortunately, Tedford is going to stick with him because that's his guy, and the coach is extremely loyal to his QBs. But Aaron Rodgers, he is not. Nor Kyle Boller for that matter.

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