Well that was fun! Some post-game thoughts:
- The way the defense performed makes me think good things about the coaching staff. Even on the 1st drive the defense looked reasonably prepared. They would have stopped the drive for a field-goal attempt if it hadn’t been for the phantom facemask penalty. As the game wore on, they got better and better. Every time Air Force made an adjustment, it would work for a short while, but the Bears would adjust and shut it down again.
- As the season has wore on, I’ve been less and less impressed with the receivers. Don’t get me wrong, they’re still reasonably good. It’s more that I used to think they were awesome and now think they’re just good. Powe in particular didn’t impress me early in the game. He just didn’t look like he cared all that much. Maybe these guys are affected by the cold? I dunno. Whatever it is, the number of dropped balls has been disappointing for a supposedly elite group.
- The offensive line looked good today against a smaller defensive group. That last drive to seal the game was something we’ve never seen before from a Dykes team. Air Force knew Cal as going to run the ball to grind out the clock and they couldn’t stop it. Considering the opponent one has to take that performance with a grain of salt, but it’s a step in the right direction.
- Something the announcers picked up on starting in the ASU game and was repeated yesterday was how good Goff is against pressure. I wholeheartedly agree. I think the key to the Cal offense without Goff is whether the new QB can be trained to know his quick pass opportunities when the opponent brings a blitz and has the guts to deliver those passes with the heat bearing down on him. The offensive line doesn’t look to have the talent to take care of blitzing all on its own.
- While we’re on the topic of Goff leaving, put me in the camp of thinking he is more likely to stay than most people think. If you made me bet with even odds, I’d bet on him leaving. But somewhere around 2.5-to-1 I’d consider betting on him staying. Goff loves it at Cal. I think he sees the potential for a better run next year. I’m not sure how close he is to getting his degree by the end of next year, but that could be the deciding factor.
- Back to the game, I still think Mohammad is our most under-appreciated running back. It seems he’s the #2 back right now behind Tre Watson, who I must admit is starting to impress me and I think is the back of the future, but Mohammad deserved the #1 spot yesterday.
- On a more light hearted topic, unless Tony Franklin likes the crazy professor look, I think he should wear hats more often like he did yesterday. He looked darned right respectable. Normally he reminds me of Bill Murray in the movie Kingpin:
Sure, he doesn’t have the comb over, but it just looks worse and worse as the game wears on:
- I was happy with the linebacker play considering how many we were missing yesterday. It makes me feel a lot better about the future of the defense. While I’ve still got my fears about how many guys we’re losing on defense, it seems that the linebacker core of 2016 might be an area they can build around.
- Overall, a reasonably strong performance in a mediocre bowl against a reasonably challenging mid-major opponent. The Bears came to play and were the superior team.