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Archive for October, 2007


I found the problem!… err it is found anyway.

UPDATE at 3:45 PM on October 29th: TwistNHook isn’t going to let me off the hook (snicker, snicker)… see the below corrections in bold.

ARG!?! All this time the problem was under our noses! WeI should have known that the Bears had no hope at the Rose Bowl with it firmly planted on my sidebar schedule on the blog. What was I thinking!?! Thank God TwistNHook found it too late.

All insults and disgust can now be put on me for cursing the Bears. (Including taking additional claims of finding said error.)

(I changed it today… but it was far too late)

Judge amends order: All tree sitters in violation

For those who aren’t in a complete loss-induced stupor, they will remember that in parallel to the BIG court case run by Judge Miller that will determine the fate of the SAHPC, the University also requested of another judge that he grant an order to remove the tree-sitters from the trees. Judge Keller agreed and granted the order but he only did it for the individuals the University could name. Unfortunately for Cal fans, the tree sitters look more like terrorists than citizens and are unwilling to give their real names. As such there was only one person affected by the original order. Unaffected by that setback, the University went back to court and asked that all who are perched in the trees, whether they be named or not, be ordered out.

Today Judge Keller granted that order.

Good news for Bears fans. I suspect it won’t make a difference for the WSU or USC games as the University has shown over and over that they have no interest in setting up a 24-hour survellance of the site to prevent the tree-sitters from re-entering the trees (and as such aren’t going to remove the sitters until the trees are about to come down) and somehow I doubt the tree-sitters are going to come down voluntarily. But this is good news nevertheless.

Questions/reasons for optimism

OK, I guess this is going to have to be a feature after every loss… reasons to hope:

  1. Let’s not forget that ASU is a pretty good team. I think that all other things aside, like a 3-game losing streak and the Rose Bowl, Cal fans wouldn’t be as distraught about this game as they currently are.
  2. I think we need to remember just how injured Longshore is. I think that once he gets back on his feet he’ll get back most of his game. Yeah we can question the decisions the coaching staff has made to start who they have when they have, but hindsight is 20/20 and it doesn’t change the fact that the coaching staff can make the right decisions in the coming weeks.
  3. I know I’ve said this after every loss but this is still one talented team and one that could beat every team left on the schedule. Yes the morale will have to improve and yes the execution will have to improve, but I think this team is still capable of greatness. Yes the bowl game will suck being at least the Sun Bowl or lower, but 10 wins is 10 wins and will still look good for recruiting. Finishing strong makes a big difference.
  4. Cal has WSU at home this Saturday. If there was ever a team Cal needed on the schedule, it’s this WSU team. They’re no good at all. Don’t take anything from their beating UCLA. All that proves is that UCLA is every bit as bad as we thought and that loss is every bit as disgraceful as we hate to know.
  5. How great would it be to beat USC this year? It’s almost all the better that Cal has 3 losses. That will make it all the more disasterous to the most arrogant fans in college football. If you doubt it, look deep inside. You know in your heart of hearts that Cal has the talent to beat USC if you watched the Oregon vs. USC game.

Let’s not forget to cheer the Bears on Saturday.

ASU Game review

Here are my thoughts after re-watching the game:

  • Interesting to hear that Tedford deferred on the initial kickoff. That’s going back to a pre-30 yard line kickoff mindset. Perhaps he’s been unconvinced the extra free yardage has changed things that much.
  • I remember thinking after the first play (a false start by ASU) that “yup, same old ASU, not up for the big game.”
  • And re-iterated that thought after the sack on 3rd down and the 3 and out (making Tedford look smart for deferring).
  • Longshore’s first pass was an over-throw… a sign of things to come.
  • After making an easy swing pass, Longshore’s next throw?… a big miss deep where perhaps it was a miscommunication between Jordan and Longshore over the middle.
  • And on the back of those two bad throws, Cal had to try 2 consecutive 3rd downs… always bad.
  • And it doesn’t help that a false start backed up that 2nd 3rd down from 3rd and 6 to 3rd and 11.
  • And those 5 yards were huge as it completely changes the plays that’ll work. The pass to DeSean may have had a hope on 3rd and 6.
  • And then the field goal block, which was Kay’s fault… he didn’t get any air under it.
  • So what do we have… we have a team that comes out of the gates a little slow and although got fairly deep in ASU territory is stalled by Longshore being off and a false start penalty.
  • And then Cal gets a free gift… a fumble for a touchdown. Tell me this didn’t feel like the same old ASU at this point? But remember this later, every time Cal is up by (pick your score) that it’s really 7 points less if you’re just comparing offense to offense.
  • The first play after the TD was a perfect example of how the worn down defense killed the Bears later. On that play, Herring nearly slipped the tackle of DeCoud, but DeCoud managed to hold on long enough and slow him enough that the rest of the defense was able to pursue to the ball and keep it to a short gain. Later in the game, that first tackle didn’t have any holding on and Herring was gone.
  • And after a weak run and another Carpenter mis-fire, another 3 and out from the pseudo-2006 ASU offense.
  • Now to give Longshore credit, his next throw, a 44 yard pass to DeSean was right on the money… to keep the critical aspect though, that was a marginal receiver to throw to. DeSean was pretty well covered and it was somewhat lucky (or based on DeSean’s talent, depending on how you look at it) that DeSean was able to go up and get that one.
  • But yet again the drive stalls. This time yet another poorly thrown ball where DeSean was perfectly positioned between the corner and the safety (corner-2 coverage) on 1st down, a weak run out of the shotgun and an out pattern that was thrown well but Jordan didn’t handle well and bounced off his fingers. So not all Longshore’s fault, but he missed a near TD again. Luckily Kay makes the field goal to prevent complete futility. This drive should have been for a TD though.
  • ASU goes three and out again on the back of a 1st down holding call, two mediocre runs (considering the down and distance) and Zack Follet getting pressure on the edge and forcing a bad throw while hanging on Carpenter’s hip… tell me again that this isn’t the pseudo-2006 ASU team?
  • And Cal quickly marches down the field on the backs of Forsett (including a quick pass from Longshore) and Stevens… in fact both were quick passes. So far Longshore’s only pass with any touch was the long bomb to DeSean. BUT… they can’t punch it in with 1st and goal from the 6 on a stuffed run up the middle on 1st down, a throw away on Longshore’s rollout where DeSean was covered, and a busted up slant on 3rd down to DeSean again… a pretty ineffective set of 3 plays. None of them had a hope.
  • So to recap, with 1 minute left in the 1st quarter we’ve had 4 ASU drives all 3 and out or worse (two and fumble for a TD) and Cal got the ball inside the 30 on all three of their drives and came away with 6 points on 3 field goal attempts. That’s just not acceptable against a good team. You’ve got to put them away early when given a chance like that.
  • Because what happens after that? Dennis Erickson knows how to get his players back on the right track, unlike his predicessor. Carpenter’s passes all of sudden got on track (including a dropped ball in the endzone on the second set of downs). After a handful of good Carpenter passes, a tough face-mask penalty and a horrible run-stopping play later, ASU has erased their spotted 7 points on the fumble and are only down the measley 6 points the Cal offense could muster in the quarter.
  • That was the turning point for the ASU offense getting back on track. They spotted Cal a quarter of bad offense and a fumble for a TD, but after that, they were back on track.
  • Cal did their 2nd reverse of the day on their next drive and just like the first, although it got 4 yards, those just aren’t the big gainers they used to be.
  • Cal marched it down into the redzone yet again… all the way down to a 1st and goal from the 7. Yes, Cal finally punched this one in on a VERY close to being out of bounds pass to DeSean, a pass interference call on DeSean backed them up to 1st and goal from the 22… that’s not going to work most of the time. Cal got lucky on that one.
  • Ah man, I completely forgot about this next play, the first 3rd down of ASU’s next drive. DeCoud was blitzing and got offsides, but the resulting play was a tipped interception (that of course didn’t count). So instead of Cal ball in ASU territory, a 3rd and 6 turns into a easily converted 3rd and 1. At first I didn’t hold that against DeCoud, I figured he’s just trying to make a play. But considering how much of this happened including a pass interference call against Syd’Quan two plays later, all of these penalties were inexcusable. What a missed opportunity that play was.
  • This is the same drive where ASU went for it twice on 4th and 1… not sure one can hold that against Cal, 4th and 1 really is a down the offense should convert most of the time, but it shows just how close the Bears were to stiffling ASU yet again, particularly when joined with the penalty undone interception. Looking at it from ASU’s perspective, this was a time to be really agressive. Down 7-20, already on Cal’s side of the field, why not be aggressive?
  • Now the 2nd 4th and 1, that was ridiculously horrible with 12 men on the field. How ridiculous is that coming out of a timeout? Again, penalties kill Cal and of course ASU is able to punch it in. ASU within 6 yet again despite Carpenter being only 3 of 8 and ASU only having about 80 total yards of offense compared to the Bears with over 200 yards of offense and actually scoring fewer points with the 7 the defense handed the offense.
  • ANOTHER big miss by Longshore. This time to Jordon. How great would it have been to have one last drive by Cal to go up 27-14? Nope, instead Longshore starts missing everyone. The third down play after a timeout didn’t have a chance, Longshore throwing a ball that DeSean didn’t have a chance at both because it was over-thrown and because he was doubled covered (and well double covered at that).
  • But the defense holds (or should I say that Carpenter missed some passes again… still reason to believe that this is the same old pseudo-2006 ASU at this point) and gives Cal another chance with a minute and a half left.
  • For any lurking ASU fans who want to complain about the refs on the fumbled punt return by DeSean at the end of the 1st half, the refs made the right call and it’s more important than you think that the back judge waved his arms and assumably blew his whistle. A bunch of Cal players were in the area and stopped pursuing the ball, unlike the ASU players. A big part of that was because the ref called it dead. That’s why it’s important that he called it dead. No one knows who would have recovered had he not called it dead.
  • But what does the offense do? They blow that opportunity too with a false start, two overthrown balls by Longshore, a holding penalty, a weak inside run play on 2nd and 20, (and then a timeout? for 3rd and 16 with 36 seconds left?) and then a fairly good out pattern for 15 yards (aka 1 yard too short). And then a punt… which is a risky play. Why call the timeout in that instance?… In any case, it was a really weak effort by the Bears and netted zero points.
  • So I don’t know about everyone else but at this point I had a huge mixture of optimism and fear. Fear because I saw how close the score was and thought that if ASU could play a more balanced 2nd half, the Bears would be in trouble but also optimistic because there was reason to hope that both the Bears offense and defense could be effective in the 2nd half.
  • But this is the difference in ASU with Erickson at the helm. He was able to get his team motivated at halftime and was able to make the adjustments needed.
  • And what does Cal do? The get one first down and then Longshore throws two passes off the mark so they have to punt away, blowing their halftime possession advantage.
  • While ASU comes out and scores on their first possession. And they’ve got the gusto to go for it on 4th and 1 again inside the redzone. This one again is disgusting because he was hit behind the line of scrimmage and two Bears had a shot at him including Follet who should have nailed him but went head down too early and completely missed Herring. WRAP HIM UP!?!
  • To Cal’s credit, they respond on their next drive with a number of 1st downs when they get the most bogus ref penalty call of the whole day. He was off the line by a good 2 yards. Ridiculous nitpicking by the refs. Everything crumbled on the drive from there (and the foul undid a first down). A false start put the Bears back at 2nd and 15 and then Longshore underthrew Hawkins, setting up 3rd and 15 where Longshore WAY overthrew it. This is, in my opinion, where Longshore fell apart and I’m not sure why it was this moment.
  • One thing that was disappointing with the Bear defense was there inability to keep ASU backed up in their endzone. Twice ASU had to start a drive around their 5 yard line and twice Cal gave up a mid-depth pass play on 1st down completely undoing the field position advantage.
  • I think Cal was playing Worrell Williams WAY too deep as the middle linebacker throughout this game. There were a number of times I saw him 20 yards deep. They almost played him like a 3rd safety at times. When the ASU passing game finally got working, it was because there was a HUGE underneath range to throw into and there were lots of yards to get after the catch because Williams was nowhere to be found.
  • There were really only 3 drives in the 3rd quarter. Cal got the ball back with 1:08 left in the 3rd after the field goal by ASU.
  • You can tell at this point that Tedford and Longshore were butting heads. They were at each other as the 3rd quarter ended.
  • And then Longshore throws the WAY WAY WAY WAY under thrown interception where if he’d got it out there DeSean would have had a free TD. That was a horrible turning point of the game. I think Longshore doesn’t respond well to critcism from Tedford. It seems his effort/heart level drops after those head-butting moments with Tedford.
  • After the interception, a series that put the Cal defense back on the field very quickly, the defense looked tired for the first time. An offense just HAS to give the defense more time than that. Those INTs are horrible for defensive rest time.
  • Luckily for the Bears, the double pass by Carpenter and the associated penalty killed the drive.
  • On the next drive, another reverse that doesn’t work for Cal.
  • On the very next play, Longshore throws his second pick in two possessions… and leaves the field limping
  • And the defense looks REALLY tired after only getting 4 plays off.
  • And ASU takes advantage marching the ball easily into the endzone and to add injury to insult, Cal lost Rulon Davis who was a primary reason the Bears were stopping the run as well as they were.
  • ASU had 4 trips into the redzone and scored a TD on all 4… that and Longshore’s poorly throw balls (including the turnovers) were the difference.
  • Upon more reflection, I think Tedford made the wrong decision to leave Longshore in there. It wasn’t about creating a QB controversy or having lack of faith in Longshore. It was all about Longshore limping off the field. He was injured. He clearly had trouble throwing the ball. He was more injured than he was letting on. That’s when it is time to put in the backup.
  • And what happens? Longshore throws two errant passes on another 3 and out.
  • Cal would never get the ball again as ASU ground out the game on the ground against a defense that never got a sustained drive to give them a chance to rest.

And that’s all she wrote. Looking back over the post, I counted 13 errant passes by Longshore. Let me repeat that: THIRTEEN!!!! I think it’s acceptable for a QB to have up to 5 bad throws a game, but there is no way Longshore should be throwing 13 obviously poorly thrown balls on 36 attempts. That’s more than one out of every 3.

While I was very down on Longshore’s heart in my podcast, I think upon further review while there was some lack of heart, I think more and more that it was the injury. This entire season turned on the fateful play in Oregon. I mean Cal was up 7 and had the ball in Oregon with little enough time on the clock that a solid drive with even a field-goal could put the game away. Instead the Bears had to rely on the defense holding Oregon scoreless, which as we all know, they BARELY accomplished. Ever since then, the Bear offense has been off the mark. In the first game against OSU, it took Riley a half to get rolling and Tedford had him on a short leash. In the second game, Longshore was clearly injured and Tedford had him on a short leash. In the third game Tedford let off on the leash and Longshore couldn’t perform. I’m thinking this injury has been causing all kinds of problems and no one is willing to admit it.

So my heart is still broken and I don’t have much more to say. We’re all searching for answers and I don’t think there is just one answer that explains everything. All I know is that this season had so much hope and this team is so talented and it just hasn’t happened.

How sad is that?

ASU Podcast

The ASU podcast is posted on the podcast page. Go over and hear me in my distressed state on Saturday night.

Post ASU blogging plan

OK, I needed a day just to de-stress and de-disgust myself. Starting today I’ll do my usual post-game blogging. The podcast was recorded after the game on Saturday and I just need to convert and crop it and the such. It should be up later today. I’ll do a game review/recap this evening. Finally, expect a “all the questions that have gone through my mind” post about reasons I’ve thought may be the underlying cause of the 3 game skid.

After that, on to WSU.

Cal-ASU formerly live blog

7:14 PM: Phil will be joining me for today’s action. Phil: “I feel like this game could have started long ago.” No kidding. What’s the delay here? I’m sleepy already.

7:18 PM: Phil: “Well, one less fraudulent team at the top of the Pac-10 standings. Let’s make it two.”

7:18 PM: Get that guy! Three and out on a sack by Rulon Davis.

7:21 PM: I have to say, getting it to Jahvid Best with space to run is generally gonna work out. Roll on you Bears.

7:23 PM: Jordan makes something out of nothing when a screen collapses to the inside by turning outside.

7:24 PM: Justin Tryon, poor sport (see last year’s punt coverage) stops Jackson short of the first down. At least Jackson wasn’t defenseless this time. And they block Jordan Kay’s kick. Of course.

7:29 PM: Cameron Jordan recovers a fumble by Rudy Carpenter — batted out of his hands! — and runs it back for a Bears touchdown! Cal 7, ASU 0.

7:35 PM: Ah, good old enemy QB inaccuracy — our best defensive weapon. ASU must punt.

7:38 PM: Nice first-down pass to Jackson for a long gain on first down. And on the next play a flag is down. Why, it’s a personal foul face mask on Justin Tryon! What a surprise.

7:42 PM: Third down pass right off the hands of Jordan. Should’ve caught it. Now Jordan Kay has to make another fearful appearance. 41-yard kick not blocked, up, and good! Cal 10, ASU 0.

7:44 PM: Well, if you’re going to do a medical cutaway from the sideline reporter, do it now: first quarter. Not like last week, when during the UCLA game they brought out the skeleton on a third down late in the fourth quarter. Advantage FSN. Of course, we missed a holding penalty that makes it first down and 20. Disadvantage FSN. Still, your HD signal is oh so pretty. But I think your sideline reporter is not a trained medical professional.

7:46 PM: Phil: “Now tell me how MRIs work, sideline reporter. What’s the pancreas do? Is this growth on my arm something I should get checked out?”

7:48 PM: ASU forced to punt again, having done zero on offense today thus far.

7:49 PM: Phil: “Every time they cut to Dennis Erickson on the sideline, I expect to see him sipping a martini. I don’t know why I feel that way.”

7:51 PM: Big gain by Forsett on a third-down pass, ASU was offsides on the play — that’s the kind of free play we like to see. First down Bears! Nobody covered Forsett out of the backfield. Phil: “Coach Erickson slams down his martini. ‘Now look what you kids made me do!'”

7:52 PM: Nice gain by Stevens over the middle, with a Sun Devil riding on his back like he was being bucked by a bronco.

7:54 PM: Fourth and goal after a run and two incompletions, and it’s Field Goal time. Lots of missed opportunities early, and you hope they don’t come back to bite the Bears. Four trips deep into ASU territory and all we’ve got to show for it is this: Cal 13, ASU 0.

7:56 PM: First down ASU, and the first completion by Carpenter. The defense has really shut them out for almost the entire first quarter. Although they wouldn’t have shut them out in any sort of way if Jones hadn’t just dropped that deep ball in the end zone. A touchdown taken away by Cal’s very best defensive player, Sir Isaac Newton.

7:59 PM: End of First Quarter. ASU on its first good drive of the game. But it’s Cal 13, ASU 0.

8:04 PM: Touchdown Sun Devils. Nance strolls into the end zone. Cal 13, ASU 7.

8:09 PM: Nice run to the left off tackle by Forsett. Next play? Forsett into the line. That one hasn’t been working so well lately. But it’s enough for a first down.

8:13 PM: Total yardage: 183 for Cal, 47 for ASU. And yet it’s a six-point game. That’s not good.

8:14 PM: Fantastic catch by Jordan inside the 20 on 3rd and long. He stretches out his arms and snags a pass that no defender could have caught. Jordan comes out and might have aggravated his shoulder injury.

8:15 PM: Nice variety on the playcalling. End around, reverse, run off tackle, sweep pitch wide… I like it. First and goal, Bears.

8:16 PM: Longshore to Hawkins, he gets to the end zone for an apparent TD — but there’s a flag down and it’s going to be pass interference on DeSean Jackson for setting a pick in the end zone. Ouch.

8:20 PM: Longshore to Jackson, another apparent touchdown, but he may have not gotten his feet down. However, Fox’s camera angles suck and in the one angle where you see his feet, it’s impossible to tell. Warren Moon, however, lives by a higher standard, and feels that it wasn’t a TD because of some mysterious divination. Warren is wrong. Touchdown, Bears! Cal 20, ASU 7.

8:29 PM: Carpenter hit on the blitz by DeCoud, ball up in the air, picked off by Bandon Hampton. But DeCoud was offside. Well, that’s one way to pressure the QB — jump offside.

8:31 PM: Another penalty, this time PI on Syd’Quan Thompson. ASU back into Cal territory.

8:33 PM: At the risk of watching ASU score instantly, let me say I think this is the best I’ve seen Cal’s defense play all year.

8:35 PM: ASU goes for it on fourth down and gets it, but it’s nullified because ASU called timeout. Phil: “‘I wasn’t calling a timeout — I was signaling for more vermouth!'” And they get it anyway.

8:37 PM: Great hit by Hicks to stop an ASU receiver and force 4th and 1 inside the 10.

8:40 PM: ASU doesn’t have to go for it. Out of a timeout, Cal has 12 menu on the field. Free first and goal! Way to go.

8:41 PM: Phil: “So when Tedford said they concentrated on the little things this week, counting to 12 wasn’t one of them.”

8:41 PM: Nance in for the Sun Devils Touchdown. Cal 20, ASU 14. I will not praise the defense again. I will not praise the defense again. I will not praise the defense again. I will not praise the defense again.

8:47 PM: Cal goes three and out and the Sun Devils will have a chance to go ahead going into halftime. Is it me or has every single Cal game this year been a struggle? They just can’t put it together. It’s really disspiriting.

8:55 PM: On a punt, Jackson is hit as he’s catching the ball. Then he lands on the ball and the ref signals timeout. Then the ball gets kicked out and ASU recovers inside the 10. And yet the “ruling on the field” is that it was recovered by ASU? Oh my god. What a terrible, terrible bit of officiating.

8:56 PM: The reverse angle shows clearly that Jackson’s knee is down before he loses the ball. Clearly. And how is the ruling on the field that the play continued after the back judge blew the ball dead? You’ve got to be kidding me. What a sham.

9:00 PM: “The ruling on the field is that there was an inadvertent signal.” I assume this means that the whistle blew so it’s a dead ball. Wow, Dennis Erickson is mad. Ken, avert your eyes from Dennis Erickson’s lips.

9:04 PM: This is why the refs sprint off the field at the end of the game and are immediately whisked from the stadium in an unmarked van by police escort.

9:10 PM: Oh please take a knee. I really need for it to be halftime. Thank you! Halftime. Cal 20, ASU 14.

9:32 PM: And we’re back from the half. I had a peanut butter sandwich, thanks for asking.

9:34 PM: Jordan catches the ball and gives Tryon the old stiff arm to the face as he goes out of bounds. The crowd is very angry, and I understand why — but that’s legal, folks.

9:36 PM: The drive stalls across the 50 and it’s punt time already. ASU must start inside their own 10.

9:39 PM: “Call the holding!” shouts someone picked up by a crowd microphone. We agree, sir. It’s interesting, Cal seems to be pressuring the QB a bit more often than in past weeks.

9:42 PM: Guess ASU has decided to throw the ball this half. Wow. Goodbye, lead.

9:44 PM: They had Nance behind the line on 4th and 1, stopped him, and he bounced off and ran it in for the Touchdown. ASU 21, Cal 20.

9:51 PM: Nice passes and a couple of nice runs on this drive for Cal. Great comeback catch by Jordan to get near the first-down marker.

9:56 PM: This officiating crew is embarrassing. Not that they’re making calls that favor ASU, but that they’re whistling everything, they’re visibly confused… bad times.

9:58 PM: And thanks to the penalties this once-promising drive comes down to a 3rd and 15. Deep ball, way overthrown. Failure.

10:02 PM: Now Carpenter’s hitting everything. This is going to get really ugly really fast. Cal’s secondary is being picked apart.

10:05 PM: If you’re going to rush the QB, don’t let them complete passes for 30 yards at a shot. Nance is wide open out of the backfield for a huge gain.

10:07 PM: Cal’s defense stops a running back for a 7-yard loss, and on the very next play Carpenter hits a wide-open receiver for a 20-yard game. Carpenter can fire at will right now. This sure doesn’t feel like a one-point game with a quarter and 2:30 to go. This feels like an ASU blow-out. Cal has lost control completely, and they need to reassert themselves rapidly or this one will be over.

10:10 PM: 47-yard ASU field goal good. ASU 24, Cal 20.

10:14 PM: End of third quarter. ASU has scored 17 unanswered points.

10:17 PM: Jackson blows past Tryon, open for the TD, and Longshore (who has been overthrowing people all night) underthrows the pass, giving the ball to Tryon on the interception. Jackson waves his arms in frustration rather than trying to knock the ball away or tackle Tryon right away. Doom.

10:19 PM: Cal has given up on this game, I think. Mail in the third consecutive loss. It’s over. They won the first half but failed to take advantage of it, and now ASU is blowing them away. I wonder if Cal will even be good enough for the Emerald Bowl this year.

10:30 PM: Longshore intercepted again. How does 5-3 feel like, everyone?

10:32 PM: Many different Herring runs.

10:33 PM: Another third down conversion by Carpenter. Those pass rushes don’t help if you get to the QB a second too late and he’s already tossed it downfield for a completion. Horrendous defense.

10:35 PM: Third down again. Time for Carpenter to toss a first-down pass or a touchdown pass. Rulon Davis is down, now, in his first game back… not good.

10:37 PM: There’s the Carpenter TD I just told you would happen. ASU 31, Cal 20.

10:38 PM: Cal hasn’t scored a point in the second half. ASU has sscored 24 unanswered points. I’m headed to the Carribean on Friday. My apologies to those of you who have to watch the rest of this season.

10:45 PM: Like the saying goes, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Good night.

Live-Podcasting is a go

OK, I’m going to give this a try. We’ll see how it goes. I did a test run today for the Boise St. vs. Fresno St. game and technologically speaking it went well. I’m going to have to improve my play-by-play announcing but I think I got into a rythym by the end. I’m hopeful that when I know the players it’ll go a lot better.

In any case, here’s how it’ll work. For those who just want to listen, click on the below object (on the play button once the broadcast has started):

UPDATE: Show has been cancelled due to technical difficulties.

You’ll be able to listen to it from there. For those who want to call in during the comercials, you have two options. You can call a long-distance phone number (724-444-7444) and then when prompted enter the show code (64411). It’ll then ask you for a pin which you’ll have if you’ve registered with TalkShoe (it’ll make it easier for me to recognize you if you call in if you do) or you can bypass that and come in anonymously. The other option is to download the TalkShoe software and use a headset hooked up to your computer to connect in. Either way is fine by me.

Arizona State preview

After last weeks performance against UCLA I’m feeling a little gun-shy. I mean, with the OSU game I predicted a victory, heck even a big victory, but I did have the appropriate caveats in there to not feel horrible about the end result. I also did that preview with the assumption that Longshore was back and healthy. As a result, I felt pretty comfortable with the mis-call. Last week however, I couldn’t have been more wrong:

The lone area of risk for the Bears is whether their running game can get the job done against the supposedly stout UCLA run defense. While I’m not as confident about this as I am about the above topics, I’m still not worried much about it. I’ve been through too many “this run defense is going to be tough” games where Forsett put up his usually terrific numbers to be concerned about it. Forsett is on track for a 1500 yard season plus whatever he could do in a bowl game. Forsett had 60 yards on 11 carries last year in relief of Lynch in the UCLA game, against what is basically the same defensive personel.

So call me Mr. Confident: 35-13 (revised up Cal offensive score from 24-13 beginning of season prediction)

Can I say “OUCH” one more time?

So what are we to make of the Bears? Are they just a team and a coaching staff that’s been out of sync for two games because of quarterback issues? I mean, it seems to me that Tedford’s play-calling issues could easily be attributed to him trying to game plan around Longshore’s injury. Also, Longshore hadn’t taken many snaps in practice in the last 3 weeks, perhaps that affected things as well. Whatever the case, there is an argument that could be made that once everyone is back to full strength the players and coaches will get back to their winning ways.

Or will they?

Perhaps Oregon laid an egg against a mediocre Cal team. I mean, they laid an egg against Cal the preceeding season. Maybe the difference was that a laid egg made the game close instead of a blowout in Oregon’s favor. Outside of Oregon, there’s not much on the Cal resume that is all that impressive. Tennessee is the lone candidate for impressive, but they’re not ranked anymore and have lost to just about everyone besides Georgia that is any good. The other teams on Cal’s schedule have been really stinking it up.

So I don’t know what to think. It seems to me that this offense should be every bit as good as last year. They’ve got too many weapons and too many of the same players, a couple of linemen being the exception, not to be. So it seems to me that they’ve got the potential to be as great as everyone has assumed they were before the last two losses. However, people had forgotten just how young and inexperienced our defense is. When you lose Mebane, Bishop and Hughes, it’s going to make a dent. Let’s not forget that all three of our linebackers, despite being very talented, are still first year starters. 3 of our defensive linemen are also new to the starting lineup and a couple are even new to significant playing time as well.

So it seems to me that this year’s team can only be counted on to score consistently, not shut them down defensively. If their is a hitch in the offense, like losing your quarterback, the team is very vulnerable. My perspective is that I think/hope the offense will get back on track tomorrow and the bend but don’t break defense will do well enough to give our offense plenty of opportunities to win, even win handily.

My prediction: 31-17 Bears… and I hope the Bears don’t make me look foolish.

Rivals ASU preview

My preview article for the Arizona State game is up at Rivals: Crunching the Numbers: Cal vs. ASU.

This one looks to be subscription free as well.

Going beyond live blogging on game day?

Jason has been doing a great job with the live-blogging on game day (for the away games, we’re all in the stands for home games) and he has seemlessly integrated my comments when I’ve participated. There’s a good chance we’ll stick with that plan moving forward, both because what I’m proposing may not interest people and because Jason may decide to continue doing that even if my proposal flies. (I haven’t discussed this with him yet.)

But I’m mulling over the idea of doing something different. After going on The BruinShow last week I was intrigued about doing something similar. My thought was that a midweek show would be pretty difficult and would require coordination beyond what I’m up for this season. However, I’ve also had a tick in the back of my mind that I might have a talent for being a radio announcer despite the fact that I don’t necessarily have a good radio voice (although I do have a radio face if you know what that is :) ).

So here’s what I’m proposing:

I’ll open up a Live-Podcast session like TalkShoe or NowLive about a half-hour before gametime on Saturday for people to listen to on their computers. I’ll call the game, perhaps with Jason or Phil or my brother or one of the guys at California Golden blogs as a co-host (for those listed, let me know if you’d be interested) but have a feature that Starkey can’t give you: comericial breaks and halftime will be a call-in show (and perhaps there will be moments to take calls during the game depending on how things play out). With services like TalkShoe or NowLive you can either make a phone call to get on the system or connect from your computer with a headset.

There are a few things I’m worried about (beyond that I may suck at announcing):

  • I’ll be new to using services like TalkShoe or NowLive so may have technical difficulties
  • I’m not sure if I can “mute” those calling in so that I can have an orderly call-in show
  • I’m sure that I’ll be coming through to you delayed by at least 10 seconds

For those with a DVR, the last one should be no big deal because you can just watch the game a little bit delayed so that I’m synced up with the game.

In any case, before I invested a bunch of time on this, I wanted to see what the interest might be in this. Would anyone listen and/or participate?

The other side of past turnovers

Ragnarok over at The California Golden blogs has a good post about turnovers and winning percentage. Everything he says, minus a portion of his conclusion, is dead on accurate. There’s no better way to lose a game than turning of the ball and no better way to win a game that protecting it well. But Ragnarok makes a conclusion from it that I wouldn’t (the part in bold):

Still, despite the last two games, Cal still leads the Pac-10 with 18 turnovers recovered and a +7 turnover margin, and their 11 turnovers given up is tied for the fewest in the conference with Oregon, Arizona State, and Stanford. (Really? Stanford leads the conference in something?) This should give us hope going forward that Cal remains a team that is both able to take care of the ball on offense and create takeaways on defense. If this is indeed the case, I like the Bears chances to win Pac-10 games down the stretch (especially against USC, which has coughed up the ball 17 times this season and has a -4 turnover margin).

To be clear about what I’m saying, I completely agree that I think Cal has a big upside in that it has a history of taking care of the football and if they can get back to that trend, the Bears have a great shot at absolutely dominanting the majority of their remaining games. What I don’t agree about is that USC is vulnerable because of their past bad turnover performance.

While I completely understand his perspective, the way I see it, the teams with a high turnover ratio are the ones to fear, not the ones to be confident about. In my view of the world turnovers are mistakes more than 90% of the time, instead of being induced by good defenses (although there is no doubt that the best defenses find a way to force them) or even overall weakness of the team making the mistakes. Mistakes can be corrected much easier than an undersized offensive line or poor conditioning. Running backs can be taught to better hold onto the ball. Quarterbacks can be taught to avoid bad throwing situations. It’s much harder to tell a player to “run faster!” As such, a team that has losses because of turnovers is a team that if they clean up their act may have the potential to be VERY strong.

As evidence of this I present to you a quote from my Rivals Oregon State preview:

The other meaningful statistic is the 3.8 turnovers per game the Beavers are giving up. Of course this statistic is a bad one for Oregon State fans, but it should also be a warning to Bears fans that Oregon State could be playing a lot better football without the mistakes. In Oregon State’s other blowout loss outside of UCLA, a non-conference romp by Cincinnati, Oregon State turned the ball over 9 times including 6 interceptions, a fumble and two special teams mistakes including a blocked punt for a touchdown.

There is no question that Oregon State will be unable to win this game if they continue to make mistakes like they did against Cincinnati. However, if they can reduce those mistakes, something that can be more easily fixed in practice than an undersized offensive line or a slow set of defensive backs, the Beavers might just have a shot at upsetting the Bears.

We all know how that turned out…

So for me, when I see that ASU hasn’t turned the ball over much and is winning their games that says to me that they’re more vulnerable than their final results indicate… they’re a few mistakes away from some big upsets but when USC has a horrible turnover ratio it says to me that this a VERY dangerous team if they can get their act together. Said another way, USC is a couple of turnovers away from being undefeated and #1 in the country. That makes me really nervous come November 10th.

UCLA analysis article posted at Rivals

My UCLA analysis article has been posted at cal.rivals.com: Running in to the Ground.

The article does not require a subscription.

UCLA debacle 5 of 5: Reasons to hope

As much as we’re all sick about this game, in the end, I’ve got to return to being optimistic. I see two angles for optimism… #1: The Rose Bowl is not dead… yet. #2: Tedford always strives to improve and is very perceptive.

Let’s take them one at a time…

#1 The Rose Bowl is not dead… yet

It really bugs me how negative the press was about the Bears chances. The Bears aren’t even close to dead if they win out. Now, of course what is really bothersome is that it doesn’t look like Cal has it in them to win out, but leaving that aside for the moment (and remembering just how much talent there is on this team) Cal is very much still in the hunt. Here’s what needs to happen assuming Cal wins out:

  • Oregon must lose 1 (still have ASU, UCLA, OSU and USC on their schedule)… tell me it’s unlikely they’ll lose at least one of those?
  • ASU must lose 1 beyond their loss to Cal (still have Oregon, UCLA and USC on their schedule)… this is the most untested team in the Pac.
  • UCLA must lose 3 (still have ASU, Oregon and USC as well as WSU and Arizona on their schedule)… and this is one weak team in my opinion.
  • OSU must lose 1 (still have Oregon and USC as well as WSU and Washington on their schedule)… I just can’t see them winning out.

That’s it!

Yeah, it’s not exactly a lock, particularly considering that the prerequisite is Cal wining out. But let’s not start carving the tombstone just yet. I fully expect both UCLA and ASU to fall apart down the stretch because their schedules are VERY back-loaded. The biggest risk in my opinion is Oregon and I’m pretty hopeful that either USC or OSU (remember, rivalry game) will help Cal out.

But let’s assume it doesn’t happen for the Bears, which is a reasonable assumption. That still leaves the 2nd reason to hold out a longer term hope.

#2 Tedford always strives to improve

I still have a lot of hope for Tedford’s Bears even as soon as 2008, although 2009/10 is looking really strong at this point with the recruits who are just coming in. What has always impressed me about Tedford is his ability to learn. He’s not a natural at just about anything, and I mean that as a compliment. He wasn’t a natural at QB… but he managed to lead Fresno State and Canadian football teams with authority. He isn’t a natural coach… but he managed to work his way up and find a way to relate to his players. He’s not a natural recruiter… but he’s learned that too.

How has he managed that? He’s managed it by being willing to learn. Tedford’s greatest asset is his perceptiveness and his ability to learn. Why do you think it is that so much of what Cal does today echo’s the best of what Oregon has been doing for the last decade? It’s because Tedford was there to learn and to see what was successful about their program. He’s got no pride/super-ego and is willing to take whatever works and put it to use for him.

I bring this up because the position the Bears are in right now is something entirely new to Tedford. Just like going to Tennessee last season to open the season was a new experience for him, and he completely missed the boat as the best way to prepare for a matchup like that, being a top-rated team with a bulls-eye on his back is new for Tedford too. I don’t think Tedford knows how to lead a team that knows they’re considered one of the best in the country. I don’t think Tedford knows how to play-call against teams that come in with a nothing-to-lose attitude because they’re expected to get blown out.

Did Tedford blow the play-calling against UCLA? Absolutely… but I have complete confidence in Tedford’s ability to learn and grow from this experience. Next year and every year after this, Tedford will have the experience of this year under his belt. And just watch… Tedford will make the adjustments, just like he did in his 2nd shot at the Holiday Bowl and against Oregon in Eugene and Tennessee and every other hurdle that the Bears have cleared in the last 6 years.

Tedford has not topped out. Give the man more time. I have high hopes that he will lead Cal to the promised land and a Rose Bowl berth long before any of us, God willing, die.

UCLA debacle 4 of 5: Game review

I’ll do what nobody in their right mind should do… re-watch the game. Here is my commentary:

  • The first series of the game was a bad omen: A forsett run for a loss on 1st down, an underneath and short gain pass, followed by an incomplete (and tipped) pass on third down for the first 3 and out.
  • And isn’t the 2nd series ENTIRELY different!… OK, the first set of downs was run, run, pass, but after that pass, rush, pass, pass, pass, rush, pass, pass, pass for TD: 7-0
  • Additionally, the UCLA defense is already loading the box… setting up 1-on-1 coverage on the receivers.
  • On UCLA’s next drive, the 3rd down completions where infuriating… one of the things I hate about television games. How can they be leaving guys open 15 yards down field on 3rd and 13…
  • All of the manhandling and pass-interference penalties that we saw makes me wonder just how physical the game was off-screen. Just about every play that they showed a downfield camera there was a LOT of pushing and shoving. Not sure what that means or the implications of it, but just an observation.
  • But got to give the defense credit for stiffening in the redzone. In my mind that’s classic Bend But Don’t Break: Force the offense to be patient and not make mistakes on entire drive and then when on the few times they’re mistake free and worn down after the long drive to the redzone, turn up the head and force the FG once there: 7-3
  • Of course, despite the indicators to the contrary, Cal goes right back to the run on first down strategy. One 3rd down conversion saves Cal from a 3 and out, but the 2nd series of downs is the depressing run, run, long incomplete pass series.
  • Then we get the long run by UCLA. So much for BBDB. Let me tell you what that was all about: the linebackers over pursuing, particularly Anthony Felder who bit REALLY HARD as if it was a sweep. He actually got on the other side of the middle linebacker (Williams) well before the runningback had made is way through the line. Almost like it was a linebacker stunt, although it doesn’t seem like it was: 7-10
  • The next series for the Bears was the perfect example of just how much UCLA was keying on the run. I challenge anyone to give a specific example of where a defense let DeSean get 10 yards behind them (sans slipping or something like that). DeSean was ridiculously wide open: 14-10.
  • Another “I thought we had a BBDB defense!?!” moment with the long pass by UCLA on their first play from scrimage. How’d we let a guy get that far behind us. This is another “I wish I was there” moment as well because it sure looked like Conte had the receiver well blanketed as they shot away from the line but when the camera panned with the ball it was as if Conte bit back on some move by the receiver or something because it just didn’t make sense how much Conte was out of position based on how the two of them left the line. In any case, it’s an easy 38 yard pass play, something that shouldn’t be happening with BBDB.
  • Something I’ve notice in the last couple weeks, facing these more traditional offenses, the Cal defense has been giving away their blitzes and schemes by creeping in too early. I wonder if playing so many weeks of no-huddle, up tempo teams makes them a little out of cadence with creeping in at the right times.
  • In any case, outside of the 38 yard pass, the defense held UCLA to a field-goal:14-13
  • You know there hasn’t been much discussion of this in the post-game head-scratching, but that Longshore to Best pitch/fumble was PAINFUL. The Bears were driving and seemed sure to score another TD. How different would this game have been at 21-13 at the half?
  • And while we’re on the topic of that drive, it was another great drive (up until the fumble) and why? Passing the ball a lot, of course!
  • Got to give props to both Williams and Hampton on that forced fumble and recovery. I don’t know how Williams was able to get such a grip on that ball to rip it out and throw it 15 yards and then how Hampton was able to get there in time to pick it up after the first UCLA guy overshot the ball.
  • But before we get too hapy clappy, Cal gets the ball with 1:20 or so, and after two passes (yeah!) that weren’t effective (can’t win them all), they let the clock run down from about a minute to 20 seconds on 3rd down. What the heck!?! Talk about having no confidence in your defense… because the only reason you don’t take a timeout (or do a quick snap) there is because you fear that you’ll end up giving the ball back to UCLA. Instead Kay is stuck attempting (and missing) a 44 yard field goal when the Bears could have had another 30 seconds to drive to the endzone.
  • And re-iterating what I’ve said a number of times, I’d much rather be down my one than up by one at halftime. It’s far more easy to motivate a team that is behind than ahead and the 2 point swing is trivial at halftime. In fact, I just realized, 14-13 is the EXACT same score at halftime for the OSU game too.
  • I’m starting to re-think my not being so harsh on the defense for this game. The WR pass for a TD was yet another case where they were out of the BBDB philosophy and the safeties bit on the reverse. That’s 17 of their 20 points that came on BBDB breakdowns… it’s not so much a criticism of BBDB but of the defense’s execution of it in this game: 14-20
  • And how does Cal respond? A stuffed run on 1st down.
  • Now, a couple of series later, Cal starts of the series with an attempted DeSean pass play (as in DeSean is the QB). To some degree, you can’t say that Tedford and Co. didn’t bring their trick plays. That’s why I still think that conservative is the wrong word… stubborn is. To further the example, what’s the call on 2nd down? A stuffed run of course… which sets up the next play:
  • An interception! It was really surprising to me to see Hawkins not play that ball more aggressively. He SHOULD have out muscled the UCLA DB for the ball. I mean, it was closer to the QB. But he didn’t play it very aggressively, which is unlike Hawkins.
  • The more I watch this game the more I remember how sloppy it was, for both teams. I think that’s part of what makes it so disgusting. I mean… OSU, they played pretty much their best game. UCLA, they turned the ball over, commited lots of penalties, they did everything Cal should have required to pick them apart.
  • And what do you know… Cal goes back to the air on their next drive: result… TOUCHDOWN! (Despite going for the inside run on 1st and 2nd and goal… more stubborn play calling): 21-20
  • After holding UCLA yet again (way to go D… finally stiffening a bit), what does Cal do: a 5 play, 10 yard drive that was ALL rushing… even on 3rd and 18.
  • Another hold by the defense and another run, run, pass three and out.
  • This next UCLA drive was the one drive I was disappointed with the run defense of Cal. I think they were getting tired on the defensive line. Earlier in the game there was a number of strong run plays by UCLA but they were never able to string them together to base a score off of it, that one 60+ yard rush aside. But on this drive, UCLA was able to really stuff it in Cal’s face, drive down into field goal range and milk the clock down as much as possible (5 1/2 minute, 42 yard drive): 21-23.
  • After repeating this game, after re-validating just how bad the play calling was (by the way, as it was happening live, on 1st down when they handed off to Forsett, even though he got 4 yards I screamed at the top of my lungs: “NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NOOOOOOOOOO! Jeez!?!” It was that clear to me that running the ball was the wrong strategy, even before the disasterous pick-6.
  • I’m feeling sick again.

UCLA debacle 3 of 5: Who’s leaving?

I have two long running jokes with my wife to help lighten the mood after a crushing Cal loss:

  • The good news is that I guess we can remove the “Rose Bowl tickets” budget line-item
  • Looks like we’ll be able to improve our season ticket location next year

The second joke is more true than anyone wants to admit, although we’re not really at that point yet this year. There’s no doubt that during the bad seasons both the number of season tickets goes through the floor and the number of people using their tickets go down. All of a sudden there are a lot less complaints about how much space is allocated for each rear-end on the bench with the empty seats to spread out into.

So it’s gut check time.

Yeah, none of us have to worry about the Old Blues… they’ll be around as long as they’re alive. But there are A LOT of young blues out there who are buying season tickets. I’ve got a question for you: do you see yourself as an Old Blue some day? If so, this program wants you! This University was built by Old Blues, not by flash in the pan Young Blues. You want to become an Old Blue? It’s easy enough. You can complain. You can be disgusted. You can be cynical. But whatever you do, your rear-end better be in the seat for the next home game, and every game after that no matter how bad it gets.

That’s how you become an Old Blue.

UCLA Podcast

The UCLA podcast is up on the podcast page… go have a listen and hear in my voice just how disgusted I was at 4:30 PM yesterday. :-(

UCLA debacle 1 of 5: I’m disgusted

I think I’ve slowly grown the reputation of being the optimistic Cal blogger: always hopeful, always pointing out the upside or the potentials, willing to cut the Bears some slack on their weaker days… and I’ll probably continue to do that, in fact I’ve set that aside as my last post of the day. But there are occasionally games that just disgust me and yesterday was one of them.

There is no excuse for the Bears losing to UCLA. To those who have said they have a newfound respect for UCLA, particularly their defense, one of two things is true. Either you had way too little respect for them or you don’t realize just how poor the Bears play-calling was. If I had to come up with a word for the Bears play-calling in the weak moments of the last two years it would be stubborn. Many pick the word conservative, but I think that is wholly inaccurate.

Conservative is a combination of doing what you do best and taking what the opposition gives you. It’s grinding things out and continuing to do what works, albeit just barely well enough to win, until a slim victory is assured. Notice that in my definition of conservative, there is no explicit reference to the run game. See, in my opinion, it’s not conservative to run the ball against a defense that is loading the box with NINE defenders. I’m not exaggerating. When Cal had a 2 WR set, UCLA was putting all 3 LBs and the 2 safeties in the box along with the 4 linemen. You can rarely see the safeties in the TV screen before a play, I could see them just about every play in the 2nd half.

Unless you’re a corn-fed Oaklahoma team playing a crummy undersided team like Baylor, no one is going to be able to establish a power inside running game against that. Heck, even when the teams are as unbalanced as they were in the above example it’ll be difficult.

UCLA was just DARING Cal to throw the ball. I was a bit sympathetic last week against OSU that Cal didn’t take OSU up on the same offer because Riley was starting his first game and the ground game was inexplicably still somewhat productive despite them loading the box. This week however with Longshore back and the ineffectiveness of the Bear’s running game, there is just no excuse for the play-calling in the 2nd half. Here are the 1st down plays of the Bears last 3 possessions before the fateful interception:

  • J. Forsett rushed up the middle for 2 yard gain
  • J. Forsett rushed up the middle for 7 yard gain
  • J. Forsett rushed up the middle for 4 yard gain

And just in case anyone gets the wrong idea about that 7 yard gain on the middle possesion of the 3, Cal was stuffed on 2nd down and then got held short on a Longshore to Best screen play on 3rd down for a 3 and out.

To further the point, let’s compare two drives: The first of these 3 fateful drives and the preceeding drive, Cal’s last touchdown. First the bad drive:

  • 1st-10, Cal20 0:24 J. Forsett rushed up the middle for 2 yard gain
  • 2nd-8, Cal22 15:00 J. Forsett rushed up the middle for 13 yard gain
  • 1st-10, Cal35 14:45 J. Forsett rushed up the middle for 2 yard gain
  • 2nd-8, Cal37 14:05 Cal committed 10 yard penalty
  • 2nd-18, Cal27 13:59 J. Forsett rushed up the middle for no gain
  • 3rd-18, Cal27 12:57 J. Forsett rushed up the middle for 8 yard gain

And note that the last rush for 8 yards was on 3rd and EIGHTEEN!?!. So to recap, 4 completely ineffective rushes (sorry, 8 yards on 3rd and 18 isn’t effective) and 1 13 yard rush that I only believe happened because the box score insists on it. Now, let’s move on to that touchdown drive that preceeded it:

  • 1st-10, Cal33 6:25 N. Longshore passed to L. Hawkins to the left for 11 yard gain
  • 1st-10, Cal44 6:05 Cal committed 10 yard penalty
  • 1st-20, Cal34 5:40 UCLA committed 15 yard penalty
  • 1st-10, Cal49 5:30 N. Longshore incomplete pass to the right
  • 2nd-10, Cal49 5:24 J. Forsett rushed up the middle for 2 yard gain
  • 3rd-8, UCLA49 4:45 N. Longshore passed to D. Jackson to the right for 14 yard gain
  • 1st-10, UCLA35 4:10 N. Longshore passed to L. Cunningham to the right for 16 yard gain
  • 1st-10, UCLA19 3:45 N. Longshore passed to J. Forsett down the middle for 15 yard gain
  • 1st-4, UCLA4 3:25 J. Forsett rushed up the middle for 2 yard gain
  • 2nd-2, UCLA2 2:50 J. Forsett rushed up the middle for no gain
  • 3rd-2, UCLA2 2:15 N. Longshore passed to D. Jackson to the right for 2 yard touchdown.

On this drive Cal passed 6 times, 5 of them for completions, and not a single completion was less than 10 yards sans the TD pass because the ball was at the 2 yard line. On the same drive, the Bears had 3 rushes for a grand total of 4 yards. I don’t know how much more clear I can make it just how much UCLA was geared to stop the run. They were RIDICULOUSLY DARING the Bears to throw the ball and when the Bears did it they marched down the field with amazingly surprising ease.

The Bears should have won this one in a walk… but our coaches insisted otherwise, not because they were conservative, but because they were stubborn.

Unbelievable. Tragic. Disgusting.

Posts one can expect today

First an important public service announcement: Me and my Trident are NOT happy.

In any case, it perhaps looks as though after yesterday’s tragedy that ExcuseMeForMyVoice.com has gone into hibernation. Fear not friends! One can expect the following posts throughout the day (Sunday):

  1. Just how disgusted I am
  2. Podcast posting (already recorded)… aka Just how disgusted I am, part II
  3. Who’s leaving? just what makes a good Cal fan
  4. Game analysis/review
  5. Reasons to hope despite all evidence to the contrary

Got to finish on a high note…

Kicking it Away, One Game at a Time

Hey, Mrs. H!I know it’s a bit of a stretch, but it’s entirely possible that if Tom Schneider hadn’t destroyed his mystery muscle while warming up for the Tennessee game, Cal would be undefeated.

In two consecutive weeks Cal’s decision-making has been affected, at least a little bit, by the unreliability of Jordan Kay, the plucky backup kicker.

I’m just saying, who’d have thunk that it was even conceivable that the season could break completely differently based on the presence or absence of Tom Schneider.

All hail Schneider! And what you’ve learned about me is, when I’m in pain over a Cal loss, I always turn to classic television.