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.