Finally finished watching the game. Boy is it hard to get motivated to watch a game that you know was a heart-breaker!
Here are my takeaways:
- It’s a mistake to correlate “31 points yielded in the 4th quarter” with “our defense sucks!” The defense was only responsible for 14 of those 31 and prevented the 1st interception from giving up any more than 3 points.
- My biggest fear right now is that Webb is not a “gamer”. We’ve had 2 games this season when he needed to drive us down the field at the end of the game when the team was trailing and both times he through ill-advised interceptions. It’s an awful small sample size, but it’s all we have, and it is worrisome.
- That said, I won’t hold the 1st interception against Webb too much. That was a tougher one for him to see developing and not nearly as egregious as the 2nd interception which was mindbogglingly bad.
- I also don’t hold the onside kick turned TD against the team. That’s the nature of a high risk play like that. It’s a desperate moment and bad things happen in desperate moments.
- More concerning to me was the highly predictable play-calling in the 2nd half. EVERY 1st down (ironically besides the 1st interception) was a run play. It reminded me WAAAY to much of the Holmoe years: Run, Run, Pass. The difference of course being the pass had a much higher success rate than Holmoe’s teams did.
- I felt like the offense got somewhat lucky in the 1st half but that it somewhat evened out in the 2nd (this is before the interception fest).
- I think we really should be feeling better about both the defensive play and the running game than we are. They’re not the Achilles Heels we think they are. They’re not great or anything, but they’re not horrible. The defense is MUCH better than their stats would suggest and getting better.
- I’m happy to see the shift to Mohammad getting more and more playing time. I’d like to see it go a little further and see him be the #1 back (with still giving meaningful time to Enwere and OK, I guess, Watson can do some relief work too).
But big picture, as much as it was heart-breaking, I feel like the pieces are there and Cal has a real shot at beating Utah this weekend.