(Written by Ken Crawford)
I’m really not looking forward to writing this review. I’m not the type of guy that likes dancing on anyone’s grave and that’s what it would take to be excited about what we’re going to see tomorrow.
Simply put, the Bears are going to get crushed.
USC is and will continue to be the sleeping giant in the conference. They are still hands down the most talented team in the conference, even with the scholarship sanctions. The way the season had been going for the spoiled children, I had hoped I wouldn’t have to focus on the raw talent of USC, because talent is meaningless in football unless it is focused and refined in a team. Kiffin seemed to be doing everything in his power to make sure there was no refining and oddly, despite being very focused personally and seeming to want it for the team, it just seemed they were “focused” like a hyper-active kid on sedatives… can you really call it focus?
Orgeron seems to have been the perfect pick for interim head coach. He’s not going to work miracles, but what he has seemed to do is take the sedative shackles off a very talented bunch and let them go out there and push people around. They seem excited to play and and have a nasty combination of feeling like they have nothing to lose and a take no prisoners attitude.
So here’s how it’s going to go…
The Bears are going to lose BIG in the trenches on both sides of the ball. Expect to see the Bears just looking silly a lot. Big run plays for the Trojans. Tons of time for Kessler to find receivers and big passing plays as coverage breaks down. On the other side, offensive plays for the Bears that are just blown up will be all too frequent and quite cringe worthy. Don’t ever expect the Bears to get in a rhythm.
However, the upside is you’re also going to see a messy game with lots of mistakes. “Duh” would be the response for expecting that of Cal, but USC will make their share of mistakes too. As a result, Cal might get a few big plays to give us hope, perhaps one or two special teams too.. USC might even cough up the ball now and again (I’d call for some easy picks if it weren’t for the fact this Cal secondary is pathetically bad at having a nose for the ball). Cal might get a big sack on a busted assignment or good blitz package. These flashes of hope might even be frequent enough that if the talent differences weren’t so vastly different that it could sway the outcome of the game.
But it won’t be… not even close. It’s just be a couple blips of joy amongst a really tough game to watch. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb: Tomorrow will be the lowest point of the first half of the Dykes era. If you’re a positive person, it means it only gets better from here. If not… well… sorry.
Bears lose big: Cal 13, USC 52