(Written by Ken Crawford)
Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve done a live-blog, seeing as how I go to so many games, but what the heck…
We’ll do it old-school. Hit the refresh button to see the updates. Post comments in the comment section, I’ll reply in the post-thread.
1:17 PM: Wait until closer to game time for actual commentary.
2:20 PM: Pretty good WSU @ UA game. Not sure why everyone was so surprised that WSU won that one. Arizona still doesn’t have a quality win under its belt. They’re not that good and just have an easy/back-loaded schedule.
2:28 PM: Both Miller of ESPN and two of the three Pac-12Net commentators pick Cal? DOOOOOOOM!
2:30 PM: The team must really like the gray uniforms. I don’t. Yuck! At least they’ve got the blue pants.
1st 15:00: I think we’ll see a lot of touch-backs today.
1st 14:50: Uh-oh… if we let them run like that every down, we’re in trouble.
1st 13:30: Defense in its usual 1st drive funk. Hopefully they use this timeout to kick them into gear.
1st 13:20: Now that’s a lot better pursuit. Key 3rd down here.
1st 12:50: Man have we been susceptible to the hook pattern. Drive continues.
1st 11:00: Not looking bad so far in the rush defense. Pass defense is trouble so far.
1st 10:30: Dang. Cal has had a REAL problem with giving up too many 3rd and longs.
1st 9:30: Yup. The run defense is looking fine. Just not getting the job done in the passing game so far. Although there’s some hope. YES! Finally held on 3rd down. Although looks like another field goal coming… BUT HE MISSED! Cal getting some luck to start today.
1st 8:50: Like the 1st play call. Don’t like the result of the 2nd play though.
1st 8:00: Here’s the problem. Way too often in 3rd and long. We get lucky this time with the interference call, but we can’t live with those sorts of downs and distances.
1st 7:00: I like the dedication to the run game so far, but doing it smartly.
1st 6:30: And that’s the problem with 5000 feet. Those over the top balls are just aching to sail like that.
1st 6:00: Oh, you have to either go for it or kick it here… good. DANG! That’s on the linemen. Goff was calling for the ball but the line wasn’t listening/watching. Pootch kick into the endzone. Dang.
1st 6:00: Well, looks like a balanced game is in front of us. Both reasons for hope and concern. If Goff can find his touch over the top, it would be a BIG benefit. I don’t know what the wind was doing, but am I the only one who thinks D’Amato could have made it from 56 in Boulder?
1st 4:50: That’s the advantage of Boulder… they make those over the top throws. Not horrible coverage overall. Let’s just hope they can’t live on that all day.
1st 3:30: Nice defensive pressure being applied on passing downs by the Bears, but the one long pass gets CU a field goal. Score: 0-3.
1st 2:40: I like the play-calling balance so far.
1st 1:15: Interesting to see all this pootch punting. Is this lack of faith on the punt return unit?
Hale Dozier (#37) is getting burned. He was on the receiving end of both of the long plays. This is where I accept the argument of the young team/injuries. They really are quite depleted back there. Although I still think Buh should be using defensive schemes that put less on their backs.
2nd 14:50: OUCH! That one hurts. A nicely designed play, but again, as I said in my preview… It’s going to be tough for Cal to come back from down 10. And what’s the score: 0-10.
2nd 14:15: Lawler again. He’s our receiver with the “it” factor. In a key moment, I want the ball thrown to him.
2nd 12:45: I feel like Goff is throwing a bit more dangerous today. Worried about an INT.
2nd 12:30: Good point WIAT, into the wind may help the sailing passes. And there’s the 3rd pootch punt. I wonder if Cal might be able to use that to its advantage a bit later, catching CU sleeping on 4th down.
2nd 11:00: Nice defense on 3rd down. Weren’t fooled on the read-option.
2nd 10:00: This wind stinks. A definite disadvantage for Cal.
2nd 9:30: Lawler again. And then nearly Lawler again. This is our guy.
2nd 9:00: Our WR screens aren’t working at all. CU is pouncing on them. There’s got to be a way to take advantage of that defensive assumption.
2nd 8:30: Way to go D’Amato. The guy has a great leg. We’re going to miss him next year. One of the things I liked about Tedford is that he cared about recruiting punters and FG kickers. Score: 3-10.
2nd 8:30: You know what we haven’t had all year? A momentum changing turnover in Cal’s favor. Boy could we use that right now.
2nd 7:10: Yes, yes, yes, YESSSSS!!! That run from Muhammed has been coming for a while. TOUCHDOWN! Nice job of keeping in bounds through that last tackle. Score tied: 10-10
2nd 5:30: Feels like Cal is over committing to the run and then getting a bit out of position.
2nd 2:00: Jeez, you’d think my Dad the Cal alum wouldn’t call in the middle of the Cal game. And we can blame the events of the last 3 1/2 minutes of game clock on him.
2nd 1:00: That’s the sort of penalty that I both completely understand and think is complete BS. It’s very hard to not bang helmets in a moment like that.
2nd 0:50: Gotta give it to Colorado for knowing when to pounce. Great timing and completely put Cal’s defense on its heels. That’s a killer. Going to be very hard to come back from 14 points down in the 2nd half. Particularly with the wind. Score: 10-24
2nd 0:30: That was HORRIBLE blocking. How can you as a lineman not get out to that guy and pick him up so that Bigelow can focus on running down field. That could have been big.
2nd 0:05: Hail Mary is all we’ve got now for the half. Thankfully we get the ball to start the 2nd.
2nd 0:00: WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT!?! That’s the sort of moment that makes me worry that Dykes and Co. is amateur-hour coaching. There’s no benefit to what they did. If anything it’s just an excuse for a pick-6.
How many games have gone like this… Cal gets in hole. Cal does something to close the gap and bring the game back into play. But it’s like they’ve used up everything they have and just when they’re back in it, the opposition explodes and it feels like it was all for naught.
The defense just looks tired right now. The power running game of Colorado is starting to bowl over the Cal defense and their passing game is still working, despite the tough conditions (have to give it to their QB for being successful in the conditions). I have a feeling it’s only going to get uglier from here.
Cal needs to find some big halftime adjustments to get back in this one and I just don’t know what sort of options there might be. The cupboard is pretty bare. The bag of tricks is pretty empty. What other worthless platitudes could I use?
3rd 13:00: While not the worst set of plays, the Bears needed more than that on the 1st drive of the 2nd half. They needed a score.
3rd 12:45: Didn’t I say the Bears could use a big interception? YES!
3rd 12:00: Again, a lack of situational awareness. Why are we throwing a 4 yard out on 3rd and long? I even get why you might throw something a few yards short under the thought that between the run after catch and it’s a situation you might go for it on 4th… but THAT was NOT it. Ridiculous. I’m getting really frustrated. I feel like I’ve been patient in waiting to see improvement. And we should be beyond this point by now.
3rd 10:30: Nice stop again on 3rd down by the defense. These guys aren’t giving up. I think they got pretty tired at the end of the 1st half, but the effort is there. I fear we’ll see the same tiredness problem late in the game.
3rd 10:30: Off-topic controversial question of the day: Is Algazira (sp?) America news actually a good alternative to the ridiculously bad major networks (and FoxNews) or is it just a mouth-piece of Muslim radicals? (and yes, I know it need not be an either or)
3rd 10:20: Goff is looking worse as the game wears on. And I fear we won’t have enough commitment to the run game (although the playcalling hasn’t shown that yet)
3rd 9:50: That was a pretty bad spot. But if history tells us anything, the replay booth is VERY reluctant to over rule spot issues.
3rd 9:50: See? (watch for the fake)
3rd 7:00: WOW the switch to Kline. I didn’t expect that. But you know what, the way Goff is struggling, it’s not a bad move. One thing you can’t say about Dykes is that he’s afraid to make a bold move.
3rd 6:50: And then Kline makes a bungle that was far more stereotypical of Goff.
3rd 4:00: Cal defense is starting to look tired again. And why shouldn’t they? The offense isn’t doing anything to give them a rest.
3rd 3:50: Definitely WIAT, those stands look pretty dang empty. I wonder how much the conditions have to do with that and how much the weakness of the team is the issue? In either case, even Memorial hasn’t been that empty.
3rd 2:30: OK, who’s the bozo who voted in the poll after the end of the 1st half? Of COURSE the Bears are going to lose NOW!?!
3rd 0:40: The tired D finally holds, but in the redzone and the field-goal is converted. This game is effectively over. Score: 10-27
4th 15:00: This game feels like it is just going through the motions at this point. I’m sure Kline doesn’t feel that way. But you watch, he’s not going to do anything that impressive. Goff has his problems, but Kline hasn’t shown me anything better either.
4th 14:30: That sort of high-risk play that the backup QB is more willing to make, is not something to write home about. At a different time, that’s a painful interception.
4th 13:00: That’s what a tired defense who is just going through the motions occasionally gives up. And YO announcers… this wasn’t the nail in the coffin. It’s been over for a while now.
4th 12:00: What’s going on with the QBs? Was Goff dealing with a minor injury? Needed to warm up? Dykes sending a message? Very hard to speculate. But I really didn’t expect to see Goff back.
4th 7:30: Colorado still all over the Cal WR screens.
4th 6:00: Cal drives the field late in the game. I guess this could be the beginning of an epic comeback, but it feels more like garbage time points. Score: 17-34
4th 6:00: Speaking of garbage… that onside kick attempt. I get what they were trying to do, but you just CAN NOT let the guy run it back for a TD. So much for the “comeback”: 17-41
4th 5:30: Imagine if there had been no onside kicks today… the score would theoretically be 17-27. Special teams issues have killed the Bears the last two games.
4th 1:30: More garbage time points. Doesn’t matter if it should have been Lawler or if it was Bigelow… it’s still garbage time points. Score: 24-41
4th 1:20: Man, THAT is one empty stadium. It’s gotta be freezing.
4th 1:15: Cal recovers the onside kick this time. That’s the right way to do it as it is defended these days… right up the middle, in between the two defensive groups, and the kicker and one or two others follow/pounce on it after it goes 10 yards.
4th 0:55: Sad that a desperation pseudo-Hail-Mary breaks Goff’s interception free streak.
Final score: 24-41
Really disappointing game. Thus ends the live-blog.