74 Comments
Oct 30, 2022·edited Oct 30, 2022

I don’t really care about making coaching changes any more. It’s obvious Musgrave is gone at the end of the year and Wilcox will get a 3rd swing to find an OC.

What needs to happen is Chancellor Christ needs to fire Knowlton. Knowlton has enjoyed more institutional support than any of his predecessors (coaching salaries, stadium debt, etc) and it’s resulted in him botching the Wilcox extension, flubbing the mark fox hire, and being caught with his pants down on conference realignment. A half full student section on a 65 degree 12:30 kick off against a top 10 team should be enough evidence.

Jim is running the athletic department into the ground and every day he’s at the helm we’re closer to the mountain west.

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Amen

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Full disclosure, I love Wilcox as a human being and supported his hire. I’m surprised to hear our default is he won’t get fired after this season. I predict we’ll see many of our skill players enter the portal after this year and I can’t imagine we won’t drop in our high school recruiting, making this another in the decade+ saga of generally dismal Cal seasons (generally….). When they showed the 32 year old Oregon OC on TV y’day my first thought was “there’s our next head coach….” He’s apparently an offensive wizard, energetic and likely a plus recruiter given his age. Recruiting an offensive coach might retain some of our offensive players looking to jump to a contender (Ott, Hunter, Terry and Sturdivant all seem to be likely candidates, long w Stredick if his mom has a say). That’s all I know about him, but MAN I’d like to put points on the board again….. And, since it seems one qualification of the job is to have former Oregon ties, he checks that box too.

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Oct 30, 2022·edited Oct 30, 2022

I’m a huge Kenny Dillingham fan. But the puzzling frigging extension Knowlton inexplicably handed Wilcox last year really complicates things.

Agree, B, that Wilcox is a good dude, and understands the hurdles that come with coaching at Cal. I really WANT him to succeed! Just fear he’s a better DC than HC - he looked confused when they squib kicked instead of the onside after the 2nd Millner TD…did he not know the call and does he give his coordinators too much autonomy? He’s definitely loyal to them, probably to a fault.

I will say that while I have my fingers crossed we don’t lose a number of key players to the transfer portal, it’s naive to think this team will remain intact in this era of college football. The NIL and immediate-eligibility rule could be devastating for bottom feeder teams like Cal. We finally have some impact players at the skill positions - with pretty much a non-existent recruiting class signed up, if we lose a Hunter, a J Mike, a Mavin, or God forbid an Ott, it would be a huge blow to Wilcox, and things could get ugly quick. Like real ugly.

As it is, closing the year on an 8-game losing streak is very much in play…that’s ugly.

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Oct 30, 2022·edited Oct 30, 2022

Agreed.

This year is, yet another, dumpster fire, with a few bright spots that have not coalesced to wins. I remember all the dumpster fire GIFs on TOS; if GIFs were allowed, here, the pages would be full of such GIFs.

The greater concern is long-term. I was/am supportive of Wilcox for a long-term rebuild, but, yes, he does seem to have over delegated offense matters to staff- as though his Defense DNA makes him not-so-secretly hate offense. If only he could be demoted to DC and a new head coach hired. Honestly, I think JW's stock is going low and he just might accept a renegotiated role as DC.

But, then, again, as long as coaching at Cal remains a challenge, the next HC cannot be expected to do much better.

As has been pointed out, by Avi and several others, U.C. Berkeley needs to make a decision. Either football is the foundation and center of athletics or we stop pretending.

Shit or get off the pot, U.C. Berkeley!

Meanwhile, the "Number One Public University," our sister school, is ranked 12th in the nation and 7-1.

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Oct 30, 2022·edited Oct 30, 2022

Well said.

Not sure we should be surprised, as in this day and age of modern Power 5 athletics, this is what you get when you grab a suit from corporate America with basically no experience in college athletics administration and put him in charge of your entire Athletic Department, only to eventually replace him with a career military guy whose CV includes stops at RPI and the Air Force Academy.

The seeds of this current disaster were planted in 2014 by Nicholas F-ing Dirks…

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May the Kai Milner era begin.

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Millner should start the remainder of the season. If he doesn’t, Wilcox should be fired with cause.

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So we ask again, why didn’t we see that kid in Tucson last year when Ryan Glover was abysmal?

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Last year? Why didn’t we see him against Colorado?

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Maybe give equal time to the two in the USC and whoever does better can start the remainder of the season. At this point, I don't see a bowl game happening so focus on development for next season (assuming everyone doesn't run away in the transfer portal).

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Imagine next year everyone runs away and Plummer doesn't lol

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he's out of eligibility

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I thought he was too…apparently he’s got another year, if he decides to use it.

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Removed (Banned)Oct 30, 2022
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The description is correct. He's a redshirt senior in his 5th year.

Everyone that was enrolled in fall 2020 gets an extra year due to Covid so they have an option to play one extra year. They don't have to but they can.

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No he's not

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Removed (Banned)Oct 30, 2022
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Respectfully, Plummer looks great in practice…when he’s not getting hit.

Seen lots of comments saying Plummer’s not the problem…Plummer’s absolutely part of the problem. He’s certainly getting hammered, but he also struggles with decision making, reads and accuracy. These were all evident week 1 v UC Davis, and remain issues now.

Millner showed he at least merits consideration.

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Agree. Perhaps practice-Plummer is the second coming of AR. But its the results on the field that matter.

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Oct 30, 2022·edited Oct 30, 2022

I mean, the kid is not without some talent…he’s flashed some of it, here and in West Lafayette. But everything is spotty and inconsistent…you can see why O’Connell was able to beat him out. I absolutely think the coaching staff could do a better job at dialing up easy completions, to get in a flow (see at Notre Dame). Ya gotta get him some gimmes. He also seems to play better when they go up tempo, at least until the whole thing comes grinding to a halt once they reach the red zone (see at Colorado).

Interested to see if the coaching shift has an impact on him. For example, would he work under Dykes’ pass happy system? Is he accurate enough? There are some doubts….I was at the UC Davis game and was disappointed with his accuracy then.

If we don’t see a coaching shift at the OC & OL levels, not sure what else there is to say.

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We don't need an immobile pro style QB running the dated west coast offense. That's a recipe for failure as we are seeing. Sure Plummer has his moments but he is too inconsistent. With our O line weakness we need a mobile QB. Over the last few seasons we had Chase scrambling and moving around in the pocket which disguised the weakness of the line. It's a fundamental problem for Cal and it is not likely to go away.

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All the practice reports talked about his accuracy, but his accuracy was never that good at any point in the season, even when he had time. I don't think his accuracy issues are solely the result of getting hit and a bad Oline.

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With all due respect, I don’t care about any of that.

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Close to the worst in power 5? We have the worst O line in college football.

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Oct 29, 2022·edited Oct 29, 2022

Thanks Rick.

Positive signs from Millner. Decisive, good arm, showed some wheels…absolutely don’t care if it came in garbage time v. 2nd teamers. Get the kid more reps - the ball needs to be out a whole lot quicker than Jack Plummer gets it.

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Oct 30, 2022·edited Oct 30, 2022

IMHO, he did his reads faster, showed better pocket awareness, and has a nice quick, clean release of the ball with good accuracy. He reminds me a bit of Modster, except Kai's passes aren't hot lava for the receivers.

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Cal is likely to to go 1-8 in conference play whether its Plummer starting or Millner. That old argument that "he (Plummer) gives us the best chance to win" is completely moot here. Cal has lost four games in a row to very bad, average and good teams with Plummer at the helm. So please thank Mr. Plummer for his service and encourage him to still be a team player with a clipboard in his hand. It's time to have Kai Millner start the rest of the year to give him valuable experience for the future of Cal football.

Millner is going to get the shit kicked out of him in the same way that Pat Barnes did in 1993 when starting QB Dave Barr went down with a shoulder injury. The experience that Barnes gained in that true freshman season undoubtedly helped him when he had a prolific year a few years later under Mooch and led Cal to a bowl game.

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It's important to note that the 1996 Bears started 5-0--but finished 1-6 (losing the Big Game as well) and then were embarrassed in a shootout with Navy in that season's Aloha Bowl.

What's even more important to note was that the Bears of that Gilby/Mooch era lacked true back-up quarterbacks. That is, unless one considers Kerry McGonigal and Ziv Gottlieb adequate back-up QBs.

Barnes' redshirt year in 1993 was burned because Gilby really had no choice but to turn to the freshman after Barr broke his collarbone in the tragic loss to U-Dub that season and McGonigal was hurt. In many respects, it was the same bad choice Roger Theder faced when Rich Campbell broke his leg against U$c in 1980, J Torchio was injured, and with no other options, Theder burned Gale Gilbert's redshirt to try to get through a game against ASU.

I would suggest that the only real back-up QBs of any competence that Cal has had over the past four decades are Reggie Robertson, Steve Levy, and Kevin Riley (with an honorable mention to Kevin Brown for winning the 1986 Big Game). And since the late oughts, Cal has been loathe to replace the annointed pre-season "starter" with a back-up even in blowout wins and losses. Then, when we do see them, we see the drop-off. It's nothing but frustrating.

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Oct 30, 2022·edited Oct 30, 2022

You could argue a competent backup QB is the sign of a good team and a healthy program. Quality teams win with backups…Utah won Thurs at Wazzu with a former walk-on backup. It means you have a quality system in place, and everyone is on the same page.

Contrast that with Cal, whose backups struggle to complete a pass and can not run the offense.

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Boy, that was a trip down memory lane. I’d forgotten half those QBs.

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Removed (Banned)Oct 30, 2022
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My boss (Naval Academy grad) rubbed it in.

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That loss still rankles me today--it's what made Dykes' run so frustrating because every game he coached had the potential to become the '96 Holiday Bowl.

But what's worse is that there are more than a few of us who've been around long enough to see trends get repeated with the Cal football team--and they're never the trends you want repeated either...

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Bears are looking a lot like a team that is gonna end the season on an 8 game losing streak after inexplicably handing a below average Head Coach a contract extension.

This athletic department is something else.

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Oregon killed us today with the swing passes and underneath routes. Just line up in a 11 formation, send the wide-outs deep, then a short throw to the back or late releasing tight-end with lots of run of catch yards. We had no answer for it, zero half time adjustments.

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Yeah, they worked the holes in our D. Welp, two defense-minded head coaches; one with a four and five star starting roster. The odds were not in our favor.

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MILLNER BEARS INTEREST

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JUSTIN BAKER TOUCHDOWN MAKER

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Millner had a great smile and looked like he was having a lot of fun. He may mesh better with his frosh class than Plummer. Small sample size but give him a shot next week if Plummer is injured or can't move the team.

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Yeah and Plummer looked despondent, as usual. Given the line situation, we need to play a quarterback with legs that can escape. Look at what Bo Nix did today when the plays broke down: he smoked us.

I also don't understand all of these short pass plays. Plummer is great 20-30 yards out...but does not do a good job leading his receivers on short routes. I say go vertical and stretch the field as much as possible. That the only way to open up the running game right now.

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Oct 30, 2022·edited Oct 30, 2022

Not sure the line can give him enough time for receivers to get downfield…I was at the ND game and this was painfully obvious…we kept running these slow developing deep passing plays and our O-line just could not hold up in pass pro.

I watch these teams where the OL is consistently struggling, and you see adjustments in the play calling…you go play action on a 1st down v. a 6-man front…you move the pocket on a designed rollout…you call a screen…you go with some misdirection.

There’s very little of these types of plays in Musgrave’s O, though we hit a huge pass play today on a great 1st down, play action fake. Plus, the Sturdivant TD came on a designed roll out by Plummer….so where has it been? That damn Colorado game was CRYING OUT for play action….where was it?

I found it very interesting to hear Brando and Tillman mention the whispers regarding Musgrave’s seemingly archaic offense around Berkeley…

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The Musgrave Jurassic system is old and tired. Due to the line weakness, which is not a new phenomenon (I think Garbers' mobility masked that weakness in recent years). Obviously the Musgrave system is a total failure and we need a reboot.

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Tim Brando and Spencer Tillman are the Fox broadcast team that did the game, Bob. Truth be told, I usually tune out the broadcast crew on Cal games because many of us on this board know a whole lot more about what’s going on with Cal football than they do.

But Spencer Tillman played with Musgrave on the 49ers, so there’s a link. To hear them reference the same concerns most of us have about Musgrave was fascinating.

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From what I saw of Milner, even in garbage time, he deserves a shot.

Let’s see how he does against USC and the rest of the schedule. He could get some valuable game experience for next year and maybe even give us some positives for the rest of the year.

He has a quick and accurate release, strong arm, good mobility and looks comfortable in the offense.

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CAL FAILED TO SNOW BO OR FIX NIX!!

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Well Wilcox already said Plummer is the starter next week

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I'd start Plummer but put him on a short leash, with plans to start Kai second half (unless Plummer has a hot hand).

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I believe Plummer will start, I will be disappointed if he is still playing late in the 3rd quarter while we are down 38-10.

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Welp, Utah said Cam Rising would start against USC...

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Wasn’t Rising hurt?

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Yes, but they did not reveal any changes until first possession and the back up trots out.

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Ah understood. But from Wilcox’s tone in the press conference, it didn’t sound like that

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Welp. Sounds like the same lack of adjustment- again.

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This is prime Wilcox - he is resistant to change, despite the fact that Plummer can consistently muster just 10 points in 3 quarters of a Pac 12 game…that flat out won’t get you wins. Not in 1962, 1992 and not in 2022.

At most any other school, Millner would get some reps.

What TF has Plummer done to earn unquestioned starter status? It’s ridiculous.

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We played OREGON not Oregon State. Proofreader on staff???

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Millner was 8/11, not 13.

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Some comments from a non-expert.

First, what with all the calls on this thread for Millner to start remaining games, my question is, has he yet burned this year regarding eligibility, or does he not yet have enough games in to consider this year a year played? If he has not played enough to burn this year, then why play him and burn the year on a crap year? Save him for a better year, if possible.

Second, I only saw a few comments about our defense. Our backs play WAY off the receivers and we have been getting burned game after game on short passes. Move the zone closer. Also, we really need to blitz now and then. Our d line usually gets very little pressure on the other quarterback; very often, they can stand back there and take their time. We need more pressure.

This year is lost. Wilcox needs to do some experimenting both on offense (trick plays?) and defense (blitz?).

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Comments, including these, always focus on QB play rather than the actual deciding factor: OF & DF line play. This is where we are failing, have always failed, and our issues here are the key ones dictating yet another losing season. Willcox just hasn't brought in top tier players in the trenches. Plain and simple.

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Huh? We have talked about the O Line the most of all positions, during the week and during the game.

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We finally got to see Millner play. We should be allowed to make it a center of discussion.

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And play well.

While the “unquestioned” starter has struggled to score points pretty much all year…don’t forget, the D bailed us out v UC Davis.

Programs that prioritize winning football games would think about a QB change during a 4, soon to be 5-game losing streak. Programs that prioritize “developing young men” do what Wilcox does.

Good programs do both.

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What else is there to say about the OL? Yeah, we all know that JW has failed to bring in the top Big Uglies. (That used to be Wisconsin's strength, btw, as many instate 4* lineman wanted to stay home and play in Madison.)

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The way it has been for several years is a weak Oline. Garbers masked this weakness. At any rate, Cal can't win without a mobile QB, that's pretty clear. So use a mobile QB.

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Actually, there’s plenty of size, speed and athleticism on that O-line.

Their technique and execution are awful though. A better OL coach could probably get them to at least be passable.

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