Evans Hall: Not Much Ado About Anything
Cal football is what we thought they were.
Cal football is a Sisphean experience where with every inch of progress the fan expect the ball of pain to drop and roll back down the hill of college football.
Note: I made an error in the code and for the last few weeks it was not updating some of the charts presented in this section. Mea culpa.
Despite good offensive performance (on paper) by the team against USC the Cal team is floating in the bubble of mediocrity with a roughly average amount of attempts a week but producing about a touchdown less a game an average offense would per the regression line.
Things are also not looking great on defense. The team has literally regressed to the mean on the points perspective. The last two games providing the bulk of the points allowed so far. It doesn’t help that the Cal defense is inching up the scale on the defensive plays they face in a game. Points are as much an explosive stat as they can be a volume statistic.
Cal defense meet your peers: Nebraska and UConn. Hope you all get along together! Overall we’re solidly in the 3rd tier of teams where the defense is the only thing keeping things competitive on a per-snap basis. Offense stays offensive.
Look on the top right corner, Cal faced 3 of the most efficient offenses in P5. Only UCLA remains to close out the season, the last couple of games were a real gauntlet for the team that has been scraping the depth chart to find guys to fill the gaps.
Again, it bears repeating that Cal has faced 3 of the 4 most effective offenses in the P5s. Only the #1 remaining with UCLA. Not sure if this is an indictment of the Pac-12 defenses or an accolade to the Pac-12 offenses but it can be either. Oregon State is roughly in the upper half of the distribution while Stanford is behind Cal on this measure.
Cal vs. SC, an exercise in meeting expectations
The offensive explosion Cal had was driven by Jack Plummer’s arm. Though even with that we have to note that this is what the SC defense had been all year. Especially with the lack of 1st down conversions on 2nd down we’re still trying to play catch up on 3rd downs. Another thing is that due to pool run blocking the run game can’t pose more than a passing thought to the opposing defenses.
Cal defense continues the yeowman work in the run game, however, it is our distribution of passing defense that concerns me. When we were able to force USC to 3rd downs we could stop them more often than not, however, SC was able to feast through the air on 2nd downs. Especially when the SC offense had the threat of the run available on 2nd and short. (AKA the GT counter RPO game).
Besides these handful of charts there isn’t much to be said about the team that wouldn’t just be regurgitating the