The Good, the Bad, and the Rock Fights: Cal vs. Washington State Football
Trying to categorize one of the strangest Cal football games in recent memory
I’m taking a slightly different approach with this week’s edition of The Good, the Bad, and the Rockfights. Usually I pull the data, run the analysis, and then write up the piece. This week I am writing the intro before I look at the data because I have no idea where this game will end up. Usually I have a strong inclination which category each game will belong to, but this one is a complete mystery. I could entertain reasonable arguments for any category except The Bad. The offense ought to earn decent grades from PFF this week, so it was probably not a Rockfight, as those are characterized by an offense that struggles except for some success running the ball. Surrendering 483 yards and 5 TDs, the defense will probably not earn the stellar scores that accompany a Rockfight, so we can probably rule out that category. That leads us to a Good or a Pillowfight. The main differences between the two are that Pillowfights have worse rushing grades and much worse defensive grades. Rushing grades could align with either category, as the ground game was productive but mistake-prone due to Cal’s four fumbles. This will largely come down to how PFF grades the defense: will they be rewarded for wreaking havoc (3 forced fumbles, 1 interception, 6 sacks, 9 total tackles for loss, and 5 pass breakups) and forcing Wazzu to grind out long, inefficient drives or will they be penalized for the sheer volume of yards and points surrendered? Let’s find out and then figure out where this oddball game will be categorized.