As always seems to be the case when the Bears play OSU, that was an odd game. I can’t recall another recent game in which the Bears outplayed the opponent so clearly but still lost. But the Bears turned the ball over twice in the red zone, gave up two TDs on one-play drives, and allowed a critical blocked punt in the fourth quarter. If any one of those plays didn’t happen, the Bears likely win this. If two or three of them didn’t happen, Cal may have won comfortably. But nothing happens comfortably for us this season, so here we are.
The ratings aren’t great, but they aren’t terrible. Except for special teams, everything shows clear improvement over last week’s disaster in the Rose Bowl. Special teams clearly deserved those low scores. Other than Longhetto’s 52-yard field goal, it was a dreadful day full of lousy punting and dumb penalties. And that blocked punt. Oh, that blocked punt. OSU sent ONE guy to try to block the punt and he still managed to be successful. The Ghost of Pete Alamar still haunts us…
Ordinarily now I’d switch to a comparison of how Saturday’s game compares to other games in the Wilcox Era and other games against the Beavs since we started running this season. But I don’t currently have access to my data file, so we’ll have to skip it this time. It’s not like you want to revisit our recent history against OSU, do you? The 2012 blowout that ended Tedford’s career at Cal, the 2013 loss when Mannion threw for about a million yards, the 2016 loss when we insisted on having Webb throw the ball over and over despite an injured thumb and a woeful OSU run defense, last year’s embarrassing homecoming loss. I’m doing you all a favor—that’s something to be thankful for tomorrow.
Time to hand out some awards!
First, the lowest ratings of the week.
And now the highest ratings of the week.
These are pretty good scores for a loss, owing to the fact that we outplayed the Beavs for most of the game.
The Voice of Reason
Now, the ratings closest to the community average.
Is this the VoR award or rankings for the most handsome members of the Write for California community?
Now let’s see what you all thought about the game. I’m sure this will be pleasant.
Any comments about the gameday experience?
Kevin - digging the live chat
HaasBear - Nothing matters. Sadness abounds.
Bowlesman80 - Believe it or not, I watched the game from home. Just kidding, I even wore a facemask while I sat on the couch.
Go Eat A Taco - We had some yummy carne asada burritos!!
Rick Chen - I had an awesome set up: Cal game on my TV from my laptop, the Write for California game threads and the watch along on YouTube on my work laptop, and Twitter on my phone.
Poohbears - The Bears took the fans out of the game early on.
Any comments about the pass offense?
Azulviejo - Why do we run a slow TE on pass patterns behind the line of scrimmage? I know we are missing our RB.
TD_24 - I officially recant any statements I've made about Garbers hype. He's now into his 2018 and pre Ole Miss 2019 form, where he doesn't trust himself and just stares a first read like its his only read. If he can't trust himself why should I.
Bowlesman80 - Much better than last week and more "Cardiac Cal."
Steve - Lousy job of giving Garbers time.
Goldenlikethebears - Chase did well enough. The 1 INT off a tipped pass...meh
Any comments about the run offense?
GoldenBear88 - Better than last week but we seemed to really be missing Brown. If he had been in the game, I see the Bears pounding the ball inside the ten with about a minute to go and down by four. Instead, they call for a PASS!?!?!?!?!?
Oskioftarth - Replacement offensive line opened some holes, played better than expected. Dancy seems like an upgrade over Brown Jr.
Texashaterforlife - Slightly better O-line blocking, or maybe the Beavers D-line is way worse than UCLA, next week should tell us more. I would like to have seen more creativity on those Goal-line rushes (like an inside shuttle toss up the middle or a reverse). The Beavers ran a couple plays that I wish Cal would try. Realistically, Cal needs more offensive line continuity, practice, and offseason conditioning to run a pro-run style offense.
Go Eat A Taco - Having quicker backs in the game seems to be a better fit for this offense than a power back. Not having Brown available did not seem to hurt Cal.
Sacman701 - Mostly weak and ineffective. The blocking wasn't good.
Any comments about the pass defense?
HaasBear - It was better.
TD_24 - Tristian Gebbia is not good so it was as expected aside from the 3rd down conversions where he somehow made plays.
Poohbears - Push is fair, backers don’t add much. Backs are small but good.
TFunk911 - I was really impressed by them. Maybe I over reacted last week.... Maybe.
Drillerbear - Overall good.
Any comments about the run defense?
Lucky1715 - Better. First play hurt, they were able to move the ball decently against us for short yardage. Linebacker play is still spotty.
TFunk911 - I don't care if Jermar Jefferson is the best RB in the PAC 12 or not. He never should have had this much success against us.
Rick Chen - The run defense was terrible. They gave up too many big plays, even when you exclude Oregon State's first-play touchdown.
Go Eat A Taco - ILB, ILB, ILB...did I mention ILB??
Sacman701 - Not as bad as the stats indicated. One bust at the beginning, two busts at the end that probably didn't matter that much, and a lot of nothing in between.
Any comments about the special teams?
HaasBear - I get Ragle can recruit but his unit lost us the game today. Penalties and the block.
Sacman701 - Made two FG including a 52 yarder, and everything else was an absolute horror show. The blocked punt and the punt where we missed 3 tackles on the return set OSU up for very short fields on their two second half TDs. We also started a drive from our own 7 instead of OSU's 3 because of an illegal block, and nearly muffed another punt.
Kevin - LOVE the 50+ yarder. HATE the blocked punt.
Goldenlikethebears - What’s the most Cal thing Cal could do? Crush a 52yrd field goal, get a punt return touchdown called back, and miss an assignment to get punt blocked.
Goldenone - Shot ourselves in the foot with stupid penalties, made one long field goal
Any comments about the coaching?
Go Eat A Taco - OL was ready and played great, let's keep that OL for now. Obviously our second half adjustments sucked because the offense from the first half was non-existent in the second half.
Oskioftarth - Offense is dull, conservative, and predictable. Defensive fundamentals are lacking.
RememberTheCalamo - It was kind of frustrating that they'd just run it 4 times in the goal line situations.
HaasBear - It’s bad. Flat out bad. Predictable play calling. Inability to make adjustments. The kids deserve better.
TFunk911 - I feel a lot better about our new hires now that we got a chance to see what they can do with almost a full week to prepare but there is still a lot of room for improvement.
AlohaBear - I want to blast them for super conservative play calling in the second half, but the team looked ready to play despite the last minute loss of 4 starters on O, so they get credit for that.
Any comments about the overall performance?
HaasBear - At least no one will steal Wilcox from us in the off-season.
TD_24 - If anyone needs me I'll be at the bar located in my kitchen drowning my sorrows with beer and burgers.
Sacman701 - Disappointing, but we didn't look like a bad joke the way we did against UCLA.
AlohaBear - There is no 2020 season. There is only the Axe.
Texashaterforlife - At least we played a game. I'm not sure if Stanford's cancelled game is helpful or hurtful to us next week. Even though this game hurt for Cal because of the twist ending, there were positives. Look on the bright side and keep getting better. This whole Autumn season is nothing more than a weird offseason with several scrimmages to prep us for the 2021 season. If Cal can beat Stanford to keep the Axe; I say we cancel the rest of this season's games and party on the field. Because beating the Dopey Dancing Trees is all that counts! Keep Fighting you Sturdy Golden Bears!!
Goldenone - Given the Covid situation and a new O-line it was OK, but too inconsistent to get the W
KJ1980 - The loss was discouraging. The Beavers are the worst in the league. We competed but failed to execute in crunch time. Heartbreaker.
Drillerbear - Considering injuries and Covid-related absences, performance was decent except for inability to stop Jefferson. Driscoll was impressive as replacement for Saffell at center.
Lucky1715 - Solid C performance. Improvements over UCLA game, but FAR from expectations. Kudos to the OLine replacements and their coach! Problems on special teams and linebackers are serious. Garbers will never be great but I’d settle for good at this point.
Thanks for participating, all. Hopefully we’ll be in a better mood next week.