Rating the Bears: Cal vs. Colorado Football

Basking in a rare blowout victory.

After a long and frustrating first half of the season, the Bears kicked off the second half of the season with a comprehensive beatdown of a Colorado team that was riding the momentum of an equally dominant win the week prior. After nearly two months of games in which the Bears mostly fell painfully short, this performance was impressive enough to rejuvenate hopes that a bowl game may be possible this season. The path is difficult, but if Cal can keep playing like this then winning four of the next five isn’t impossible. Unlikely, but not impossible…

Rating the Bears

Wow, that is some impressive consistency. Every category was within a 7-point range. Overall narrowly leads the way with the highest score of the week, followed by pass defense and the run defense—just like old times in the 2017-19 seasons, except the stellar defense was complemented by a mostly solid offense. That all contributed to a pleasant, stress-free afternoon for much of Bear Territory. It’s a shame that games like this are so rare…

Thanks to Oregon State’s unexpected ascension to the top of the division, our predictions of a win over the Beavers have fallen compared to how we felt prior to the start of the season. But we still seem to be feeling optimistic, as we’re favoring the Bears in a tough matchup that could turn into an offensive shootout.

Ratings Comparison

Due to the scheduling arrangement with the Pac-12 South, we do not have much data against which to compare Saturday’s ratings. The results compare quite favorably, however.

Overall, this was the best performance against the Buffs since they joined the Pac-12.

Compared to the other 50+ games in the Wilcox Era, Saturday’s performance was excellent although no single category stood out.

Summing across all categories, this was the third-best game of the Wilcox Era after the 2017 win over Wazzu and the 2018 blowout win over Oregon State. Repeating that latter feat this weekend would be quite nice, wouldn’t it?


You know the drill by now: we have awards for optimists, pessimists, and realists.

Sunshine Pumpers

Why not 110%, Calamo? Why not 110%?

Old Blues

When even the Old Blues score in the 80s, we’re doing alright.

The Voice of Reason

Even the VoR scores are better than usual this week.


Any comments on the gameday experience?

  • KJ 1989 - Attendance was sparse.  Music was very loud to energize a dead crowd.  Cal has its best game of the season. 

  • RememberTheCalamo - I.... bought a bicycle today because that was far more exciting. I don't live in the PAC-12 geographic area so basically I can't get the PAC-12 networks without having some weirdo TV package. I hope the new commissioner fixes that soon.

  • Old Bear 71 - Wonderful afternoon of Guacamole and Cal Bears football. A win is SO nice. Mrs. Bear loved seeing me enjoy the first half scoring. It is also really nice to finish a game before midnight here in NC. I have a sore spot on my cabesa from scratching it during the second half. Sure Colorado is inept in every phase of offense, but even dead cats bounce sometimes. 20 points is not much of a cushion if someone like young Mr. Rice were to get lose, and then Brossard break one. Stranger things have happened. I wish Wilcox was willing to keep the pedal on the floor for the whole game. Not only would it feel good, but I think that offense is exciting and likely to put more fans ion the seats. A beat down of thirty plus points gets more attention than a win with under thirty points in the whole game. Just sayin'.

  • 1988goldenbear - Where were all the fans? Looked like a beautiful day at Memorial!

  • Tangtpt - All things considered, seemed like a pretty good crowd. Small, but enthusiastic.

What are your thoughts on Cal's passing game?

  • BearsWillEndMyLife - Efficient when it needed to be, and we schemed players open well. I do agree we still need to find more ways to get Remigio the ball. The checkdown game to the backs was actually very effective today, despite a supposedly well-coached defense.

  • Old Bear 71 - Tight ends! they are looking good! But where is Remigio?

  • 1988goldenbear - We had Good Garbers pretty much all day! Couple of holds that were unfortunate, but Chase threw some beautiful TD's and the O-line did a solid job.

  • Sacman701 - We threw the ball well enough and Garbers did a lot of damage with his feet on designed pass plays.

  • Terence - Chase was on time and on target and we used the tight ends!

What are your thoughts on Cal's running game?

  • .KJ 1989 - Garbers was the leading rusher, I think. The option snd scrambles had the Buffs off balance. He is the number 1 QB rusher in Cal history, passing the great Joe Kapp. Run the option more

  • BearsWillEndMyLife - Outstanding, and somewhat surprising even while Landman was in the game. His loss was a major blow for Colorado, and we took advantage. We kept them on the field and tired them out. Really nice to see a clear gameplan and see it executed nearly to perfection. We still have way too many holding penalties though.

  • Old Bear 71 - Dancy got robbed. I don't see how that ref could Conclusively say that a knee was down. None of the camera angles were definitive (in my humble opinion).

  • 1988goldenbear - Garbers > Brooks and Moore? Congratulations to Chase, he had some really nice runs. Dancy missed out on a TD and some big yards due to penalties.

  • Terence - RUN THE BALL

What are your thoughts on Cal's pass defense?

  • TD_24 - Of course Colorado is bad on offense, but still great rallying to the tackle from the Linebackers and Safety's for when receivers did get catches. Finally got that takeaway we were looking for.

  • KJ 1989 - Very good against an anemic Buffalo pass offense. See Ed unfair but U will take it.

  • BTown85 - We had more sacks than Colorado had ruching yards!!! Ok, not really, but…..

  • 1988goldenbear - This may not have been the best test, but they were solid all day. Hicks had a great day.

  • SacAlum - Colorado looked pretty week at QB. Still, it was great overall performance by the pass defense.

What are your thoughts on Cal's run defense?

  • KJ 1989 - Very stout.

  • TD_24 - Did a great job of rallying down 2 great RB's and forcing a TON of TFL's. Great adjustments

  • Old Bear 71 - Sacks, stuffs, tfls galore! looked like a classic Wilcox D

  • 1988goldenbear - It seemed like there were a lot of tackles for loss, and some really good stops when they needed them.

  • SacAlum - Can't complain when you hold a Power 5 team to 35 yards on 28 rushing attempts.

What are your thoughts on Cal's special teams?

  • BearsWillEndMyLife - Longhetto looked great with all four kicks, and all but one of his kickoffs. It looks like maybe Ragle has figured how to coach some calmness out of this unit. We still don't cover kickoffs well at all, and that's going to kill us at some point down the road.

  • Goldenone - Four field goals (with a fortunately penalized blocked FG) were successes, not much impact in the return game and K.O. coverage was only average.

  • 1988goldenbear - Dario was a stud today, that's awesome.

  • Sacman701 - 4 for 4 on field goals, but we also allowed a long kickoff return that set up Colorado's only score.

What are your thoughts on the coaching staff's performance?

  • TD_24 - I mean they got vanilla in the 2nd half man, but considering how bad Colorado is, I can live with it. Going to need some of that creativity against Oregon State with that running game.

  • BearsWillEndMyLife - Not too many critical decisions, and the playcalling was reasonably creative. That's about what you can ask for from any single unit at this point - don't do something to actively lose the game. Maybe Sirmon can also build on this.

  • Old Bear 71 - Won big in first half. Big snooze in the second. Can't afford that going forward..

  • 1988goldenbear - Solid game, the kids looked prepared. Great first half, really vanilla second half but I'm not terribly disappointed about that since we didn't need any offense because of the defense.

  • Terence - We went down the field aggressively and scored right before half! Also the 4th down decisions were good

What are your thoughts on Cal's overall performance?

  •  TD_24 - We finally didn't get a heart attack game. This is progress.

  • BearsWillEndMyLife - Operation Shutdown int he second half has got to stop. We faced no opposition this week, but the rest of our schedule (aside from Arizona) has quality teams who will challenge us for four quarters. If we hope to get any kind of signature win, we have to keep scoring. The rule of 21 holds.

  • Old Bear 71 - As win is really nice!

  • 1988goldenbear - Probably the best first half of the year, and even better since they didn't play down to their competition. Second half offense was "meh", but the defense was solid all day.

  • Terence - Colorado isn't good, but we haven't beaten bad teams this season . . .so progress?

  • SacAlum - Colorado looked like the weakest team we've played all year (including Sac State), so we can't draw too many conclusions about our play. Oregon State has a quality team, so next week will be a better barometer.

  • Tangtpt - We got a comfortable win!  YAY!