Well, Cal fans, I wasn’t sure if you could do it. But there it was, 30 minutes before game time, and the place was packed. The crowd was chanting, the players were sky high, it was the kind of atmosphere you might expect — somewhere else.
It was the kind of rush that gives you goosebumps, that makes you realize why college football is such a wonderful sport. True emotion. It was everywhere on Saturday night and it was fun to witness.
After the game, the players were incredibly thankful of how the crowd responded. They took turns telling me that they wanted to publically thank the fans for stepping up so big.
Between the lines, a game ball would have to go to Bob Gregory. His defense completely crushed the threat of Jonathan Stewart. Oregon’s big passing plays mostly came after the game was in the bank. Jaison Williams had five catches for 66 yards, but his 29-yard touchdown catch over Daymeion Hughes only came because Dennis Dixon had an eternity to throw the ball. Hughes had the upper hand most of the game.
Those who take the time to watch Brandon Mebane would have been thrilled with his performance. He simply pushed Oregon’s O-linemen back into Dixon’s face. He had four tackles, a forced fumble and eventually, the Ducks didn’t even to attempt to run toward him.
Nu’u Tafisi is simply an animal. Teams are having a hard time trying to block him one on one and that opening interception was because Tafisi was hitting Dixon low.
About the only negative from the game was that fake field goal. It was an obvious situation for a fake so I just don’t understand anyone being that wide open. Who cares if they hit a field goat at that point? Make sure the receivers are guarded and the guys up front account for the holder. Cal was burned by an obvious punt fake situation earlier this season as well.
I’m not railing on special teams because Cal has had excellent kickoff coverage, their punt return unit has done a great job and punts and field goals have been about as perfect as can be. I think coach Alamar, who has gotten a lot of grief from Cal fans in the past, has done a very nice job.
But for gawd sakes, don’t get fooled!
This week’s challenge is Washington State, and those who have been to the Palouse know it is a strange atmosphere that somehow leaves opponents in a trance. Washington STate’s forte is putting pressure on the quarterback, and Longshore hasn’t faced much pressure since Tennessee. He continues to make at least one bad mistake a game in terms of putting up a duck to be intercepted. This will be a solid challenge for Longshore.
It’s halfway through the season, believe it or not, and Cal is back in the Top Ten.