BearTalk

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Halftime

By Jonathan Okanes
Saturday, October 20th, 2007 at 2:06 pm in Uncategorized.

Cal may end up kicking itself for not being in more of a hurry during its final drive of the first half. The Bears didn’t speed up the pace as they moved into UCLA territory and they were left with a 44-yard field goal attempt with two seconds remaining. That wasn’t good enough, as Jordan Kay continued his struggled with a miss.

The Bears began the drive at the UCLA 39 with 1:10 left. After a pass for no gain to Justin Forsett, Cal took its time snapping the next play, and it ended up as a false start. That didn’t leave the Bears with much time after Nate Longshore connected with DeSean Jackson for a 17-yard gain on 3rd-and-14. Had Cal moved a little faster, perhaps it would have been deeper in UCLA territory and had a field goal try more manageable for Kay.

The good news for the Bears is Longshore seems to be past his sprained ankle. He had a terrific first half, completing 16 of 19 passes for 173 yards. Jackson has seven catches for 120 yards at the half.

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  • jeff

    CAL NEEDS TO GET RID OF BOB GREGORY…….5 OUT 6 YEARS OF MEDIOCRITY!!

  • Tom

    Missed field goals cost Bears past two games. Both O and D Line weaknesses have been apparent all season and are a focal reason for the outcome of the last two games. If you can’t control the line of scrimmage you aren’t going to win many football games. Big play makers got press and hyped Bears early in the season and masked that fact. Bottom line is that the game is won and lost on The Line. Understanding this fact makes it easier to accept these close losses. Translation: they were never as good as we might have wanted to believe. Ahhh. Acceptance. Peace. I’m back to normal… GO BEARS!

  • Josh

    Horrible running game today. Forsett didn’t have it and Tedford kept giving him the ball. We averaged 2.4 yards per rush today. And can anyone tell me what we were thinking running the ball on 2nd and 18 and then again on 3rd and long???

  • Lady Bear in LA

    This loss was all about coaching. The defense was atrocious — the “bend but not break” philosophy is not working and should be scrapped. I think we have talented players on defense but the coaching leaves something to be desired. My impression is that the coaches seem to think allowing 5-6 yards per play and 500 yards per game is OK, since we still managed to go 5-0 doing that. It was only a matter of time before our defense would start catching up with us.

    The play-calling and clock management were questionable, and deprived our players of the opportunity to win this game. Just like last week’s goal-line fiasco against Oregon State, Tedford insisted on running the ball even though it was clearly not working. Nearly every time Nate passed the ball vertically, we’d get a first down, but then Tedford would go right back to running up the middle on first and second down. (Handoff to Forsett on 3rd and 18 — what the $%^$?)

    Also, there is just no excuse for the clock management (or lack thereof) at the end of the first half. You can’t go lollygagging around like that when you are working with your backup place kicker; also, why waste all that time when you have an opportunity to score a TD? Then Tedford made a similar call in the 4th quarter after Best’s long kickoff return — ran the ball up the middle twice and put us in an obvious 3rd & long situation where, not surprisingly, we were intercepted (BTW, someone please teach Nate to stop staring down the receivers!).

    Tedford is a good coach and I’m glad we have him, but there are many things the coaches need to reevaluate from this game. The difference between good teams and “elite” teams is that their coaches know when to be aggressive and take risks (e.g., Les Miles in the LSU/Florida game, Pete Carroll). I think that if Cal is going to get over the hump and become a really great team, Tedford needs to be more aggressive and gutsy instead of always playing it safe and conservative.

  • Lady Bear in LA

    This loss was all about coaching. The defense was atrocious — the “bend but not break” philosophy is not working and should be scrapped. I think we have talented players on defense but the coaching leaves something to be desired. My impression is that the coaches seem to think allowing 5-6 yards per play and 500 yards per game is OK, since we still managed to go 5-0 doing that. It was only a matter of time before our defense would start catching up with us.

    The play-calling and clock management were questionable, and deprived our players of the opportunity to win this game. Just like last week’s goal-line fiasco against Oregon State, Tedford insisted on running the ball even though it was clearly not working. Nearly every time Nate passed the ball vertically, we’d get a first down, but then Tedford would go right back to running up the middle on first and second down. (Handoff to Forsett on 3rd and 18 — what the $%^$?)

    Also, there is just no excuse for the clock management (or lack thereof) at the end of the first half. You can’t go lollygagging around like that when you are working with your backup place kicker; also, why waste all that time when you have an opportunity to score a TD? Then Tedford made a similar call in the 4th quarter after Best’s long kickoff return — ran the ball up the middle twice and put us in an obvious 3rd & long situation where, not surprisingly, we were intercepted (BTW, someone please teach Nate to stop staring down the receivers!).

    Tedford is a good coach and I’m glad we have him, but there are many things the coaches need to reevaluate from this game. The difference between good teams and “elite” teams is that their coaches know when to be aggressive and take risks (e.g., Les Miles in the LSU/Florida game, Pete Carroll). I think that if Cal is going to get over the hump and become a really great team, Tedford needs to be more aggressive and gutsy instead of always playing it safe and conservative.

  • Tom

    From the bottom of the tank to a new sunny day – here’s my plan! If you consider the matchups and who will be favored it is not all that unlikely.

    Cal can still go to the Rose Bowl IF it wins out.

    That would give USC 2 loses and Cal would own the tiebreaker with them.

    We’d need the following:

    Oregon. They lose 1 more game and we own the tiebreaker with them too. Let’s hope USC beats them.

    UCLA. Need to lose 3 of their next 5. Could happen: they play Oregon, USC, ASU, WSU, and Arizona. Let’s say they are going to lose to USC and Oregon b/c they are better teams – then we just need them to slip against either ASU, WSU, or Arizona.

    ASU: Cal would have the edge on them with 2 losses – 1 against the Bears and another against either Oregon or USC. (They also have to play UCLA and Arizona but we won’t even have to root for that.)

    Again – it’s not too hard to imagine:
    We win out.
    USC over Oregon.
    Oregon or USC over ASU
    USC over UCLA
    Oregon over UCLA
    ASU, WSU, or Arizona over UCLA

    If the above happens we win Pac-10 and go to Rose Bowl.

    ANOTHER SCENARIO:
    Oregon wins the rest of their games (beats USC) and goes to the national title game with only a last second fumble out the end zone away from an undefeated season. With so many other teams losing around the nation the Pac 10 could have 2 BCS teams – Cal could get the nod from the Rose Bowl committee.

    Yesterday was deep despair. Today – hope springs eternal.

  • SadBear

    JT’s playcalling either shows he has forgotten what he once knew about running an offense OR he has absolutely no confidence in his defense. It seems like the number one goal of the offense is now to hold the ball as long as possible. The number two goal is to score. Playmakers such as DJ, Hawk, Best score too quickly if consistently given the ball. So run up the middle instead. Two running plays prior to Nate’s pick made that pass play predictable. Even with UCLA down to 1 timeout and a minute left JT was running time. DJ could have caught 20 passes. They couldn’t handle him. But Tedford makes sure that doesn’t happen. Also, another close game loss in the Tedford era. What’s that run his record to now?

  • JT

    Tedford’s now 0-6 in games played in Los Angeles.

  • calfan

    The coaches still know what they are doing but something is definately wrong and has been off for a few years. Since 04 we have not been clicking on all cylinders. I think it has a lot to do with the QB. Our tempo is not great on O, guys are not in synch and that is the most glaring thing to me. Boller, AR and Reggie R. ran the O with great tempo and we were always on the offensive seeminly always moving down hill. With Ayoob/Nate I feel like we are always on our heels. Our Defense also needs to play with more passion, those D’s from 02-04 were all for one one for all. They fought hard snap to wistle for 60 minutes and loved to the game, playing together, and left it all on the field. It does not appear that the D/the entire team are buying into the same theme and IMO that’s the biggest problem. Maybe Kevin Riley is the man that needs to step up and change the tone for this entire team.
    Beat ASU!