Football: Sunday night reflections

First of all, let me apologize again for the lack of posts during the game last night. Again, there were some technical problems with the internet access in the L.A. Coliseum press box, and I wasn’t able to get into our blog system after the first quarter.

A few of you have asked about USC’s first touchdown, and why it wasn’t reviewed. Honestly, I didn’t see a good enough replay in the press box to determine if it warranted a review or not. Jeff Tedford said after the game that by the time the team had determined that a review might be in order, the Trojans were already kicking the extra point and it was too late. What I’ve heard is the replay may not have been conclusive enough to reverse the call anyway, but you never know.

The prevailing theme coming out of postgame is that the Bears felt like they had some missed opportunities. Clearly, penalties hurt them, but there were even more untimely penalties for the Trojans. But Cal’s biggest shortcoming was the inability to connect in the passing game. After it became apparent there was just no way the Bears were going to be able to run the ball against USC (which most Trojans opponents have figured out this season), the Bears turned to their passing game. And they actually had open receivers. But both quarterbacks, and mainly Kevin Riley in the second half, simply were off the mark.

Some of that clearly has to do with USC’s pass rush. Yes, Riley missed receivers on plays where he wasn’t under pressure. But sometimes a quarterback can get our of his rhythmn or rush things when he’s generally feeling the heat. I remember when I covered the Super Bowl a few years back when the Raiders lost to Tampa Bay, and Rich Gannon had a miserable game. He was sacked a few times and hit a few others, but even on plays where he wasn’t under pressure, he made some bad throws. Afterward, he said that sometimes when a quarterback is taking hits, it can affect his overall performance, even when he’s not under pressure.

The chances of the Bears going to the Rose Bowl now, of course, look bleak. It’s hard to imagine USC losing to Stanford or UCLA, so even if Cal beats Oregon State this Saturday, it appears the Trojans would be in. Of course, the Beavers will go if they can win out.

But Cal can still wind up with a pretty good season, one to build off of and one that can help recruiting. If the Bears were to win out and finish at 9-3, you’d have to think they’d be ranked around 20th nationally and looking at the Holiday Bowl against a very good team from the Big 12. That could set things up nicely going into next year with a good nucleus of young players coming back.

But this Saturday’s game wont’ be easy. The Beavers are playing confidently and obviously are very good at home. Saturday’s game also helped Cal’s defense prove it can do the job on the road after getting torched in road games against Maryland and Arizona. You have to think the Bears’ defense is going to keep them in every game they play. Now, there’s just the little matter of getting the offense in gear.

You may have seen the latest rankings. Cal dropped out but is the first team of others receiving votes, meaning the Bears are at No. 26. Oregon State moved into the Associated Press top 25 at No. 23, meaning Cal has a chance to knock off a ranked opponent for the second time in three weeks.

Jonathan Okanes

Jonathan Okanes is in his fourth year covering Cal's football team. Previously, he covered Cal's men's basketball team for four years. He can also be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/OkanesonCal.

  • joblo


    do you think you could maybe tell us something that we don’t know some day? Just now and then perhaps? Just once? Have you ever looked at the blogs from socal or seattle that cover their college teams? Are you aware of the need to improve the depth of your coverage? I guess this is fine for people who aren’t fans but for people who are there’s very little meat on these bones. Day by day about the same that can be gleaned from the cal press releases or the headlines at rivals.


  • John

    I think we’ll be higher than #20 if we win out, considering that we’re #26 now. Other teams will lose, and we’ll be a more well-regarded 3-loss team for wins against Mich St, OSU, Oregon.

  • C.J. Roses

    The replay clearly showed Turner dropped the ball.

  • Tony

    First of all, let’s just get this out of the way — much as it pains me to admit, it was pretty clear yesterday that SC is the better team. I was at the game yesterday, and their defense is pretty amazing.

    That said, I’m not sure that the separation between the two programs is THAT wide…we were right in it for pretty much the whole game.

    Here’s my one bone — that TD to Vereen that was called back for supposed “ineligible receiver downfield” — I didn’t have the benefit of watching replay until tonight, and, well…unbelievable. Even the ABC guys were wondering on the air who the supposed ‘ineligible receiver downfield’ was (unless I’m completely missing something — there wasn’t).

    It’s not to say that Cal would’ve won if that had counted, but it sure would have changed the complexion of the game. Not even SC is immune to getting at least a little rattled.

    That said, we also got so lucky on several plays (the called-back INTs) so I guess it evens out. Pretty frustrating though.

  • Mike in San Jose

    I agree with Tony in that the gap between Cal and SC is shrinking. All I know is that SC was only up by one score going into the 4th qtr. Other than Arizona no team has held SC like that. Our D is stout and I believe we have enough players coming back next yr to where it should be strong again. O line will be better and hopefully our qb situation will be clearer to where we don’t have the constant flip flopping. Although Mr Mansion is waiting in the wings and I can’t wait to see what that guy can do. Another recruit in Desarte Yarnway will be MUCH NEEDED in those 3rd and 1 situations. Hopefully he gets playing time next yr along with Best and Vereen. But yes we STILL have a lot to fight for. If you look at it closely I believe it’s going to be SO much harder this yr to win the Holiday Bowl vs The Rose.

  • Matt S.

    Even if we take 2 of the last 3 I’d call it a good season (It goes without saying that bringing back the axe to Berkeley needs to be one of the wins). I’m looking for the passing game to find some semblance of consistency. I’m not looking for us to put up crazy numbers but enough to where we can spread out the opponent’s defense.

    One note on the TD that was called back. Looking at the replay later, it wasn’t a lineman that was ineligible. It was either Boeteng or Ross incorrectly lined up on the far side of the play. It kills me because they didn’t end up having any involvement in the play.

  • Kyle

    To all the “experts”, “critics” (i.e. Kirk Herbstreit, Pete Fuitak of College Football News) to name a couple you are complete morons. They kept saying all week that SC would destroy and wipe the floor with the bears. If it wasn’t for a couple of calls and some missed opportunities that game was there for the taking. The Bears D played like champions and was good enough to win. Like I’ve said before Tedford needs to pick 1 QB and stick with him. I know Riley is more mobile but Longshore should not have been pulled. Especially since Riley is coming off a concussion. Your asking a guy to come in the 2nd half of a close game and start making plays with I’m sure his head injury in the back of his mind, not to mention against the best D in the last 15 years or so in the country.

    Tedford completely and totally overthunk this one. I’m actually a Riley supporter over Longshore and I usually think that Tedford is loyal to a fault with Longshore. But in this case he should have left him in the game. For a guy that doesn’t believe in the 2 QB system he isn’t doing a very good of sticking to that belief.

    9-3 here we come. Come get your butt whoopin Oklahoma St. in the Holiday Bowl.

    Roll On!!

  • GoldenBear77

    OK, so my fairy tail ending had Longshore finishing his CAL career with a win over USC, but the offense failed to click, again. I am probably in the minority, but I would rather beat USC than Stanford, and it is time we do that.
    Now I have to move on (my 24 hours of mourning is over). I am traveling to watch the bears in Corvallis this weekend. Any suggestions on restaurants or other places to visit that will give me some local flavor?

  • California Pete

    I find the replay rule extremely frustrating. EVERY touchdown should be reviewed from at least a couple different camera angles to verify that it’s a good play. There is absolutely no reason to rush the extra point; they could even have the TV timeout during this automatic replay period.

    I’m not sure if a review would have overturned the first USC touchdown. It was close. But in a game that tight, it sure would have made a big difference.

  • DanTheCalFan

    Cal played very hard, showed themselves well effort wise, but USC is WAY better- yet Cal had MANY opportunities to win. Turner’s TD shouldn’t have been, Cal’s overturned TD was a wrong call, as no lineman was downfield and Boateng stepped up to the LOS prior to the snap. All the commotion he was maling drew attention to one of them being lined up wrong- but as I said, Boateng step up to the LOS prior to snap. That was a BS penalty- typical Pac 10 officials- typical USC luck.

    The game went exactly as you would assume. SC never loses at home, Pete Carroll never loses in November, they are way deeper in talent. The unstable Cal QB situation came back to haunt Cal- IMO, that is 2 years in a row this whole Longshore-Riley drama has hurt Cal. Riley should have played a lot last year, and he should have been on the field all year this year, not getting jerked in and out. He needed more seasoning to be ready for the game Saturday. Also, all the OL injuries showed in the run game- Cal could not run- if you can’t run at all, you usually will not win.

    This week is really the big game. No matter what, they need to beat OSU. If they win, they should win out and go to Holiday Bowl, which would be no small accomplishment this with the way this season has gone. The bad news is that the opponent will much stronger in the Holiday than the Rose Bowl- bummer.

    By the way, next year could and should be a great, perhaps huge, year for Cal. Other than the 3 big LB’s (Felder, Follett, Williams-huge loss), and Alex Mack, EVERYBODY is coming back. And at LB, Mohammed and Young are coming back, as is Devin Bishop, and I hear Kendricks is a freak atheletically- that came directly from Cameron Jordan. Next year, the DB’s, DL, OL, WR’s, RB’s, QB’s and special teams will all be significantly better. Lots to look forward to. But they still will have to beat SC.

    Let’s take care of business first. Win out, finish at 9-3, go to the Holiday Bowl, and go close out a strong recruiting class- Cal is WAY behind there.

  • toparchitect

    SC knew that was touch on ground, so, they quickly kick that PAT, so game cann’t be reversed.

    However, the Cal side upstair should have called quickly, when they see the replay. It’s hard for the coach on the field to see them clearly.

    Now is time to prepare to take down OSU.

    Go Bears! Its only a set back, Its not the end of the world.

    Don’t let the OSU get away.

  • Calduke

    More on Tedford;

    Keep pushing and Tedford will be out of here.

    Not many teams can go to the Trojans home field and come out of there 17-3( call Ohio State). Tedford and staff had the Bears in it until the 4th quarter. Cal did a great job Sat and the coaches and players hung in there against a very talented team on the their homefield.

    When you analyze this closely you will see that Cal’s
    talent level, and experience, is not that impressive. Tedford has done great considering his Jeckle/Hyde QB situation. I’m sure he would like to settle on a quarterback, but, neither Riley nor Longshore has stepped up. If you think we are fustrated with the QB fiasco, just imagine Tedford’s agony.

    If Cal can take 2 of the next 3 games it will be a successful season. If they go 3/3 it will be be a 9-3 season and a super season. Either way, Tedford has done a great job to get to this point.

  • toparchitect

    Another note:

    Boatang should have just step back, when he knew the other guy is up front. But, he didn’t. the ball would not going their way anyway. They were just a decoy for that play. That touchdown to Vereen could have been the game changing moment.

    Go Bears!

  • DanTheCalFan

    A couple of other things-

    USC gained 422 yards and had 22 first downs. This is despite all the stupid penalties they had. If they hadn’t shot themselves in the foot so often, likely they would have another TD or two. So before we annoit our defense as great is the SC game, think again. The D is solid, the best unit on the team, but they are not great- if they were great, they wouldn’t have been torched by Maryland, Arizona and would have been better vs. SC.

    As far as the offense, pretty weak, but with QB yo-yoing, a beat up and now replacement OL and green receivers, it’s tough to expect better- especially against that SC defense. THAT is a GREAT defense- scary.

    Just a thought- is Gregory a better coordinator than Tedford?

    AND CalDuke… “Keep pushing and Tedford will be out of here”? Are you serious?? Because some fans have criticisms, many of which have credence, Tedford is going to leave? Puh-leze. You’re kidding right?? Fans posting some critiques on a blog will cause Tedford to leave? Right. If Tedford is that soft and sensitive that he would leave, then see ya later Coach. And, where is he going to go? Somewhere he won’t be, heaven forbid, criticized? C’mon. Tedfrod is a big boy, he’s (admittedly) made his share of mistakes. He a good coach, he’s not a great coach. If he does leave for any reason, Cal can hire Chris Peterson.

    Also, you wrote “When you analyze this closely you will see that Cal’s talent level, and experience, is not that impressive. Tedford has done great considering his Jeckle/Hyde QB situation…”
    Well Tedford recruited and has coached this “talent level”- so if it is not impressive, wouldn’t that be on Tedford? Also, he created the QB situation. He botched it last year, he botched it Ayoob’s junior year (he has admitted both of those in print) and he should have put Riley in this year and left him there. Most feel that way, the media that will actually take a stand believe that, so how is that not on Tedford?
    Tedford makes $1.85 mil a year, he’s the 3rd highest paid coach in the Pac 10 and he makes more than several NFL coaches. By definition, a public coaching job like his where he is extravangantly paid opens him up to criticism. When his teams continually come close to taking the next step and they do not, he is going to get some criticism. Some of it is spot on.

  • Rurata

    Wasn’t the problem that there weren’t enough people on the line, and Boateng was telling Ross to step up? Someone mentioned that Boateng stepped up to the LOS at the last minute, but the refs called it anyway.

  • GoBeerz

    I didn’t think we’d have much of a shot against USC this year, and that’s being a realist not a pessimist. If we had lost 35-0 I would have been of the impression that we were really bad. 10-3 until 3 mins left in the game ain’t too shabby, on the road, given the O-line issues, the inconsistency at QB etc. With everyone writing off Cal – saying Oregon and ASU were the next best teams in the Pac-10 this year, I am very pleased. Again, you’re talking to a guy who endured the last 4 Holmoe years and was handed his degree on the heels of a 1-11 season. This doesn’t mean I don’t hold my team to a high standard. I’m not saying I’m not disappointed. I very much feel we should have been undefeated going into the game with SC. You still never know, if everyone in the Big 12 beats itself up and Cal wins out there’s a chance SC gets to the NC game and we smell roses. Improbable but not impossible.

    Okay MoreNCs/9drawfs – I’m ready for you to call us all pathetic and you to thump your chest about how USC could have laid 70pts on us but didn’t. I’m ready for you to prove to me that you’re a bigger ass than I originally thought! Bring it.

  • SAMOBear

    Everyone just needs to take a breath. Who really believed we could have been challenging for the Pac-10 title and Rose Bowl and beat SC at home given our “rebuilding” status this year?

    The result on Saturday night confirms that we have yet to play a complete game this year (outside of Michigan State). When you only gain 27 yards rushing, 165 total offense, miss open receivers all night, convert only 35% of your third downs, and commit 8 penalities, you dont deserve to win any Pac-10 game, let alone vs SC. The only reason this game was that close was b/c of our defensive effort–which we should all be proud of. I want to beat SC, just as bad as all of you (even more than Stanford), but until we execute in all facets of the game, we wont beat a team of SC’s calibur.

    Go Bears!

  • Bear1964

    I thought all plays were reviewed by the upstairs booth official.

    Why couldn’t the upstairs official slow down the field referees until he had a chance to review the play?

  • Kyle

    I wasn’t critzing Tedford I just thought he overthought the QB situation. If the TD to Vereen would’ve stood the decision might of looked great. And yeah people posting on a blog isn’t going to make Tedford leave, c’mon let’s get serious. Tedford will be here for a while. Bring on the Beaver!! hahahah get it?

    Roll on!!

  • Go Bears82

    A previous poster made the point about the TD to Vereen, yes Boateng should have stepped back. He knew it was a problem, he didn’t think it through. I think it’s time for Tedford to stop splitting practice time between Longshore and Riley. Longshore had an opportunity to step up in a big game and didn’t deliver. Riley didn’t deliver either, mind you, but he needs to get in rhythm with his receivers. Practice will help. And speaking of receivers, I’ve been impressed with Tucker and Boateng and Ross have moments, but the rest seem to be out of position and incapable of making hard catches. Drill Riley in practice with heavy blitz situations so he can get experience with getting rid of the ball quickly.

  • Jeraun

    I’ll start off…I’ma trojans fan….I really wanna say congrats to the Bears. You guys have amighty stout D. But I disagree with some comments as to the Pac10 officiating…I’m sorry guys, but the refs were WAY MORE on your guys side. It is always a lopsided affair in Pac10 play in terms of penalties, whomever USC plays. It has been that way the past 3-4 years consistently, we get big plays taken back from us. If you’ll notice, the INT taken back because RTP on Cushing was a big flop, and the ref didn’t throw the flag until after the ball was picked, not when the QB fell. You’ll see it on the replay…as well as the called back TD by you guys, the announcers eventually concluded it was one of your receivers lining up on the left side in the bunch, his own teammate was tryna signal him to lign up perfect. Too many bad holding calls on the Trojans, when there were more than a couple times I noticed Bears holding onto red jerseys, you guys had to anyways because we were racing through your guys backfield. I think that was one of the worst officiating jobs done on both sides though, as to me the Turner TD did like the ball hit the ground IMO would have been called back, but its hard to say if there would be inconclusive evidence. I think that had penalties not hampered the trojans we probably would have won by 3 td’s. And no I dont see your guys O being able to catch up, our D really did dominate. That said, I’m sure it’ll be a different story next year with most of our almost perfect Defense gone to the NFL. Good game all the way through bears, good luck in knocking out the Beavers!

  • C.J. Roses

    Count me out of the chorus of moral victory stuff because we played SC “tough” or “kept it close.” If OSU beat them this year or Stanford can beat them last year- certainly we can. Tedford does not make $1.85 million a year. He makes closer to $3.0 million a year in total compensation and yes, he is fairly subject to criticism.

  • Kent Wilson

    Great post by DantheCalFan,

    His setiments very closely match mine!

    Calduke says if Cal wins 2 or next 3 it will be a successful season. I personally will be disapointed unless Cal wins all three games. If Cal loses to OSU then our record against winning teams will be 2-4…not so impressive. I think a victory over OSU is a necessity to call the year “successful”. We would then finish the year 3-3 against winning teams and 6-0 against teams with poor records, thus avoiding any significant upsets. That type of record firmly puts us in a top 25 category and something we can build for next year. Remember, this is a very weak Pac-10 conference this year, Cal really needs to be seen as the undisputed 2nd best team in the conference and beating OSU on the road will go a long way to solidify our standing.

  • milo

    USC is the better team.

    Still, all those penalties, all the bad throws/catches and all the bad officiating didn’t help.

    Cal absolutely play the game right from a strategy POV. Cal was in the game until the end, they simply didn’t execute.

    Cal will get to the Rose Bowl but it will need an Aaron Rodgers caliber QB and decent receivers to sync up with a quality D.

  • rollonubears

    the call was ineligible receiver down field. the flanker was on the line, and thus was considered a lineman, but doesn’t he actually have to cross the line of scrimmage in order to be ineligible and downfield? he didn’t. they didn’t call illegal formation, and there was only one WR and one running back downfield on the play. i still haven’t gotten a good explanation of it. also, until usc beats stanford or we lose to oregon state, we are still very much in the rose bowl picture if the season ends in a 3 way tie. don’t give up hope. stanford beat them down there last year and they’re a much better team this year, and usc is not as good.

  • DanTheCalFan

    Actually, Boateng coorected the situation by stepping UP to the line prior to the snap. That put one of WRs on that side on the line, the other off- that is a legal formation.

    I would like to hear some clarification from the Pac 10 officials. The call was illegal man downfield. That was not true. There was some discussion on TV later when they looked at the play from high up in slo mo that perhaps the ref misspoke. The only other thing that was going on was the left side WRs. That was rectified just prior to the snap as I mentioned. As I wrote in an earlier post, that was a wrong call. The Pac 10 officiating just keeps doing its thing (poorly) year after year after year … What a shame for the players, coaches and fans. It really ruins things by affecting the game so dramatically.

  • curtis birch

    on the Trojan’s first touchdown, it was clear the ball hit the ground. i read Pete Carrol’s comment on it in the LA Times today (or was it yesterday?) in which he stated that most camps would call that a catch, even though the ball hit the ground. he was saying something like the fact that it’s a clean catch and not bobbled makes it arguable as a catch. that said, did the ground help the receiver catch it? anyone have any more insight on this? JO? although, it was too late once they kicked the point (now we know better why it’s important to get the kick off quickly!), it would be interesting to better know the current way these kind of catches are ruled if they are reviewed. feels as if Carrol was trying to slightly bend the call out of the post game discussion.

  • Bear 1964

    What a difference a year makes.

    Cal rushes for 200 yards against $C in the rain in Berkeley last year. Twenty something yards in balmy LA in 2008. Too many injuries on the O line.

    Our D kept it close.

    I’m a Riley guy, but these “high and away” overthrows are becoming commonplace. Mansion v Riley QB controvery for 2009? Oh brother.

    Go Bears!

  • curtis birch

    a good post by Jake Curtis of the Chronicle mapping out the bowl scenarios for Cal – link below. one of them being the Rose Bowl. that relies in large part on a Stanford victory over SC as well as Cal winning out. no matter what, Cal was going to have to win out, even if they had beaten USC. so it’s going to be an interesting finish perhaps even more so with Saturday’s loss. a loss that no doubt Cal can and should build on:


  • Kent

    I have not anyone mention this…but the catch that Verran Tucker made was one of the best catches I’ve seen from a Cal Bear WR in decades! That was truly amazing…if only we had a QB who could throw on target!

  • Jake

    That was an awesome catch by Tucker!! Got me up off my seat!! And I agree that Boateng and Ross have flashes too. Like Boateng hanging onto the ball even while being drilled by Mauluga and Ross jumping over opposing players.

    What the players need is repetition. And this 2 QB thing sucks. Yes it allows both to get first team reps, but as I’ve said before, Riley will be around next year and Nate will not. And I would not like to see CAL in this situation again when we have such a young team that could be so full of promise.

    JT, just let Riley play. He’s good enough to get us past Stanford and Washington and through the bowl game. It would be great for him to get back at OSU this week as well. But he needs practice so that he can be the man next year. It’s too bad for NL, but I say only let him back in this year during garbage time.

  • Jared

    I think that we will bounce back from this tough loss. We will win out but the question is who we are going to play in the holiday bowl??

    Can you imagine playing against Oklahoma or Missouri?? Both really great offenses that would really test our defense to see what they are really made of.

  • toparchitect

    Jake, I disagree from what I see the SC game. I don’t believe NL will be able to win out, if He play. He is slow and can’t run out from pocket. He fell down twice before the D even got to him, and, he was lucky to have two picks that was called back.

    Riley on the other hand, make some good strike. A beautiful touchdown to vereen, if it weren’t called back, and a bullet to the end zone, if it weren’t tipped. I do believe Cal could have won the game if Riley start to finish. Um… maybe.

    I wish Cal make some adjustment into the next game, and have some play that is quick strike slanted pass, like the NFL plays. Some time these plays can end up in the end zone.

    Nonetheless, Go Bears! Beat OSU.

  • Calduke

    Here is a quote from the Los Angeles Times,11/11/08;

    “Phantom catch? Replays of Patrick Turners pivotal touchdown catch against Cal appeared to show the ball hitting the ground as the 6-foot-5 receiver completed the diving reception.”

    “USC hurriedly kicked the extra point before the play could be reviewed and possibly reversed”

    “Not suprisingly the Trojans said Monday that there was no debate about the catch, though they could not help grinning when they said so.”

    There are more comments,but, the above quotes from the LA Times make the point.

  • Calduke

    More comments from the LA Times regarding Turner’s catch

    Phantom catch?

    Replays of Patrick Turner’s pivotal touchdown catch against Cal appeared to show the ball hitting the ground as the 6-foot-5 receiver completed the diving reception.

    USC hurriedly kicked the extra point before the play could be reviewed and possibly reversed.

    Not surprisingly, the Trojans said Monday that there was no debate about the catch, though they could not help grinning when they said so.

    “It’s a catch. It’s in the book,” Turner said. “I felt like I had it. When I hit the ground it probably moved around a little bit. But it’s still a touchdown.”

    Said Carroll: “I don’t think you could tell.”

    Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian said it was “a heck of a catch,” adding “Kareem Kelly’s was a great catch a few years ago too.”

    Kelly’s phantom touchdown reception against Cal on a pass from Carson Palmer in 2002 started a Trojans’ rally that helped USC overcome a 21-3 deficit en route to a 30-28 victory at the Coliseum.

  • DC

    Place to go in Corvallis? Tommy’s Bar and Grill. Before or after the game is alot of fun. Friendly and great food. Good place to either cry in your beer or belly up to the bar and hand out some grief.

  • Gerson_Bakar

    “Redemption”. Thats what we hope every broadcaster will be saying at the end of the game on Saturday. Riley was just named the starter against Oregon St.

  • Tyler M.

    I think we should look at the SC game as a job interview gone wrong. You know, that interview that has a lot of potential but turns sour. The bright side about those interviews is that they give you experience for the next one. Riley, Boateng, Ross, Best, Vereen and Morrah will take their knowledge gained from this “interview” into next season’s game in Berkeley. (This is not a “wait until next year” post.)

    Taylor Mays and Cushing will take their knowledge to the NFL.

  • Jake

    Riley!!! Now that’s what I’m talking about.

  • GoldenBear77

    Thanks DC. I was waiting for some advice on where to go in Corvallis.
    Throughout this season, remember that we have started 14 players that never played for CAL before, including 6 interior linemen. Throughout this, however, I think the biggest hole is that we have still not developed the possession receiver critical to the Tedford offense. You know the one — always open when you need him, always one yard past the yard marker when you need it, and always catches the ball. From my experience, Steve Rivera in the mid-70s was the prototype. Yes, Wesley Walker had the stats, but when the game was on the line, Steve made the catch (also think Fred Bilitnikoff of the Raiders). Someone needs to step up and fill this role on the team.

  • Calduke


    My observation that taking 2 of the next 3 will result in a successful year is based on what it looked like at the beginning of the year, current level of talent and experience AND the complete breakdown of the QB position. The Maryland game was a huge disappointment and a win there would have made the record even more impressive.

    Winning the 2 of the next 3 is not a give-me; Stanford runs hard and recently, teams have been racking up significant rushing yardage on the 3-4 defense.

    The coaching staff has done a good job with the talent available and the injuries.

    Most of the ‘posters’ back playing Riley because he will be the QB for the next 2 years; high throws and all.