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Football: Best ties mark

Jahvid Best’s last touchdown gave him 15 rushing on the season, tying the Cal record previously held by Justin Forsett and J.J. Arrington.

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.

  • Eric

    Score now 14-7, and we just punted to Miami.

    1. Please hand the ball off to Best (or Vereen) almost every time. Longshore is not good. On 3 and 4, having Longshore operate out of the shotgun is a guarantee to have Miami blitz.

    2. Why wasn’t there an official review on Miami’s TD drive? On the 3 and 6 throw, it looked like it hit the ground before bouncing into the Miami receiver’s hands. At minimum, it should be reviewed, and Tedford has to be on top of that.

    3. Cal D is generally playing well, but it would be a mistake to look only to it to win the game. Miami will improve if we keep giving them the ball on 3 and outs.

  • Eric

    Two drives after my prior post, right after Mike M’s pick.

    PLEASE HAND THE BALL OFF TO BEST, AND WE EASILY WIN.

  • Lawrence

    Can we end the Longshore era now?

  • Eric

    The defense beginning tire. They are not reacting at all to the Miami QB’s rollouts.

    The failure to run repeatedly when we had the momentum in the first half has cost us. We should have been up 28-7. That is on the coaching staff.

  • Eric

    Another set of strange calls.

    On third down, run wide side with Vereen, who isn’t apt to break tackles when running between the tackles, just off tackle, or sweeps on the short side have worked.

    Then, when it is 4 and a half a yard, you kick? One, it is not that easy a kick. Two, it is a half a yard, and the running game has worked. Missing means that if Miami scores, we won’t have time…

  • Eric

    Better to be lucky than good…

    Is there any doubt Longshore’s pass was intended for Morrah?

  • John

    Eric, are you kidding? We ran that same place last game. Miller got open on the same route. I even saw it in the back of the zone. The pass was intended for Miller. Don’t take that away from Nate.

  • GoldenBear77

    Enjoy it, we won! 9-4 in a clearly rebuilding year, with only 5 seniors. I will miss the pain train (Zach), Worrel, Felder, and the gang, but thank you for your incredible contribution. Good luck on Sunday, and Spring Practice should be fun!

  • Eric

    No, I am not kidding you. I’m not questioning the route Miller ran – that was designed – but Morrah – a very tall dude – was the front receiver, and the throw Nate threw (off the back foot) doesn’t make sense if you are throwing to the back receiver. Throwing to the back receiver, you throw it to the back of the end zone, not into the guy’s gut in coverage. Moreover, there was a third receiver to the side of Morrah – he is there to draw the safety away from Morrah on the pass at the goal line. Morrah clearly thought the ball was for him, and, given he is our number one catching receiver with numerous TD plays designed for him when Cal is within 10 yards of the end zone, yeah, I think the ball was intended for him. I’m sure Tedford and Nate will say the ball was intended for Miller, but that’s just as credible as Tedford saying at half time that Cal’s sputtering offense in the first half was due to lack of pass protection.

    As I said, better lucky than good. I’m glad Nate got a TD pass to end his career at Cal – he got robbed out of TD on the Tucker pass, which was a wonderful pass. We never should have thrown the ball in the circumstance at the end of the game anyways (running on second down and third all but destroys any clock for Miami, so even if we don’t make a TD, a FG with virtually no time is just as good), but we lucked out.

  • ho

    wow eric, you should take over tedford’s job

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Lucky win over a freshman oriented team missing 5 of its starters because of suspension. Wasn’t impressive that’s for sure.

  • Go Bears82

    When bowl season arrives I always root for all pac-10 teams to beat other conference opponents. Moron is just showing its bitterness when it can’t even acknowledge a pac-10 victory.

  • Calbears

    hey ncs, i said i wouldnt respond, but seriously, shut ur freakin mouth, i swear ur a fool, and if u were talking to us face to face u would hide in the corner, wuss, im actually rooting for all pac 10 teams, but i hope usc loses by 50 cause of fans like u, miami was athletic as hell dude, i was there, i figured cal would win but it would be close cause of miamis speed. why cant u for once in your sorry life say, good job on the win, instead u turn it into ur usually grudge against cal, which to me, and everyone else, makes no sense. shut up, really shut up

  • Calbears

    can we please ban this person from this board now

  • Kent

    That was the worst playing calling since the 2004 Holiday Bowl. Tedford had the nerve to say that “the coaching staff did a great job of putting the playing in the best position to win”…that’s exactly what the coaching staff did NOT do! Tedford (and his OC) appear to be so focused on having a “balanced” offensive attack, that they loose the forest from the trees. When you are playing a team that is ranked 70th (out of 119) against the run, perhaps the game plan should emphasize the run. When the game actually starts and you see that you are having tremendous success when you run the ball, perhaps you should emphasize the run. Cal ran the ball 30 times and passed it 21 times…running the ball about 60% of the time is average, Miami actually ran the ball more often than call, they ran the ball 32 times and only threw it 19 times. Given the success of running during the game, as well as given the fact that we all knew coming into the game that Miami would likely struggle with Cal’s rushing attack, Cal should have run the ball between 35 to 38 times over the course of 50 plays. Passing plays should only be called for 3 and long (greater than 4 yards) and no more than twice on first down for a play action pass. Best should have had 30 touches with around 26-28 running plays…Vereen should have had 5 or 6 rushing attempts. That type of plan would emphasize our strengths against our opponents weakness. Of course, becaue Cal won the game, most fans will miss the poor strategic approach Tedford and his staff implemented on offense. But this offensive play calling was a near carbon copy of hte play calling against Texas Tech in the Holiday Bowl in 2004. For those who can recall, Cal’s offensive running game was unstoppable, but Tedford insisted on maintaining “balance” by cotninuing to throw the ball. Even the TV announcers commented on how needs to run the ball more often. Tedford even admited months after the game that he called a bad game and should have run more often…seems like Tedford has not learned from his mistakes of the past.

  • Eric

    Kent – you and I are on the same page. I remember sitting in the stands in San Diego in 2004, wondering why we were not using our 2,000 yard rusher 75% of the time when (a) T Tech’s pass-wacky offense that scores quickly stays off the field when we run and (b) our starting receivers were all injured. Tedford admitted after the game he made a huge mistake, and it is a mistake he has continued to make (most of 2005, Arizona 2006, and multiple games in 2007, U$C being the most obvious). Against Stanford and Washington, someone finally figured out that handing the ball was a good thing, and we crushed teams that had no business being on the field with us. It remains a mystery to me that every year we have terrific runners, terrific blocking FBs and TEs, and arguably the best run-blocking o-line in college football, yet we shift away from the run when it matters most.

    As I said, we got lucky last night. The defense all season long has played opportunistically and in this game cashed in when we needed it most. Follett is awesome. Miami’s freshman QB finally suffered from his inexperience. We should have won 35-7, which would have stood out to the rest of the Pac-10, to recruits, etc., but instead we won in a squeaker in a home game where the storyline is Best is a Heisman candidate and Miami’s freshman shined in adverse circumstances. It is similar to USC’s win over us this year – a close contest at home where the defense starred and a couple of plays were the difference (plus, in our case, our RB was a stud notwithstanding the strange play-calling).

    Oh, going back to John’s “are you kidding” comment – according to espn.com, Miller admitted that Morrah was the primary receiver on the play and he was there only if the ball was overthrown. So, based on those comments and how Longshore threw the ball, I’ll stick with my assessment.

    Next year is our year. We are finally past the ridiculous Longshore/Riley mess, a mess that was embarassing last year and became a joke to college football this year. The schedule in 2009 sets up for us to make a real run at the Rose Bowl. More than anything else, what may hold us back is play-calling. If Tedford and Cignetti design a play book that Tedford used in 2002, 2003, and 2004 prior to the Holiday Bowl, I like our chances. But if the play book is like play calling in 2005 to now – not emphasizing the team’s strengths and insisting on poorly designed (mostly pass) plays – we’ll lose 1 to 2 Pac-10 games, which will ultimately set us back for another 3-4 years.

    Go Bears!

  • MikeD

    …and so ends the Longshore era. I appreciated his gutty play and his ability to be a good teammate while he was being boo’d off the field. That said, in the end I think he hurt the program when he got hurt last year and then tried to play thru it. The resultant skid that his continued playing produced *had to* have affected both last year and this years recruiting classes. His desire to try to play thru the injury dropped the program out of the top 25, hammered his teammates confidence, took the consistency out of the program, and made things into an embarrassment. The impact this year was the musical quarterbacks drama which clearly affected Riley’s confidence and play this year. What does it say by Tedford that in the final game that NL was going to go the whole way since [loose quote taken from halftime TV interview] he didn’t want a situation where the QB was going to have to look over his shoulder during the game. How do we take that?

    For a guy who had a “great week of practice” with “great accuracy” NL’s poor mechanics showed thru again last night with many of the throws – esp in the last minutes of the 2nd and into the 3rd qtr – coming while he was falling away or backpeddling which resulted in errant throws. Don’t recall any drops last night – but how many poor throws did we see behind the receivers, too high, worm burners into the ground? And thankfully, that was the last time I had to see him pick the receiver who was short of the first down marker to throw to on a critical 3rd down. But thank god for Miller on that last touchdown — there was no way that ball was intended for him, you just don’t design plays to have the ball go past that many people in coverage.

    The middle of the field was open all night long, yet Cignetti tries to work the swing passes in flats over-and-over-and-over when clearly nothing was happening there. Finally we get an open man in the middle and NL puts the ball into the turf 10yrds in front of him. If NL only did this once in a while then the crowd probably wouldn’t react as they did. But to call NL accurate is… well, its a pretty big stretch. You could break down his 10-21 performance for 121 yds better by subtracting his 72 yd play to Tucker which would result in 9-20 for 47 yds — or 2.35yds/throw. Clearly NFL caliber. Good thing he didn’t have to look over his shoulder all night…

    I also am utterly confused by the inept playcalling by Cignetti. You have a Heisman caliber back vs a weak run defense. You desire to try to win the game. Logic dictates that you play to your power to achieve your goal. Yet:

    “We had to mix it up a little,” Tedford said. “We weren’t just going to line (Best) up and run downhill on them every down.”

    Wha?? Why not? You “had” to?? Or you chose to? It would be *great* if someone could explain to me what the benefit keeping the score close and allowing UM to stay in the game would be. In my world you play to your strengths – run the ball down their throats, UM commits men to the line opening up the secondary, that allows an over the top game off of play action to begin on a now weak secondary wherein NL has open zones or man-man coverage to work against. Run game eats clock, UM offense stays off the field, the Bear rolls, national press coverage is good, recruits see the program in a positive light. The world is at peace.

    “Balance” ain’t all that when you have a clear advantage — see Cornhusker football in the Tom Osborne era, they managed to squeek out just a few wins and a championship or 2.

    One guys suggestions for JTed to work on over the off season in order of importance:

    1) restore Rileys confidence
    2) hire a top flight o-line coach and prep the line to support a “Best for Heisman” campaign
    3) take Cignetti behind the woodshed
    4) lose the “finesse” mindset, learn to ride your strengths even if results in a perceived lack of balance

    The Bears coaching staff found a way not to lose last night, and I don’t think that it was a a real good win either.

  • Go Bears82

    Mike D, Eric, Kent all make good points. On one thing we all agree, NL was not getting it done. I think the strategy was to run and then open it up with some well chosen pass plays. That way you’d keep Miami from putting 9 guys in the box – a strategy that many Pac-10 opponents figured out this year. So the strategy wasn’t the problem, it was the execution. There were at least 3 drive killing passes that I remember where NL could not hit a wide open receiver. A typical NL play was the third and short where he threw to Morrah who was in double-coverage had Boateng wide open to his right.

    I think Tedford is actually trying to look out for the success of his kids. The only reason I could think that he gave NL so much rope was because he wanted him to demonstrate his ability – rise to the occasion if you will. Tedford has a rep of developing QBs, he should have been able to do it with NL. I think the turning point was letting NL play last year when he was hurting the team. That affected NL’s confidence and he has never been the same.

    As for Riley, I don’t think he lacks confidence. The game hasn’t slowed down for him. When he gets sacked he becomes rattled. He needs lots of practice time. But I’ve always preferred him over NL.

  • milo

    Well Cal Fans, Cal was 9-4 in ’08. All things considered, a good season. Indeed, the Longshore era is over. Dodged a bullet last night.

    ’09 is looking up. Just need the WRs to catch some balls and Riley (or whoever) to make them catchable.

    I agree, Cignetti needs to step it up a bit. Maybe Cal needs to hire a dedicated QB coach.

    Go Bears

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    A quote from a Miami fan on one of their boards says – “At least we don’t boo one of our players like Cal does.”

    At the same time I read these comments (very good ones I might add) from one of your own fans on the Bear Insider board.

    For those so caught up in the booing – Today, 12:45 PM

    Do you feel the same way about how Tedford deals with mistakes during the game? He does ZERO positive coaching when players come off the field after a mistake. Does he want Cal to win? Is he helping the situation by yelling at his players? Do you think the boos are all directed at the players or could some/most of them be directed at the passing situation that has lingered for years? I don’t understand why booing is bad but a constantly ****ed-off head coach is acceptable. Maybe, just maybe, Tedford’s attitude is having a greater influence on the QB play than the booing. I think everybody realizes sporadic bad plays are not being booed. It’s the continual failure game after game, year after year that finally leads to the boos. I actually understand that, as an ex-player, ex-coach, ex-father-of-a-player, and as a current fan. When you suck bad enough and long enough someone will boo you, big deal. I hardly ever boo but I get it, especially in the case of Cal’s passing game of late. Maybe our head coach could start a trend by always being positive at the games. Yell and scream all you want in (your closed) practices but be positive during the game. Maybe then I’ll jump on the ‘chastise the booing fans’ bandwagon. Until then, I get the booing.

  • Upward

    California beat a traditionally great football program last night that has a bright future in the ACC. Cal won, even if you win by one point that is reason for celebration.
    This team won 9 games, they were a talented, fairly young team that was not perfect. Many inexperienced holes that can be strengths next season if the players progress and work hard. Big shoes to fill, Mack, Follett, Felder and Will T. Lot’s of experienced players returning and a recruiting class still building that will contribute early. Yes, we can nit pick all we want. I choose to celebrate a solid season and a bright future. SAHPC being built!!! Javid Best with a cohesive group around him has the chance to lead Cal to the 09 Pac 10 Championship. A great 3-4 defensive scheme. Winning is what it’s all about baby and last night was another notch in our programs upward path.
    Go Bears!

  • Golden Bear

    Oh Moron. I imagine you were crying when the fumble occurred.

    As usual, you are desperate but pathetic. Sanchez has gone on record complaining about the SC fans booing him during games so don’t get so high and mighty when Cal fans do it.

    And I notice you are avoiding your admission: you spent christmas day in front of the computer posting hate Cal messages. That’s what’s so pathetic about you, Amy. You tell us you’re not impressed with our bowl win, but Moron — who cares if you are impressed. Cal fans hate you (which is what you want — it somehow makes your sick mind feel vindicated), but no SC fan cares if you are impressed either. You have been banned by the SC boards. So you have no one that supports you, Amy. You are a pathetic lonely freak who spends CHRISTMAS alone. Not with friends. Not with a girlfriend. Not with family. But ALL ALONE at the computer.

    You truly are pathetic. All alone and even law school was a bust for you since you had that breakdown.

    I pity you, Amy. I truly pity you.

  • Eric

    Good article in the Miami Herald about last night’s game, which can be linked from Miller’s espn.com pac-10 blog.

  • JT

    thanks, eric. here’s the direct link: http://www.miamiherald.com/588/story/828491.html

  • Jake

    Golden Bear,

    I also remember a game this year when the camera panned to the stands and fans were yelling to get Joe McKnight out of the game. Any RB can fumble when he is making his crazy cutbacks and athletic moves, because he’ll occasionally get blindsided or some D-Lineman or LB may reach out and strip the ball.

    But that’s just an error in one game. For fans calling for the guy that is supposed to be the next Reggie Bush to sit after one mistake seems pretty harsh. Not a history of failures like NL had. So it’s pretty hypocritical of Moron to criticize CAL fans when USC fans do the same thing (or even worse).

  • ToparchiBears

    So, Cal win, and NC got nothing to mock about Cal, then, he is turning to the fan…..ha ha ha….

    He must felt very sick and down, when Best ran that two TDs and and a record yardage. So, he turn to us Cal fans, because that is the only thing he can mock about.

    Season now officially over, its time to rebuild, and recruit.

    Go Bears!

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Golden Bear Says:
    December 28th, 2008 at 1:40 pm
    Sanchez has gone on record complaining about the SC fans booing him during games so don’t get so high and mighty when Cal fans do it.>>>> Proof?

    And I notice you are avoiding your admission: you spent christmas day in front of the computer posting hate Cal messages. >>>> I posted twice (8:59AM & 7:01PM) and YOU posted twice (1:35PM & 9:31PM).

    You have been banned by the SC boards. >>>> Nope. I just posted there today and a couple more times the past few days. It was the Folsom 3 who work for the Canadian company in the sub prime lending business that were banned. I suspect AF4Life was called kylebollerFAN or MebaneDT8 or lessncarecoming.

    So you have no one that supports you, Amy. >>>> Look who’s talking! You have received your share of fans on this board that revile you too. I exploded in laughter when I read the exchange between you and AmyFan4Life.

    All alone and even law school was a bust for you since you had that breakdown.>>>> Another one of your make believe assertions.

  • Calbears

    u have absolutely no life whoever u are, and i dont care if i keep feeding the troll (you) but youre ridiculous, shut up

  • MikeD

    ignore the troll

  • Golden Bear

    Well there’s the proof i needed that Amy faked the amyfan post. Just like you faked those posts by me on Xmas. I was no where near a comp that day — already said so. Typical amy — used the amyfan fake post to set up an insult.

    Here’s your proof on sanchez complaining about being booed — i assume you will now ignore the topic since you are wrong:
    http://articles.latimes.com/2008/mar/10/sports/spw-uscqbs10 Sanchez says: “You come to the Coliseum and you get booed? That blew my mind. My high school coach [Bob Johnson] told me [his son, former USC quarterback] Rob was booed in the Coliseum and you know I’m like, ‘What are you talking about? They love us, man, we’re the quarterback. What are you talking about?’ And when it happened I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ He was right, he was absolutely right.”

    And still no denial that you were all alone on Xmas day, Amy. Bwahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    And no morencs on the scout board. The fact that you have to hide and not post anymore pictures of that Cal advisor show you are neutered. Morencs is BANNED on the sc boards. Show us otherwise, amy — show us it’s not an assertion. And the ND and Cal moderators say morencs and mebane and kylebollerfan and iwas and iam are all the same ip address. You can repeat lies amy but no one supports you. You are so pathetic that you have to make up posts to hide that you are all alone.

    Be careful what you ask for Amy.

  • Golden Bear

    I just checked: Morencs made 12 post on christmas. All thruout the day. Boy you are pathetic to try to lie about that, Amy. Pathetic loser all alone on xmas.

  • Steve W

    With all the criticism leveled at the quarterback play of Riley and Longshore, I think it’s important to remember that Cal’s wide receivers did not distinguish themselves much this year. Aside from the loads of dropped balls (mostly by Boateng and Tucker), does anybody think that anyone from this group would have found starting positions at Oregon, Arizona, Oregon State or USC? You are in trouble as a passing team when your top receivers are backs and tight ends. I hope a healthy Michael Calvin can rejuvenate the receivers next year, but he looked a step slow to me the few times he played. We need a few guys who can establish separation with either moves or speed. You can’t coach speed, so I hope that Riley and Mansion spend a lot of time with their receivers during the off-season.

  • Will

    I think Verran Tucker would start for any team other than $C in the Pac-10, but he’s the only one. I think Marvin Jones and Michael Calvin are the key to next season. If they stay healthy and step it up, and one of our QB’s shows some consistency, we’ll have a strong showing.

  • Tyler M.

    JO- Who would you say is the more accurate passer – Riley or Mansion?

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Golden Bear Says:
    December 28th, 2008 at 6:22 pm
    I just checked: Morencs made 12 post on christmas. All thruout the day. Boy you are pathetic to try to lie about that, Amy. Pathetic loser all alone on xmas.>>>>> Post them if you have the proof. You are getting desperate GB.

    Golden Bear Says:
    December 28th, 2008 at 6:21 pm
    Just like you faked those posts by me on Xmas. I was no where near a comp that day — already said so >>>>> Nope. Those two posts had your substance and style all over them. However we will let the readers decide for themselves. Just look under the “Football: Bowl Week gets revved up” article.You also posted 7 times while your team’s bowl game was happening. I don’t blame you though. It was boring.

    Your turn GB. Let’s spin another one of your lies. Of course you could also morph into your other ego – AmyFan4Life.

  • Golden Bear

    Gee, Moron. Like I predicted, all of a sudden you don’t want to talk about fans booing their own team.

    Was it a lie when I said the SC fans have booed Sanchez? You said it was. I provided the proof. And now you run and hide from it. You said it was real bad for Cal fans to boo Longshore, so I guess you now think that SC fans are bad.

    And that brings our second thing that you avoid — can you post as morencsarecoming on the scout board? Can you post any more pix of the Cal advisor? You avoid that one as well.

    As for your xmas day loneliness, anyone can go back and see your posts on Xmas day. Your patheticness is there for all to see.

    So how about a direct answer, Moron?

  • Golden Bear

    And as for posting during the bowl game, you were too — until your prediction that Cal would lose failed to happen. Then you vanished for several hours. Crying probably.

    It must be sad to have your happiness depend on someone else failing. It would have been nice if you could have talked to some SC fans about your feelings and loss, but you don’t have any friends. All day posting on Xmas proved that. Having morencs screen name banned on the scout boards AND the WeAreSC boards proved that.

    You ask for proof and we give it to you and then you vanish. Bwahahahahahahaha. be careful what you ask for, amy.

  • Jonathan Okanes

    Tyler, hard to say at this point because Mansion got so few reps at practice this season. They are both inconsistent. Spring will be a better measuring stick for both players.