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

  • uh oh.

    For me, it all came down to:

    Did Tedford have more confidence in Tavecchio or Riley?

    During that last series that Cal had the ball, we continued to run the ball so that AZ would have to use it’s timeouts. But even considering that tactic, I thought there was still too much time left, and we either needed another first down, or the field goal, to seal the game.

    As it was, Tedford ran on all 3 downs and then attempted the field goal. But he knew that was not a sure thing, so he had to weigh, do I go for the first down or the field goal, either of which would have sealed the game. He went with Tavecchio, and unfortunately it missed.

    Not a bad decision, but I found it telling that he didn’t rely on his 5th year QB.

  • Juancho

    Boy, as a Cal alumni, and Raiders fan, this is a tough weekend.

  • JB

    The way I see it, Tedford does not know how to kick a team when they are down. Cal games with Tedford have always lacked that knockout punch, from playcalling to execution.

  • On the whole I’ll take this sort of game any day. #14 team in its house and they only have 3 points with a minute or so to go. Throw this type of D effort out for the remaining games and I’ll call it an okay year despite the record. We know what we have re offensive tools and let’s face it, we are not going to get to the promised land this year. So I am looking for good, tight competitive games. That is what we got and on the road. All these “oh so close, but [fill in the names] just didn’t get it done” comments, are not incorrect, but they reflect the disappointment that in reality we aren’t top tier right now. You all know that in the pits of our collective guts we were kind of expecting an embarassment. That didn’t happen, so calm down and hope that some offensive luck shows up next game. If the same defense shows up, that’s all we will need.

  • uh oh.

    I agree with PeteBear! Outstanding defensive pitch save for one bomb late, and an overall exciting game! And without being dour about it, I stand by my previously stated observation.

  • jake

    I found it more telling that he was not able to find a creative way to use his 5th year QB,….or Shane or Deboskie or Keenan or Marvin Jones or any other offensive weapon to get a 1st down during the whole game. And ESPECIALLY at the end of the game.

  • SteveNtexas

    pete bear – uh oh— if on the whole you really would take this game any day then prepare for a winless Pac 10 season.

    Arizona had a terrible day- we were just worse.

  • Calduke

    I hope the close score wasn’t because Arizona had a big letdown. It would be a big morale booster for the Bears is Ar played at its potential. The SoCal papers noted Ar had a big letdown.

    Keenan Allen seems to have disappeared. He was 100% recovered from his slight injury. Let’s hope his capabilities only show against lesser foes.

    The Bears showed up for this game.

  • Calduke

    re Keenan

    Let’s hope his capabilities don’t only show up against lesser foes

  • Frank

    It sure is a good thing Tedford waited so long in hiring Marshall as the o-line coach last year,our running game and drive blocking is a complete farce.

  • rollonubears

    there is no way keenan allen is at 100%. he didn’t return a single kick, and that was another factor in the outcome, i think. hopefully he’s ok after another week of resting up, but tedford will surely rationalize that he really fell back on the depth chart after missing a couple practices.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    StevenTexas, not sure what game you watched. Cal’s D, under Clancy, was matched up perfectly with the AZ spread. The D made them have a bad day.

    So many people took the Nevada loss too hard. It was a first impression of the Pistol, which was being run to near perfection. It reminded me of how Texas Tech blasted us when Leach had that offense clicking on all cylinders. Defense is about matchups. Clancy and the D were just not ready for the Pistol played at that level.

    I believe this defense is going to do very well the rest of the year, save against a certain spread option offense. OSU’s fly sweep may still provide some problems, but the other offenses we’ll face are traditional (or a pathetic version of the Pistol as compared to Nevada). Plus, you just KNOW Cal will be underestimated here on out.

    I was very pleased with the effort Saturday, and can see a very good season, result wise, if that effort continues.

  • SteveNtexas

    Wisdom Cow – If you can create 6 more new excuses you can account for the rest of the seasons losses. Why wait till after the game?

  • CoBears

    Well, I, for one, have to agree that the defensive effort in this game by Cal was fantastic. That did not help when I couldn’t sleep all night replaying the last 2 1/2 minutes of the game, but it helps as I look forward to the rest of the year.

    Even on the AZ touchdown drive, pressure nearly got to Foles as he threw the 51 yard pass to Criner, and Hagan was perfectly positioned on the ball, and appeared to even get a hand on it. It was just not meant to be.

    And I am not going to blame Tedford for going for the win with the 40 yard field goal. Seriously, people? It might have been nice if Vereen had rushed more to the middle of the field, given that Tavecchio is a lefty and had to fire from a weird angle, but that wasn’t the wrong call given that it would have won us the game, and is a very makeable distance. I don’t understand the Tedford hating from a tough, hard fought loss (and near-win) on the road to a top-15 team. If we lose another 5 games, I’ll get it, but I just don’t see that happening.

    Even on the final drive for Cal, despite solid AZ defense throughout the game, we were moving the ball well, and Jones ususally makes that catch; I don’t remember the last time a pass went off his hands like that.

    In any event, yes, this was painful, for the players, the coaches and the fans. But running around screaming “The sky is falling” makes little sense given where we are. Let’s not forget that there was a reason we were selected by the press to finish 7th in the Pac-10. I still firmly believe that we are going to do better than that, maybe even significantly so. This is a character building loss, and I have faith that we are going to do well in our remaining Pac-10 games this year.

    Go Bears, get healthy, and crush the baby bears in two weeks (and the toejams thereafter)!

  • Calduke

    JT and the coaches put the Bears in the position to win this game; that’s all they can do.
    The team didn’t respond.

  • uh oh.

    Steve N Texas:
    Did you know that 50% of the teams that play end up losing every single game. A whopping FIFTY PERCENT!

    Sometimes you gotta learn to deal with that 50%, emotionally, ya know.

    When I became a Cal fan, it was more like 80%.
    These days 30% is great!

  • Steve W

    The 1991 Cal team that went 10-2 and finished ranked 7th in the country played several close games like the one that Cal lost on Saturday. The difference was the 91 team had Doug Brien kicking the field goals. Brien, who became a very successful NFL kicker, kicked two game winning field goals in the last seconds during that season to seal crucial wins against UCLA and Arizona. As I see it, there was no critical difference between those games 19 years ago and this one. They were all hard played, and I don’t think Cal deserved to lose. If a guy like Brien had been lined up for the field goal Saturday night, they would have won the game and everyone would be shouting how happy they were and how well coached the game went.

    It sucks that one role player can determine the sucess of your season, but that’s football. I think that bigtime football programs should devote an extraordinary amount of time finding the best kicker around. Wasn’t Georgio a walk-on?

  • a Perko

    what CoBears said. times 2.

    It was a great battle. JT made the right call. Sometimes players miss FGs. It hurts immensely.