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Football: From the press box

  • Quarterback Zach Maynard graded his performance as a “4 1/2 or 5 out of 10.”
  • Jeff Tedford obviously was displeased with the penalties and turnovers but was mildly encouraged by the offense. He thought Maynard represented himself well for his first start.
  • Tedford is now one win shy of tying Andy Smith for first place on Cal’s all-time win list.
  • Fresno native Mychal Kendricks led the Bears with 9 tackles, including 2 1/2 for loss.
  • Marvin Jones had five catches for 118 yards and two TDs. Keenan Allen had eight catches for 112 yards. It was the first time since DeSean Jackson and Lavelle Hawkins in 2006 that the Bears had two receivers amass 100 yards in the same game.
  • Trevor Guyton’s 19-yard fumble return was his first touchown ever. He said he had never scored a TD on any level before Saturday.
  • Josh Hill, Dave Wilkerson and Ryan Davis all recorded their first career sacks.
  • Steve Williams’ interception was the second of his career.
  • The following players made their Cal debuts: RB C.J. Anderson, DB Kameron Jackson, DE Mustafa Jalil, LB Kameron Krebs, QB Zach Maynard, LB Chris McCain, CB Stefan McClure, WR Bryce McGovern, NT Viliama Moala, WR Terrance Montgomery, TE Richard Rodgers, LB Brennan Scarlett, S Avery Sebastian and LB Cecil Whiteside.

 

 

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.

  • ConcordBear

    I love to hear our QB gave himself that grade because I agree completely with his self analysis.
    ZM has a lot more potential than he showed. But the exciting thing is he has potential to be much better and for a first game he was solid.
    Especially liked the way he came back after throwing that first pick.
    I like his, ability, confidence that I could feel in the top row of the stadium and expectation for more and better.
    If this guy can get better as the year goes on, especially be more consistent, if our running game is more consistent and if the team cuts down mistakes and penalties we have potential for a pretty good season.
    Hope the whole team knows they will have to be much better than they were today to have a big season. But, solid start!
    We’ll see if we improve in week 2 on the road. Need to keep getting better!
    Liked Maynard but know he has much much more than he showed today.

  • H8sRed

    Sloppy, but still a good W. I like that Maynard rated his performance so low, because it shows he knows he can do better. His escapability was impressive and brings another huge dimension to Cal’s offense. The multiple formations on both offense and defense were a pleasant surprise, and the coaching staff deserves a lot of credit for that. The defense is even more stout and more loaded than advertised. I’m more optimistic about this season than I was before today.

  • Kent Wilson

    From my armchair:

    I agree with Zach’s self assessment. I would grade him about a 5 out of 10. His accuracy was terribly inconsistent as he was bailed out by his WR’s making good catches on poorly thrown balls…he left at least two TD on the field with poor throws to open receivers…which reminded me a lot of Nate Longshore. Maynard frequently was “dancing” in the pocket and his poor footwork led to a number of off target passes. However, the good news is that Maynard’s performance was better than anything we saw from Brock Mansion last year…and was at least equal to any of Riley’s positive games. Best news is that Maynard seems to make “good decisions”….we finally have a QB who will actually throw the ball away to avoid a sack! His mobility provides a new dimension on offense…and it appears that the play calling is going to take advantage of that fact. He will likely get better as the year progresses…but he will probably have some tough moments as well.

    As for the ground game…not very impressive. Cal offensive line was a mess! If this does not improve…its going to be a long year for Cal.

    Defense looks good…secondary was rarely out of position. Front four were decent…LBs had an excellent game. Cal might have the best defense in teh Pac-12….I think the announcers were right that Cal is going to win some games even when they only score in the low 20s. It’s still probably only a 6-6 or 5-7 type of season…but I hope Cal is more competitive against the good team in the conference.

  • Stay Golden

    Watching Maynard play QB like that was a breath of fresh air. His elusiveness in the backfield to keep plays alive while he continued to look down field for a big plays is something this team has missed.

    A very promising start for both the team and for Maynard.

    Go Bears!

  • calfaninaz

    the defense is awesome. ZM was solid for his first game, and that 50 yard run he had was something i have not seen from a cal QB in a long time !!! the o-line needs some work, but still was solid for the first game…but get the false stars under control NOW! keenan and mr jones are the best duo in the conference. cant wait to throw clay in the mix as well…sweettttt..

    great first game bears…just work out the kinks and discipline.

  • pasadena dave

    ZM may not have the cannon arm of some of our previous qb’s but there was something about his persona that puts you at ease. He exudes a calm and cool demeanor. He seems to have the right instincts as the field general. Unlike mansion or even riley, his internal clock seems accurate on when and if he should bail out of the pocket. Having said that, he tries to stay in the pocket as long as possible to make the right read and make the throw.

  • Jim

    Hey, easy on ZackM, damn a qb who can honestly assess himself and will study the films and improve. A great first game for him, especially considering how much time there’s been since his last game. He’s in synch with WR and they fight for him and don’t give up on routes. Coach M will beat the thunder out of OL for those silly mistakes. Isi had some great runs, and battle for #2 RB will only get better, and nice to have a solid #3 again.
    D has room to improve but still showed how much more potential they have and the depth!!!
    Great win … great start to the season … I’ll take a sloppy win over a fairly good team any time.
    One more win over Colorado and JeffT will be tied for most wins of Cal coaches. So, naysayers, pay attention to the facts about JeffT … he’s made Cal football fun again .. win or occasionally lose.

  • kyle

    I agree with Maynards evaluation of himself but for the people who said this performance was on par with Kevin Riley when he had positive performances. ARE YOU SERIOUS. With all respect Riley on his best day he was 3 out of 10. You wanna talk about being bailed out by WR I don’t think riley ever hit a receiver in stride. He was slow and often times making bad decisions. Did Maynard hit receivers in stride? No. But he kept plays alive and if it wasn’t there he threw it away or ran with it. Allen alligator armed that 3rd down play which would’ve resulted in a first, deboskie-johnson extend your arms and its 6, and if the o-line pulls their head out of their A the Allen screen goes to the 3. So to say the receivers bailed him out isn’t completely true. Less mistakes and its 350 through the air and 3 Tds. QB position has been answered and the defense…well that D is ridiculous.

  • clonedoc

    We would be remiss in not mentioning that we continue to see the same crap out of our kicking game. I have no confidence that we can ever win a game with a clutch FG. For too long now, Tavecchio has been underwhelming on FG and kickoffs going to the opponents 10-15 yard line. 2 other kickers on roster from what I can see if this guy continues to be the best we’ve got, this is a woeful mistake by the coaching/recruiting staff to leave this position unchecked for so long.

  • Easy Ed

    All in all Maynard handled himself pretty well. Unlike previous Cal QBs he didn’t have Marshawn Lynch, Jahvid Best or Shane Vereen to bail him out. He spread the ball around and most importantly, when we were in a hole he tucked the ball under and took off, viola! We are 50 yards down field. We didn’t see that with Longshore or Riley. It may take half the season but when this offense fully clicks? Look out!

  • RobBEAR

    For all of the execution and mistakes made at The Stick, you made my day. Nice game plan, nice play calling on both sides of the ball and a solid team effort. Where I find a need for immediate concerns are at PAT / Kickoff. Why is that guy exempt? He is going to hurt us. Address NOW! Go BEARS!

  • rollonubears

    jeez, riley at his best was pretty good, guys. he just was seldom at his best. the difference with maynard is that he was pretty close on every throw. no massive overthrows at all, unless it was on purpose, and when you consider the wind there, that’s pretty solid. i still think the offense, while exciting to see so many looks, is too complicated for 11 people to all be on the same page. i’d also like to see some shorter passes, especially with that wind. the running game seemed non-existent, but that’s ok. it was a very exciting game. i’m proud of the way they bounced back, but they had way too many jitters at the beginning, and special teams is still embarrassing. msg got hosed on that tripping call. what a joke. that killed a huge drive. none of those 3 false starts in a row would have happened if we hadn’t gotten hosed there. over all, officiating was pretty solid. go bears!

  • DB

    This was a good game. Fresno State is no cupcake, but no powerhouse, either. It was a good start.

    The offense put some points on the board, for both teams. The defense was very good and looks to be the strength of the Bears this year. Some of that recruiting is going to start to pay off this year.

  • C98

    I think ZM is going to get better and the offense is going to work out the kinks. If the offense can eliminate some of the dumb mistakes and just be moderately consistent the defense will do the rest. This defense is something else (so deep with playmakers) and is only going to get better as the season goes on.

  • eric

    I didn’t get to see or hear any of the game. How was the play-calling? When I see 5 runs from our QB, I get very excited, but I could not tell whether they were designed runs, roll-outs with options to run, or pure scrambles. The lack of a QB run haunted this offense for the last several years (even though Riley had some mobility) so if they is now part of the play-book, great.

    When watching the Oregon, I was stunned that it wasn’t until the 4th quarter than Darren Thomas began to run. His running ability is key to that offense. If we can incorporate a true running threat from the QB, it will take tremendous pressure off of the o-line, Sofele to make 3-4 yards per carry, and/or the receivers to make spectacular catches.

  • ScottyBear

    On a different note, it was great to see Oregon get exposed. Cal also can exploit those weaknesses with our defense. Stanford is stellar, but as history knows, the Big Game is anyone’s, and with Oregon State laying an egg, why not think Cal has a potential shot at this division? Maybe the Washington game in a few weeks is key. Go Bears!!

  • c98

    Eric, re: designed runs, here’a couple of Tedford quotes:

    “You can see that he brings an added dimension to the offense because he can move around. He ran the ball on a couple of designed runs today, which was nice to see. Those are big plays, got us out of some bad field position.”

    “The ones that he ran for big yards were designed runs.”

  • eric

    @C98 – thanks. I am extremely pleased to see that.

  • 707 Bear

    Get off the couches and get to the game. A home game and we have 10,000 fans. Sad.

    Other than a financial excuse, stop finding a reason for not attending.

    Yeah the traffic was terrible across the Bay Bridge.
    Yeah the dirt lot at the Stick isn’t Alumin Grove.
    Yeah there’s no March to Victory or pre-game band performance.

    It’s the fall. It’s Saturday. Get to the game!

    Peace.

  • http://capitolgoldbuyers.com BlakeStreetBear

    The D is great. The score should have been 36-7, only a single long drive by fsu against the 2nd squad defense in garbage time. Less than 220 total yards allowed!!

    The O is good, with lots of room for improvement. Jones/Allen may be the most talented wr tandem in the country, big, fast, strong. Now they just need to ALWAYS CATCH THE BALL WHEN IT HITS THEM IN THE HANDS!! Can’t have the dropsies anymore.

    Isi made some bad reads on blocks, on a couple plays had he just been a tad bit patient, and followed Kapp into the hole he could have easily had 100+ yds, he will improve too, but I definitely want to see more CJ and CDJ, those guys are BIG.

    I really wish we had games at Memorial to look forward too, this season definitely feels strange without that. All in all, I think we have a good team again and I think that the playbook will only expand for ZM. I really like his wheels, running right past LBs like an RB. He will get better, the team will get better.

    Let’s beat the buffs!! GO Bears!

  • http://capitolgoldbuyers.com BlakeStreetBear

    And Kapp had some AWESOME blocks. Very Mandarino-esque.

  • ET

    Loved the diverse play calling on both sides of the ball.

    Maynard looked pretty good for Game 1 as a Bear. I worry that Isi is not big enough to be starting in the backfield. We shall see.

    Colorado’s QB was sacked 7 times by Hawaii in Colorado’s loss. It will be interesting to see our D against Colorado.

    Go Bears.

  • rollonubears

    The new Colorado coach is an embarrassment. He’ll be gone in a year. Next week should be a piece of cake, and everyone should get some extra playing time. Same with the following week. Even the Washington game should be a solid win. When you look at Oregon State at home, we should have 5 wins easy, leaving 7 chances to get to a bowl game, or way way better. This should be a really fun season.

  • Will

    The long hair and crunching hits from Kapp remind me of Tim Riggins from Friday Night Lights.

  • Kyle

    On another note is Georgio Tevechio really the best kicker we have? It worked out last night but I have a feeling if it doesn’t get squared away it will cost the bears at least one game. Although I don’t believe this but that one game could be the difference between a bowl and no bowl…just sayin.

  • Rollonubears

    We didn’t recruit a kicker. Again. Hope it doesn’t haunt us next year, too.

  • Kent Wilson

    I am amazed that Tedford does not take the kicking performance personally. It’s not like this type of pitiful performance from the placekicker is new. This crap has been going on for over 3 years! At some point you have to recognize that the talent is just not there with Tevechio And what up with this new punting style from Anger….he showed so much talent as a true freshman and has regressed each year…I know we changed special team coaches this past season….but game 1 performance give me no confidence that the new coach has had any positive impact.

  • Stay Golden

    My one criticism of JT is that he missed an opportunity to get his back-ups some reps. I would have liked if CJ Anderson got more carries (2), did Isi really need to carry the ball 24 times? I understand that Maynard is your QB and he could use all the reps he can get since he missed all of last year but there was ample opportunity for Bridgford to get some snaps.

    Just some nitpicking but JT has done a poor job of late getting his back-ups on offense playing time when it’s a blowout (win or loose). The USC game last year when Riley played the entire game and when asked why he didn’t take him out, JT replied “because we were winning the 2nd half”. Down 42-0 at the half is a good time to take your starters out and get the other guys some reps.

  • rollonubears

    he did get the backups in on D and fresno state immediately scored, leaving no chance to get the backups on offense into the game. i agree about the running backs, though. if we have 5 capable backs, let’s see a few rather than burning out our #1. i think he was worried about fumbles. up 15, you’re only a fumble away from disaster. probably why we saw mostly isi in there. colorado should be a good chance to see everyone. there is no reason we don’t win this next one by at least 20. i can’t believe we’re only a 5pt favorite.

  • DB

    i can’t believe we’re only a 5pt favorite.

    The odds makers must have seen the Bears play on the road before. I have, and I wouldn’t bet a plug nickel on Cal on the road if you gave me five points.