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Football: Ohio State game thread

FINAL SCORE: Ohio State 35, Cal 28. Bears drop to 1-2 after Braxton Miller’s fourth TD pass of the game, a 72-yarder to Devin Smith with 3:26 left.  Click here for my game story.

And here is more on Brendan Bigelow along with a photo slideshow on Saturday’s game.

8:10 4th Q: Brendan Bigelow — where has this guy been? He races 59 yards for a TD and Cal ties it 28-all.

8:31 4th Q: Buckeyes march 75 yards in 12 plays, taking the lead when Miller jab steps from the 3-yard line, stops and throws TD pass to WR Jake Stoneburner. Defense had held seven straight possessions, but Miller and the Buckeyes made it look easy this time. Miller runs it in for the 2-point conversion. OSU 28, Cal 21.

12:26 4th Q: Maynard scores on 1-yard sneak and D’Amato makes the PAT, giving Cal a 21-20 lead. Bears go 46 yards in eight plays.Maynard hits Treggs for 15 and a first down, then Allen for 4 yards and a first down. Maynard then laterals to Allen, who throws back to him for an 8-yard gain to the 6. C.J. Anderson runs to the 1 and Maynard caps it. Cal 21, OSU 20.

END OF THIRD QUARTER: OSU 20, Cal 14. Cal has second-and-4 from Buckeyes’ 40-y

ard line as the final 15 minutes begin. The Bears’ defense has prevented OSU from scoring on its past seven possessions.

9:34 3rd Q: Sophomore Brendan Bigelow goes around left end, spinning from of one tackler, eluding a second and racing 81 yards otherwise untouched to the end zone. Was the longest TD run EVER by an OSU opponent at Columbus, third-longest overall. Ca’l's longest run since Jahvid Best went 93 yards in 2009. Cal trails 20-14.

HALFTIME STATS: OSU outgained Cal 234-181 in the first half. Cal had nine first downs to seven for the Buckeyes. Miller had 6 carries for 64 yards, including the 55-yard TD, and was 10 for 14 for 129 yards and two TDs. Maynard was 16 for 19 for 147 yards and one TD. Cal had 34 net rushing yards, but none on seven carries in the second quarter. Maynard was sacked four times.

HALFTIME: OSU 20, Cal 7. Bears will get the ball first to start the second half. They need to figure out how to rev up their running game, which has been sporadic since early. Buckeyes are not respecting the run, and have sacked Maynard four times. He’s finding Keenan Allen, but rarely anyone else.

5:21 2nd Q: Bears’ errorless ways a thing of the past. Cal had no penalties until this past offensive series. Then a holding call vs. TE Jacob Wark wipes out 43-yard TD pass from Maynard to Anderson, holding vs. LG Jordan Rigsbee negatges 9-yard scramble by Maynard, and unnecessary roughness vs. RG Chris Adcock eliminates 9-yard pass from Maynard to Wark. D’Amato misses wide left on 40yd FG try. Still 20-7.

13:30 2nd Q: Miller passes 35 yards to Devin Smith to the 10, runs 9 yards to the 1, then passes final 1 yard to Jake Stoneburner for the TD. OSU leads 20-7. Miller very much as advertised. Cal CB Steve Williams struggling badly to stop Smith.

1:27 1st Q: That didn’t take long. OSU goes 75 yards in four plays, spanning just 1:11. Miller passes 25 yards to Devin Smith for the 25-yard TD. Big play on drive: a 40-yard completion to wide-open Jake Stoneburner to the 25. OSU leads 13-7.

2:38 1st Q: Bears answer. Cal goes 75 yards in six plays, scoring on 19-yard inside screen pass from Zach Maynard to Chris Harper. D’Amato’s PAT gives Cal 7-6 lead.

5:11 1st Q: QB Braxton Miller fakes handoff and races 55 yards around left end for a TD. The PAT kick misses, but Buckeyes lead 6-0. A sudden about face after Cal forced OSU back to its 4-yard line on the previous possession, then started at Buckeyes’ 45 after punt. Bears’ failed attempt on fourth-and-4 from the 39 costs them.

DEFENSE HOLDS: Two defensive series for the Bears, two punts for OSU. Buckeyes have just one first down. Cal to start second series at the OSU 45. On first series, freshman Darius Powe made 1st career catch. Possession ended by career-best 57-yd punt by Cole Leininger that pinned Buckeyes back at own 4-yard line and led to this great field position,

CAL CAPTAINS/ COIN FLIP: Cal wins toss — will defer to second half. Cal game captains: Keenan Allen, Josh Hill, Robert Mullins and Brian Schwenke.

RUGBY NEWS FLASH: Cal’s rugby team got the day off to a good start for Bears’ fans with a 45-0 drubbing of Navy in the championship match of the Buckeye 7s Invitational, just a couple hundred yards from Ohio Stadium. The tournament, also featuring Ohio State and Notre Dame, was played with the Olympic-style seven-and-side teams.

LINEUP CHANGE: Just got word that Cal will start redshirt freshman Jalen Jefferson and sophomore Nick Forbes at inside linebacker in place of seniors Robert Mullins and J.P. Hurrell.

WELCOME: Here at (very) sunny Ohio Stadium for the first matchup between the Bears and Buckeyes in 40 years. The stadium is closed now (expanding its seating capacity to the current 105,000) and is no longer referred to as the Horseshoe. But it’s slowly filling up and will add to Cal’s challenge today.

Jeff Faraudo

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Another throw behind the receiver ices it. Tedford must go. Times up for the gutless wonder. How many bad decisions can he make in one game, really?

    I feel bad for D’Amato, also. He’s going to feel like he lost the game. This one is all on Tedford, every bit. Play calls. RB depth chart. He’s just useless at making a decent decision, he thinks loyalty trumps competition and can’t take advantage of things his QB does well, LIKE THROW ON THE RUN INSTEAD OF MAKING HIM SIT IN A POCKET IN CRUNCH TIME!

  • Juancho

    We’ll be 0-4 next week. Then who knows. Wasnt someone here predicting like 8 wins ?

  • Dan

    Oh well all you Bears out there, go enjoy your weekends.

  • CalBearister

    Fire Tedford this afternoon, promote Ron Gould to Interim Head Coach, and spend the rest of this year raising money to buy out the gutless moron’s contract. He is awful. Maybe the worst on-field head coach in the history of college football. His decision-making in the clutch is the worst. No guts, no brains, no victories.

    And Jeff Faraudo – I hope someone in the media will go after Tedford in his press conference for that play call on 4th down and not accept and stock BS answer like “well, it just didn’t work out” or “we played hard, credit Ohio State.” I want him to explain exactly what he hoped to gain from kicking there. There was ZERO upside to kicking, and ZERO downside to going for it.

  • Eric

    Oh well. For a game I thought would be a disaster, in some ways I am proud of the players, and in some ways it reminds me why I have so many issues with Tedford. After D’Amato missed twice from the same hash at the same distance, on the road, in the 4th quarter, go for it on 4 and 1. And even on the last drive, plenty of time to run some more of the players the sprung Bigelow. No need to lock into Allen (who was open – Maynard just misfired). Reminds me of the 2006 loss to Arizona. Sadly, I am not surprised.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    Close but no cigar.

    But Bigelow was the only reason this game was close and that had zero to do with the coaching staff. In fact they only gave him 4 carries!? Fire Tedford.

    Moving on to a gorgeous day up here in Yolo County…

    And…Go Giants! (or A’s if that’s your team)

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Cal should be 3-0. This is all about a coach too comfortable with his position. He used to take risks. He used make adjustments. Without Pendergast, he’d be fired already.

    C’mon big spending alumni, express your disappointment to Sandy. This should be enough, already. There can be no more excuses. This game was so clearly lost by Tedford, a novice fan would see it.

  • covinared

    beat the spread!

  • Eric

    I wonder whether Tedford will throw D’Amato under the bus like he did Tavecchio.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Let’s guess the spin.

    – a win if D’Amato hits his FGs (though that is never true because the game gets changed)

    – Bigelow doesn’t know the pass protections (though Maynard is useless in the pocket and should be rolled out more anyways) even though he’s had a year. He probably doesn’t get enough reps to learn them as he is down the depth chart.

    – a few bad calls hurt us (though Sandy agreed to B1G refs).

    I’m so mad. Sure, it was nice not to be blown out, but I prefer being blown out by a superior opponent than losing to an inferior one because of poor coaching decisions. Not execution mistakes, not player mental errors, those don’t rub me wrong at all compared to a man making MILLIONS of dollars and unable to make decisions everyone knows should be made.

    No more excuses. Fire Tedford.

  • GC

    Kant C find SOMEBODY that can kick the ball through the uprights

  • clonedoc

    Proud of the Bears for being in this game like they were. That being said, no moral victories and I’m afraid they’re so spent and demoralized that a duplicate performance in the Coliseum next week may be too much to ask.

    Very weak 3rd and 2 call for the dive play to the fullback. Too far a distance in my opinion for that play to work. Let’s not forget the lack of poise in the 2nd quarter when CJ’s TD was taken back by penalties as well. Different spin on the decision to kick…I agree with the decision on 4th down (as opposed to going for it), the problem was the 3rd down call prior which essentially was playing for 3 rather than trying to continue to drive (and use clock) for 7. But let’s not let D’Amato off the hook so easily. These were 3 makable FG’s for an FBS kicker and the fact is that if he hits them, we pull the upset. We haven’t had a strong kicker in years and that’s on a lack of priority for that position in recruiting. These 3 misses collectively may be worse than Tavecchio’s false start gaffe and miss against UO 2 years ago.

  • clonedoc

    And although Tedford once again deservedly needs a fair amount of blame for this, let’s also not forget that Pendergast’s D was beaten on the play action pass into the middle of the field all day, Logan makes a poor coverage decision on the final TD pass, the O-line was no match for their defensive front, DROPS, and ZM hurts what otherwise was a great game for him with that pick.

  • milo

    Need a new kicker.

    Hated the call for the FG, should have gone for it, but as a HC you have to EXPECT your kicker will make those.

    Any way, Cal stood tall brought it to OSU, laid 500 yards+ on a top 20 team and next year there will be redemption, just like Tenn. It’s gonna be huge and we’ll get ESPN game day and we will win!

    Go Bears!

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Milo, but Bridgeford is in front of Kline on the depth chart. No one EVER skips in front of a player on the depth chart for Tedford. So, don’t get your hopes up for next year.

    Cal 2014, woohoo!

  • CalBearister

    I admire your optimism Milo. But unless we fire Tedford, this team will never be ranked again.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Now I am torn on who to root for tonight in U$C vs. Stanfurd! I’d normally root for Furd in this instance (I like the rival to be strong and well ranked when we play them), but now that I feel like crap, I think I want the farmers to get a does of reality that Luck was more to their team than they keep rationalizing lately.

    At least one of them has to lose, I guess.

  • Larry

    I didn’t want to post anything during the game an jinks us, but I guess that didn’t matter. The jist if this game is that Tedford,Maynard, & D’amato all are responsible for this loss. Tedford is the main culprit. After missing those 2 field goals, DAmato should have been done. What would a field goal do anyway with 5 min to go in the game, so OSU comes back and scores a TD and CAL loses by 4 instead of 7. What’s the differance? This loss is 100% on Tedford for putting the game on D’Amato & Maynard knowing full well they are head cases that can’t perform under pressure. From this moment forward, if CAL has 4th down and is across the 50 yard line they must GO FOR IT! PERIOD! OK enough ranting, I’ll go get another beer and enjoy the rest of the day.

    Stanfurd or U$C? Who is the lesser of 2 evils?

  • milo

    Bridgford doesn’t have it. Kline will start.

    You guys need to knock it off with Tedford. I saw a lot of his old self back. 16 pt dogs and we played #17 straight up. I think we should have won it but Cal make the horseshoe dead quiet. Whimpy old West Coast team…shows up to a Big Ten big house and doesn’t back down.

    I don’t believe in moral victories but this comes close. At least we came to play and scared them. Like I said, next year. We’ll get them in our house and we’ll be better.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    I can’t put anything on Maynard anymore. He improved from last year. He is MORE accurate, just still not very accurate.

    Tedford, however, continues to call plays that presume his accuracy, which is the same as sending out a kid to kick his third attempt in a daunting stadium after missing two already.

    When you consider that the facilities are completed, there is no reason for a top coach to not want to come to Cal to replace Tedford anymore (which was a reasonable excuse for a while, IMO). The iron is hot. Strike it.

    Declare Tedford a lame duck to play out the year, and hope it lights a fire under some players to help spur an upset or two the rest of the season.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    tOSU is overrated.

  • Woj

    Cal’s run of crappy Place Kickers is second only to their crummy run of mediocre or worse QBs.
    D’Amato is the worst college kicker I’ve ever seen. He missed 3 FGs by a combiend 100 yards wide left. If I didn’t have awidescreen TV, I couldn’t even see the ball once the cameras focuses on the goalposts. Take away that waste of space scholarship. Anyone could do better. Tavecchio stunk too.
    Get a latin kicker -these Italians are horrible.

  • Woj

    milo sounds like Tedfraud’s agent. He’s happy with moral victories. He is among the thousands of Cal fans happy to see Cal make the Polian Weedeater Bowl played on December 16th against the MAC (reward for a 6-6 season) and shown on TLC every other year and go 4-8 the next year than aspire to be an elite team – you know, the type of team Stanford became, USC is, and Oregon is.

  • Eric

    Milo – you would have been right, except for the 4th and 1 call was exactly what has cost Cal so many times in the last half dozen years. I would have had so much more respect if he had gone for it and missed.

  • Will

    Woj, you obviously didn’t watch the Penn State game last week.

  • CalBearister

    “You guys need to knock it off with Tedford. I saw a lot of his old self back. 16 pt dogs and we played #17 straight up.”

    And we lost. Tedford’s old self won games. Tedford used to coach with balls – then he lost a game in Eugene by being aggressive in 2003 and he’s been gutless ever since.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    And milo,

    Bigelow remains behind Isi and CJ even though the sole justification for it last year was that he did not know the pass protections.

    That was legitimate LAST YEAR, but no longer. Isis and CJ have not improved. Why hasn’t Bigelow gotten the reps to develop into the superior back he clearly is?

    Because Tedford’s depth chart does not change unless a player actively fails. Unless Isi or CJ do things to lose their job, Tedford will never put Bigelow in front of them. Why expect anything different from Kline? I could have sworn you watched the Longshore and Riley “competitions” of the past.

    I really hope Jeff asks the tough questions . . .

  • The Wisdom Cow

    5 yr old daughter just got home from ballet class (good thing, or she would have learned more curse words had she been home earlier) and asked if Cal won.

    I had to be honest, “No darling. Cal lost. Cal’s coach is not the brightest bumpkin.”

  • covinared

    look back at all the negative predictions on Jeff’s beat the spread line. now look at the current complaints.

  • milo

    Bigs will get playing time this season, there’s no way around it. He’s too good and too fast.

    For all intends, this is his first full season when he’s healthy and ready. Look for him to take off in the next couple of game.

    Okay he took off already, look for more time. If he’s not starting by game 5, he’ll have enough touches. Game 5 is when most hot shots (Rodgers included) ramped it up.

    At least it gets better from here. Put Bigs in and hopefully the injured heal up, have some healthy TEs, I still like our chances.

  • Larry

    Covinared,
    Please no moral victories. That was so Holmoe.

  • Larry

    So what you are saying is we basically have an overpaid holmoe?

  • wehofx

    Except for last fg try and not going with Bigelow in 2nd half, I agree with Milo. I thought the game plan/play calling was really good. C’mon, you you can’t argue with over 500 yards of O – I know, Big was 150+ of the total.

    RE: cj, except for drops, he looked very good and he made that great sideline toe tapper catch for 1st.

    RE: O line. I was worried that jm caught the same coaching disease that jt’s had for last few seasons. 5(?) sacks is too many but considering how many young/new guys are playing, I think he’s doing a great job. They opened some big holes for the run game, esp in second half.

    RE: D. cp and the boyz finally got the spread option pretty much stopped. The second half adjustment really worked – belichek-like 4 man front out of 3/4 base d.

    NO moral victories. But. If they can come back and show the same stones, energy and discipline next week, I’ll be inclined to think jt still has the locker room and maybe even has the team turned around.

  • rotfogel

    Like Tennessee several years ago…we get the buckeyes here next year!

  • Will

    With Kline at the helm, hopefully!

  • BlakeStreetBear

    ASAP, at HC I want either Ron Gould or a mega-hire a la Petrino – despite the stupid scandal. Petrino probably learned his lesson and may be humbled but VERY hungry to get back at it and prove people wrong, and why not at Cal? The recruits will line up for both of these guys, don’t you think?

    Gould because the RBs seem to always excel despite JT and he seems to have the players respect as evidence by his constant cheerleading on the sidelines, “Hold the rope!” Or Petrino because he may be a football equivalent of a Monty hire: a proven winner with a system that works!

    I think the future is bright, we just gotta get outta the Tedford “era”…

  • rotfogel

    Tedford coached a good game for the most part…I suppose that kicker has made kicks during practice enough to warrant confidence in him.

    Oh well, Cal did outplay Ohio St for most of the game, but the refs really screwed us on the CJ Anderson TD…THAT WAS NOT A HOLD!

  • covinared

    Larry: my point was most of the regulars here were predicting disaster a few days ago. now they are 20/20 hindsight coaching critics on a game we almost won. the easiest thing to do is criticize.

  • rob bear

    Too often we have heard legitimate gripes about Tedford and Maynard that called for everything but their heads on a platter. As painful as today’s loss was, we can’t blame those two for this one. How many of Anderson’s drops led to punts? How many penalties on our O-Line led to 2nd & 3rd & Long? Last but not least, get that kicker off of the filed and make sure that he is in street clothes for the next four months of his life. One word for that one: CHOKE! My mistake! Three words: CHOKE 3 TIMES!

  • Eric

    Convinared will defend Tedford no matter what. The Emperor always wears clothes.

  • rob bear

    The game plan was sound for the most part. These boys just didn’t execute when it counted. The Cal players have no one to blame but themselves. They dropped the balls, blew the coverages, missed the kicks. Coaches can only do so much. This one is on the team.

  • wehofx

    covinared #188 true dat!
    rob bear, yeah too many motion penalties but with so many new guys, they did a damn good job. #191 true dat, too. the players were put in a position to win.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Hey Losers

    I know you lost again but sorry I wasn’t there to add my commentary. I don’t have time to read the comments. Daddy and I have just arrived at the USC vs Stanford game.

    I love the Farm. The people are so well behaved and civil.

    Daddy got tickets from a former partner of his who is a Stanford alum but I maybe sitting with my friend who is an ex USC coach with PC.

    Here is the early strategy for next week’s game. Whatever USC receiver is lined up man to man on your #1 will get the pass. I can see 40 passes coming that guy’s way.

    Tonight Matt makes his Heisman statement. USC looks really hungry right now.

  • bigdruid

    covinared: Agreed (I was one of the few people who posted on the previous thread who thought this game would be close), but you have to understand that many of the regulars here don’t really have an open mind about Tedford any more, due to several disappointing seasons in a row. So if we don’t win, they are gonna find things to criticize.

    And to be honest, I hated the call to go for that FG, too, but I recognize that’s Tedford’s nature – he’ll always go for the go-ahead FG in that situation. Sometimes it works out (our last big game win, for example) and sometimes it doesn’t.

  • wehofx

    …oh yeah.

    ron gould is once again proving he is an excellent coach. This could be hype but in pressers jt always says one of rg’s responsibilities is rotating/picking the rb’s play to play. maybe is was partly rg’s call not to give Bigs more carries.

    Re:drops. I thought the recievers are running much better routes. They’re getting a lot more separation than last year. Credit to Wes Chandler. But also some of the blame on wc for the drops.

    I hope none of you dumb m***********s spoil a nearly 200 post thread with troll food.

  • wehofx

    meant none of you troll obsessed dm’s spoil a nearly 200 post thread with troll food.

  • covinared

    Eric: not defending tedford’s decision to kick the last fg. I would have gone for it. Also did not like going for it on 4th early. I also would have started out the second to last drive with bigelow. But overall we went in with a sound game plan and seemed prepared against a more athletic and physical team in a hostile environment. the game came down to a lot more than a few coaching decisions.

  • Eric

    Sure the game turns on many plays, and yes this game the team was far better prepared. But at the end, when it mattered most, Tedford made three stupid decisions all in one play. He ran the clock down. He then burned a time out. He then had his kicker kick a third long-range kick, but this time it was 4th and 1, the OSU defense had been on the field forever, and the running game had been picking up big chunks of yards. Do you know how badly we outgained OSU in the second half?

    Running the clock makes no sense with 4 minutes to go. Burning a TO ONLY makes sense if you are going to go for it. But he bet everything on a FG, and that is typical of him. It cost us the game, just as it has cost us numerous games over the years.

    One of these days, these close losses – where Tedford makes the critical call – and the blowout losses will be enough. Just as many have come around, I suspect you will too.

    This was not a game where we got unlucky (other than the terrible ref call on the hold, but overall, not as bad as many as we have experienced). This was not a bunch of fluky turnovers or tipped balls. Maynard played well. Defense played well – just two bad plays over all.

    So why did we lose, again?

  • Woj

    You guys sound like Oblamo. The loss was the ref’s fault, it was the FG kicker’s fault, this is a moral victory, all garbage. This loss like so many others comes down to execution, game planning, choice of personnel, and in game decisions. Urban Meyes made enough of those better than Jeff Tedfraud to win. Cal is going nowhere but down with Tedfraud at the helm. It has been this way since 2008.

    Note to the AD – Memorial is going to be very empty with your retread rich complacent lousy in-game coach going forward. If you can get Petrino do IT! – and Tedfraud isn’t willing to give up any of his Fort Knox like $$$, then you make him the richest locker room attendant and janitor ever.

  • daredevilfan

    BigDruid, glad you brought up the fg on the last big game. That was the wrong call too and we just got bailed out. But in today’s case, D’amato was definitely not mentally able to do his job so Tedford is definitely to blame on that. He’s got to be experienced enough to know that kids are mental cases and when they are in that bad a funk, you can’t expect a miracle. I know the purist strategy is to put points on the board, but you have to look at the facts and cirucmstances in each case, and in today’s case there is NO WAY you kick that FG. Otherwise, I will commend the coaches for a great gameplan, I commend the whole team for a mostly well played game. A huge step in the right direction on many fronts. I thought all RBs did well, and hopefully they can all be mixed in to keep each other fresh. WRs are beasts. ZM maybe had the best game of his career. I am proud of them but ultimately Tedford still has to go. But hopefully today keeps the players heads up for the future. One thought that comes to mind is whether Tedford will feel that his back is against the wall enough to finally play to win vs. not to lose. In the early days he played like that because there was nothing to lose, then once he tasted success he has gotten conservative and boring and lost his edge. I don’t want him to get it back as I feel we need a new shot in the arm at HC, but it will be interesting to see if that might be the result. BIG10 refs suck. We should have won by 14 points. I’ll be at SC next week and I might not need my paper bag after all….