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Football: Notes from a trainwreck

By Jeff Faraudo
Sunday, October 28th, 2012 at 12:48 am in Football, Gameday.

Utah 49, Cal 27, and it wasn’t nearly that close. Why was this game so one-sided?

Utah transformed three Cal turnovers into three touchdowns and returned two kicks for touchdowns. That’s 35 points of opportunity, and far more than the Bears could overcome.

Utah’s Reggie Dunn became the 16th player in NCAA history to return two kickoffs for touchdowns in the same game. Officials were unable to determine whether any player has had two 100-yard KORs in a game.

*** Three of Cal’s six losses this season have been by at least 18 points. Since a 42-10 loss to Washington on Dec. 5, 2009, the Bears are 15-21, and 11 of those defeats were by 17 points or more.

*** Keenan Allen could not enjoy the stage on the night he broke Cal’s career receptions record.

“It’s a great accomplishment, but at the end of the day it all comes down to win,” he said. “It was cool to get the record but I’d rather have a win.”

Allen bumped his total to 205 receptions, eclipsing the mark of 202 set by Geoff McArthur from 2000-2004.

“Geoff McArthur was a great player and it was great that he set a goal for me,” Allen said. “Ever since I was in high school, it was one of my goals to become the best receiver at whatever college I went to.”

*** Cal finished with a 441 to 344 edge in total yardage, but that’s misleading to say the least. The Bears had 242 of those yards in the final 16 minutes of the game, after Utah had forged its 42-6 lead.

*** Sophomore RB Brendan Bigelow’s 57-yard touchdown run on the final play of the third quarter was his third scoring dash of at least 50 yards. He’s the first Cal player to do that since Jahvid Best in 2009.

There’s a sense that Bigelow is just a sprinter, but here’s a statistic that suggested unexpected toughness: He has not lost yardage on any of his 27 carries this season. Bigelow is now averaging 12.7 yards per carry.

When asked Saturday night how he can afford to not give Bigelow the ball more, coach Jeff Tedford somewhat unconvincingly suggested the Bears did that in the second half. Bigelow got the ball twice.

*** Bigelow’s TD on the final play of the third quarter ended Cal’s touchdown drought of 115 minutes, 27 seconds, dating back to the Washington State game. That’s 4 1/2 minutes shy of two full games.

*** Sophomore TE Richard Rodgers had a career-long 51-yard reception, then caught his first touchdown pass at Cal, a 7-yarder in the fourth quarter.

*** Remember all the early-season hand-wringing over PK Vincenzo D’Amato? The guy who made just four of his first nine field-goal tries has made hislast nine in a row. D’Amato is now the least of the Bears’ problems.

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  • Pasadena Dave

    That was his response to bigelow’s level of participation? This is getting to a whole new level of ridiculousness.

  • Juancho

    So heres the bummer. I personally believe tedford wont be fired this year. I think sandy firing him is the first step in sandy losing her job so she will fight it.

    But, and when it comes to buts i like them big, if tedford is fired who do you guys want as interim head coach znd new coach ?

    I say gould as interim and my hands down choice with a huge margin is bobby petrino.

  • Eric

    WHERE ARE THE KOOL AID DRINKERS? WHY ARE THEY NOT DEFENDING THEIR EMPEROR?

  • daredevilfan

    1. Gould
    2. Anyone with a pulse other than JT. I’m not up to speed enough on other teams to be specific, but we either need a lot of youth and energy that can help with team motiviation and mental toughness and recruiting. Or a big proven name that can help with recruiting from a creditibility standpoint and someone who knows how to run a program and hire a top notch staff and get the best out of everyone. That’s a big wishlist I know, but if you tout CALs NFL stock, and their new facilities, there should still be some enticing things for a coach. But the window is closing. If we wait 2 years to do this, the NFL stats will have dwindled and the facility will be old news and we’ll probably hire Rick Neuheisel.

  • SteveNTexas

    Tony Gonzalez

    Sure I expect Indiana to be better than Cal in baseball but never expected considering the lack of interest and funding that Indiana would be better in football too ( look at their score v same opponent Ohio State 49-52).

    Tedford has to know he isn’t doing the job-he should do the right thing and resign and allow us to use the funds for his salary recruiting someone else.

    Why wouldn’t Tony Gonzalez make a great coach? This is his last year with Atlanta and he should be able to recruit -lots of young followers on his Facebook etc

  • BlakeStreetBear

    Let Oski coach. We’d have a better chance…

  • Eric

    By the way, Jeff F, thank you for the great headline and for calling out Tedford. That’s what journalism is all about.

  • Woj

    Cal fans – Stop going to the home games. If Barbour won’t fire Tedfraud after all this losing and blowouts, empty seats at the next home game will speak volumes. I’m good with firing Barbour and Tedfraud. She signed that insanely stupid contract of his and she left CA taxpayers wit ha mountain of debt on the stadium improvements – so fire them both.

  • Juancho

    Jeff – were you the one who asked tedford post game about the team quitting on him ? I read the question ticked off tedford. I cant stand his bully demeanor. He lacks the education and comportment of a true Cal person.

    Woj – i actually think barbour is equally a problem and i want her gone. She shut down baseball when they could have used the pac 12 network money. The ridiculous tedford contract. And the stadium and ESP fiasco. And i think montgomery is overpaid and will be tedford in a few years. Lackluster recruiting, and he gets credit like hes taken us to the final 4.

    I think petrino is ideal. Hes big time. Hes proven to have elite college success at different schools. Hell have a chip on his shoulder. And this one is big for me, hell have recruiting connections in the south which will grow Cals recruiting.

    Imagine we lock down the bay agaim and start to pull in some of those studs from the south ?

  • SteveNTexas

    Texas fans want to get rid of Mack Brown.. and we want to get rid of Tedford…

  • Rollonubears

    I’d rather have tedford than Mack brown. Guy is loaded with 5 star talent down there and still can’t do anything with it.

  • CalBearister

    “When asked Saturday night how he can afford to not give Bigelow the ball more, coach Jeff Tedford somewhat unconvincingly suggested the Bears did that in the second half. Bigelow got the ball twice.”

    Tedford should be fired for that statement alone. Seriously? It’s as though the guy lives in a parallel universe.

  • rotfogel

    Worst. Offensive. Line. Ever.

  • wehofx

    JF(and your fellow reporters) thanks for asking jt the hard questions.

    jt’s lame/bizarre answers show that he’s clinically lost his mind.

    I’ve been trying to figure out why the ol is so incompetent. I thought jm went to raiders for 2 years and that would explain the mediocre, at best, recruits in his absence. But I checked and he was only gone for 1 year. Seems he lost his mind, his stones and his recruiting acumen along with jt.

    R Gould was one of my favorite position coaches along with jm. Juancho, I put Big’s lack of carries on rg and jt equally – or slightly more on jt because he’s hc.

    jt is clearly not forcing rg to play isi and cj in front of bigs. It is a mutual decision. Dan, 707 and a couple of other regulars reported how they saw big’s not know where to line up in the backfield and needed help from teammates, ie not the sharpest knife in the drawer. On tv at least 2 times I saw rg “sternly lecturing”/yelling at bigs for some lapse. That said, jt and rg, if they were doing their job, by yesterday, would have gotten bigs at least 15 carries. To state the obvious, if bigs got a couple of those long gainers in the first quarter/half, the utes back 7 would have been forced to back off and give the ol some much needed help.

    I will be shocked/horrified if sb doesn’t fire jt the day after the season ends.

  • V-Man

    Tom Holmoe BLAH BLAH BLAH. The dumb alum Holmoephobes who defended Tedford by referencing Holmoe’s record are now finally realizing that we’re trending towards…wait for it…TOM HOLMOE. How were so many of my fellow alums so whipped and duped? Well, silver lining to all of this is that change is finally in the air. 3 years too late, but finally!

  • Easy Ed

    A couple of observations. If Gould bears any responsibility for Bigelow not playing then he should be fired along with Tedford and Coach M. I don’t know what scheme this staff is trying to implement but it’s either so complicated that the players don’t get it or it’s so simple that every coaching staff in the country can read it’s tells. Finally, I really like Tedford and am sorry that things will have to end but…END THEY MUST!

  • The Wisdom Cow

    I have lost SO MUCH interest in this team. I am more interested in the Cal women’s swim team recruiting than I am in the football team.

    We KNOW that Tedford is done.

    Consider, the primary reason for his early success was that HE call the plays, that he spent nearly every waking hour thinking football, and that his passion rubbed off on the players.

    He stopped calling plays ages ago. He no longer puts in the obsessive hours. He totally lacks passion; he only has irrational expectations and anger when they do not come to pass.

    It is beyond time for a change.

  • rob bear

    Bear Football Team,

    1. Have confidence in each other.

    2. Have confidence in yourself.

    3. O-Line; you need to block with consistency. You know the cadence. The guy in front of you does not. Use that to your advantage.

    4. Maynard; you need to focus on your reads and execute the play like it is supposed to be run.

    5. Receivers; catch the ball!

    6. D-Line; dominate your gap(s), squeeze and fill

    7. Secondary; don’t miss tackles and execute the most difficult task in all of football; tackle in the open field.

    You do the above, you win. You fail like you have been doing, you lose. If you do not believe me, look at the UCLA film. Make your coaches and alum proud. Quit feeling sorry for yourselves and play football or I will have to start doing what everyone else is suggesting, FIRING YOU!

    Go BEARS! Beat U of W and Benedict Lupoi with EXTREME PREJUDICE!

  • Juancho

    I’m not getting my hopes up. Barbour has been very very slow to react over the years.

    I still think it’s a 75% change Tedford comes back next year. If he’s not fired this week I don’t think he gets fired this year.

  • rollonubears

    I think he gets a chance to win 2 of the last 3 and save his job. I am going to be really pissed if we beat UW, then somehow squeak past OSU because they make a bunch of dumb mistakes like UCLA did. I could totally see that happening after UWs emotional win, and their expecting to come in and just roll on us. If there is anything left in the tank, at all, and Tedford truly hasn’t lost these guys, they will muster enough for a win on Friday. If we win 2 of the last 3, I’m going to be the most unhappy bear next year, because we will probably finish above 500 in 2013, no matter who’s at the helm.

    We always kick rear in night games at home. It’s going to be a crazy atmosphere, I think. If we lose Friday, JT is done at the end of the season, probably announced the day after the UW game. The Oregon game is going to be a massacre, no matter what.

  • Tom S

    All you need to know about coaching staff is they had one year to prepare for pistol v. Nevada and the team kooked uncoached. All coaches must go. Short list of head coaches should include:
    Peterson at TCU-getting butt kicked in Big 12 but good recruiter.
    Nevada Coach
    Rivera at Carolina-They suck so firing enninent. Cal guy and should be able to recruit.
    Riley at Oregon State.

  • H8sRed

    Juancho — quit being such a blowhard know-it-all. Firing a college coach mid-season is rare and usually reserved for a coach’s personal misconduct. So your interim coach speculation is moot, unless there’s an ncaa sanctionable offense (tressel), co-ed on a motorcycle (petrino?) or a DUI (multiple).

    Yes, I have mostly been a Tedford defender; although I have also pointed out my reservations. Unfortunately, except for the UCLA, WSU and (to a lesser degree) tOSU games, this year there has been nothing to defend about this team or its coaching. Three solid performances out of nine games is shockingly bad. It’s time for a change, and although Tedford may be fired before the end of the season, he will be the head coach at least until November 17.

  • Eric

    I think Sandy would demonstrate significant credibility by firing Tedford now. The season is over. Let one of the existing coaches act as an interim coach and begin searching for a new head coach. Recruiting has barely begun, so it won’t make a difference. It shows responsiveness and boldness. Which means it won’t happen.

    @H8sRed – while I am certainly glad you have found religion this year, for several years you were a stout Tedford defender and would attack other poolsters who dared criticize Tedford. So maybe lay off calling Jauncho a blow hard?

  • Juancho

    Thanks Eric my amigo. Its sad that the longtime tedford defenders now only rear their head to try to make personal attacks.

    I wish cal had a great season. I wish tedford proved the doubters wrong and we were in the top 10. But we havent been ranked since 2009 i believe. Its time we stop settling for mediocrity. Were not the ugly girl at the dance anymore.

    With the new facilities weve been properly enhanced. And its time we use our enhanced rack so to speak to marry up.

    Amen.

  • Steve W

    I don’t have any doubt this team is going to finish at 3-9. With McCain and Scarlett hurt, the defense has no shot. We know how inept Maynard and Co. Are. My fear is that Barbour is going to concoct a story on how excessive injuries derailed Cal’s season, and that Tedford deserves at least one more season. They might point to how Mike Riley went 3-9 with an injury decimated team last year and came back with a Top 10 team this year.

    I don’t see Kline as the second coming next year. In fact, I am betting that Bridgford is the starter next year, with or without Tedford. But There is enough talent on this team to win immediately next year with a high profile new head coach. I am just not as confident as everyone else this needed change will happen.

  • SteveNTexas

    H8sred- Why try to slame Juancho?
    College coaches do get fired mid-season despite your claim.

    Here is a list of those most likely to be fired now and why.
    http://athlonsports.collegeexpertsclub.com/news/showSports/id/19

  • daredevilfan

    I’ve driven from San Diego up to a bunch of night games at CAL over the last 5 years where they have stunk it up. This team has been mentally weak under Tedford for awhile now and we are hitting bottom this year.

  • Steve W.

    I was trying to think if there is a precedent for what has happened to Tedford. Has there ever been a major college head coach who resurrected a losing program with eight straight winning seasons and bowl games get run out of town in the manner that JT is headed for? And can anyone name another university that fired the winningest head football coach in its history?

    The most recent Pac 12 parallel is our own Bruce Snyder, who took ASU to a Rowl Bowl in 1996 and was fired four seasons later after back-to-back 6-6 seasons. But Indiana in 1996 fired Bill Mallory, its winningest coach and a guy who took them to six bowl games, after 12 seasons. I find a lot of parallels in the Mallory case. Indiana, like Cal, is a place withhout a great football tradition and hasn’t been to the Rowl Bowl in a long time. And Mallory also had a long-term contract that the university had to buy out when they fired him. Perhaps most alarmingly, Indiana football has been mostly irrelevant since Mallory left the scene.

  • wehofx

    nfl hc’s are rarely fired mid-season. it is even more rare for a college coach to be fired during the season for football reasons.

    all the mid-season firings I can think of are for morals/lying. NOT for football reasons.

    ohio state and petrino being obvious examples of fired for moral turpitude. leach TT – the shed and lying, jagozinski (sp?) BC – lying about nfl interview, leavitt S fla – hitting and lying were all various forms of moral violations. NOT a losing record.

    On a positive note, plaschke and simers – la times columnists – along with a coupla $c alum friends of mine have put lame k in the hot seat. it doesn’t seem like he’s a very good hc. Be interesting to see what happens next year without barkley.

    I hope we beat udub so we can put sark/wilcox and the ‘ho back into the hot seat. But that was a good victory for them over osu.

  • A-Dubble

    Blow up the whole friggin coaching staff. Time to start fresh. Cal needs a new identity all around. The coaches are soft and complacent and it has rubbed of on some of the players. We quit that game in the second quarter, just like we have in years past when getting blown out. This team cannot play from behind. Again…BLOW IT UP!!

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    More notes from a train wreck…

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports/2012/10/29/cal-football-grading-the-week-38/comment-page-1/#comment-148105

    Looks like your weekly grade by Wilner is matched only by the grade your star QB got in Food Appreciation

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    By the way, I wasn’t ignoring you losers. I just got sick and tired of reading all of the laughable, ignorant comments posters make about your football program and one another. I have been busy posting on Bear Insider (over 400 posts) and scout.

  • Mal

    Nice, someone remembers William Guy “Bill” Mallory. His three his sons, Michael, Douglas and Curtis are allfootball coaches. One was captain at Michigan during his playing days. Mallory still uses his Indiana email address, or at least his wife, Eleanor does.

    “September 11, 2003 Former Hoosiers Return for Mallory Reunion : Bloomington, Ind.- Around 145 former Hoosier players will return to Bloomington this weekend for the Bill Mallory Football Reunion. Over 200 players and support staff that were at Indiana under Mallory from 1984 to 1996 will take part in various activities over the weekend.

    The festivities get started Friday morning with a golf outing at the IU Golf Course. Around 120 former Hoosier players and support staff will take part. The golf outing will be followed by dinner and a reception on Friday night at the Virgil T. DeVault Alumni Center. Over 250 people are expected for the dinner and reception.

    On Saturday morning, there will be a brunch in the Hoosier Room before tailgating starts at 3:00 p.m. The tailgate will take place at the I-Men’s tent in the southwest corner of the concourse. The players and support staff will then form a tunnel for the Hoosiers to run out on the field prior to the Indiana State game.

    Bill Mallory is Indiana’s all-time winningest head coach with 69 career victories. While at Indiana, Mallory led the Hoosiers to six bowl games including victories in the 1988 Liberty Bowl and the 1991 Copper Bowl. He also led IU to a top 20 ranking in 1988 and was recognized as Big Ten Coach of the Year in 1986 and 1987.”

  • Dan

    Hey everybody – loser boy/girl is back. The cowardly Cheato kid has emerged from the basement, with orange stained tear marks on the face after another Cheater choke job Saturday, this time to the fighting Wildcats.

    You wanna know Pat is back? Because she was just vanquished from Wilner’s blog. While she was posting away over there this AM, I saw magic happen. Moren’s posts were there, and then … They were GONE. G-O-N-E. It was a beautiful thing. What happens if a Moren posts on a Cal blog and it just a s quickly is pulled? Well, it’s pretty awesome. Maybe Wilner got GreaseMonkey, lol.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    New coach: Willie Taggart. Get him now.

  • Alaska Bear

    Bruce Bochy for coach.

  • Larry

    I don’t think they will fire Tedford before the end of the season. I don’t even think they will fire him after this season. I don’t agree with it, but they will play down this season as somebody already mentioned in a previous post, that SB will blame injuries and other things on the losing, but not hold Tedford accountable.

    I think he’ll be the head coach in 2013. I don’t think the tide has turned enough for the hardliners to take action and fire Tedford, I think they are realizing he is trending down, but I just don’t get the feeling that SB and friends will act immediately.

    Unfortunately, I can see him being here through 2013. SB will give JT this year as a mulligan. JT will fire Geyek (sp.), Arroyo, & the DL coach (they step down to spend more time with their families etc.) Which will buy JT another year from SB & co.

  • Juancho

    Unfortunately I agree with you Larry.

    I still don’t think he’ll be replaced this year. I think once the season ends all the spotlight on the situation will fade away. And most of us will go back to our non-football season lives.

    The only season I can remember Cal football staying top on mind during off season was last year – due to the incredible recruiting we were doing. Prior to that Cal football falls out of relevancy when the season isn’t going.

    One of the interesting things to postulate is what would happen had the Stanford game not been moved to earlier in the year. Imagine it was the last game of the season when we took that thumping? I wonder if that would have increased the chances Tedford was replaced. Maybe, but maybe not.

  • wehofx

    Larry & Juancho, I really, really hope you’re wrong.