BearTalk

Cal Sports Live and Direct

Football: Cal-Northwestern game thread

By Jeff Faraudo
Saturday, August 31st, 2013 at 6:18 pm in Football, Gameday.

FINAL SCORE: Northwestern 44, Cal 30. For the latest online version of my game story, please click here.

HALFTIME: Northwestern 17, Cal 10. Goff was 13 for 24 for 137 yards without an interception. Bigelow carried nine times for 76 yards. Treggs had six catches for 60 yards.

Siemian was 15 for 20 for 199 yards with a TD and an INT for Northwestern.

Cal had 211 yards of total offense, Northwestern 293.

Safety Avery Sebastian with an ankle injury and will not return. LB Khairi Fortt also out.

WELCOME: Welcome to the 2013 Cal football season and the start of the Sonny Dykes era.

A gorgeous early evening in Strawberry Canyon. Fans just starting to trickle in, but Cal is expecting close to a sellout.

I will post periodic updates here through the game, but the pace of the action and the late start will preclude me from posting continuously. Will try to give stat updates at the end of each quarter.

Kickoff is set for 7:36 p.m. on ESPN2.

Follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/JeffFaraudo.

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

  • Daredevilfan

    Sorry all. Song. “Lightning in a bottle” to be posted later. Too much driving and drinking and band groupying and cheerleader stalking to post. God this is awesome. Zach was so pumped coming off bus. nearly kissed sonny. Cal band great. Ddfan drunk. Go bears!

  • Wehofx

    Sounds like B Scarlett is gonna play?

    Go Bears!

  • Mr. B

    @DdFan
    You so lucky. Enjoy the buzz in Berkeley. This SD-based fan days Go BEARS!!!

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Buh needs to wake the F up and increase pressure on 3rd down. I don’t like the 4-3, but it’s infinitely worse to have a DC unable to realize a QB is accurate and can shred his D if given time.

  • SteveNTexas

    We are not looking so good and the announcers have been critical as well. Maybe the 2nd half will better. Hate to see us lose on National TV we don’t get on that often,

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    You guys look just as pathetic as you looked the past 3 years. You truly are laughable

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    PAC 12 OCs are licking their chops. Your DL is awful.

  • 1brsfan

    Need the D to step up and more consistency from Goff. Klein in 2nd half.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Well that was an easy opening drive for 3

  • SteveNTexas

    Quick Cal TD in 2nd half very clean- Could be a big confidence builder

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Another choke job in the works

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    One thing never changes. You guys play dirty and you play dumb

  • Juancho

    Goff looked good except on that pick. Defense looked awful.

  • calbearister

    Can someone send Pat Fitzgerald some pointers on how to avoid cramping? It really seems like their defensive players had a hard time with cramps. #46 in particular. Maybe his offensive guys could help since none of them seemed to cramp up.

  • Easy Ed

    I was upset about the Wildcats “injuries” until I remembered Tosh and the Oregon game. It’ll get better, I see a lot of positives.

  • Heteroscedastic Bear

    I think Dykes/Franklin need to introduce the pump fake. It looks like we can’t rely on the tempo either, as others will learn to fake injuries.

  • Heteroscedastic Bear

    Now Dykes and the new coaches know what’s it’s like to be a Cal Fan. The Football gods are against us. They turn the refs against us. We have many strokes of bad luck.

  • calbearister

    What? You think they were faking it? But #46 sat out like two whole plays after getting no treatment or fluids on the sideline. I mean, how can that be faking it?

    Lupoi was a POS and Northwestern’s just as lacking in integrity.

  • Eric

    Just got back (BART and no Bay Bridge – yikes). Some observations from the stands:

    - First time in a long time I felt coaching/game calling put us in a chance to win versus finding a way to lose. I love the aggressiveness, even if it didn’t always work – the fake FG was spectacular; the RB/WR toss reverse; the hook and ladder. Finally some guts.

    - Goff generally looked solid, and I was particularly impressed with his roll-out precision. I think DBs will figure out jumping the out routes, so they need to mix in pump fakes and more RB wheel routes.

    - More than anything else, we were unlucky. Two drops on third downs killed drives in the first half. Harper dropped a TD at the end of the first half. The first tipped pass/INT/TD doesn’t happen 99 out of 100 times (it would batted down). The second was just the WR not paying attention and the bounce going right to the cover guy. At the end, the game really should have been 30-30 going into overtime.

    - Didn’t like the home run call after Lagan’s INT. With 3:45 left on the game clock and down by 7, we’re effectively playing for overtime. Much better to run the offense as normal and take time off versus trying to go for the big strike and, even if it works, leaving plenty of time for NW to kick a FG to win the game. And that being said, the post-in worked once, but not twice, so mix it up.

    - Rogers is a beast. I am so glad they have calls to him.

    - OL protection generally was good. Yes, Goff got sacked, but they were coverage sacks.

    - The secondary was not great in the first half, but significantly improved – much better than I expected.

    - DL was generally strong against the run, but virtually no pressure.

    - There has got to be some penalty for the blatant faking. If the same guy goes out twice in a quarter (I’m looked at you 44 and 46) for “cramping,” he should sit out the rest of the half. Or a team should forfeit timeouts. It was obvious.

    - The refs were typical – horrible. No penalty when our punt return man called for a fair catch. Obvious hold in the endzone that should have been called for a safety in the first half. And why did NW get the ball on the 2 when we committed PI in the endzone but we didn’t get the ball on the 2.

    - My guy Khalfani came THIS CLOSE to breaking one of the kick returns. And while he did have a bobble or two, he didn’t panic, and if you were still watching on the last play, did you notice how he decided to take on the entire NW secondary on the last play?

    - At bottom, very exciting game that, of course, the Football Gods denied us. And I think it will be hard to go 6-6 now. But I think we are going to scarce a lot of very good teams, and this is going to improve.

  • Dan

    Only 18 posts? And 5 were by that dipstick Moron? Apathy already. Lots to say, but it’s 130 in the am and I just got home in Pleasanton from the game. Too tired, I’ll check tomorrow.

    And Moron, seriously? $c looked like garbage, didn’t exactly dominate a BAD Hawaii team. That offense is putrid with two more overhyped, disappointing QBs. The only difference is they suck in college, instead of most $c qbs who suck in the NFL. Leinert, Sanchez,, Cassell, Barkley (4th round?!?). You’re too much. How bout that Sun Bowl, eh?

    That’s what I thought.

  • Dan

    PS – Eric, I did just read your great post. Agree with just about everything you wrote. What else is new, right, lol. Still glad college FB season is here.

  • Will

    I never have, nor ever will, feel this good about Cal after a loss.

    P.S. Dan, I would guess that a lot of us were at the game, and thus couldn’t comment during it.

  • gobears91

    I was at the game tonight and the atmosphere was awesome! Sort of like when the Giants started playing at AT&T. I came away thinking we played hard and played aggressive. So refreshing from the stagnant teams of the past few seasons.
    I give poster Eric credit for astute observations and I echo his comments. Replays of the McCain hit show that it was boderline – no way he should have been kicked out and that was a momentum swing. He is a good guy and didn’t mean harm.
    NW is a GOOD team. I give them props for coming west and winning a tough game. 2 pick-sixes (off deflections) were the difference. Everyone I spoke with in the Alumni section were impressed with Sonny and VERY impressed with Goff. If you see him in person, he has remarkable accuracy. Just a little too much zip in the 1st half (probably because he was too pumped up), but he is going to be a winner. NW fans told us we will give Ohio St all they can handle. Definitely good vibes coming off a crappy 2012 season.

  • Rollonubears

    I think the lack of participation might have to do with having to now enter your email address and screen name every post. I guess that was the fix. Hope it’s short term.

    One thing we are taking for granted is special teams. It was spectacular. Especially the kicking. I was really proud of the bears for that. We got a little unlucky and totally screwed on the McCain ejection. Seems like we always give 7 a game due to a horrible call. The flopping was may more blatant than what we did vs Oregon. It was embarrassing for NW. You should have to sit out a full quarter if you cause a delay of game. You obviously need time to heal and be evaluated :) , and not just till the end of the quarter, the full time equivalent. That would put a stop to this.

    Goff was bad in the first half. He was deer in headlights. That all changed in the second half. It was a great game to watch. A tough loss, and of nw had any integrity and/or the officiating was reasonable, we a least have overtime there. We deserved at least that opportunity. Hopefully we respond well to this. Go Bears.

  • Easy Ed

    I watched the game from Pasadena last night. A couple of observations.

    1. Another year and no Rose Bowl
    2. The O line has a lot of work to do, they couldn’t open a hole after NW adjusted to our running game.
    3. Goff has “it”, good call Sonny.
    4. The 4-3 does not put any more pressure on the QB than our defense did last year.
    5. We are not deep on defense
    6. We are a young team, too many penalties
    7. Overall? I’m otimistic.
    8. GO BEARS

  • Gobears49

    Watched the whole game last night, and normally watch only part of it because I was so tired of Tedford’s “offense.” A very entertaining game, the way Cal used to play during the early Tedford years. Been watching Cal games for a long time.

    My comments –

    1. Goff is the real deal. Probably will be the best Cal QB since Rodgers. Only competitor for that title would be Longshore before he got hurt. Very good arm, quick release, moves around nicely in the pocket, can throw on the run, and can run the ball a bit. A very cool customer and seems to be tough. Will be great watching him develop. However, I have a feeling Cal’s freshman next year, Luke Rebenzer (?) will bear watching, as from what I’ve seen, the kid is a great runner and could be great with running out of the spread. Goff did not run except when forced out of the pocket. Hope Kline gets a chance to play.

    2. Did not realize how young the Cal team is. The TV announcers said Cal is one of the youngest teams in the nation. If I heard them right, they said that Cal has only six seniors in its two deep taking into account both offense and defense (though that is hard to believe). Cal would have been better if some key guys weren’t hurt, so they were short-handed. Not sure how much Sebastian played.

    3. Cal has its best group of receivers since the days of DeSean Jackson and Lavelle Hawkins. Lots of good targets, and they do a good job of holding onto the ball and running after they catch it. I think Rodgers will be a great pro, but only after he beefs up after he graduates so he can play tight end. He obviously slimmed down this year (lost 30 pounds) so he could play in Dykes’ offense, which does not use a tight end.

    4. Was surprised at how well the defense played. They are hitters. Northwestern really did not score that much on offense (two touchdowns by their defense, which were fluke tipped balls) and their backup QB was very, very good, at this time a better passer than Goff.

    5. The amount of purposely “injuries” by Northwestern to slow down Cal’s hurry-up offense was just ridiculous. The TV announcers indicated there was nothing that could be done about it, but that is obviously wrong. A rule could be imposed that if the clock is stopped for any “injury” that “injured” player could not play again for two or three, or even four plays right afterward. Might not stop a team that has a lot of good substitutes, but it is better than nothing. This rule would be similar to one that did come into play, which I did not know about, which is that if a players helmet comes off during a play he must leave the field for one play.

    6. Forget the player, I think McCain, but being kicked out of the game for hitting a QB on his helmet with his helmet is a bit extreme. But I don’t have any suggestions about trying to handle that.

  • SteveNTexas

    Good post Gobears. Especially about the youth of our team. Goff looks great for someone playing in their first college game.

    We did lose pretty soundly at home and the media only pays attention to winners so we will be way out of the national conversations even for top 20.

    In the meantime we can improve and if Juancho is correct about us having a top 25 recruiting class -the future could be bright.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    That’s it Cal state fans. Stay on the high road re. Fake NU injuries otherwise the skeletons may fall out of your lockers. Pay is a beeeeyotch isn’t it?

  • Rollonubears

    Beating $c is going to be fun the next 4 years.
    These programs are moving in opposite directions.

  • Alaska Bear

    A young team but a hungry team learning a new system no less. Already noted that Cal beat themselves more than NW did. Would we really expect anything else at this stage? I am optimistically patient. Go CAL!!!

  • 1brsfan

    I agree that the 2nd half was much better on both sides of the ball. Coaches did something that we haven’t seen in a while and that’s make adjustments at half. If not for those two tipped balls I think we pull this one out. I never feel good after a loss and last night was no different but I am encouraged that we will grow into a better team by the end of the season. I think we’ll be competitive in all of our games and surprise a team or two. We’ll need to if we want to get to 6 wins but without that I’m not seeing us bowling this year. I think next year we’ll be a contender in the division.

    Go Bears!

  • wehofx

    19, 22, 23, 24, 26 and 31 generally agree. very good posts.

    O Line didn’t have IP in 2nd half.

    No Personals except for bogus call on C McCain.

    D looked bad in 2nd half but Buh made very good half time adjustments that resulted in 2 x 3 and outs.

    esp liked the lb play of young’uns jefferson, barton and nickerson. Hope Ragin gets into the rotation. When AS left game at end of 2nd Q I feared the secondary was going to get torched. Logan and Drew came up big.

    The things I really missed from last year: stupid personals – Rigs Bros – and the old delay of game after a TO.

    If we don’t make a bowl, this game will be a big reason. Nonetheless, I am optimistic.

    Go Bears!

  • wehofx

    …oh and 99 plays from scrimmage. Holy sh*t!

  • Uh huh!

    JF: love your work, but I think you fell short in your game report. Granted, that is completely understandable, as we didn’t get make to our parked car until 12:10am. Good grief! Looking back toward the stadium, I said, “Damn. The hill people must be pissed, their living rooms lit up like Christmas Eve”, as the stadium lights reflected off the mist in the air like a floating billboard arrow-sign that says Stadium Here.

    No, if I were to have done the game report, it might have gone something like this:

    Holy schnikies! What an exciting start to the Sonny Dykes era!! The pace of the opening drive happened so fast that fans talking about the last play were at risk of missing the next. The bears marched downfield with Bigelow (finally the featured back, thank you Jeff Tedford) ran 3 for 55 yards and then the most awesome of fake FG for a TD that it should have featured on ESPN’s play of the day.

    Never mind that the Bears eventually lost. Goff showed something at QB in 1 game that Maynard didn’t in 2 years, and never mind that the box score shows 3 interceptions. The Wildcats should feel lucky to escape Berkeley with a victory. Two tipped balls turned into 14 immediate gift points for NU, and if that doesn’t happen, the Bears likely win. Those are chance happenings and not really Goff’s fault, certainly not the dart that hit Powe right in his stone hands and allowed to pop up and into the LB’s chest. And the third interception was more a late desperation throw that maybe doesn’t even happen if the first two don’t.

    So, forget the scoreboard and the INTs. The Dykes-Goff era put up 30 points, 445 passing yards, should have won the game, provided plenty of excitement, and got off to a killer start. Jeff Tedford and his bland and dying brand of entertainment can’t fade fast enough in the rearview mirror.

  • Josh

    Upset about the loss, but less so than previous years. We lost to a good ranked team and we fought all the way through. Those two pick 6′s from deflections were just super super lucky. I also realized that about half way through the game that we were missing key defensive starters. Avery, Fortt, Jalil, and others were out. By the 4th quarter I didn’t recognize half of the defense. Two key concerns: run game and pressure on QB. I think both will improve with time… Couple times bigelow was one breath away from taking it to the house. I left the game feeling most impressed with Goff. He going to be very good. On the way back home I overheard several times from NU fans on how impressive Goff was and that a true frosh QB hung like 450 yards. He also had some key drops by the receivers that would’ve made a big difference. Overall, sucks but future looks bright … Definitely doesn’t sting as much as the Neveda loss last year.

  • Gobears49

    About my proposed rule that if an official calls timeout because a player is “injured,” that player must sit out three plays, not counting a punting play. Just goes along with the recent tendency to protect a player who may be injured — we don’t want the “poor player,” who tried to get up but somehow couldn’t quite make it (there were a couple of those last night), to get hurt by getting back into the action too quickly. We need to protect him and make sure there is enough time to examine him and make sure he is not too tired, before we can be sure it is safe enough for him to resume action.

    I should note that Cal admitted doing the same thing a few years ago (Tosh’s idea) against, I believe, Oregon. I didn’t like what Cal was doing then and I didn’t like what Northwestern did last night.

  • Easy Ed

    I’d love to hear what SD said to Pat Fitzgerald after the game. The conversation was a little longer than “Good game”. Judging by the comments in the press conference, I’m sure something was said about the health of the NW team. Nice shout out to JT by SD, he’s right, the cupboard was not bare however, somewhere along the way, JT forgot how to cook.

  • BadBucks

    More simple fake injury preventative rule adjustment; The first time a player gets “injured” enough to stop play and have training staff/coaches come out, that player has to sit the rest of that series. If that same player causes a second “injury” time out, he sits out the rest of the half. PERIOD.

  • Jeff Faraudo

    Uh Huh! Actually was thinking about using “Holy schnikies!” in the lead paragraph of my story, but wasn’t sure how to spell it.

    So you guys got home late . . . I walked in the front door at 2:05 a.m.

    All in all, an interesting night. But get ready, these guys are going to play some long games.

    Easy Ed — I’m sure there was a terse exchange between the two coaches afterward, but Dykes took the high road and opted to not go there when asked about it.

  • CalBearister

    Agree 100% with #38. If you’re hurt bad enough to need assistance getting off the field twice in a half, you should be done for the half. Pat Fitzgerald’s indignant denial (“Anyone who questions my integrity, I question theirs…” is pretty much proof positive that he was calling on his players to take a dive. Just look at other examples…Pete Carroll (“I absolutely did not have Reggie Bush call Joe McKnight”), Bill Clinton (“I did not have sexual relations with that woman”) and so forth. The more indignant the denial, the more guilty you tend to be IMO.

    Great start to the Dykes era, bad bounces, bad officiating, and bad sportmanship by the Northwestern Floppers notwithstanding. Goff is a baller, and the coaching staff plays to win. Go Bears!

  • GOGO Bears

    well, moron doesn’t seem to be discussing $C cheater ball any more. Guess there’s nothing to discuss when your team has the absolute worst collapse in football history.

    ANd remember folks — here’s the breakdown on the moron.

    He’s been trolling Cal for 15 years. He went to SC undergrad and then got rejected by Cal’s Boalt Law. So he went to UC Davis and then had a mental breakdown. He’s not practicing law.

    He confided in a moderator of anothe board about the mental breakdown and that his rich daddy got him a travel agent job. IN the past, he’s posted on Halloween night, New Year’s Eve night, Valentine’s Day night. And most friday and saturdays. THAT tells you all you need to know: our little troll is ALL ALONE. No friends, no family who wants to spend holidays with him, and definitely no GF and no sex unless he pays for it. THAT is the moron.

    He used to at least have SC footballl, but the cheaters got caught and now all he has is his hate. HE HAS NOTHING ELSE

    PITY THE TROLL — THIS IS ALL HE HAS.

    bahahahahah.

  • GOGO Bears

    Now comes the rant about his obsession with some Cal advisor, speaking of some things never change. Come one, Moron — try to deflect the truth about how you are ALL ALONE. bhahahahaha.

    Or try to get back on BI again. Beg and plead to not be banned. Boast that the fat man won’t get you banned just before he does. Beg that you got sick in Phillipines with your mommy (notice no vacations with friends) and how you want back and then watch everyone punk you. Go try to be on the SC boards where THEY HAVE ALL BANNED YOU.

    ALL ALONE. Even the sc fan base rejects you. ALL ALONE

  • Larry

    I was at the game last night. Good vibes all around. I enjoyed myself at the game, which when we lose I would usually never say. However, like everybody has been saying here, things look to be on the upswing for our Bears.

    I’m expecting to see a little Kline next week. GO BEARS!

  • Gobears49

    Lots of discussion in the Chicago Tribune about the fake injury debate, both in the article and the comment below. Most seem to believe the injuries were fake, especially when they happened three plays in a row and the players didn’t seemed to be injured on the sideline afterwards.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/chi-northwestern-wildcats-hope-to-be-ranked-after-cal-game-too-20130831,0,1018625.story

    While I think some sort of rule should be imposed to temporary restrict a player who caused an official “injury” time out from immediately playing thereafter, especially when there appears to be rule requiring a player sit out a play if he loses a helmet during a play, even though not injured from that, one has to be careful about setting up the restriction from play time. Remember, whatever rule that is established could turn out to bite the Bears. So the restriction should not be that severe.

    Hopefully, the rule will not impose that much of a burden on teams to lose good players for too long of a time, but be onerous enough to incentivize players to try to get off the field on their own power, right after the play, if they are hurt, so as to avoid an injury time out. After all, if players realized they couldn’t be on the field for several plays if they cause an injury time out, they might have an incentive to get off the field quickly so they can play more.

    Of course, players getting off the field quickly will also benefit fans so there will be less play stoppage from “injuries.”

  • Will

    Bottom line? Good teams overcome these kind of antics (like Oregon did when Tosh pulled this garbage for us). We’re not quite there yet. But I feel like we’re moving in the right direction and will be there soon.

  • Uh Huh!

    JF:
    2am, no doubt! I was thinking of you exactly at that moment when I wrote the 12:10 time, knowing “and you still had to do the whole write up”.
    Actually, 2am is not all that bad, considering. But still, I feel for ya. Maybe the University can cover your OT pay with all that extra money they made for hosting the game at such a late TV time, right?!

  • Uh Huh!

    And, oh yes, Holy Schnikies! Permission granted.

  • NapaBear

    Mostly the game was great, give or take a few tipped balls.

    However, I’m livid about the fake Northwestern injuries. Fitzgerald had to pull a page out of the Lance Armstrong/Marion Jones playbook, get all indignant and say that anyone who had the gall to question him doesn’t have integrity.

    I had drunk pretty deeply of the Fitzgerald purple koolaid the past 20 years. He led them to their first Rose Bowl in 47 years as a player, took over when the coach died suddenly…

    Fitzgerald didn’t want want anyone to question his players integrity. Well coach, don’t ask them to cheat if you don’t want their integrity impugned.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    So GOGO Bears comes out of hibernation but nothing changes. Notice there isn’t one single reference to football. That is because he doesn’t follow the team. He actually hates football. He just lives to stalk me.

    Notice he makes no reference to the pathetic APR of those football mercenaries. He knows as one of the advisors the epic failure is his alone. Oh you can see him post on Bear Insider as Advisong Bear because he wants everyone to know how connected he is to the team.

    It’s just sad that he won’t own up to his part in letting down the program.