Football: Offense can’t deliver in loss to Bruins

The Cal offense took the heat for this one.

After a 37-10 loss to No. 11 UCLA in front of 84,272 fans at the Rose Bowl, Cal quarterback Jared Goff called the performance of the defense “stellar.”

And if that was perhaps generous, certainly it was an improved effort by a unit that has been one of the nation’s worst.

The offense, meanwhile, scored 10 points in a second-quarter burst but otherwise was quiet.

“They gave us a chance to win and we didn’t capitalize on it,” Goff said of the defense’s work. “That’s probably mainly on me. If the offense doesn’t play well, it’s my fault.”

Sonny Dykes, the first Cal coach to start 1-5 in his debut season since Mike White in 1972, was disappointed the offense couldn’t get much done.

“We haven’t put a solid football game together all year where we played well on both sides of the ball,” Dykes said.

The Bears (1-5, 0-3 Pac-12) still haven’t beaten a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent since a 31-17 win at Washington State a year ago Sunday.

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Jeff Faraudo

  • rotfogel

    Goff wasn’t good in this game. I do like his deep ball and I suppose he’ll get better next year.

    I really paid attention to Buh’s defense and, for the most part it’s true, he doesn’t blitz often at all. Just lets the opposing QB sit back until someone springs open.

    There is zero way that guy should be coming back. Cal should hire any other defensive coordinator, even a high school d coordinator would do. You cannot possibly call a worse game defensively than Andy Buh.

  • Uh Huh!

    I wanted to see Kline. Goff is mentally overwhelmed, just chuckin’ balls at this point.
    How can I be saying that (?) after last week’s school record 504 yards, I don’t know.

  • covinared

    I was at the game. Overall, I thought the defense did well after another bad start. Cannot understand King playing over Barton. Barton must still be hurt. On the issue of blitzing and pass rush, I don’t think we have the athletes for it. Offensively, it seems teams are starting to figure us out. Since we have no run game they can focus on the pass rush and pass defense. Ucla’s DBs were playing a tight on the line and still were able take away the deep game. Lasco seems to be the best option at rb, especially on short yardage so long as he doesn’t fumble. Rogers is a little too slow getting started and since he can’t run around the end, the defenses know its going up the middle. Can’t blame anyone here. Firing Buh or playing Kline won’t change anything. We are thin on talent and have glaring weaknesses that are being regularly exploited.
    btw: Lowe got severely chewed out after Duarte’s touchdown. These are tough love coaches.

  • Juancho

    Great post covina.

    Only thing i disagree with you on is replacing buh.

    Goes for any coach who is replaced by a team. The immediate benefit can be recruiting. If its a good hire.

    I wouldnt replace buh yet. But watching this raiders game, tarver is exactly the type of guy we need.

    Thats why kiffin was fired.

  • Calbearister

    How exactly do we blitz with no secondary experience or depth? It’s not like we’ve got the horses to send the blitz and rely on man coverage.

    As for Goff, I’d like to see you make throws with no pass protection.

    I swear, Cal fans are as delusional as they are fair weather sometimes. No line plus no defensive depth equals losing. No amount of coaching changes that.

  • Juancho

    So then we need to recruit better guys right? And that is on the coaches.

  • Juancho
  • Josh

    I honestly think the defense played their best game considering the injuries… Held UCLA to our second lowest points… Sure tackling is still a bit issue and our DBs have issues getting off blocks, but I definitely saw improvement.
    Now our offense… Wtf was that…. Really bad playing calling… The bone 3x in the red zone? So predictable… Sigh 1 step forward 10 steps back

  • KC

    I know it’s difficult to do right now, but I’m going to look on the bright side with a few observations:

    1. We have a true freshman QB who has done more good than bad with a very inconsistent (that’s being generous) running game and an o-line that has been overmatched. With a year of experience, he should be even better next year. He’s a true freshman that has played a ridiculous schedule and faired better than we thought overall. That being said, last night was not his best effort. I think he needs to step up in the pocket a bit more – he seemed better at doing that the first few games.

    2. We’re also giving a true freshman RB a ton of snaps, with a couple of redshirt freshman also emerging as primary ball carriers. This can’t help but pay off next year if our O-line play improves.

    3. All of top WR’s are underclassman with multiple years to continue to improve in this offense. Again, if our O-line play improves (can’t stress enough), they should benefit as well as Goff should be less harried.

    4. We’re playing a number of true and redshirt freshman on defense that are getting invaluable experience, albeit with a lot confidence shattering moments. When all of our injured players return next year, we should have a number of very competitive position battles and vastly improved depth. I was encouraged by what I saw last night from the defense overall…there was improvement against the run and pass. I am not sure about Buh but believe he’s been put in an extremely challenging position with the early season schedule and insane amount of injuries. The jury is still out but I don’t think it’s fair to remove him after one year.

    It’s hard to keep the faith right now but we’re undermanned (these aren’t Dykes guys for the most part) with just a ridiculous amount of injuries. I really believe we need to keep showing up as fans and encourage these guys – giving up doesn’t help anyone in the program. Go Bears!

  • Woj

    It astounds me the level of excuses thrown out there to support the bad coaching and bad play of Cal.
    1) “We’re playing a number of true and redshirt freshman on defense”
    2) ridiculous amount of injuries
    3) true freshman RB
    4) WR’s are underclassman
    5) ridiculous schedule and faired better than we thought overall. REALLY? Cal has been blown out every game except NW. How is that “fairing better??” Record = 1-5. Hasn’t beaten a BS team in 1+ years.
    6) new coach

    Enough with the injuries. The starters on D were getting torched for 3 TDs every game in the first quarter. The injuries could have been a blessing in disguise. Now it takes 2 quarters to give up 21+ points.

    This game was not competitive. 37-10 final score and UCLA must’ve had 15 penalties to keep them from scoring more. Any time UCLA felt threatened they scored and Cal couldn’t do anything about it.

    Holmoe II ERA is here.

  • wehofx

    Watched dvr. From the score I was afraid it would make my hangover worse. I am, however, heartened by what I saw. I’m in the glass half full camp w Bearister, KC and Covina. As mentioned, the D played well enough for us to win against a ranked opponent.

    Re: Blitzing. Again, we’re so shorthanded, we had to play mostly base. No nickle or dime. (this game willis – a converted wr who I think will be a a very good cb – dnp/injury.)

    If we blitz – per Bearister – who are you going to leave in single coverage w no safety help? (esp since out best cb, K Jackson gutted it out w a bum ankle.)

    Another reason not to blitz is Cameron Walker – who played well at safety is a converted cb. He made a number of tackles 8/9 (???) but also got beaten/bounced-off on a number of 1 on 1 tackles. At he’s 5’11” 185, he’s too small to be a safety in the Pac but he’s doing his best. I think next year when he plays his natural position/cb, he’ll be much improved because of the experience. He’ll be a great tackling cb.

    As mentioned D Coleman and Moose FINALLY started playing up to their potential, esp in 2 half. Also liked what I saw from Puka Lopa. They played the run well and got some/occasional pressure.

    imo, Goff is hitting the frosh wall and – as mentioned – DC’s are scheming against what they’ve seen to date. Goff’s more than earned the right to play through the wall. W continued improvement on D, once he catches his 2nd wind, I still remain hopeful our Bears will upset one of the ranked teams remaining on schedule.

    Running backs? Not sure. Feels like none of them can break a 1 on 1 tackle.

    Way too soon to give up on true frosh KM but he can’t break tackles and, like e cunningham said a number of times – the OL FINALLY started blocking and he didn’t hit the hole or couldn’t break a 1 on 1 tackle.

    Lasco looked pretty good until he got injured but another fumble.

    I like nastiness in O linemen but rigs – the penalty machine of last year – is dirty. The chop block he got flagged for was dirty, N suh dirty.

    imo the PI on A Lee’s interception was robbery. No way did he pull that wr down.

    Juancho, I agree w you that recruiting is going to be huge for the future of Cal Football. I think/hope that one of the reasons SD hired Ingram and Yenser is that he thinks they will be Ace Recruiters. If they don’t help land some solid rb’s and OL then, bye bye. But we have to give them a chance.

    With rb’s we now see why R Gould preferred Isi over Bigs and Lasco – words I never thought I’d say. If RG couldn’t improve Bigs and Lasco, I don’t know how you can expect Ingram to make a difference in 1 season.

    Finally, imo the 3 runs in a row from inside the 5 from the Bone w Rodgers was all about process. SD and TF wanted to make a point to the OL. The Bear Raid is about EXECUTION OVER SCHEME. The OL has to win.

    If the game were in the balance, no doubt, TF would have called something more creative or – when they get the OL playing to their standards – maybe not.

  • KC

    Just taking the time to try to post a few positive thoughts among all of the vitriol, Woj. Have a great day.

  • Bear Success

    Okay, you can analyse all you want, but I want to point you all in the direction of Penn State because that guy truly had a reason to make excuses. Players quitting, all the sanctions, etc. Did anyone happen to notice they beat Michigan yesterday? Dykes did not come in with the the worst players in the world. He has players, that if coached could probably be decent. All of the injuries point to poor training – that is coaching. Poor morale – that is coaching. Dykes was not ready for the Pac12, a stronger coach would be getting much better results with these guys.

  • Juancho

    Great post wehofx.

    I pike when people here disagree. Especially when we do it amicably and not name calling.

    There are plenty of positives.

    Theres no real worry around having a good qb. We have that box checked.

    Young guys getting experience.

    But the critiques are fair too.

    For instance brett hundle had his career best game yesterday. And its considered our best performance of the year.

    Thats why i think we should take more chances with a scheme that blitzes more. Thats what the raiders do to mask the mediocre talent.

    If pur secondary was doing well i would agree no need tp blitz. But were playing prevent d and still getting torched through the air.

    Easy for me to say from my recliner.

    I just hope we can be amicable as we disagree.

  • Steve W

    I just keep thinking about the woeful 1-10 team that Bruce Snyder inherited from Joe Kapp before the start of the 1987 season. There are guys on this current team that will play in the NFL, most probably Goff, Treggs and Harper to name a few.

    Who made the NFL from Snyder’s first team? I think Troy Taylor had a cup of coffee at rookie camp, but I can’t think of anyone else off the bat. The top receiver on that team was a converted quarterback named Brian Bedford, and the top running back was a guy named Chris Richards. But that team was playing fairly competitive ball by mid-season and upset the previous year’s Rose Bowl Winner – Arizona State – in early November.

    I don’t want to hear that none of this is Sonny’s fault because he inherited Tedford’s dysfunctional system and some poor attitudes. First of all, the woeful tackling is on the coaches. Go back to the basics we learned in Pop Warner, guys. Make ’em line up on their backs – helmet to helmet – blow the whistle and have them tackle the bejesus out of each other until they wrap up and get it right.

    Second, he needs to instill belief in his players. That “we have lost our confidence” crap is one of the worst quotes I have ever heard from a head coach. This coach was hired for his “instant offense” creds to put butts in the seats. I think most of the complaints would end if Cal was moving the ball and figuring out a way to score touchdowns in the red zone. There are drills for red zone incompetence, aren’t there?

    I don’t think Cal has a chance to beat Oregon State Saturday night, but it can still be an entertaining game with balls flying through the air and new lanes being opened for the running backs. Make it happen, guys.

  • 707 Bear

    As an all-pro armchair QB, here’s my take on the first half of the year that will go down in the record books— some good, mostly not so much.

    A. I have no idea if the coaches are any good. My only beef is with the tackling and the fact that seemingly no preparations were made for the stormy weather in Oregon.

    B. I have no idea if the current talent level is over or underachieving. My eyeball test from row 73 indicates that there is no NFL talent on the defense; same for the O line.

    C. The fan base–especially at Memorial–is in free fall. How far we’ve come since the excitement of the fake field goal for TD against Northwestern.

    That light at the end of the tunnel may be a train, but it’s the fall, and that means college football. Thanks to all the posters that make this a fun diversion from the more hum drum aspects of life.

    Go Bears

  • Woj

    The fake FG against Northwestern was 1 ingenious play in a sea of blown coverages, missed tackles, dink and dunk 3 and out series, 21 point first quarter collapses, & a complete lack of any semblance of a run game.

    Cal is the Pac12 doormat. There is no team worse than the Bears. And give the Head Coach who put Cal there credit – he actually admitted this with his ‘we have no confidence’ quote.

    Again every! coach inherits a team in some level of disarray and losing. Theder begat Kapp (who turned the tide around to winning in ’82 & ’83), Kapp begat Snyder (who won in ’91, ’92, ’93 before bolting for $$), Snyder was replaced by the hapless Gilbertson who was lousy, Holmoe begat the hungry younger Tedford (who turned the 1-10 2001 team into 7-5 winners, then rolled from there). Stormy Dykes is the only case where he’s inherited a loser and made it worse. WORSE! Cal will be favored in no game left on the schedule and will be 20+ dogs multiple times. 1-11? You betcha and it has a lot to do with the coaching.

  • Gobears49

    Watched three quarters of the game from, you won’t believe this, Suwanee, GA, on ESPN 2 after an afternoon of Georgia football and tailgating (punched my bucket list item of attending a tailgate party at an SEC game and, after some research, hope to do so at Mississippi, LSU, and the cocktail party in Jacksonville — Georgia vs. Florida). BTW, Goff will be a much better quarterback than Georgia’s vaunted senior, Murray,

    Anyway, my basic observations are that 1) I love Cal’s offense, which is all Sonny Dyke’s doing. So interesting and exciting. Can’t turn off the TV as I love to watch it. I use to fall asleep watching Cal’s offense under Tedford. Dykes an his crew are geniuses in making Cal move the ball. Got to hand it to them, 2) the defense played a very spirited game, and never gave up (at least before I turned it off at 1 a.m., when I knew we weren’t going to win the game). I credit that spirit to Dykes and his crew. Everyone knows Cal is really hurting on defense. You can’t expect them to win against a very talented team, like UCLA (whose QB is a sure future pro, because he has the arm, is very athletic, and can really run — wish Goff had that talent, though he has the arm and the accuracy) .

    I agree that recruiting is the key. Give Dykes the players and he will get us into the Rose Bowl (though maybe we need a new defensive coordinator) faster than you expect.

    Not sad at all at our record to far. Have played four really good teams and lost only one game to a mediocre team. The future is in Cal’s grasp if they don’t give up. Cal is the future sleeper of the Pac 12 and will surprise a lot of people next year. We just need a good to great freshman class for next year to build on the very good talent (when they are healthy) we already have.

  • It is a shame Dykes did not give more thought to keeping some of Cal’s top assistant coaches, Gould, Chandler, Ambrose, Michalecek, etc. Instead he replaced them with coaches many from smaller schools. I do not think many of the new coaches have NFL experience, which can be valuable when recruiting kids whose goal is to eventually play in the NFL. Certainly not the model UCLA seems to have taken in hiring their coaching staff, which certainly accounts for their strong recruiting classes. Hard to imagine that Cal is going to attract a top class anytime soon.

  • Rollonubears

    What does “dink and dunk” mean?

  • covinared

    Woj the troll: Mike White won 2 games his first year. Would have been 1 if not for a last second big game td.

  • Steve W

    I would characterize it as dink and duck, those short passes to the flat where defenses are now cheating up and expecting this very kind of thing. The “duck” part comes from Treggs, Harper and others crouching down after catching the ball to avoid having their heads taken off.

  • wehofx

    Juancho, couldn’t agree more. This place is all about expressing contrary opinions – however wrong they maybe 🙂 – but there is no reason to name call or attack.

  • wehofx

    If there was any doubt “Woj” = moron

    the last few obsessive multiple posts here and on previous threads have alleviated any doubt. most posters get it by the way it’s been ignored.

    the dire trolling “predictions” of Cal losses and losing records is verbatim trolling from moron. it’s incessant boasting on the rare occasions it’s correct – even a broken clock it correct twice a day.

    it’s denial when it’s incorrect, ie #19, is moron/woj/joey modus operandi.

    prediction: woj will deny it’s moron/amy.

    it will not address its identical trolling MO used by moron/amy.

    it will attack me.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    I do not understand the logic behind the above posts arguing that we do not have the horses to blitz.


    We do not have the players to put any pressure on the QB in a base defense (where the OL knows exactly what it coming on top of it). The secondary has no chance covering anyone beyond 4-5 seconds into the play.

    They are getting beaten in the base defense, repeatedly. A blitz will get burned, maybe often, but they also may force a turnover or get a sack. It’s when you have the talent to get pressure on a QB without blitzes that you can stay in a base D.

    Buh should be sending a different guy on nearly every play.


    Twice last game, the CBs came up huge with outstanding plays to thwart the WR and RB screen. Both times, the DB beat the WR meant to block by a half step and fought through to take out the man catching the ball (once I believe it was a RB). Outstanding plays.

    I still believe this is a scheme flaw, however, to rely on a DB beating their blocker to make a play. If blocked, the next defender available is always out of position, with their best angle resulting in a 10-15 yard gain.

    Watch next week, the fake WR or RB screen, our DB charging by a WR that feigns a block, only to then go deep with no Cal defender anywhere near him.

    If we are lucky, the DB will spot it before the WR goes by and will manage to get a holding penalty instead of giving up the TD.



    I’ve known Woj for years, both here and on SF Giant boards. He is not Amy. He is just pissed off, as he should be.

  • Woj

    The ONLY team I’ve ever liked that has never ever been a champion is the Cal football team. I’m sick of it. Utterly sick of it. Call me a moron or troll or whatever. And I’ll call all the supporters of Barbour, Tedfraud and the whole inept program suckers for continuing to support this mediocre at best excuse making doormat of the league.

    And I’ve read alums making excuses for the Cal ineptitude for decades. The excuse that’s most used is now turned on its head forever wrong. That was — Cal is an academic power that can’t be expected to compete for Pac12 titles. A huge WHOOPS. Stanford’s has qualified for 3 straight BCS bowls and won two of them. I said all along that was bunk and now Stanford with superior academics proved it was.

    In fact, for 35+ years of attending games & overall rooting for the Bears here is what I’ve received:
    0 Pac10/Pac12 outright titles. 0! days of utter New Year’s Day Bowl glory.
    2 Shared Pac titles but Cal was witch slapped by the champ each year so that’s second place in my book and the Rose Bowl Committee’s too
    0 Rose Bowls (2004 should have been the first- Tedfraud took the high road, refused to run up the score on S. Miss and you saw the sad sack undeserved outcome – Rodgers and Co. were sent to Holiday Bowl where the team was routed – I was there in Dec. 2004, the team mentally was not – trust me).
    14!!! bottom 3 finishes in the conference:
    1980,81, 83,84,85,86,87,88,89,92,00,01,10,12
    interrupted by 6 good years where Cal was End of year ranked in top 25: 1991(8th),93(25th), 04(9th), 05(25), 06(14th).

    Again 35 years of support, and 2 end of year top 10 teams. No appearance in the Rose Bowl since my father was a teenager, not even on campus yet. And now ard and 37 points given up to the #11 team i nthe country qualified as good ‘D’ good grief!

  • Steve W

    Was it my imagination Saturday night, or was Goff locking in on his primary receivers a lot more than usual? He really looked like a true freshman in the UCLA game and could be regressing against super aggressive and fast defenses.The announcers noted that UCLA’s front 7 is as good as anybody’s in the country. They made Taylor Martinez – a 4- year veteran – look pretty silly earlier this year. That offense needs the QB to check down on multiple reads to be successful.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Woj, the Rose bowl draught sucks, but there were teams that were worth rooting for, even several of the bad ones.

    Steve W, I noticed that, too. He was going through his progressions in earlier games. I kinda think it may be a result of the Oregon debacle. He may be in his head stressing the fundamentals a bit more after that one, especially on the road.

    He wasn’t getting that much time in previous games. So I can’t put it squarely on the D. Frankly, though, you have to figure you will lose 1-3 games you should otherwise win simply because you choose to start a true freshman QB (I don’t care how well they’ve been coached up). That said, Goff does, IMO, get the benefit of having coaches that are much more blame worthy.

    I still can’t believe they had all 170 lbs of Goff trying to do a QB run from 4 yards out. It wasn’t even a QB draw. The DL was still bunched up protecting against a normal run, not going into a pass rush yet, when Goff ran into the wall. I guess he might have gone early, but it sure looked designed to me.

  • CalBearister

    Your revisionist history is remarkable Steve W. Bruce Snyder’s 1987 hardly set the world on fire. Let’s recap:

    A 42-0 win against Pacific…followed by:

    27-25 loss to San Jose State
    32-23 loss to Minnesota
    31-14 loss to $UC
    38-12 loss to Tennessee
    23-23 tie with Arizona.
    42-18 loss to UCLA

    So in his first seven games, Bruce Snyder was what? 1-5-1 with his win coming against a UOP team that also lost to Long Beach State, New Mexico State, Utah State, San Jose State and UNLV. The tie was with an Arizona team that went 4-4-3. And he got spanked by $UC and UCLA. So how is Bruce Snyder’s start any better than Sonny Dykes’? And how is it much better than Joe Kapp’s 2-9 1986?

    As for the Arizona State win, that’s great. We didn’t play 1986 ASU – it was 6-4-1 ASU. And then we layed a 31-7 egg against Stanfurd the following week.

    In short, your bitching is simply premature. If Dykes sucks 3 years from now, fair enough. But by your standard, Cal should have given up on 1-5-1 Bruce Snyder after seven games. $UC should have given up on 1-4 Pete Carroll. Hell, Mack Brown went 2-20 to start his career at North Carolina in 1988-89, before finishing up 20-3 in 1996-97.

  • Steve W


    You forgot to mention a win over Oregen at Autzen. And here is how it is different: Cal that year did not get BLOWN OUT by the conference doormat at home, as it did two weeks ago with WSU. And they took care of bidness against the bad teams like Pacific. They did not allow a Division 1-AA team to take them to the wire.

    And Snyder did not get in front of the podium and whine that his team had lost confidence. His team played hard on every snap with a lot less talent than this team. I am rooting for Sonny to turn this around, but he needs to up his game NOW. There are good losses and there are bad losses, and those losses to Oregon, WSU and UCLA were bad ones. I fully expect Cal to lose to Oregon State on Saturday, but I want to be entertained in the process. Those losses were far from entertaining. That’s all I ask right now – let me get off the couch once or twice. And maybe make me excited enough to get on a plane and come see a live game at the new stadium.

  • Easy Ed

    In 1968 I had the good fortune of seeing my first football game in the Coliseum, Cal v. USC. Cal lost. Maybe it was the dark blue helmets with the metallic gold “C” or the gold pants, but I was hooked. Imagine my thrill when I was accepted to Cal as a student. I was in heaven, that ’75 team, Roth, Walker, Rivera and of course Muncie. I graduated and moved back to LA, I remained a fan through some lean years then came Snyder with Russell White, Sean Dawkins and Mike Palawski. Some hope with Mariucci then the Tedford years. Now? Who knows but I tell this story to say one thing, for 45 years I bled blue and gold. Blessing or curse, I love Cal football. Vent, bitch and moan, I’ve done them all. Stay with us, GO BEARS.

  • wehofx

    Wisdom, we disagree on almost everything but if you say Woj is not amy that’s good enough for me.

    Woj, I apologize for thinking you were amy/moron//joey using an sn alias.