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Football: Colorado game thread

FINAL SCORE: Colorado 41, Cal 24. Click here for my game story. And here for my Cal notebook.

THIRD QUARTER: Colorado extends lead to 27-10 after 24-yard FG by Oliver late in quarter. Might as well be a 37-point lead. Cal has 239 total yards through three quarters, Colorado has 419. Kline, who came in late in the quarter, is 2 for 3 for 21 yards, but also fumbled a snap and was sacked. Goff was 15 of 30 for 100 yards — 3.3 yards per attempt.

HALFTIME: Colorado leads 24-10, and Cal lent a helping hand. Darius Powe mishandled a CU onside kick that totally fooled the Bears, giving the Buffs the ball again after they’d scored on Liufau’s 10-yard TD pass to RB Tony Jones. Then a costly roughing the passer penalty on senior DE Dan Camporeale on a third-and-12 incompletion gave CU a first down at the Cal 11 and set up Christian Powell’s 2-yard TD run that made it 24-10 with 50 seconds left in the half. First-half yards: Colorado 324 yards, Cal 192 yards. Goff is 11 for 21 for 79 yards. Muhammad, with the 55-yard TD run, has 54 rushing yards. Bigelow has 8 carries for 51 yards. Cal cannot sustain drives and has had the ball for just 9:48 of 30 minutes.

END OF FIRST QTR: Colorado leads 3-0 and it could be more soon. Buffs at the Cal 10-yard line after 62-yard completion to Nelson Spruce, who beat Cedric Dozier down the right sideline. Stat totals are lopsided: CU 191 yards, Cal 59. Goff is 4 for 8 for 27 yards and has punted twice. Bigelow looks good with 3 carries for 25 yards. Liufau is 8 for 11 for 151 yards for CU, including 6 completions for 82 yards to Paul Richardson. Cal has now been outscored 160-41 in the first quarter this season.

COIN TOSS: Colorado wins the toss and elects to receive. Cal will get ball first in second half.

WELCOME: Here at Folsom Field in Boulder, Colo. We have blue skies with some clouds. Virtually no chance of rain. Temperatures are cool, but great football weather. Whether we have great football remains to be seen.

Lucas King will start at the WILL linebacker spot for Khairi Fortt (biceps) whose status is questionable. Otherwise, things are pretty much as you’d expect.

Jeff Faraudo

  • 707 Bear

    I have no idea what Cal needs, but I don’t like to hear….

    Jalen Jefferson in today’s Chron, “There were guys out there who weren’t giving their full effort, and it definitely showed.”

    Thoughts on who Jefferson was talking about?

    Go Bears

  • ScottyBear

    Juancho and Gobears, Agree with you guys completely. I have reached the point where I hate myself for wasting yet another beautiful Saturday afternoon watching Cal football. My wife outside doing yard work and I’m hiding out from her in front of the TV. For what? That onside kick that was returned for a TD was a new lower low. At least Holmoe’s team had Deltha O’Neal who scored more TD’s that last year than the offense. Our Bear Raid has become just different versions of a button hook or that dreaded sideline pass that goes nowhere. Sonny just stands there on the sideline. Who is running the show?

  • Eric

    Thanks for the shout-outs Juancho (obviously the spiritual leader of the blog), Dan, and Wehofx. I am looking forward to January 1, 2014, when this lost season is behind us and there is a brand new year, and I feel I can comfortably comment on this lost season with perspective, objectiveness, and no axes to grind (some pun intended).

    I’m obviously still reading these posts. Glad to see the passion of everyone is still there.

    And even to those I sometimes clash with, or have vehemently disagreed with, I still greatly value your posts, musings, rants, etc.

    Was walking along Pearl Street in Boulder, and saw a sign “Boulder and the Buffs welcome Cal fans,” with a picture of a bear paw in the background. Really cool.

  • Juancho

    Eric my brother boulder was ranked the #2 party school when i was in college. The top 3 was them chico state and asu.

    Ive visited denver once, and i loved the vibe.

  • Gobears49

    We could have a side discussion about great college towns (I would not classify Berkeley as one). I know there are a ton of them.

    Fulfilled one of my bucket list items this year by going to an SEC game (Georgia) and tailgate party (actually two of them). Athens is a classy small town with LOTS of bars (Clayton St. is the #1 street). Had a drink at Hershel’s (Walker). Planning to go to an SEC game once a year. High on my list are Oxford (Mississippi), Baton Rouge (LSU) and Jacksonville (home of the biggest tailgate parties in the country, The Cocktail Party), the yearly location of the Georgia – Florida game, just like Dallas hosts all Texas – Oklahoma games.

  • Juancho

    Gb49. I definitely would. I think berkeley is a great college town. Davis too santa barbara too. Halloweens down there were legendary.

  • Gobrears49

    Juancho,

    You definitely need to get out of state, particularly the South, where tailgating is a religion. I haven’t visited many tailgate areas in California, but I’d say the best are at Stanford and the Rose Bowl (UCLA). I had a big RV reserved for the Rose Bowl years ago when Texas cheated us out of it. There should be a Cal school holiday the year after Texas finally gets rid of Mack Brown, which may be not far off.

  • Juancho

    If were talking great college football towns, i agree we are not.

    I would argue fresno may be the best college football town in the state.

  • http://sportskaster.blogspot.com sportskaster

    Looking ahead to next season, beyond the rout by Stanford, and what do you see for the Bears, in 2014, 2015, if this moron is still coach. Is there any hope? Help me out here.

  • 707 Bear

    Scottybear

    A 1 PM kickoff and the weather is supposed to be beautiful.

    Decisions. Decisions.

    May I recommend listening to the game on the radio while raking leaves or taking a walk.

  • wehofx

    Thanks, Juancho and dudes.

    GB49 forgot to mention the 1 point blunder but imo it was definitely a product of SD and TF being rattled. You know the thinking players instantly added up the mistake and said to themselves, “wtf?”

    I was working in N’Orleans and got to go w (rich) locals to see lsu vs the gamecocks in baton rouge. Pretty amazing. TX and SEC have the prettiest women by far – except we have Alex Morgan! I love(d) how the women wear dresses to the games in the sec!!!

    My fav college towns are athens and austin. Also happen to be great for music.

    #158 Really? Coward. Punk.

  • Daredevil fan

    I have and will likely always be of the opinion that th best way to build, or better your football team is to get an oline and dline that is better than everyone else. So I think step one is to go out and get the best line coaches money cn buy. Steal them from nfl or sec. Guys who recruits know will turn thm into pros. Then we can get top line recruits and develop top lineman. Step two is to get the best recruiter money can buy. You can draw a direct line from recruiting to ticket sales. Be it tosh or whoever get them and give them money and title. After that just be solid. I don’t wanna hear about gimmicks or 543 qbs and receivers. I want the best infrastructure and recruiting. Sandy grabbed the gimmick. That was as shortsighted as her other decisions. Time to regroup and rebuild correctly.

  • http://aol.com PeteBear

    GB49@#121–Going for 1 made sense under the conditions. Probability of making 3 consecutive 2 pt conversions very low. Granted, probability of making 2 more TDs and a field goal was also very low. But, I would take the next 11 pts and then if got the last TD, either go for OT or win. Miss the first 2 pt and sit at 34-16 is more self-deflating from my view.
    Kind of irrelevant at that point in any event, given what followed. I have many more other debatable coaching moments higher on list: man coverage on richardson; failure to implement the protective pass block scheme earlier than when Kline came in; rugby punts by Goff; weird onside to the wrong side, where I think we were under manned and then kicked it to Spruce their 63 yd catch hands guy. This game was a classic example of having so much riding on it that when things started going south on the first drive with Richardson, looking for the world like he was going to have a repeat of the 200+ game, playing pitch and catch, the panic set in early. When their d-line rush blew through our o-line after we got back in the game and the wind started to howl, the game was largely over from a psychological viewpoint. I wouldn’t so much say that Cal was outcoached, but rather that our coaches didn’t even meet the basic benchmark for a game of this importance. Colo didn’t do anything we weren’t expecting; we just weren’t set up correctly to stop what we knew they were going to do. The reverse on-side, the Goff/Kline/Goff dance, and the failure to protect Goff so he could settle somewhat (which was not likely since I do believe he also hurt his pinkie on his throwing hand at some point early–i.e., when he was grabbing it and shaking his hand generally) were undercoaching moments. A head must roll. You can’t go into spring ball with this smell hanging over the program. If I’m the person SB reports to I invite her to spring for a salary offset to cover some of buyout cost for “he who must go” both because the overall dreadful state of the program academically and on the field of play is now sitting in the middle of CMS for the whole world to see and smell and she is sitting right on top of that pile in terms of responsibility. I might invite SD to join in that funding effort by way of having a heart to heart on how long his leash is to prove that the BearRaid is not just a gimicky offense that at best will achieve something akin to the WSU “success” this year. I can rationalize the defense shortcomings via injury and (as finally revealed in this last game) a shortcoming in coaching design and execution. But I am very close to having now also lost faith in the potential for this offensive scheme. The playbook was “simplified” and there have been many days of practice and game day execution (“attempted execution”). The offense got worse over time, the ability of the other teams to effectively defend against the offense got better, Goff transitioned from what seemed initially like “quick execution” to what seemed at the end of the Colo game as “throw it to the first guy you see.” I did not see him progressing through any reads, even when he had more time as the protective 3 back blocking scheme was utilized. Given all that, I simply don’t believe in the potential of this offense at this point.
    If I am SB’s direct report that is the conversation that needs to be had with SB, and in turn between SB and SD. Cal will soon be checking in with all the ticket holders to test the renewal waters. They had better be prepared for a very rude response, which in turn will have serious implications for Cal’s overall athletic budget. Then the lists of programs funded or cut will return and things will go further downhill. The time for holding hands and thinking good thoughts for next year among the administration, SB and SD will be short indeed. Speaking for myself only, I was prepared for this year to be one of few victories but many fun games with Cal rolling up points and having memorable plays. What was delivered was well short of any of that and finally reached the point of the misery of last saturday. This is a program where “all options should be on the table” because if this continues for another year the persons ratifying the decisions will have no choice but to take the actions need to completely remake the face of Cal athletics generally, and football in particular.

  • Gobears49

    PeteBear,

    With 6:14 to go, I think you’re dreaming if you think there was even a chance that there was time for Cal to score three times to win the game. That probably would have required three, or at least two, recoveries of onside kicks to get that accomplished within that time. I think the odds are much better to rely on two possessions to tie the game and convert three tow-point conversions, to force the game into overtime. I’m quite confident that if you took a poll of coach’s on this point, they all would have not sided with Dykes’ decision.

    I’ve made several recent comments on this blog that Cal’s offense lost it’s potency during the year because opponents learned how to defend it as the season went on. I really like the offensive scheme Dykes uses, but think it would be more explosive with the dimension of our QB running the ball occasionally, with and without the use of read-option plays. As I also mentioned, I would not put it past Dykes to see how feasible that future offensive direction is by having Goff run against Colorado at least twice on plays calling on him to run the ball.

    I think Kline is a slightly better runner than Goff but incoming Rebenzer is much better than both of those guys at it. But can he pass the ball? I’ve watched some clips of him, and I don’t think he is as shifty as Manziel but his arm strength may be just as good, which is good enough. He’s only listed at 6′ Hoping he turns into a Manziel clone.

    I’ve previously indicated that I think only Buh’s head should roll, but if recruiting is very bad this year, then perhaps people primarily in charge of that need to be closely look at that to see if a change is in order.

    BTW, I was absolutely shocked at how good Bigelow looked in the fourth quarter. He’s big, fast, and cut make nice cuts. He just needs to learn how to use his blockers better (as well as hold onto the ball). Cal will be very good, and deep, at wide receiver and running back next year.

  • ScottyBear

    707,

    Good advice, but it’s also my 25th anniversary. Already have a nice spot reserved in the doghouse!

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    It is real simple.

    Fire your AD and hire a new one.

    The new AD will fire your HC in order to bring in his/her own.

    Admit it. Your AD is an epic failure. She spearheaded a stadium remodel that has left the athletic department broke, she gave JT a big fat contract with guaranteed money, academic performance under watch is pathetic and your football team under her choice of HC has just played the absolute worst season of football in the modern era.

    Every team in the Pac 12 has upgraded its coaching except for you guys. See you in the cellar again next year.

  • Gobears49

    PeteBear,

    Forgot to mention that, since under the circumstances we are talking about, Cal had just scored, Cal would have to take the ball away from Colorado THREE TIMES IN SIX MINUTES in order to score three times (and two touchdowns and a field goal would only get you a tie). I believe that is totally unrealistic. I think it is much more possible to make three two-point conversions and only score two touchdowns.

    But it’s always fun to joust with you.

  • Gobears49

    MoreNCsarecoming,

    I agree that you have your facts right, as far as they go, but they exclude Barbour’s good picks for men’s and women’s basketball head coaches.

    You left out the baseball cancellation fiasco, which I don’t believe was handled correctly by her from the outset. I also have been told she has way too many assistants, is used to be played up to, and is very political (though maybe that comes with the job).

    The biggest embarrassment to the university under her reign as AD has to be the low graduation rates. If I were her boss, I would give her strict goals that need to be met though, unfortunately, she would need at least two years to turn that around and, of course, that type of thing is out of her control to a large extent (i.e. she can’t force students to complete their college education). Still, something creative should be done to put her job on the line if things don’t substantially improve. Can’t Cal athletics be penalized if their graduation rates don’t meet a certain standard? If so, this failure, which she seems to be more responsible for than anyone else, could hurt Cal.

    An interview by Jeff with Barbour covering a wide range of topics would be interesting reading for Cal fans.

  • Woj

    Here are the parts of rotfogel and Steve W’s posts that are super accurate:
    I had little respect for Dykes before the game. That little respect is now completely gone…..He cannot be a head coach at this level. It is beyond his talent. Sure, he could be a good D3 coach or a high school coach. This is Pac 12 football and I believe this team is the worst team I can remember…ever.
    I didn’t think anything could compare to the Holmoe years…I was wrong. Dykes is the worst coach Cal has ever had.
    by rotfogel on Nov 17, 2013

    Woj add-on: BINGO!!!! Injuries are Stormy Dykes’ built in excuse to start and finish a second season equally as dreadful as the first. Cal is the worst BCS team in America and there are several low budget FCS ranked teams that would kick the crud out of Cal.

    All of the injuries aside, the question needs to be asked if this is the worst Cal football team in the modern era. I say it is, worse than Holmoe’s 2001 1-11 team that eeked out a win in the last game against an equally bad Rutgers team.

    This team is the worst because the offense regressed terribly after two fairly entertaining games against Northwestern and Ohio State. It is the worst because it never had a lead all season, Portland State notwithstanding. And it is the worst because it got decimated by one of the other worst teams of the modern era, Colorado.

    If you go back and look at that 2001 team, it actually played a terrific game against a good Washington team and held the lead for much of the game. It played Stanford tough til the end in Big Game and lost by a touchdown. Does anyone think Cal will be within a touchdown of Stanford next week?
    Say what you want about Holmoe, but his teams actually beat USC and Oklahoma twice during this tenure. I will reserve judgment on Sonny until he actually wins his first FBS game.
    by Steve W on Nov 17, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Woj add-on: I have to assume Steve’s facts about Cal 2001 season are correct. Stormy’s crew never had a lead and the offense regressed and the D remained consistently putrid all season long. And the special teams DAmato excepted were below average then finished awful.

    Fire Buh, the special teams coach and AD immediately and the next AD then will put Stormy on an ultra short leash.

  • http://aol.com PeteBear

    GB49–I thought there was more time left, so I see the point. In reality, though, Dykes decision was based on trying to make the final score look as respectable as possible. He probably would have been thrilled to add 10 pts and hope the final was thus 34-27.

    As to running backs, I was shocked how poor Bigelow’s last run to the right was. He had two blockers ahead and totally misused the play potential. For the rest of them I am a bit tired seeing all the big DLs and LBs do a head and arm throw down of #29. He has “no yards after first hit” capability. He is fast, though, and so has potential as quick off-tackle runner and corner turner. Ervin and Lasco will be fine, although I hesitate to call them power runners. So “very good” is certainly a relative term.

  • Gobears49

    Woj,

    Interesting post. But I disagree.

    First, while it doesn’t make much difference, Cal did get the lead in the first quarter of the Arizona game.

    Second, injuries are huge factor in judging how well a team performed during a year. From what I’ve read, Cal is close to leading the country in time lost by starters (or starters and second stringers) who are injured. I have never heard Joe Starkey ever mention before how many players Cal has available at each position. Also, it is startling to hear how Cal is playing a few guys who would normally be fourth string.

    I don’t have access to the stat that is often mentioned about how many games have not been played by starters (or starters or second second stringers) during the year, but I believe Jeff has access to that stat. If so, I would love to see a list of the top ten teams leading that category.

    Cal has been undermanned against most teams this year, especially on defense, where they lost some of their best players to injury. But I think the coaches have them competing hard. The other teams have definitely caught up with handling Cal’s offense, and it probably helps that they play other teams in the conference which have similar offensive schemes, such as WSU and Oregon.

    Cal has a lot of offensive talent coming back next year and good returning defensive players. If they can raise their level of recruiting, I think the prospects are decent we will do much better next year. Especially in view of the injuries Cal suffered, I don’t think we have given Dykes enough chance to show what he can do, though I hope he focuses more on the defense next year.

  • Gobears49

    PeteBear,

    In the fourth quarter, Bigelow shocked me in seeing how much potential he has. He is our only big back who is fast and has good moves. And I think he has showed in the last game that he has decent power to gain an extra yard or two. But I was also very disappointed in the play you mentioned. There is a chance that that can be coached, which speed and, in most cases, moves, cannot. The guy is just a super athlete.

    I think Muhammad was a better player this year that Sofele was last year and has tremendous potential because of his speed. Also, I think he’s a smart player, which we both agree Bigelow needs to improve upon. Lasco also has a lot of potential, as he’s pretty big, decently fast, and is a determined runner. We also have other decent players at that position, but I’ve mentioned who I think are our top three. I’m sure you agree our deepest and most talented position is at wide receiver.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    David Shaw is a classy coach who likely won’t be running up the points against a helpless foe this Saturday.

    However, I hope he does. By doing so he sends a message to your AD that she hired an unqualified coach who isn’t worthy of Pac 12 competition.

    Run up the score Coach Shaw.

  • Steve W

    Go Bears,

    I agree with you that Cal will field a better team next year assuming the injured guys properly rehab to full strength. That’s no guarantee, just look at Nick Forbes and Bigalow playing tentatively most of the season over concerns about his knee. You are making a mighty big assumption about the recruiting, however. I Can’t imagine too many 11th hour recruiting surprises going Cal’s way, and God help us if Rebinzer decommits.

    The major concern is the extraordinary high level of play right now in the conference. USC and UCLA are going to be scary good next year, and just who do you see that blew out Cal this year falling off in level of play? Cal is quickly becoming Kentucky in the SEC or Indiana in the Big 10, schools that have no football relevance year after year.

  • Gobears49

    Steve W,

    You read blog comments like I do — too fast. I did not say we would have a good recruiting year, but rather I said that “IF” we raise our level of recruiting our overall football prospects are decent next year.

    I agree with your on point comments about the possibility of Cal becoming a permanent, or semi-permanent doormat in this conference. In part that could occur because it seems that other schools are starting to play more of their true freshmen than they used to, which hurts our argument that top talent should come to Cal to be able to play right away (though perhaps Cal led the nation this year in the number of true freshman that played a decent amount of time, mostly due to injuries)

  • CalBearsGreat

    Well, it seems someone finally decided to admit to being an SC fan. While the team languished and was humiliated, this fan would say NOTHING about his team. Now that they have a good win, he decided to be a fan again.

    Can you say Fair Weather Fan? We all say it.

  • Juancho

    UCLA played more true freshmen than us. They played 15. One of which is Myles Jack.

    The difference between the elite and the also-rans is that the elite play freshman b/c they’re that good. Whereas the also-rans play freshman b/c they have no choice.

  • Gobear49

    Yeah, I know UCLA started about two or three freshmen offensive lineman recently. Still, Cal has to be up there, nationally, in playing a lot of freshmen. Would love to see stats on this.

    What the bashers on this blog seem to fail to realize is that playing subs and, particularly, freshmen subs, will make us stronger down the road. I don’t know the individual players that well, but I heard Hardy Nickerson Jr., a redshirt freshmen, was starting to play really well before he was recently injured (and out for the Stanford game). Same for Michael Barton, from De La Salle, who is still playing. Those and other guys may not start next year, but they will be better backups because of the experience they gained this year from playing a lot. Barring injury, our defense could be very good next year with a lot of first stringers returning and backups who now have a ton of experience.