cal football - 2018

kad02002
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I don't know, I think maybe it seems like they do, but what teams are you actually referring to? It seems to me to be more coaching and system related - yes, WSU, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, etc always seem to have a productive quarterback, but (and this is a compliment to the coaching) it isn't as if they are recruiting and/or churning out top talent. Bama has not been consistent. Harbaugh/Michigan still hoping. USC is up there, but still ups and downs. UCLA? Yeah, they had a good one just come through, but before that it was pretty barren for a while. Oregon? Great system. Washington? Gonna be hoping after this year - probably okay though with the coaching and talent. Ohio State? Yes, Urban Meyer always seems to get production in his system. Stanford? Top recruits for years, and even they are left hoping and have gotten inconsistent play outside of Luck.

Anyways, going down the rabbit hole a bit here, and I see your point. I just think that - given that there are only maybe 10 guys on the planet each year who can play that position really well at the highest level - a fan base should not expect to feel reassured at that position year in and year out. Programs should build accordingly to make the quarterback's job easier, through scheme and recruiting. The emphasis on offensive linemen is a positive sign, and Baldwin has a good track record with quarterbacks.
calumnus
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OdontoBear66 said:

fat_slice said:

71Bear said:

philbert said:

More importantly, can they win more games than last year with a an offense like that?
Possibly. The key this year will be whether the D can step up to overcome the regression on offense. And that is dependent on the pass rush. Will the DL provide the necessary pressure? IMO, that will determine whether Cal can post a better record this year.

In just two years, Cal has gone from being dependent on scoring in the forties to have a chance of winning to having an opportunity if they can score in the twenties. Imagine if Cal could find a playmaking QB.........


I don't think there is an offensive regression considering how little Robertson and Stovall played last year. Bowers has to be better than last year so my guess is that offense is as good or slightly improved from last year.
Thank you for this insight. Was thinking the same thing with all the downer posts on our offense. Better OL, better TEs, better QB (I would certainly hope after one years experience), RB same or better, and WRs as good or better. No Stovall or Robertson last year.


Last year we had the 11th offense in the PAC-12, thanks only to a pathetic OSU. Our biggest source for hope for improvement was the fact we were going to get DRob back. Now we aren't. Some of us hoped McIllwain would win the job by be phenomenally better than Bowers and add another element, but there are no signs of that. Saying we get everyone back from the #11 offense and can expect marginal improvement but no change in scheme or strategy, does not inspire a lot of hope, at least in me, and I am usually one of the most optimistic guys on this board.

However, I do find some hope in the fact you cite: "better TEs" because that could mean we will play TEs, which would be different than last year. I do expect that we will see better use of the personnel because the coaches now know what they have (Laird started the season not even listed on the depth chart). Which is the flip side of "the players now know the offense."
Similarly, last year the coaches thought they would have DRob and Stoval, but then didn't. This year they know they won't and can plan accordingly. I am excited to see what we roll out. Go Bears!
Strykur
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Chapman_is_Gone said:

71Bear said:

75bear said:

We just sat through multiple years of sensationally exciting defeats - it's called the Sonny Dykes era.

I'm ready to try something new.
Of course, some of us saw that era something significantly less than "sensationally exciting". Pinball football is dull. I much prefer the strategic aspects of the game rather than simply running up and down the field.
Agreed. There was nothing exciting about Dykes football.
How was 5-7 under Dykes any worse than 5-7 under Wilcox? Aside from the Wazzu win last year, not much has changed, we still got plowed by Oregon and Washington, lost yet another shootout versus Arizona, got stomped at Colorado (another 5-7 team) and then the defense pissed away another game to end the season versus UCLA.

Also totally forgotten was that we went 2-7 in PAC-12 last year, our worst finish since 2013. This stupid idea that we somehow have hope under Wilcox has yet to be validated in any meaningful way, are we supposed to get enthused if we have a mediocre offense and defense that gets us 6-6?
OdontoBear66
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calumnus said:

OdontoBear66 said:

fat_slice said:

71Bear said:

philbert said:

More importantly, can they win more games than last year with a an offense like that?
Possibly. The key this year will be whether the D can step up to overcome the regression on offense. And that is dependent on the pass rush. Will the DL provide the necessary pressure? IMO, that will determine whether Cal can post a better record this year.

In just two years, Cal has gone from being dependent on scoring in the forties to have a chance of winning to having an opportunity if they can score in the twenties. Imagine if Cal could find a playmaking QB.........


I don't think there is an offensive regression considering how little Robertson and Stovall played last year. Bowers has to be better than last year so my guess is that offense is as good or slightly improved from last year.
Thank you for this insight. Was thinking the same thing with all the downer posts on our offense. Better OL, better TEs, better QB (I would certainly hope after one years experience), RB same or better, and WRs as good or better. No Stovall or Robertson last year.


Last year we had the 11th offense in the PAC-12, thanks only to a pathetic OSU. Our biggest source for hope for improvement was the fact we were going to get DRob back. Now we aren't. Some of us hoped McIllwain would win the job by be phenomenally better than Bowers and add another element, but there are no signs of that. Saying we get everyone back from the #11 offense and can expect marginal improvement but no change in scheme or strategy, does not inspire a lot of hope, at least in me, and I am usually one of the most optimistic guys on this board.

However, I do find some hope in the fact you cite: "better TEs" because that could mean we will play TEs, which would be different than last year. I do expect that we will see better use of the personnel because the coaches now know what they have (Laird started the season not even listed on the depth chart). Which is the flip side of "the players now know the offense."
Similarly, last year the coaches thought they would have DRob and Stoval, but then didn't. This year they know they won't and can plan accordingly. I am excited to see what we roll out. Go Bears!

A couple of things I passed on quickly but I think are very important is that we much more depth at OL and much more experience compared to last year with the depth. Plus they have a year under there belts with the coaching of OL tactics.

Exactly the same thing is true of Bowers.

In either case we may not be the best in the Pac by a long shot, but we are much improved.

Add in Malik's new conditioning and probable use, the TEs, and the only area where I think we dip may be at receiver, but maybe not even there.
golden sloth
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For what its worth, Cal went from 12th (23.0 pts per game) in the conference to 2nd in the conference (38.3 pts per game) between 2013 (Dykes 1st year) and 2014 (Dykes 2nd year). The players didn't change much, other than it was their second year in the system. Total yardage went from 454 yards per game (10th) to 495 (6th).

Anecdotally, in 2013, I remember Cal being great moving the ball until they hit the 25 and then stalled. This improved dramatically in 2014. In 2017, Cal also struggled once inside the 25, so hopefully the familiarity breeds efficiency and the scoring increases.
GivemTheAxe
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Strykur said:

Chapman_is_Gone said:

71Bear said:

75bear said:

We just sat through multiple years of sensationally exciting defeats - it's called the Sonny Dykes era.

I'm ready to try something new.
Of course, some of us saw that era something significantly less than "sensationally exciting". Pinball football is dull. I much prefer the strategic aspects of the game rather than simply running up and down the field.
Agreed. There was nothing exciting about Dykes football.
How was 5-7 under Dykes any worse than 5-7 under Wilcox? Aside from the Wazzu win last year, not much has changed, we still got plowed by Oregon and Washington, lost yet another shootout versus Arizona, got stomped at Colorado (another 5-7 team) and then the defense pissed away another game to end the season versus UCLA.

Also totally forgotten was that we went 2-7 in PAC-12 last year, our worst finish since 2013. This stupid idea that we somehow have hope under Wilcox has yet to be validated in any meaningful way, are we supposed to get enthused if we have a mediocre offense and defense that gets us 6-6?

5-7 in 2016 was with an NFL caliber QB and a first rate set of receivers.
5-7 in 2017 was with a rookie QB and without the 2 best receivers from the 2017 team who had been expected to star in 2017
Cal was expected to have 2 or maybe 3 wins in 2017 and possibly get blown out in a number of games.
Instead Cal gets 5 wins and loses 3 games by a combined total of 7 and has a major upgrade in the Defense and is competitive in almost all games.
That is why I am excited about JW.
Rushinbear
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golden sloth said:

For what its worth, Cal went from 12th (23.0 pts per game) in the conference to 2nd in the conference (38.3 pts per game) between 2013 (Dykes 1st year) and 2014 (Dykes 2nd year). The players didn't change much, other than it was their second year in the system. Total yardage went from 454 yards per game (10th) to 495 (6th).

Anecdotally, in 2013, I remember Cal being great moving the ball until they hit the 25 and then stalled. This improved dramatically in 2014. In 2017, Cal also struggled once inside the 25, so hopefully the familiarity breeds efficiency and the scoring increases.
Trouble moving the ball inside the 25 is common among passing teams. Lack of a deep field concentrates the dbs into a much smaller area to cover. Having a bigger, better OL, especially for running, means the D is worn down more from a drive and running plays have a better chance of grinding it in there from in close.

A few posters have lamented that the team seems to do well in the first half of the season and then swoons. They should remember that 1. with lack of quality depth and having to play their very best in every game, they are just weaker in the 2nd half of the season; and 2. our seasons have been structured to play the best teams in the 2nd half of the season in most years.

Our OL will be better this year, not just a little better. With returning starters, quality depth and a coach who has shown he can put it together, they will enable the O to move on the ground and in the air. Their play will tell the tale, more than any other group. I really like this Mettauer guy.

7-5, at least.
GivemTheAxe
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Rushinbear said:

golden sloth said:

For what its worth, Cal went from 12th (23.0 pts per game) in the conference to 2nd in the conference (38.3 pts per game) between 2013 (Dykes 1st year) and 2014 (Dykes 2nd year). The players didn't change much, other than it was their second year in the system. Total yardage went from 454 yards per game (10th) to 495 (6th).

Anecdotally, in 2013, I remember Cal being great moving the ball until they hit the 25 and then stalled. This improved dramatically in 2014. In 2017, Cal also struggled once inside the 25, so hopefully the familiarity breeds efficiency and the scoring increases.
Trouble moving the ball inside the 25 is common among passing teams. Lack of a deep field concentrates the dbs into a much smaller area to cover. Having a bigger, better OL, especially for running, means the D is worn down more from a drive and running plays have a better chance of grinding it in there from in close.

A few posters have lamented that the team seems to do well in the first half of the season and then swoons. They should remember that 1. with lack of quality depth and having to play their very best in every game, they are just weaker in the 2nd half of the season; and 2. our seasons have been structured to play the best teams in the 2nd half of the season in most years.

Our OL will be better this year, not just a little better. With returning starters, quality depth and a coach who has shown he can put it together, they will enable the O to move on the ground and in the air. Their play will tell the tale, more than any other group. I really like this Mettauer guy.

7-5, at least.

Totally agree with you on the main reason for the late season swoon.
Too many starters being injured and replaced with younger smaller and less experienced players.
But I will give JW and his crew credit. I kept expecting the D to fold up after the huge rash of injuries. But they kept on fighting.
IMO the numeric injuries to the D explain why The Cal D could not stop that final clock killing drive by Stanfurd
calumnus
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Rushinbear said:


Our OL will be better this year, not just a little better. With returning starters, quality depth and a coach who has shown he can put it together, they will enable the O to move on the ground and in the air. Their play will tell the tale, more than any other group. I really like this Mettauer guy.

7-5, at least.


Looking at the schedule, I see only one game that I would consider a long shot: Cal@SC. I see 5 we should win:
UNC@Cal
Cal@BYU
Idaho St. @Cal
Cal@OSU
Colorado@Cal

I also think UCLA@Cal is a good opportunity for a win against a California rival for 6 wins. That leaves;
Oregon@Cal
Cal@Arizona
UW@Cal
Cal@WSU
Stanford@Cal
All would be good wins, getting the Axe back with a win in Berkeley would be sweet.
I'm on board the 7-5 or better bandwagon.
Laird for Heisman!
Go Bears!

Uthaithani
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71Bear said:

calgo430 said:

without great play makers we are going to a conservative run oriented offense. not conducive to entertaining football. it will take wins to put butts in seats. am an eternal optimist but loosing our speedy wide receivers puts a damper on my enthusiasm. we are in the entertainment business and "three yards and a cloud of dust" does little to keep me entertained. just my opinion.
"Boring wins beat the hell out of exciting defeats" - Ray Willsey, former Cal head coach (following a Cal win over UW on October 16, 1965).


Ray Willsey sucked as a coach. Very appropriate example, IMO.
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