Is Bowers injured, lost his mojo, lost the job after 1.5 quarters of play,

GMP
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McIlwain had the TE across the middle open for a TD. He just didn't see him. The playcall was fine. The defense did a good job. If they didn't cover well, or if Mac sees the TE, everyone is applauding the call.
gpost17
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My bad on the typo, 18 not 28. Either way, McIlwain offers more on the ground than Garbers and Bowers more through the air. I think Bowers and McIlwain makes much more sense. Bowers has much more experience and skill. We need to see Ross actually get a chance before we rule him out. He had no experience last year and we narrowly avoided a bowl berth. Lets at least give him a chance, Wilcox!!!
75bear
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gpost17 said:

My bad on the typo, 18 not 28. Either way, McIlwain offers more on the ground than Garbers and Bowers more through the air. I think Bowers and McIlwain makes much more sense. Bowers has much more experience and skill. We need to see Ross actually get a chance before we rule him out. He had no experience last year and we narrowly avoided a bowl berth. Lets at least give him a chance, Wilcox!!!


Gpost - you must be related or a friend of Bowers - I think you're the only one on this board requesting more of the same from last year. It's time to try something new.
mikecohen
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What the staff is doing with the quarterbacks (and I think probably some other positions as well) is both charming and team-building (and appears to be making a strength out of a lack-of-experience weakness).

It seems to give the feeling that everybody has a chance to play and contribute, and, somehow, seems to create that atmosphere in which everybody on the team is pulling for everybody on the team.

One of the most inspiring things I saw was Bowers spending a LOT of time and effort on the sidelines bucking up an absolutely inconsolable Clark who, after a good 8-yard play, coughed up the ball which got returned for a BYU touchdown.

It feels to me like everybody (including the staff) is learning how to make THIS team on the fly, as they go along.

I mean, everybody seems to be learning how to do their jobs, through ALL the mistakes and missed opportunities; and that their basic foundation is good enough and strong enough to let that process progress.

I think it's exciting.

We'll see what happens against the better teams - although the defense (both physically and intellectually) seems to be capable of playing with anyone, and the offense does seems capable of a lot more than they've been able to cobble together thus far.

It's a process, and fun (albeit nerve-wracking and crazy-making) to watch it develop - kind of like life.

I like it (i.e., both the team's development, and life).
Nasal Mucus Goldenbear
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The assessment that Bowers is the better passer is not so clear anymore. It's one game, but Garbers' passing is clearly improving right in front of our eyes (although still inconsistent): 18/28, 64.3% (not bad at all), 2 TDs, 2 completions for 25 yds, 1 for >50 yds. And his running makes the issue moot.
BearSD
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First half offense was very unsatisfying. Second half offense was great and would have run away with the game if there had been only one turnover instead of three.

If the Bears can consistently play defense as well as in this game and offense as well as in the second half, then this will be a pretty good football team.
Looperbear
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75bear said:

wifeisafurd said:

Not sure what is worse, the use of QBs (except on the last set of downs with runs for the first down to ice game) or strange play calling. We overcome 3 turnovers, many bad penalties, and just messy play. The offense looks high school and the defense looks like the NFL. What an utterly bizarre team.

And special teams is just weird. No college coach would go for 4th and 3 with a chance to kick a short field goal. Do we no longer have that ability?


I respectfully disagree Wife - I liked the call to go for it on 4th down vs. the FG (if you want to quibble with the play call I won't defend that). It's a slightly aggressive call, but a huge advantage if the 1st down is gained in using up clock. And not making it means our strongest unit gets on the field with BYU deep in their territory. A 14 vs. 11 point lead isn't a huge difference when there isn't much time left in the game.

Some college coaches would play it conservative and go FG, but def not all.
Me too, I wanted to go for it there.
GivemTheAxe
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75bear said:

wifeisafurd said:

Not sure what is worse, the use of QBs (except on the last set of downs with runs for the first down to ice game) or strange play calling. We overcome 3 turnovers, many bad penalties, and just messy play. The offense looks high school and the defense looks like the NFL. What an utterly bizarre team.

And special teams is just weird. No college coach would go for 4th and 3 with a chance to kick a short field goal. Do we no longer have that ability?


I respectfully disagree Wife - I liked the call to go for it on 4th down vs. the FG (if you want to quibble with the play call I won't defend that). It's a slightly aggressive call, but a huge advantage if the 1st down is gained in using up clock. And not making it means our strongest unit gets on the field with BYU deep in their territory. A 14 vs. 11 point lead isn't a huge difference when there isn't much time left in the game.

Some college coaches would play it conservative and go FG, but def not all.

I agree wit 75Bear.
Many on this Board heavily criticized the Bad-Tedford for making the conservative decision In critical situations.
JW has clearly shown his willingness to "go for the kill" and not just "play it safe". Also this is one thing that Beau also liked to do when he was HC. (I remember Beau saying: when coaching inferior talent you must take chances when others would play it safe.)
I am also OK with platooning Garbers and Mac. Both have better "Escapability" than Bowers. Watching the plays carefully, I was impressed by the fact that Garbers and Mac often were just inches away from a sack or TFL but managed to pull away to get the play off or get the first down. I was not so sure that Bowers would have been able to pull it off had he been in there.
IMO JW and Beau both had little confidence in the OLine.
As between Garbers and Mac, Garbers appears to see the field better and makes better passes. Mac is the better runner. Beau knows how to make the best use of both.
upsetof86
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mikecohen said:

What the staff is doing with the quarterbacks (and I think probably some other positions as well) is both charming and team-building (and appears to be making a strength out of a lack-of-experience weakness).

It seems to give the feeling that everybody has a chance to play and contribute, and, somehow, seems to create that atmosphere in which everybody on the team is pulling for everybody on the team.

One of the most inspiring things I saw was Bowers spending a LOT of time and effort on the sidelines bucking up an absolutely inconsolable Clark who, after a good 8-yard play, coughed up the ball which got returned for a BYU touchdown.

It feels to me like everybody (including the staff) is learning how to make THIS team on the fly, as they go along.

I mean, everybody seems to be learning how to do their jobs, through ALL the mistakes and missed opportunities; and that their basic foundation is good enough and strong enough to let that process progress.

I think it's exciting.

We'll see what happens against the better teams - although the defense (both physically and intellectually) seems to be capable of playing with anyone, and the offense does seems capable of a lot more than they've been able to cobble together thus far.

It's a process, and fun (albeit nerve-wracking and crazy-making) to watch it develop - kind of like life.

I like it (i.e., both the team's development, and life).


Totally agree and well said (written).
tequila4kapp
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GivemTheAxe said:

75bear said:

wifeisafurd said:

Not sure what is worse, the use of QBs (except on the last set of downs with runs for the first down to ice game) or strange play calling. We overcome 3 turnovers, many bad penalties, and just messy play. The offense looks high school and the defense looks like the NFL. What an utterly bizarre team.

And special teams is just weird. No college coach would go for 4th and 3 with a chance to kick a short field goal. Do we no longer have that ability?


I respectfully disagree Wife - I liked the call to go for it on 4th down vs. the FG (if you want to quibble with the play call I won't defend that). It's a slightly aggressive call, but a huge advantage if the 1st down is gained in using up clock. And not making it means our strongest unit gets on the field with BYU deep in their territory. A 14 vs. 11 point lead isn't a huge difference when there isn't much time left in the game.

Some college coaches would play it conservative and go FG, but def not all.

I agree wit 75Bear.
Many on this Board heavily criticized the Bad-Tedford for making the conservative decision In critical situations.
JW has clearly shown his willingness to "go for the kill" and not just "play it safe". Also this is one thing that Beau also liked to do when he was HC. (I remember Beau saying: when coaching inferior talent you must take chances when others would play it safe.)
I am also OK with platooning Garbers and Mac. Both have better "Escapability" than Bowers. Watching the plays carefully, I was impressed by the fact that Garbers and Mac often were just inches away from a sack or TFL but managed to pull away to get the play off or get the first down. I was not so sure that Bowers would have been able to pull it off had he been in there.
IMO JW and Beau both had little confidence in the OLine.
Last years team was able to run the ball enouh between the tackles in the first half to wear teams down in the second half. For whatever reason this years OL isn't able to do it. I sense the coaches are trying to find an identity. If that means a more mobile QB, RPO, QBs that run, then so be it. Just gotta keep the chains moving...
GivemTheAxe
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tequila4kapp said:

GivemTheAxe said:

75bear said:

wifeisafurd said:

Not sure what is worse, the use of QBs (except on the last set of downs with runs for the first down to ice game) or strange play calling. We overcome 3 turnovers, many bad penalties, and just messy play. The offense looks high school and the defense looks like the NFL. What an utterly bizarre team.

And special teams is just weird. No college coach would go for 4th and 3 with a chance to kick a short field goal. Do we no longer have that ability?


I respectfully disagree Wife - I liked the call to go for it on 4th down vs. the FG (if you want to quibble with the play call I won't defend that). It's a slightly aggressive call, but a huge advantage if the 1st down is gained in using up clock. And not making it means our strongest unit gets on the field with BYU deep in their territory. A 14 vs. 11 point lead isn't a huge difference when there isn't much time left in the game.

Some college coaches would play it conservative and go FG, but def not all.

I agree wit 75Bear.
Many on this Board heavily criticized the Bad-Tedford for making the conservative decision In critical situations.
JW has clearly shown his willingness to "go for the kill" and not just "play it safe". Also this is one thing that Beau also liked to do when he was HC. (I remember Beau saying: when coaching inferior talent you must take chances when others would play it safe.)
I am also OK with platooning Garbers and Mac. Both have better "Escapability" than Bowers. Watching the plays carefully, I was impressed by the fact that Garbers and Mac often were just inches away from a sack or TFL but managed to pull away to get the play off or get the first down. I was not so sure that Bowers would have been able to pull it off had he been in there.
IMO JW and Beau both had little confidence in the OLine.
Last years team was able to run the ball enouh between the tackles in the first half to wear teams down in the second half. For whatever reason this years OL isn't able to do it. I sense the coaches are trying to find an identity. If that means a more mobile QB, RPO, QBs that run, then so be it. Just gotta keep the chains moving...

Agree.
That was clear to me from Cal's first series. The almost first down pass to Laird was set up by Garbers using his feet to buy time for Laird to get open then delivering a soft touch pass right on target. Unfortunately Laird had stepped out of bounds while managing to get open.
Uthaithani
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wifeisafurd said:

sycasey said:

Bowers is not as good as the other two guys, that's what happened.
wow great reporting by the media and the like. And why was Bowers getting all those reps that should have gone to the other QBs? Beginning to sound like the OC doesn't know what he is doing and the defense is saving his butt.


Ummm... yeah. Or not, depending on how our defense matches up.

O is better with Garbers and McIlwain, butnoir genuus OC told us Bowers had really developed. LOL. And even with the change the offense is still sputtering, just markedly less so. So yeah in the long run Baldwin is still the biggest impediment to the Cal offense, but in the short term benching Bowers helps a lot.
GivemTheAxe
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Uthaithani said:

wifeisafurd said:

sycasey said:

Bowers is not as good as the other two guys, that's what happened.
wow great reporting by the media and the like. And why was Bowers getting all those reps that should have gone to the other QBs? Beginning to sound like the OC doesn't know what he is doing and the defense is saving his butt.


Ummm... yeah. Or not, depending on how our defense matches up.

O is better with Garbers and McIlwain, butnoir genuus OC told us Bowers had really developed. LOL. And even with the change the offense is still sputtering, just markedly less so. So yeah in the long run Baldwin is still the biggest impediment to the Cal offense, but in the short term benching Bowers helps a lot.

Preseason reports said Bowers was Cal's best passer. Clearly they meant best pocket passer. Preseason reports also said Cal's Oline was greatly improved and would be a strength.

Unfortunately the Oline is disappointing. It does not provide enough protection for a pocket passer. So Beau is not an idiot. He is not going with a pocket passer and instead is going with 2 mobile QBs. So far he has 2 Ws.
Nothing is wrong with Bowers. Something is wrong with the Oline.
kjkbear
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Going for it on 4th. I liked it. JT stopped doing that in late 2009. Almost all games were lost when field goals were tried at the end. The one one exception was mike Mohammed bailing out the coach in big game 2009 after tedford went for 3 after not even trying for a TD ON 3RD DOWN.
sycasey
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GivemTheAxe said:

Uthaithani said:

wifeisafurd said:

sycasey said:

Bowers is not as good as the other two guys, that's what happened.
wow great reporting by the media and the like. And why was Bowers getting all those reps that should have gone to the other QBs? Beginning to sound like the OC doesn't know what he is doing and the defense is saving his butt.


Ummm... yeah. Or not, depending on how our defense matches up.

O is better with Garbers and McIlwain, butnoir genuus OC told us Bowers had really developed. LOL. And even with the change the offense is still sputtering, just markedly less so. So yeah in the long run Baldwin is still the biggest impediment to the Cal offense, but in the short term benching Bowers helps a lot.

Preseason reports said Bowers was Cal's best passer. Clearly they meant best pocket passer. Preseason reports also said Cal's Oline was greatly improved and would be a strength.

Unfortunately the Oline is disappointing. It does not provide enough protection for a pocket passer. So Beau is not an idiot. He is not going with a pocket passer and instead is going with 2 mobile QBs. So far he has 2 Ws.
Nothing is wrong with Bowers. Something is wrong with the Oline.


Let's also stop taking anything a coach says to reporters seriously. It means almost nothing. They have no reason to tell the media what they are really thinking.

What has happened on the field tells you they were willing to give Garbers and McIlwain a chance, and both of them are now ahead of Bowers.
TomBear
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This is still second year, people. It's not a finished product. It may take another year or two (note Snyder) to get this thing up and running (or passing) as it needs to be.

But there are clearly signs things are going in a good direction. Even with a 3 man rotation (yes, I said "three" because I do believe we'll see Bowers get some snaps this weekend), we've got a good foundation that just hasn't been totally built yet. If the Bears get a bowl invite this year, I'll be very happy, whether it be a 6, 7 or 8 win season......you can build on bowls, and it's all part of the building process.

As for the QB situation, as I shared elsewhere, I'm not rooting for any one against the other. All three have strengths that can be capitalized upon. Ross is tough as can be, and led (note: LED) the team to an unexpectedly decent season last year. He has reps, knows his personnel well, and is a proven winner. Mac has SEC GAMEDAY experience, has terrific vision, and has shown he can move the team. Garbers missed some throws last night, reminding me of Bowers last week. Still, he has talent, and some escapability. He's young, hungry, and will be a valuable part of our success.

I'm not going to second guess the call. I liked it, but it's a tough decision, and JW has far more info and knowledge of the team and capabilities than I do.

I'm just happy to see the Bears 2-0 and heading toward conference with some momentum and a bye week.

AEM80
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I don't think any of the quarterbacks have established themselves yet. We're 2-0 because of the defense. The offense has been pedestrian at best. Garbers has done enough to earn another start but I'm not going to get carried away yet. There are much more challenging games ahead. I could see a scenario where Garbers continues to improve and I could see a scenario where he doesn't. Teams are developing scouting reports on all these quarterbacks, as well as the new wrinkles in the offense.I think the biggest problem our offense has is the lack of playmakers. We don't have many playmakers and we're not successfully recruiting a lot either.
BearlyClad
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Big C said:

wifeisafurd said:

I've only been watching Cal Football for a little over five years, but here's what I think the deal is: We can have EITHER a good offense and a losy defense, OR a good defense and a lousy offense, but not both. Whoever's Head Coach gets to pick which one.

Pretty funny. Makes one wonder, is there truth behind every humorous criticism?
MilleniaBear
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The kickoffs have been fantastic though!
Big C
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BearlyClad said:

Big C said:

wifeisafurd said:

I've only been watching Cal Football for a little over five years, but here's what I think the deal is: We can have EITHER a good offense and a losy defense, OR a good defense and a lousy offense, but not both. Whoever's Head Coach gets to pick which one.

Pretty funny. Makes one wonder, is there truth behind every humorous criticism?
Yes.

As to the quarterback situation, the offense we went with against BYU limits us in future games, if we stick with it. We had almost 30% of our total yards on quarterback runs. Other teams will eventually plan for that and shut it down, if we don't develop more of a passing threat.

My guess is, Baldwin used what he had last Saturday to get the win, but he is counting on some combination of Garbers/McIlwain to significantly improve our passing production by October. The question is, can either one of them realize enough of their potential that quickly?

Look for both Garbers and McIlwain to run less this coming Saturday and each get LOTS of chances to throw the ball. It will be like a developmental game for them.
mikecohen
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Big C said:

BearlyClad said:

Big C said:

wifeisafurd said:

I've only been watching Cal Football for a little over five years, but here's what I think the deal is: We can have EITHER a good offense and a losy defense, OR a good defense and a lousy offense, but not both. Whoever's Head Coach gets to pick which one.

Pretty funny. Makes one wonder, is there truth behind every humorous criticism?
Yes.

As to the quarterback situation, the offense we went with against BYU limits us in future games, if we stick with it. We had almost 30% of our total yards on quarterback runs. Other teams will eventually plan for that and shut it down, if we don't develop more of a passing threat.

My guess is, Baldwin used what he had last Saturday to get the win, but he is counting on some combination of Garbers/McIlwain to significantly improve our passing production by October. The question is, can either one of them realize enough of their potential that quickly?

Look for both Garbers and McIlwain to run less this coming Saturday and each get LOTS of chances to throw the ball.
Just FWIW: Garbers' TD to Laird showed real skill; and McIlwain showed a lot of zip and accuracy on a thread-the-needle throw. Methinks one can build from such things.
OdontoBear66
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golden sloth said:

My personal speculation (and it is just specualtion) is that Garbers started putting things together late in fall camp, and McIlwain is still too inconsistent deep, while Bowers did look better in practice and had a full season as the starter, so they chose him. Then in the first few possessions against UNC he regressed back into bad habits, and Baldwin yanked him. When the other QBs performed better they went with the other QBs.

Also, our run game with Laird is not good right now, so having a QB that can run is vital, both in creating misdirection and hesitation from the defense. Bowers isn't nearly as strong of a runner as both Garbers and McIlwain.
+1. You one smart fella golden sloth. Right on
OdontoBear66
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gpost17 said:

I disagree. Garbers isn't better than a guy who threw for over 3,000 yards and had 18 touchdowns last year. Bowers is the leading returning passer in the whole conference. I want to see Bowers and McIlwain rotating and Garbers on the bench.
Sorry mom, won't happen unless Garbers screws up now, which he could do
SmellinRoses
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Garbers has gotta lower his shoulders when he's running - he's gonna get killed.

Yuge win. Go Bears.
sycasey
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Big C said:

BearlyClad said:

Big C said:

wifeisafurd said:

I've only been watching Cal Football for a little over five years, but here's what I think the deal is: We can have EITHER a good offense and a losy defense, OR a good defense and a lousy offense, but not both. Whoever's Head Coach gets to pick which one.

Pretty funny. Makes one wonder, is there truth behind every humorous criticism?
Yes.

As to the quarterback situation, the offense we went with against BYU limits us in future games, if we stick with it. We had almost 30% of our total yards on quarterback runs. Other teams will eventually plan for that and shut it down, if we don't develop more of a passing threat.

My guess is, Baldwin used what he had last Saturday to get the win, but he is counting on some combination of Garbers/McIlwain to significantly improve our passing production by October. The question is, can either one of them realize enough of their potential that quickly?

Look for both Garbers and McIlwain to run less this coming Saturday and each get LOTS of chances to throw the ball. It will be like a developmental game for them.
It's also hard to know how much of this is about what the opposing defenses are planning for. Coming into the season, they probably would have expected to see the Bowers/Laird offense, which means not much QB running and a lot of intermediate passing. The QB runs are probably open because of that. What happens when they try to shut that down? We'll see if Garbers or McIlwain can make them pay by throwing. Garbers did show a pretty good deep ball, which is promising.
PTBear
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MilleniaBear said:

The kickoffs have been fantastic though!
That I definitely agree!
OdontoBear66
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SmellinRoses said:

Garbers has gotta lower his shoulders when he's running - he's gonna get killed.

Yuge win. Go Bears.
Good observation Smellin'
KoreAmBear
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AEM80 said:

I don't think any of the quarterbacks have established themselves yet. We're 2-0 because of the defense. The offense has been pedestrian at best. Garbers has done enough to earn another start but I'm not going to get carried away yet. There are much more challenging games ahead. I could see a scenario where Garbers continues to improve and I could see a scenario where he doesn't. Teams are developing scouting reports on all these quarterbacks, as well as the new wrinkles in the offense.I think the biggest problem our offense has is the lack of playmakers. We don't have many playmakers and we're not successfully recruiting a lot either.
Good post. While I liked what I saw in Garbers and McIlwain, I doubt they have such a handle on the offense that we are even close to seeing the last of Ross, especially with stronger competition upcoming. I am pretty sure things are going to be shifting week to week on the QB front unless someone just steps up and clearly moves ahead.
Another Bear
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+1 ...on going for it on 4th down. Even if it fails, it can pay off later. You need real game reps on going for it on 4th down. Winning game theory (where you bust an over dog move) is about calling your shot and making it instead of strategy and tactics to hold your opponent. If Cal wants to win against the big boys you have to develop this mentality now - that you can call your own shot and make it. I believe this is the "grit" Wilcox talks about.

re: QB rotation...winning sure make it easier to swallow. I'm not a fan usually but if it works and you win, great and lets not forget this is college football so why not? Any way, I'm assuming there will be a rotation until one guy shows separation and that might not happen this season. Also, given Cal has two running QBs, having to sub in/out will give these guys some rest, perhaps they'll take less punishment. A running QB who is tired is a prime candidate for injury.

Agree with Mike Cohen that some selfless team building seems to be going on. Props to Bowers for handling things like a human being. It's easy to be positive and the big man when things go your way. It's another thing to show up when the chips are down.
sycasey
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Another Bear said:

Agree with Mike Cohen that some selfless team building seems to be going on. Props to Bowers for handling things like a human being. It's easy to be positive and the big man when things go your way. It's another thing to show up when the chips are down.
Yes, I loved seeing him still trying to contribute, picking up a young player who had a costly fumble.
Golden One
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sycasey said:

golden sloth said:

Also, our run game with Laird is not good right now, so having a QB that can run is vital, both in creating misdirection and hesitation from the defense. Bowers isn't nearly as strong of a runner as both Garbers and McIlwain.
And the run game is not good with Laird because both defenses that have played Cal are coming into the game thinking he's the key player they need to shut down. He has no space. If the QB is also a threat then that should open things up for Laird again.
Nothing will open up our run game like completing a few long passes. That's something we rarely been able to do in our first two games, regardless the QB.
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