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Cal Football

Bears Still Feeling Good After Huge Win

September 10, 2019

Following Tuesday’s practice offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin was obviously still glowing in the aftermath of Saturday night’s thrilling victory over Washington. He was more than willing to talk about the final drive his offense put together when he was asked about it.

“Really we got in a good rhythm in the second half so I felt good about what was going into that last drive,” he said. “I am always optimistic and confident no matter what the situation is. At halftime, we felt like we were a couple of misses away. And to come out in the second half to score on the first two possessions and really three out of four possessions, we felt confident that entire half. I felt good, we worked that drill a lot in practice, we were on the same page with where we wanted to go with the football with calls coming in. And we executed it really well.”

He was asked if having directed that final drive for the game-winning field goal would have a “carry over” effect in terms of quarterback Chase Garbers’ confidence.

“There are enough things to peel back from last year and from practice moments that he’s confident, he knows,” Baldwin said. “Again, it’s the second game into the season, everyone’s getting used to playing together with certain new faces. I don’t think he needed to do that to have confidence, but it always helps when you go through certain moments that are tough, moments and you are able to find a way to come out on top.”


Beau Baldwin


Some of the Bears’ followers had some anxious moments when on their penultimate drive the Bears could not pick up even one first down and had to punt. The Huskies had kicked a field goal to take cut Cal’s lead to 17-16, and the Bears gave the ball right back to them. Washington would kick another field goal and go up 19-17. But Baldwin said he never lost confidence.

:It was one of those things, you are playing a very good defense you aren’t going to score on every drive,” he said. “In the first half we struggled, in the second half we scored on our first two drives. Yeah, we stalled out on the third drive. We would love to score on three drives in a row, but we didn’t. 

“But the reality is our defense is nails. They have done so many great things for us. It’s kind of fun to come back, and they held them to a field goal. They did a great job of that. And the guy made a 49-yard field goal. But it was great to respond, taking the lead, them taking the lead and then our guys responded. We were never deflated and quite frankly if you score three out of four times against a defense like Washington then you are playing pretty well in the second half.”

With starting left tackle Will Craig lost for the season, and his immediate replacement Valentino Daltoso ailing, Baldwin might have reason to be concerned with the depth at offensive line. Baldwin says he isn’t.

“No concern,” he said. “Being concerned about things that aren’t going to change is just wasted energy. We are excited about going forward. We’re excited about Daltoso coming back if he ever does. Until he does, we’re excited about (Henry) Bazakas, we’re excited about (Brandon) Mello. We just move forward.”

Bazakas, a fifth-year senior who has not had much playing time in his career, was ready for the challenge. “Will and Val are probably my two best friends on the team,” he said. “I hated to see them go down. But it is the next man up mentality.” 

Henry Bazakas

One of the pleasant surprises in the first two games has been the performance of running back Marcel Dancy. While Christopher Brown Jr. has the bulk of the carries, 52 for 277 yards, Dancy has 104 on 12 carries, including a pair of touchdowns.

“More than anything, he was injured most of last year,” Baldwin said, :He was starting to get used last year a little bit. He played against Idaho State in game three. And he was probably going to play the rest of the year to some extent. Then he got hurt, so we decided to reshirt him. 

“This year, we’ve only played two games. Certain games go the way they do. Certain games Dancy might suddenly carry it 15 times, 16, who knows. Certain games are like the first game where Chris was on such a roll we stayed with it. We know Dancy is going to be a big part of our offense, Each game, how much, I don’t know  It just kind of depends on the flow of the game.”

And while Brown is a bigger, power back, and Dancy is more of a darter, Baldwin said they both can handle all aspects of the job.

”There is no call where I am worried about one of them being in and one of them not. That’s what I appreciate about those guys,”  Baldwin said. “ They both understand the pass, they both catch the ball well out of the backfield, they both can run between the tackles, they both can get outside. It’s nice as a play-caller I don’t have to worry about whoever’s in.”

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