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Cal Football

Cal Offense AWOL in Loss to Cougars

October 2, 2021
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Its offense in disarray for much of the afternoon, Cal lost a game it couldn’t afford to on Saturday, falling to Washington State, 21-6.

The Bears (1-4, 0-2 Pac-12) face an uphill climb to respectability in 2021, let alone any bowl game. 

With road trips to Oregon, Stanford and UCLA along with home games against USC and revitalized Oregon State remaining on the schedule, finding five wins is extremely difficult.

Even one more win will be impossible if the Bears don’t get things figured out, particularly on offense. After scoring a TD on its first drive, Cal was stuck in neutral much of the rest of the afternoon. Even when they did manage to gain some yardage late in the second half, the Bears stalled out in Cougars territory. They turned the ball over on downs at the WSU 28 and at the 8 on their best drives of the half.

“It didn’t look good, we didn’t have any consistency throughout the game, running the ball, blocking the pass rush, throwing it.” head coach Justin Wilcox said afterward. “We expected to play much better than that.”

The crowd of 40,286 had little cause to cheer the home team, and many of them didn’t stick around until the bitter end. By late in the third quarter, the number of students lingering in teh rooting section probably would not fill Wheeler Auditorium.

Garbers under duress 

And who could blame anyone for an early exit? You want dismal stats, the Bears have a bundle. How about 14 completions in 30 attempts for 151 yards, no touchdowns and an interception? That was Chase Garbers passing line. He was under considerable pressure and sacked four times for 29 yards.  The Bears were three for 15 on third downs, and one for five on fourth. That is not going to get it done.

“They gave us some different looks,” center Matthew Cindric said. “ We’ve just got to do a better job with our techniques and picking it up. They brought a lot of pressure, but we’ve got to a better job picking things up as an offensive line.”

On defense, the Bears leaked two first-quarter touchdowns and that was more than enough for WSU to prevail. With the help of a pair of interceptions, including Daniel Scott’s third of the year, Cal kept WSU off the scoreboard again until late in the third period. But the damage was done.

The Bears wound up with just 273 total offensive yards, considerably below their season average. 

WSU quarterback Jayden de Laura completed 25-of-42 for 219 yards.

The way the Cougars started it was obvious they did not get the memo that the Cal pass defense had improved. De Lauara found receivers that the Bears defense had lost and completed five passes, the last to Jackson for 22 yards and the touchdown.

The Bears offense clicked initially, and Garbers drove his team 75 yards in seven plays for a touchdown. The biggest of the plays was Garbers’ 44-yard pass to Kekoa Crawford, who was well-covered and made an outstanding catch along the sidelines.

Christopher Brooks carried for the final nine yards, bouncing off numerous tacklers until he got into the end zone.

However, in what has become an ongoing problem, the Bears made a mess of the PAT. Holder Jamieson Sheahan couldn’t handle the low snap from Slater Jenkins. The ball went through his hands and all he could do was chase it down and fall on it.

“The guys that are involved in that play have been consistent for quite a long time,” Wilcox said. “Obviously they are struggling right now., We have to help those guys with repetition and just playing calm, doing what they’ve always done. Sometimes you can get in a spot when you are thinking too much.”

The second Cougar TD drive required a bit of luck, good for WSU, bad for Cal.

The Bears had forced a punt and when WSU punter Nick Haberer, an Australian who was playing in just his fifth game of American footbal,  took his sweet time getting the kick off, Cal’s Nick Alftin was there to block it. However, he was the only Bear in the vicinity and could not locate the ball. Washington State’s Ron Stone picked it up and advanced it 7 yards and the Cougs had a first down.

From there De Lauren marched his team to the Bears’ 5. From there he hit  Jackson in the corner of the end zone. The Cal withstood a replay review and after the PAT the Cougars led 14-6.

After using Damien Moore almost exclusively to carry the ball last week. the Bears spread trhe carries around on Saturday. Chris Street, who had barely touched the ball (one carry) coming in, led the Bears with 51 yards on eight tries. Brooks also had eight carries good for 40 yards.

Overall this one will go down as one of the worst of the Wilcox era, and he is willing to take the blame.

“Too many negative plays throughout the day,” Wilcox said “We didn’t really do much of anything all that well. That is on me. My job is to help our team..prepare our team to be successful and I failed. “

The Bears have a bye next week and travel to Oregon for a Friday night game Oct. 15.

“We are still confident, first and foremost,” Scott said. “We’re 1 and 4, that’s what the numbers say, but we still have to put our good faith out, We still have to show the type of energy that Cal, .. the standard we play at every week. Not look at the record now, that's behind us. It’s in the past. We’ve just got to keep improving.

“I think we practice well, we practice much better than we played. I didn’t see that coming at all.

 

Discussion from...

Cal Offense AWOL in Loss to Cougars

3,001 Views | 23 Replies | Last: 11 days ago by Rushinbear
BearoutEast67
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How can every other team's placekick holder catch the ball? Is there a trick to it?
Strykur
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BearoutEast67 said:

How can every other team's placekick holder catch the ball? Is there a trick to it?
Why not use the backup QB instead?
Dgoldnbaer
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We're so pathetic. Coaching decisions an absolute joke.
Dgoldnbaer
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Our revenue producing sports have been BAD - SO BAD for SOOOOOO long Jim Knowlton needs to go. Then ENTIRE staff of MBB, WBB & Football. We really need to clean house. It will never improve - combo of winning & making monkey - with what/who we have.
Dgoldnbaer
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Money that is!
calumnus
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Dgoldnbaer said:

Our revenue producing sports have been BAD - SO BAD for SOOOOOO long Jim Knowlton needs to go. Then ENTIRE staff of MBB, WBB & Football. We really need to clean house. It will never improve - combo of winning & making monkey - with what/who we have.


Knowlton JUST recently got an 8 year contract extension.
dimitrig
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calumnus said:

Dgoldnbaer said:

Our revenue producing sports have been BAD - SO BAD for SOOOOOO long Jim Knowlton needs to go. Then ENTIRE staff of MBB, WBB & Football. We really need to clean house. It will never improve - combo of winning & making monkey - with what/who we have.
Knowlton JUST recently got an 8 year contract extension.

Yeah, the person who signed that needs to be fired, too.

heartofthebear
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Strykur said:

BearoutEast67 said:

How can every other team's placekick holder catch the ball? Is there a trick to it?
Why not use the backup QB instead?
No, what you want to do is use the same inept guy over and over again and hope for different results--LOL
Golden One
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calumnus said:

Dgoldnbaer said:

Our revenue producing sports have been BAD - SO BAD for SOOOOOO long Jim Knowlton needs to go. Then ENTIRE staff of MBB, WBB & Football. We really need to clean house. It will never improve - combo of winning & making monkey - with what/who we have.


Knowlton JUST recently got an 8 year contract extension.
Which proves that Carol Christ is part of the problem!
heartofthebear
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I think we need to remove all of the Furd, SC and Oregon grads off the UC board of regents.
dimitrig
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heartofthebear said:

Strykur said:

BearoutEast67 said:

How can every other team's placekick holder catch the ball? Is there a trick to it?
Why not use the backup QB instead?
No, what you want to do is use the same inept guy over and over again and hope for different results--LOL

"Coach him up!"

Golden One
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The whole team was AWOL today, not just the offense. The defense was terrible against a team with a pretty mediocre offense. And the special team play was putrid yet again. When a team is AWOL like today, it's on the coaching staff. Wilcox must go.
79 Bear
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Speaking of coaching, one thing I was wondering was why we constantly use the empty backfield sets. Chase is back there with no blocking back to help him and the line is getting beat over and over. Why not keep somebody back there to at least slow down the guys that are getting through? We might even need two blocking backs the way things are going. It couldn't be any worse and he definitely needs more time to be able to throw.
KoreAmBear
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Also knowing the heavy pass rush why was Musgrave calling such slow developing plays why not more quick hitches and slants. One jailbreak screen was called against their heavy pass rush. It was nicely set up except Chase had his pass batted down.
Rushinbear
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BearoutEast67 said:

How can every other team's placekick holder catch the ball? Is there a trick to it?
Yesterday, the snap skidded right at the holder's hands - a worm burner. Other times, the snap has sailed over or off the holder's fingertips. Still other times, the snap has been good, but has gone right through the holder's hands. Not that the kicker hasn't missed the kick on a good snap and hold/
Tony Milano
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Football has thin margins.

It's a tough game and it takes emotion and motivation when it comes to playing on Saturdays.
Practice is great but game day is where you play the games.

1. The punter from Australia shouldn't be the holder...you need an athlete back their that has been playing football for several years..put a back up QB. Someone that's touched the ball for years and it also keeps that QB invested in the game and ready to go...it's a small detail but Cal has small margins of mistakes and opportunites and we need to excel on Special Teams at every opportunity be it player or possession.

2. Wilcox is a great guy.

3. Wilcox deep down doesn't enjoy the nuisances and the efforts it takes to RECRUIT and it's showing in year 5 of his program.

4.Wilcox good practice Coach

5. We might beat Colorado and possibly Arizona....those are not give me games...We have a strong chance of going 2-9 this year w the most experienced team in the Pac 12.

6. I didn't like Sonny Dykes...Sonny is undefeated at SMU this year and they beat TCU. Dykes didn't play Defense but he recruited some good players....Dykes is a better recruiter then Wilcox....by nature.

*If Wilcox doesn't enjoy RECRUITING...he needs to surround himself w those types of people..that's a role of a CEO and it's a huge ISSUE for CAL Moving FORWARD....The Pac 12 is getting better from Top to Bottom and it's not looking good for CAL the next few years if you look around the Conference.

7. I'm not here to Bash Coach Wilcox. I like him. Great guy cares about his players. That being said..he does make 3,000,000 and EVERYWHERE that he assisted he had arguably better talent then most of the Teams he played against as a Coordinator and we are seeing the glaring aspect of how a good coordinator becomes a Head Coach somewhere....The Coordinator is successful because he has the TALENT to run his schemes and systems....Wilcox doesn't have the same type of overall ATHLETE at every position to implement his schemes....and this shows his unfortunate side of not being able to recruit or be able to COACH a lesser athlete then his USE to Coaching as a Coordinator w SUPERIOR overall TEAM / 2 Deep *

8. Cal Needs a Coach that can Coach who ever he has
9. Cal Needs a Coach that can COACH not just elite talent but also look to be able to develop Redshirt Sophmore and Junior players and look as well to the JC Ranks - this has to be a blueprint to our program...We are going to get 3 Star Kids and Develop 2 Star Kids and get a few 4 Star Kids.

10. You need to find a COACH that can MOTIVATE his Staff and his Players on GAMEDAYS...U can be the best Practice Team in the world but when it comes to Game like Intensity you have to have EVERYONE (Coaches to Players) everyone has to "BUY IN"


11. I Love My BEARS

12. What do you do? and by the way Stanford beat Oregon
UrsineMaximus
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Offense AWOL

Ah no, they were dominated by quicker athletes playing a good scheme against a slow and largely unathletic OL. Not a mystery or a disappearing act by the OL. What is baffling by Cindric's post game presser is his explanation that it was a "technique" issue. Welp, why didn't you fix your technique at half time or at any point during the game? Perhaps it is more than just technique. Cal is a poor match up against small speedy DLs it would seem.
UrsineMaximus
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Cal has recruited well in the last 2 years (this year will likely suck), lots of size and speed on both sides of the ball. Where Cal has not recruited well is QB, OL & DB.

GA (Gerald Alexander) when he was here basically recruited no talent, perhaps he didn't like recruiting? I have no insight on this, do you? Cal fans lament his leaving but he left the cupboard bare when he left, simple as that.

Greatwood only recruited one blue chip OL (Craig), he seemed OK about recruiting but had poor results.

Browning, Toller, and Thompson seem to be good recruiters, especially Browning. Heyward is known to be a good recruiter but hasn't done much albeit it's his first year.

Everything I've heard about Wilcox and recruiting has been positive and recruits often mention him directly when they discuss their trips and overall recruiting process here at Cal.
79 Bear
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UrsineMaximus said:

Offense AWOL

Ah no, they were dominated by quicker athletes playing a good scheme against a slow and largely unathletic OL. Not a mystery or a disappearing act by the OL. What is baffling by Cindric's post game presser is his explanation that it was a "technique" issue. Welp, why didn't you fix your technique at half time or at any point during the game? Perhaps it is more than just technique. Cal is a poor match up against small speedy DLs it would seem.
Yeah, Cindric's response about technique certainly sounded like a canned answer. What it also tells me is that he really does not know how to fix the problem. It's much more than technique, it's knowhow based on coaching.

The other day on Get Up (sports tv talk show in the morning) I believe it was Jeff Saturday who was critiquing the poor OL play of an NFL team. I had never heard about the nuances he was discussing, which involved making a read to figure out on the fly which DL and which LB would be rushing the passer so that the OLineman would know who to block. To my only partially trained eye that looks to be a weakness in our OLinemen since I saw a number of times when we had two OLinemen on one guy while another guy rushed free. That should not happen over and over again and if it does, the coaches need to put in a TE and/or an RB for blocking help.

John Madden said it years ago when he was still coaching: the OL is the most important unit on the team. If your OL is not good your record will not be good. One big reason Tedford had success was his OLinemen. They were very good and generally dominated the 4th quarter.
Rushinbear
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UrsineMaximus said:

Cal has recruited well in the last 2 years (this year will likely suck), lots of size and speed on both sides of the ball. Where Cal has not recruited well is QB, OL & DB.

GA (Gerald Alexander) when he was here basically recruited no talent, perhaps he didn't like recruiting? I have no insight on this, do you? Cal fans lament his leaving but he left the cupboard bare when he left, simple as that.

Greatwood only recruited one blue chip OL (Craig), he seemed OK about recruiting but had poor results.

Browning, Toller, and Thompson seem to be good recruiters, especially Browning. Heyward is known to be a good recruiter but hasn't done much albeit it's his first year.

Everything I've heard about Wilcox and recruiting has been positive and recruits often mention him directly when they discuss their trips and overall recruiting process here at Cal.
"lots of ...speed?" What team are you watching?
UrsineMaximus
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we have speed mate, they are unfortunately on the sideline as they are being developed.

Go check out 40 times on Sturdivant (check his 100 time while you're at it), Anderson, Young, Stredick and the young new DL are fast for their position but that's not as sexy as the skilled positions. So we have recruited size and speed. Perhaps you should check out the data prior to being so flip?

Where we haven't recruited well is DBs and GA never brought any blue chip talent in so not sure why the fan base is lamenting his departure so much. He left the cupboard bare. Not saying he can't coach he can but he didn't do much on the recruiting trail.

Obviously we haven't done a good job recruiting QBs or OL, and without the engine (OL) teams will scheme like Wazzu did and make our OL look as bad as they are.

We have talent and it's getting there in terms of development but yeah we need a QB (Millner??) and some athletic offensive linemen. Angus should have these 2 weeks to get it right on the OL, else he should be left on the tarmac.
Bobodeluxe
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"…they are unfortunately on the sideline as they are being developed."

Who is developing them?
Rushinbear
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UrsineMaximus said:

we have speed mate, they are unfortunately on the sideline as they are being developed.

Go check out 40 times on Sturdivant (check his 100 time while you're at it), Anderson, Young, Stredick and the young new DL are fast for their position but that's not as sexy as the skilled positions. So we have recruited size and speed. Perhaps you should check out the data prior to being so flip?

Where we haven't recruited well is DBs and GA never brought any blue chip talent in so not sure why the fan base is lamenting his departure so much. He left the cupboard bare. Not saying he can't coach he can but he didn't do much on the recruiting trail.

Obviously we haven't done a good job recruiting QBs or OL, and without the engine (OL) teams will scheme like Wazzu did and make our OL look as bad as they are.

We have talent and it's getting there in terms of development but yeah we need a QB (Millner??) and some athletic offensive linemen. Angus should have these 2 weeks to get it right on the OL, else he should be left on the tarmac.
40 times and on-field speed are often two different things. DBs? Hearns, finally. I'll give you Anderson, Mangum, J. Mike, Stredick, Ashton as recent additions on O. Precious few, by comparison. LBs, DEs, TEs?

I hate to mention names because others are excluded by not being mentioned. Just overall team speed has traditionally been wanting.
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