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Depleted Bears Fall to Wildcats, 10-3.

November 6, 2021
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With its roster decimated by covid protocol, Cal stayed with host Arizona for most of the game,, but finally lost 10-3 in Tucson on Saturday. The result ended Arizona’s 20-game losing streak, but it should come with a big asterisk. 

Minus several key performers, including quarterback Chase Garbers, the Cal offense was virtually nonexistent. Try as it might, the defense could not make up for it.  

Late last week Cal learned that in addition to the players already sidelined by injuries, several more, along with some assistant coaches and staff members, had tested positive for the virus. Under the rules laid down by the city of Berkeley and the Cal campus, no one who tested positive was eligible to travel. That meant Cal was without 24 players. 

Their status for the remaining games, including next week’s home finale against USC, is uncertain. The Bears (3-6, 2-4 Pac-12) had been in a position to salvage the season after a couple of impressive wins. Now everything is a question mark. 

Given how shorthanded they were, it is a credit to Cal that it made the game so close.. 

“I am proud of the team for competing like they did,” head coach Justin Wilcox said. “Not one guy flinched. We had some opportunities that we didn’t quite take advantage of and wound up losing the game.”

Garbers absence t meant backup Ryan Glover, the grad transfer from Penn and Western Carolina, was called upon for his first action of the season. 

He was obviously rusty and many of his passes were off-target. He finished the game 11-for-29 passing for 94 yards. In his defense, he had a couple of bad breaks. Kekoa Crawford was open on a post pattern downfield and Glover’s pass was perfect. However, Crawford simply lost track of the ball in the unforgiving desert sun and couldn’t make the catch.

When asked about the offense, Wilcox said, “I thought they  did the best they absolutely could., I’m sure they would like to have certain plays back, There were some opportunities that were left out there. I thought Ryan did the best he could. The O-line the same thing.”

He said he wasn’t close to pulling Glover for freshman Kai Millner. “We think Ryan gave us the best chance to win this week. It was very close, we think Kai has a lot of talent. Ryan was just off on a few throws and catches that would have been explosive plays.”

The only other QB available was sophomore Robby Rowell. Zach Johnson was among those who tested positive..

The Cal defense, missing three starters itself including team leader Luc Bequette, turned in a heroic effort. Forcing three turnovers and keeping consistent pressure on quarterback Will Plummer, the Bears had the Cats shut out until the third quarter. 

Aided by a ticky-tac pass interference call on Isaiah Young and Plummer’s 21-yard scramble on a 3rd-and-4  the Wildcats reached the Cal 13.  The Bear defense would let them go no farther, but Tyler Loop got the ‘Cats on the board with a 29-yard field goal.

The Cal offense, which until then had operated only on its own side of the 50, finally showed some consistency. Glover’s 30-yard pass to Crawford got things started and a 15-yard penalty against Arizona helped. But the Bears’ drive stalled and Nick Lopez, pressed into action because Dario Longhetto was among the unavailable, tied the game with a 34-yarder.

Late in the fourth period, a 25-yard punt return by Stanley Berryhill set Arizona up on its 45. Plummer guided the Wildcats down to the Cal 10. WIth a field goal virtually assured, running back Michael Wiley made that a moot point with a ten-yard TD run,

The Cal offense could do nothing in the final 2:17.

Several young defensive players forced into their first duty came up big including Derek Wilkins and Gunnar Rask.”

“I’m proud of my guys, everybody on the team,” said defensive back Josh Drayden. “Just to go out there quarter after quarter. …..There were things you can’t control, but they controlled their effort, their spirit, the way we prepared, the way we came out to the game. I’m just proud.. ….We’re not into moral victories after a loss, no matter what the circumstances. We always expect to go out and win. I’m still proud. At this moment I’m proud to be a Golden Bear.:

Notes

  • The covid situation developed last week.  Wilcox said players began to feel ill on Monday. "There were a few cases of guys not feeling great -- they had a few symptoms," Wilcox said on the pregame radio show.. "We lost a great deal of players and staff, but we're able to field a team."
  • The last time the Bears had three interceptions was the 2018 Cheez-It Bowl against TCU, when they had four.
  • Elijah Hicks had an interception for the third straight game.”

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Discussion from...

Depleted Bears Fall to Wildcats, 10-3.

1,716 Views | 8 Replies | Last: 28 days ago by 82gradDLSdad
BearForce2
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Don't forget, there was some good punting going on today. Takes me back to the Holmoe days.
oskidunker
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If Wilcox is unwilling to tell us if Garbers can play next week, I wont buy tickets.
Go Bears!
BearForce2
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oskidunker said:

If Wilcox is unwilling to tell us if Garbers can play next week, I wont buy tickets.
If Wilcox announces today that Garbers isn't playing next week, would you still buy tickets?
oskidunker
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No. Tickets for Usc are very expensive for good seats. Not paying to watch Glover since there is no indication they will try-anyone else.
Go Bears!
89Bear
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The story says Wilcox was not close to pulling Glover.
That says it all.
HuaHin (fka Uthai)
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That game… I watched that ****show the way a morbidly curious person watches an auto accident.

7-3 loss made Cheez-Its Bowl look like a track meet.

AZ is terrible. I mean really terrible. And then there's what's left of this Cal team…

Furd actually has a good chance in BG. And that's just pathetic.
Golden One
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89Bear said:

The story says Wilcox was not close to pulling Glover.
That says it all.


Just goes to show how clueless Justin (Holmoe) Wilcox really is. He is completely unqualified to be a head coach at this level.
82gradDLSdad
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"He said he wasn't close to pulling Glover for freshman Kai Millner. "We think Ryan gave us the best chance to win this week. It was very close, we think Kai has a lot of talent. "

He wasn't close...it was very close. So you watch a guy do nothing and you try nothing new. Sounds reasonable...for a bad coach.
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