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Cal Football

Bears Defenseless in 52-40 Shootout Loss to OSU

October 7, 2023
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MEMORIAL STADIUM - Though 7.5-point underdogs, tonight’s game at Memorial vs. #15 Oregon State represented a game the Bears most likely needed to get to bowl eligibility. For a while, it looked like the upset was a real possibility but in the end, horrendous kick coverage and a non-existent pass rush were the Bears’ downfall as they fell in a spirited battle, 52-40.

Cal head coach Justin Wilcox was blunt about the impact the play of Cal’s defense had on the game following the loss.

“Well, I think the tape will tell, but at the end of the day, I mean, good God. They do a great job on offense, Jonathan, and Coach Mahler and those guys and their O-line is really good,”  Wilcox said after the game. “The backs are good, the receivers are fast. They use those tight ends and formation you. But I mean, I was trying to think of plays that we made on defense where we got off a block and made a tackle, or we knocked a ball down and one on one situation. I mean, we didn't we didn't do any of that. So we'll find out where the defenders are come next week, because boy, that was...and this is not taking anything away from Oregon State because I really do think those guys do a great job coaching but man, that was bad defense right there by us.”

The game marked the starting debut for redshirt frosh QB Fernando Mendoza who had only played a handful of snaps in Cal’s season-opening blowout win over North Texas in his young career. The rookie starter acquitted himself well, shaking off a somewhat slow start to complete 21-of-32 passes (66%) for 207 yards and 2 TDs with one late INT. He also ran well, picking up 41 yards in 4 carries to keep several drives alive.

"Fernando did a great job," Wilcox said. "He brought energy to the game. He made good decisions in the run game and the RPO game. He made good plays with his feet. For his first start, in that environment, against that defense, I thought he did a hell of a job. 

“Overall, I'm very pleased with what Fernando did for his first start, in that environment against that defense. The offense and Fernando...I mean, they're the reason we even had a chance in the game based on what we did on defense and kickoff team. So I thought he did a hell of a job.”

"I had best time my life out there," Mendoza said of his first start. "I was so happy. I mean, it was just great to play with my brothers and to finally get the opportunity to play and fight alongside them meant the world to me, especially Coach Wilcox and offensive staff giving me a chance. I felt that I needed to capitalize on the opportunity. And it was just great playing with my O-lineman with all five O-linemen out there, with TJ Session, Bear, Driscoll, Bastian, Vati (Sioape Vatikani), who unfortunately got hurt - prayers up for Vati. It was great just playing with them, especially with a really talented running back backfield and our receivers and our tight ends. I mean, it was just really easy for me, honestly."

Unlike last week, where starting QB Sam Jackson only managed 12 completions in their 24-21 win over ASU with half (6) going to WR Jeremiah Hunter, Mendoza spread his targets, completing passes to 9 targets, with receiver Taj Davis (6 catches for 63 yards) and tight end Jack Endries (4 receptions for 66 yards and a 30-yard TD) leading the way.

The game started off favorably for OSU. After winning the toss and deferring the kickoff to the 2nd half, the Beavers forced a turnover on downs at midfield and took the early lead with a 9-play, 52-yard drive capped off with a 4-yard Deshaun Fenwick TD run with 7:42 left in the quarter.

The Bears finally got on the board to start off the second quarter. Taking over at their 43 yard line after forcing one of only two Beaver punts of the night, the Bears drove 54 yards to the OSU 3 where their drive stalled, settling for a 20-yard Mateen Bhaghani field goal to close the gap to 7-3. The slow scoring start was anything but an indication of the scoring flurry that was to come, blowing by the 51 over/under betting line by 41 points.

The Beavers answered right back, with the bulk of their drive courtesy of Cal’s ongoing wretched kick coverage as OSU receiver Silas Bolden returned the kickoff 59 yards to the Cal 41, with an additional 15 yards tacked on with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after the play whistled on frosh OLB Ryan McCulloch moving the ball to the Cal 26. Four plays later, the Beavers found paydirt as backup QB Aidan Chiles hit Bolden with an 11-yard TD pass to extend the lead to 14-3 with 12:30 left in the half.

In danger of letting the game out of reach, the Bears rebounded with some special teams magic of their own as McCulloch redeemed himself by grabbing the ensuing onsides kick over his head and returning the ball 26 yards to the OSU 19. Five plays later, Mendoza completed the first TD pass of his career, hitting running back Isaiah Ifanse with a 9-yard score. Ifanse had a stellar game, rushing for 86 yards in 11 carries (7.8 ypc) and 3 TDs, with the additional two scores on the ground. The veteran running back broke tackles all game, refusing to go down at first contact.

"That guy plays so hard. Every time he carries the ball, you just see how much will he has," Wilcox said of Ifanse. "The entire stadium can see it every time he carries the ball that going down is the absolute last resort. I just love the spirit he plays with and how tough he is. He's got a ton of heart."

After MLB Jackson Sirmon forced a Bolden fumble on the first play of the following drive that was recovered by safety Patrick McMorris, the Bears took over at the OSU 49 and their rushing game went to work. 21 and 9-yard gains by Ott and an 11-yard Mendoza scramble keyed the Bears’ next scoring drive as the Bears took their first and only lead of the game on a 1-yard Ifanse waltz into the end zone to go up 17-14 on the Bhaghani PAT with 8:09 left in the half. Ott had a solid game as well before he left with leg issues, rushing for 85 yards in 13 carries (6.5 ypc) as part of a stellar rushing night for the Bears with 241 total yards on the ground.

The Beavers closed out the first half scoring with an 11-play, 75-yard drive culminating in a 3-yard Uiagalele toss to tight end Jack Velling to go up 21-17 at the half. Both players had their way with the Bears on the evening with the big tight end hauling in 3 TDs on the night and the Clemson QB transfer hitting on a stellar 19-for-25 for 275 yards and 5 TDs with no interceptions on the night. A nearly non-existent pass rush gave the big QB all the time he needed to carve up the Bears’ secondary on the night.

In the second half, all pretenses of Cal’s defense went out the window as the Beavers blitzed the Bears’ D for four straight touchdown drives and a final field goal in their five second-half possessions.

Despite the lack of second-half defense, the Bears stood toe-to-toe with OSU for the first four possessions, with both teams hitting the end zone their first two possessions. 

OSU kicked off the second half scoring with a 3-play, 50-yard TD drive with yet more poor Cal kick coverage. A 38-yard TD pass to Jesiah Irish for Uiagalele put the Beavers up 28-17 just a minute into the second half.

The Bears answered back, going 75 yards in 10 plays, capped by a 5-yard Ifanse TD run to pull back to 28-24. OSU answered back again, driving 66 yards in 9 plays to go up 35-24 with 4 minutes left in the quarter on a 9-yard TD grab by Velling.

Again the Bears’ offense responded, driving 75 yards in 8 plays, with Mendoza hitting a wide-open Endries for a 30-yard TD reception with 2:45 left in the quarter. A successful 2-point conversion pass to Jeremiah Hunter pulled the Bears to within just 3 with little more than a quarter to go.

It was all downhill from there.

OSU started off the fourth quarter scoring, driving 64 yards in 9 plays to go up 42-32 on a 1-yard Damien Martinez run with 14:25 remaining. After an Ashton Stredick fumble gave the ball back to OSU at the Cal 49, the Beavers needed only four plays to hit paydirt again, scoring on a 2-yard completion to Isaac Hudgins to go up 49-32 after the conversion.

Following a Mendoza interception, the Beavers chewed up a backbreaking 9 minutes of clock to extend their lead to 52-32 with 2:55 left in the game after an Atticus Sappington 32-yard field goal.

Not content to lie down, Mendoza led the Bears on a final scoring drive, going 75 yards in 5 plays on the strength of an 18-yard Ifanse run and a 38-yard reception by receiver Trond Grizzell. Frosh running back Jaivien Thomas picked up his first TD of his career, scampering in from 9 yards out for the score. A successful 2-point conversion reception by Grizzell closed out the scoring, with the final 52-40 margin.

The Bears suffered some critical injuries in the game, with Ott remaining on the sidelines much of the second half and offensive guard Sioape Vatikani and MLB Jackson Sirmon exiting the game as well. Wilcox was non-committal on their injury statuses, though Ott’s did not appear as significant. 

The Bears’ special teams unit continues to be a major problem, with this week’s culprits being kickoff location and kick return coverage.

"It was everybody, the kicker and the coverage unit, everybody's involved," Wilcox said of their coverage woes. "We we did not go into the game thinking we're just going to kick it to Bolden on the two-yard line. That was not practiced one time. I mean, we had meeting after meeting and we had a number of different kicks that we were trying to employ. And the very first one didn't go close to where we were trying to get it to go in all honesty, and then the ones that were closer in terms of the kicks, we didn't cover as well. And then he tracked one down off a bounce and ran it up the other sideline. We just didn't do a good job on kickoff, flat out."

The loss dropped the Bears to 3-3 (1-2) on the season and things only get harder from here as they’ll prepare to face Utah in Salt Lake City next weekend.

“I think I played pretty well,” Mendoza said after the game. “But at the end of the day, the only thing that matters to me is winning. And I mean, you can have your personal accolades and have a good game. I believe that I did decently well for my first start, especially against a solid Oregon State defense. I have to give it out to their defensive coordinator, Coach Bray, who did a really good job, and he was really tough to go against. However, at the end of the day, the only thing that really matters to me is winning. And I'm just looking forward to Utah, because I know we're gonna have a chance against them and I just can't wait.”

Discussion from...

Bears Defenseless in 52-40 Shootout Loss to OSU

13,536 Views | 80 Replies | Last: 7 mo ago by Strykur
eastbayyoungbear
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He seems to have issues catching the ball based on what folks have described in practice.
01Bear
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Bearly Clad said:

01Bear said:

Tosh isn't the only good recruiter in college football. Just because Cal's current recruiters aren't great doesn't mean Cal needs to settle for an unethical scumbag like Tosh. I suspect Gerald Alexander would be a fantastic recruiter at Cal if he were to quit the NFL and return here. I also suspect Marshawn Lynch would be a great recruiter as would Justin Forsett. Each of these guys not inly have previous connections to Cal, but are all ethical men. There are even more great recruiters who have no connection to Cal but are also ethical. There is zero reason for Cal to jump straight to the dregs and welcome back Tosh.
Jahvid Best would make a great recruiter too and he's actually been working as a coach at Bishop O'Dowd my Alma Mater in Oakland. But idk where he'd fit in since AT has actually done a good job.

The problem (IMO) is that, even though we have some good recruiters on the roster, the lack of success is holding them back. AT, Burl, and Browning have all pulled in good talent at times throughout Wilcox's tenure. The problem is it's hard to sell a turnaround every year for 7 years, at a certain point you need to back it up with wins, gaudy numbers, or make some drastic changes.

Burl pulled in 4* guys in that '21 class but because of the underpowered offense Sturdivant transferred out and Mavin still hasn't been established as a featured part of the offense. Likewise AT pulled in three 4*s in Ott, Cardwell, and Williams-Thomas (two injured but still gets credit as a recruiter) and has done a great job coaching up the position too. But how long can he keep that up if we don't start backing it up with big offensive showings or winning seasons. Especially if the pass offense continues to lag and we're forced to rely too much on guys like Ott and he ends up transferring or getting hurt?

I will say this, Cal's portal recruiting had also been pretty good. Ifanse was a steal this past year.* Even last year, Cal managed to land Jack Plummer who's a pretty good college QB (but suffered behind a porous Cal O-line). If Cal can manage to land good to great transfers in the portal, even if Cal struggles to land 4- and 5-star high school recruits, the team should be competitive. Of course, if Cal had a better coaches on defense and special teams, Cal would be a top half Pac-12 team this year.

*FWIW, between Ott and Ifanse, Cal's RBs this year have been fantastic this year.
01Bear
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eastbayyoungbear said:

He seems to have issues catching the ball based on what folks have described in practice.

Get him some slants and crossing routes from the slot. He can use his speed to pick up yards after the catch. With short yardage plays, the ball should be a little softer on arrival, making it easier for him to catch.
DoubtfulBear
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01Bear said:

Bearly Clad said:

01Bear said:

Tosh isn't the only good recruiter in college football. Just because Cal's current recruiters aren't great doesn't mean Cal needs to settle for an unethical scumbag like Tosh. I suspect Gerald Alexander would be a fantastic recruiter at Cal if he were to quit the NFL and return here. I also suspect Marshawn Lynch would be a great recruiter as would Justin Forsett. Each of these guys not inly have previous connections to Cal, but are all ethical men. There are even more great recruiters who have no connection to Cal but are also ethical. There is zero reason for Cal to jump straight to the dregs and welcome back Tosh.
Jahvid Best would make a great recruiter too and he's actually been working as a coach at Bishop O'Dowd my Alma Mater in Oakland. But idk where he'd fit in since AT has actually done a good job.

The problem (IMO) is that, even though we have some good recruiters on the roster, the lack of success is holding them back. AT, Burl, and Browning have all pulled in good talent at times throughout Wilcox's tenure. The problem is it's hard to sell a turnaround every year for 7 years, at a certain point you need to back it up with wins, gaudy numbers, or make some drastic changes.

Burl pulled in 4* guys in that '21 class but because of the underpowered offense Sturdivant transferred out and Mavin still hasn't been established as a featured part of the offense. Likewise AT pulled in three 4*s in Ott, Cardwell, and Williams-Thomas (two injured but still gets credit as a recruiter) and has done a great job coaching up the position too. But how long can he keep that up if we don't start backing it up with big offensive showings or winning seasons. Especially if the pass offense continues to lag and we're forced to rely too much on guys like Ott and he ends up transferring or getting hurt?

I will say this, Cal's portal recruiting had also been pretty good. Ifanse was a steal this past year.* Even last year, Cal managed to land Jack Plummer who's a pretty good college QB (but suffered behind a porous Cal O-line). If Cal can manage to land good to great transfers in the portal, even if Cal struggles to land 4- and 5-star high school recruits, the team should be competitive. Of course, if Cal had a better coaches on defense and special teams, Cal would be a top half Pac-12 team this year.

*FWIW, between Ott and Ifanse, Cal's RBs this year have been fantastic this year.
The most impressive part of Ifanse isn't his talent but his sheer willpower to make every yard count. If the defense and ST had a fraction of his mentality, we would probably be a bowling team this year
01Bear
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DoubtfulBear said:

01Bear said:

Bearly Clad said:

01Bear said:

Tosh isn't the only good recruiter in college football. Just because Cal's current recruiters aren't great doesn't mean Cal needs to settle for an unethical scumbag like Tosh. I suspect Gerald Alexander would be a fantastic recruiter at Cal if he were to quit the NFL and return here. I also suspect Marshawn Lynch would be a great recruiter as would Justin Forsett. Each of these guys not inly have previous connections to Cal, but are all ethical men. There are even more great recruiters who have no connection to Cal but are also ethical. There is zero reason for Cal to jump straight to the dregs and welcome back Tosh.
Jahvid Best would make a great recruiter too and he's actually been working as a coach at Bishop O'Dowd my Alma Mater in Oakland. But idk where he'd fit in since AT has actually done a good job.

The problem (IMO) is that, even though we have some good recruiters on the roster, the lack of success is holding them back. AT, Burl, and Browning have all pulled in good talent at times throughout Wilcox's tenure. The problem is it's hard to sell a turnaround every year for 7 years, at a certain point you need to back it up with wins, gaudy numbers, or make some drastic changes.

Burl pulled in 4* guys in that '21 class but because of the underpowered offense Sturdivant transferred out and Mavin still hasn't been established as a featured part of the offense. Likewise AT pulled in three 4*s in Ott, Cardwell, and Williams-Thomas (two injured but still gets credit as a recruiter) and has done a great job coaching up the position too. But how long can he keep that up if we don't start backing it up with big offensive showings or winning seasons. Especially if the pass offense continues to lag and we're forced to rely too much on guys like Ott and he ends up transferring or getting hurt?

I will say this, Cal's portal recruiting had also been pretty good. Ifanse was a steal this past year.* Even last year, Cal managed to land Jack Plummer who's a pretty good college QB (but suffered behind a porous Cal O-line). If Cal can manage to land good to great transfers in the portal, even if Cal struggles to land 4- and 5-star high school recruits, the team should be competitive. Of course, if Cal had a better coaches on defense and special teams, Cal would be a top half Pac-12 team this year.

*FWIW, between Ott and Ifanse, Cal's RBs this year have been fantastic this year.
The most impressive part of Ifanse isn't his talent but his sheer willpower to make every yard count. If the defense and ST had a fraction of his mentality, we would probably be a bowling team this year

Agreed 100%.

I was speaking with a buddy of mine last night. We talked about great running backs. He mentioned one of his earliest memories being watching Walter Payton never giving up on any play. Ifanse reminds me of Sweetness in that way. (TBC, I'm not saying Ifanse is as talented as Walter Payton, only that he seems to have the same fire and refusal to go down).
BarcaBear
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01Bear said:

BarcaBear said:

calumnus said:

HearstMining said:

Here is what I recall:'
2016 - Cal defense generally lousy in all facets
2017 - Cal defense (especially DBs) improves tackling and generally becomes adequate/average
2018 - Pass rush improves and thus The Takers really excel

As we've seen, Cal's weak pass rush in 2023 is really adding stress to the DBs. Cal didn't have great pass rushers in 2018, but De Ruyter was great with blitz schemes that improved their effectiveness. Sirmon just doesn't do that. He'll occasionally send an ILB right up the middle where he gets clogged up, but that's about all I've seen. There must be stunts, etc that can confuse the OL, but Cal never seems to try these.


Defense is mostly recruiting plus athletes and then their position coaches teaching them good technique. There is only so much you can scheme, but DeRuyter was about as good as you can get at scheming. The athletes he had to work with were all recruited by Dykes/Kaufman. In the end a DE needs to be a big explosive, powerful and fast athlete. A CB has the toughest job in sports: they need to keep up with a WR who has track speed, knows where the play is going and they often have to do it will running backwards. Any contact is called on the CB. It just takes freakish athletic ability and great technique. So recruiting great athletes at those positions is critical.

However, Wilcox continues to surround himself, especially on defense, with his friends. all with Oregon, Washington and Idaho roots. It is not a recruiting hotbed and Oregon and UW get the great players worth getting. DL recruiting under Browning who is from Oregon, played at Boise and was a grad assistant working with Wilcox there) has been a huge issue. He has no connections to areas with great DL. We lack quality, we lack size and we lack depth. We got pushed around by OSU. Maybe we should have just let Wilcox bring Tosh in?

So combine a lack of recruiting with a vanilla conservative scheme by Wilcox/Sirmon and we have, what we have. Last year we were statistically the second worst pass defense in the country and it sure looks like we will be in that territory again this year.
imagine if this is Wilcox plan all along, to push Cal to break down and let his buddy return. lol
Truth is, Tosh would dramatically change recruiting, especially given how recruiting has completely transformed to favor his approach even more than before.

btw, it's really effing weird to hear folks that constantly beat the drums about how Cal needs to change its mindset to compete and then refuse to see how their own attitude about Tosh runs completely contrary to that mindset. I don't like Tosh, but he knows what he's doing and way better than who we have on staff.

Tosh isn't the only good recruiter in college football. Just because Cal's current recruiters aren't great doesn't mean Cal needs to settle for an unethical scumbag like Tosh. I suspect Gerald Alexander would be a fantastic recruiter at Cal if he were to quit the NFL and return here. I also suspect Marshawn Lynch would be a great recruiter as would Justin Forsett. Each of these guys not inly have previous connections to Cal, but are all ethical men. There are even more great recruiters who have no connection to Cal but are also ethical. There is zero reason for Cal to jump straight to the dregs and welcome back Tosh.
Would Marshawn be interested in recruiting for Cal? lolol. do we need a new RB coach? also someone else pointed out that Tosh wasn't the reason why Syd'quan didn't come to Cal, it was because of Wilcox becoming the coach at uDub.

I wasn't serious about the Tosh thing outside of folks needing to grow up and realize he would be great for Cal. But everyone is still lost in their feels over it.
01Bear
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BarcaBear said:

01Bear said:

BarcaBear said:

calumnus said:

HearstMining said:

Here is what I recall:'
2016 - Cal defense generally lousy in all facets
2017 - Cal defense (especially DBs) improves tackling and generally becomes adequate/average
2018 - Pass rush improves and thus The Takers really excel

As we've seen, Cal's weak pass rush in 2023 is really adding stress to the DBs. Cal didn't have great pass rushers in 2018, but De Ruyter was great with blitz schemes that improved their effectiveness. Sirmon just doesn't do that. He'll occasionally send an ILB right up the middle where he gets clogged up, but that's about all I've seen. There must be stunts, etc that can confuse the OL, but Cal never seems to try these.


Defense is mostly recruiting plus athletes and then their position coaches teaching them good technique. There is only so much you can scheme, but DeRuyter was about as good as you can get at scheming. The athletes he had to work with were all recruited by Dykes/Kaufman. In the end a DE needs to be a big explosive, powerful and fast athlete. A CB has the toughest job in sports: they need to keep up with a WR who has track speed, knows where the play is going and they often have to do it will running backwards. Any contact is called on the CB. It just takes freakish athletic ability and great technique. So recruiting great athletes at those positions is critical.

However, Wilcox continues to surround himself, especially on defense, with his friends. all with Oregon, Washington and Idaho roots. It is not a recruiting hotbed and Oregon and UW get the great players worth getting. DL recruiting under Browning who is from Oregon, played at Boise and was a grad assistant working with Wilcox there) has been a huge issue. He has no connections to areas with great DL. We lack quality, we lack size and we lack depth. We got pushed around by OSU. Maybe we should have just let Wilcox bring Tosh in?

So combine a lack of recruiting with a vanilla conservative scheme by Wilcox/Sirmon and we have, what we have. Last year we were statistically the second worst pass defense in the country and it sure looks like we will be in that territory again this year.
imagine if this is Wilcox plan all along, to push Cal to break down and let his buddy return. lol
Truth is, Tosh would dramatically change recruiting, especially given how recruiting has completely transformed to favor his approach even more than before.

btw, it's really effing weird to hear folks that constantly beat the drums about how Cal needs to change its mindset to compete and then refuse to see how their own attitude about Tosh runs completely contrary to that mindset. I don't like Tosh, but he knows what he's doing and way better than who we have on staff.

Tosh isn't the only good recruiter in college football. Just because Cal's current recruiters aren't great doesn't mean Cal needs to settle for an unethical scumbag like Tosh. I suspect Gerald Alexander would be a fantastic recruiter at Cal if he were to quit the NFL and return here. I also suspect Marshawn Lynch would be a great recruiter as would Justin Forsett. Each of these guys not inly have previous connections to Cal, but are all ethical men. There are even more great recruiters who have no connection to Cal but are also ethical. There is zero reason for Cal to jump straight to the dregs and welcome back Tosh.
Would Marshawn be interested in recruiting for Cal? lolol. do we need a new RB coach? also someone else pointed out that Tosh wasn't the reason why Syd'quan didn't come to Cal, it was because of Wilcox becoming the coach at uDub.

I wasn't serious about the Tosh thing outside of folks needing to grow up and realize he would be great for Cal. But everyone is still lost in their feels over it.

Syd'quan did come to Cal and he was a great Cal Bear. It was his brother Shaq Thompson who chose not to attend Cal.

As for whether Marshawn would recruit for Cal, now that NIL is permitted, I see no reason why (assuming he wanted to do so) Marshawn couldn't be the face of a Cal NIL group and sign up student athletes with that NIL group. He wouldn't be recruiting them to Cal per se, but he could be signing them up for the use of their NIL. If along the way he shared a little about his love for Cal, that'd be within the rules, right?
Bobodeluxe
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Coffee cups are now approved! Make that an extra large, please, sir.
BarcaBear
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01Bear said:

BarcaBear said:

01Bear said:

BarcaBear said:

calumnus said:

HearstMining said:

Here is what I recall:'
2016 - Cal defense generally lousy in all facets
2017 - Cal defense (especially DBs) improves tackling and generally becomes adequate/average
2018 - Pass rush improves and thus The Takers really excel

As we've seen, Cal's weak pass rush in 2023 is really adding stress to the DBs. Cal didn't have great pass rushers in 2018, but De Ruyter was great with blitz schemes that improved their effectiveness. Sirmon just doesn't do that. He'll occasionally send an ILB right up the middle where he gets clogged up, but that's about all I've seen. There must be stunts, etc that can confuse the OL, but Cal never seems to try these.


Defense is mostly recruiting plus athletes and then their position coaches teaching them good technique. There is only so much you can scheme, but DeRuyter was about as good as you can get at scheming. The athletes he had to work with were all recruited by Dykes/Kaufman. In the end a DE needs to be a big explosive, powerful and fast athlete. A CB has the toughest job in sports: they need to keep up with a WR who has track speed, knows where the play is going and they often have to do it will running backwards. Any contact is called on the CB. It just takes freakish athletic ability and great technique. So recruiting great athletes at those positions is critical.

However, Wilcox continues to surround himself, especially on defense, with his friends. all with Oregon, Washington and Idaho roots. It is not a recruiting hotbed and Oregon and UW get the great players worth getting. DL recruiting under Browning who is from Oregon, played at Boise and was a grad assistant working with Wilcox there) has been a huge issue. He has no connections to areas with great DL. We lack quality, we lack size and we lack depth. We got pushed around by OSU. Maybe we should have just let Wilcox bring Tosh in?

So combine a lack of recruiting with a vanilla conservative scheme by Wilcox/Sirmon and we have, what we have. Last year we were statistically the second worst pass defense in the country and it sure looks like we will be in that territory again this year.
imagine if this is Wilcox plan all along, to push Cal to break down and let his buddy return. lol
Truth is, Tosh would dramatically change recruiting, especially given how recruiting has completely transformed to favor his approach even more than before.

btw, it's really effing weird to hear folks that constantly beat the drums about how Cal needs to change its mindset to compete and then refuse to see how their own attitude about Tosh runs completely contrary to that mindset. I don't like Tosh, but he knows what he's doing and way better than who we have on staff.

Tosh isn't the only good recruiter in college football. Just because Cal's current recruiters aren't great doesn't mean Cal needs to settle for an unethical scumbag like Tosh. I suspect Gerald Alexander would be a fantastic recruiter at Cal if he were to quit the NFL and return here. I also suspect Marshawn Lynch would be a great recruiter as would Justin Forsett. Each of these guys not inly have previous connections to Cal, but are all ethical men. There are even more great recruiters who have no connection to Cal but are also ethical. There is zero reason for Cal to jump straight to the dregs and welcome back Tosh.
Would Marshawn be interested in recruiting for Cal? lolol. do we need a new RB coach? also someone else pointed out that Tosh wasn't the reason why Syd'quan didn't come to Cal, it was because of Wilcox becoming the coach at uDub.

I wasn't serious about the Tosh thing outside of folks needing to grow up and realize he would be great for Cal. But everyone is still lost in their feels over it.

Syd'quan did come to Cal and he was a great Cal Bear. It was his brother Shaq Thompson who chose not to attend Cal.

As for whether Marshawn would recruit for Cal, now that NIL is permitted, I see no reason why (assuming he wanted to do so) Marshawn couldn't be the face of a Cal NIL group and sign up student athletes with that NIL group. He wouldn't be recruiting them to Cal per se, but he could be signing them up for the use of their NIL. If along the way he shared a little about his love for Cal, that'd be within the rules, right?
thanks for the correction. its been a really long time. switched up the brothers in my head.

That is a nice idea regarding Marshawn, but I was more curious if he could coach. Imagine Beast Mode as the running backs coach. Recruiting would take care of itself. He could coach them up on ghostriding. lol
Strykur
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BarcaBear said:

01Bear said:

BarcaBear said:

01Bear said:

BarcaBear said:

calumnus said:

HearstMining said:

Here is what I recall:'
2016 - Cal defense generally lousy in all facets
2017 - Cal defense (especially DBs) improves tackling and generally becomes adequate/average
2018 - Pass rush improves and thus The Takers really excel

As we've seen, Cal's weak pass rush in 2023 is really adding stress to the DBs. Cal didn't have great pass rushers in 2018, but De Ruyter was great with blitz schemes that improved their effectiveness. Sirmon just doesn't do that. He'll occasionally send an ILB right up the middle where he gets clogged up, but that's about all I've seen. There must be stunts, etc that can confuse the OL, but Cal never seems to try these.
Defense is mostly recruiting plus athletes and then their position coaches teaching them good technique. There is only so much you can scheme, but DeRuyter was about as good as you can get at scheming. The athletes he had to work with were all recruited by Dykes/Kaufman. In the end a DE needs to be a big explosive, powerful and fast athlete. A CB has the toughest job in sports: they need to keep up with a WR who has track speed, knows where the play is going and they often have to do it will running backwards. Any contact is called on the CB. It just takes freakish athletic ability and great technique. So recruiting great athletes at those positions is critical.

However, Wilcox continues to surround himself, especially on defense, with his friends. all with Oregon, Washington and Idaho roots. It is not a recruiting hotbed and Oregon and UW get the great players worth getting. DL recruiting under Browning who is from Oregon, played at Boise and was a grad assistant working with Wilcox there) has been a huge issue. He has no connections to areas with great DL. We lack quality, we lack size and we lack depth. We got pushed around by OSU. Maybe we should have just let Wilcox bring Tosh in?

So combine a lack of recruiting with a vanilla conservative scheme by Wilcox/Sirmon and we have, what we have. Last year we were statistically the second worst pass defense in the country and it sure looks like we will be in that territory again this year.
imagine if this is Wilcox plan all along, to push Cal to break down and let his buddy return. lol
Truth is, Tosh would dramatically change recruiting, especially given how recruiting has completely transformed to favor his approach even more than before.

btw, it's really effing weird to hear folks that constantly beat the drums about how Cal needs to change its mindset to compete and then refuse to see how their own attitude about Tosh runs completely contrary to that mindset. I don't like Tosh, but he knows what he's doing and way better than who we have on staff.

Tosh isn't the only good recruiter in college football. Just because Cal's current recruiters aren't great doesn't mean Cal needs to settle for an unethical scumbag like Tosh. I suspect Gerald Alexander would be a fantastic recruiter at Cal if he were to quit the NFL and return here. I also suspect Marshawn Lynch would be a great recruiter as would Justin Forsett. Each of these guys not inly have previous connections to Cal, but are all ethical men. There are even more great recruiters who have no connection to Cal but are also ethical. There is zero reason for Cal to jump straight to the dregs and welcome back Tosh.
Would Marshawn be interested in recruiting for Cal? lolol. do we need a new RB coach? also someone else pointed out that Tosh wasn't the reason why Syd'quan didn't come to Cal, it was because of Wilcox becoming the coach at uDub.

I wasn't serious about the Tosh thing outside of folks needing to grow up and realize he would be great for Cal. But everyone is still lost in their feels over it.

Syd'quan did come to Cal and he was a great Cal Bear. It was his brother Shaq Thompson who chose not to attend Cal.

As for whether Marshawn would recruit for Cal, now that NIL is permitted, I see no reason why (assuming he wanted to do so) Marshawn couldn't be the face of a Cal NIL group and sign up student athletes with that NIL group. He wouldn't be recruiting them to Cal per se, but he could be signing them up for the use of their NIL. If along the way he shared a little about his love for Cal, that'd be within the rules, right?
thanks for the correction. its been a really long time. switched up the brothers in my head.

That is a nice idea regarding Marshawn, but I was more curious if he could coach. Imagine Beast Mode as the running backs coach. Recruiting would take care of itself. He could coach them up on ghostriding. lol
Make him the running backs "coach" and then have an assistant coach.
 
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