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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

13,540 Views | 80 Replies | Last: 7 mo ago by Strykur
82gradDLSdad
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calumnus said:

oski003 said:

calumnus said:

oski003 said:

82gradDLSdad said:

heartofthebear said:

82gradDLSdad said:

One small coaching decision that didn't affect anything but I couldn't figure out (maybe BI can explain it to me like I'm a 3rd grader):
Why did we go for two at the end?
Down 14 after TD. Why not kick PAT and be down 13? What did getting to 12 down do? There was still a minute chance of getting two TDs and winning instead of getting two TDs and tying.
To get the practice. If you miss it. You still tie with 2 TDs. The chances of Cal getting one more, let alone 2 more possessions was not great enough to make the difference between a tie and win be greater than the benefit of practicing the 2 point conversion. The trouble is that OSU didn't really bother to defend it so I'm not sure what was practiced.


So one week we run plays at end of game for practice and in another we take a knee...for practice. I just think it's because...Wilcox.


Last week we had a banged up QB and a banged up RB. This week we had a new QB getting some reps in garbage time.


We beat ASU.

The comparison is the week before against UW we were driving for what would have been the 5th TD in 5 drives with Jackson at QB completing over 70% and potentially Javian Thomas' first career TD, first down on the UW 33 with 40 seconds left…but instead we ran twice into the pile to run out the clock….




Two weeks ago we had a banged up QB and a banged up RB. This week we had a new QB getting some reps in garbage time.


We went from the Cal 26 to the UW 33 in 3 plays, then ran out the clock running the Jet into the pile twice and letting the clock run. Why not just let them score? Your "banged up RB" the Jet could have gotten his first college TD. Jackson, the "banged up QB" was playing well, completing over 70% and leading us to TDs on every drive. You don't think he could have used the reps? It is not like he is a finished product. Besides, if the Jet is "banged up" running him into the pile isn't going to help is it?

If you are set on defending Wilcox just say maybe Wilcox learned something and might the right decision this time.




Going for two down 14 wasn't the right decision. We are inventing reasons why we think he did it. If practice is the reason and he had conceded why the onside kick. The group that needs the most work is kickoff coverage.
calumnus
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oski003 said:

calumnus said:

oski003 said:

calumnus said:

oski003 said:

82gradDLSdad said:

heartofthebear said:

82gradDLSdad said:

One small coaching decision that didn't affect anything but I couldn't figure out (maybe BI can explain it to me like I'm a 3rd grader):
Why did we go for two at the end?
Down 14 after TD. Why not kick PAT and be down 13? What did getting to 12 down do? There was still a minute chance of getting two TDs and winning instead of getting two TDs and tying.
To get the practice. If you miss it. You still tie with 2 TDs. The chances of Cal getting one more, let alone 2 more possessions was not great enough to make the difference between a tie and win be greater than the benefit of practicing the 2 point conversion. The trouble is that OSU didn't really bother to defend it so I'm not sure what was practiced.


So one week we run plays at end of game for practice and in another we take a knee...for practice. I just think it's because...Wilcox.


Last week we had a banged up QB and a banged up RB. This week we had a new QB getting some reps in garbage time.


We beat ASU.

The comparison is the week before against UW we were driving for what would have been the 5th TD in 5 drives with Jackson at QB completing over 70% and potentially Javian Thomas' first career TD, first down on the UW 33 with 40 seconds left…but instead we ran twice into the pile to run out the clock….




Two weeks ago we had a banged up QB and a banged up RB. This week we had a new QB getting some reps in garbage time.


Then why run tempo and go the length of the field to get to the Red Zone before burning clock? Again, the "banged up QB" was leading scoring drives on every possession and completing over 70% he didn't look banged up. The RB was The Jet getting his first meaningful minutes and he was getting 14 yards per carry. If he was "banged up" he wasn't showing it either, and certainly running him into the pile twice wouldn't help that would it?


The running back I am referring to is Ott. We played hard and got some momentum going until there was less than a minute left; then we did a couple runs and the game ended. Simple as that. If this was Madden with injury mode off, we would have kept up the fast pace. Hatters gonna hat.


Ott was not in the game. It was Javian Thomss. Again, we went from the Cal 26 to the UW 33 in 3 plays. First down on every play, 40 seconds left. why stop? Why not keep going? Why purposely try NOT to score? Again, runs into the pile do not avoid injury. The reasons you are giving are either not true or don't make sense. You could say the exact same thing about the end of the OSU game. The game was out of reach, why risk injury there?
calumnus
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82gradDLSdad said:

calumnus said:

oski003 said:

calumnus said:

oski003 said:

82gradDLSdad said:

heartofthebear said:

82gradDLSdad said:

One small coaching decision that didn't affect anything but I couldn't figure out (maybe BI can explain it to me like I'm a 3rd grader):
Why did we go for two at the end?
Down 14 after TD. Why not kick PAT and be down 13? What did getting to 12 down do? There was still a minute chance of getting two TDs and winning instead of getting two TDs and tying.
To get the practice. If you miss it. You still tie with 2 TDs. The chances of Cal getting one more, let alone 2 more possessions was not great enough to make the difference between a tie and win be greater than the benefit of practicing the 2 point conversion. The trouble is that OSU didn't really bother to defend it so I'm not sure what was practiced.


So one week we run plays at end of game for practice and in another we take a knee...for practice. I just think it's because...Wilcox.


Last week we had a banged up QB and a banged up RB. This week we had a new QB getting some reps in garbage time.


We beat ASU.

The comparison is the week before against UW we were driving for what would have been the 5th TD in 5 drives with Jackson at QB completing over 70% and potentially Javian Thomas' first career TD, first down on the UW 33 with 40 seconds left…but instead we ran twice into the pile to run out the clock….




Two weeks ago we had a banged up QB and a banged up RB. This week we had a new QB getting some reps in garbage time.


We went from the Cal 26 to the UW 33 in 3 plays, then ran out the clock running the Jet into the pile twice and letting the clock run. Why not just let them score? Your "banged up RB" the Jet could have gotten his first college TD. Jackson, the "banged up QB" was playing well, completing over 70% and leading us to TDs on every drive. You don't think he could have used the reps? It is not like he is a finished product. Besides, if the Jet is "banged up" running him into the pile isn't going to help is it?

If you are set on defending Wilcox just say maybe Wilcox learned something and might the right decision this time.




Going for two down 14 wasn't the right decision. We are inventing reasons why we think he did it. If practice is the reason and he had conceded why the onside kick. The group that needs the most work is kickoff coverage.


Agreed. The 2 pt attempt didn't make sense down 14, but at least he was trying to score instead of purposely trying not to score. I am happy about that. I don't know why people try to defend his doing it In one game but not the other.
82gradDLSdad
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calumnus said:

82gradDLSdad said:

calumnus said:

oski003 said:

calumnus said:

oski003 said:

82gradDLSdad said:

heartofthebear said:

82gradDLSdad said:

One small coaching decision that didn't affect anything but I couldn't figure out (maybe BI can explain it to me like I'm a 3rd grader):
Why did we go for two at the end?
Down 14 after TD. Why not kick PAT and be down 13? What did getting to 12 down do? There was still a minute chance of getting two TDs and winning instead of getting two TDs and tying.
To get the practice. If you miss it. You still tie with 2 TDs. The chances of Cal getting one more, let alone 2 more possessions was not great enough to make the difference between a tie and win be greater than the benefit of practicing the 2 point conversion. The trouble is that OSU didn't really bother to defend it so I'm not sure what was practiced.


So one week we run plays at end of game for practice and in another we take a knee...for practice. I just think it's because...Wilcox.


Last week we had a banged up QB and a banged up RB. This week we had a new QB getting some reps in garbage time.


We beat ASU.

The comparison is the week before against UW we were driving for what would have been the 5th TD in 5 drives with Jackson at QB completing over 70% and potentially Javian Thomas' first career TD, first down on the UW 33 with 40 seconds left…but instead we ran twice into the pile to run out the clock….




Two weeks ago we had a banged up QB and a banged up RB. This week we had a new QB getting some reps in garbage time.


We went from the Cal 26 to the UW 33 in 3 plays, then ran out the clock running the Jet into the pile twice and letting the clock run. Why not just let them score? Your "banged up RB" the Jet could have gotten his first college TD. Jackson, the "banged up QB" was playing well, completing over 70% and leading us to TDs on every drive. You don't think he could have used the reps? It is not like he is a finished product. Besides, if the Jet is "banged up" running him into the pile isn't going to help is it?

If you are set on defending Wilcox just say maybe Wilcox learned something and might the right decision this time.




Going for two down 14 wasn't the right decision. We are inventing reasons why we think he did it. If practice is the reason and he had conceded why the onside kick. The group that needs the most work is kickoff coverage.


Agreed. The 2 pt attempt didn't make sense down 14, but at least he was trying to score instead of purposely trying not to score. I am happy about that. I don't know why people try to defend his doing it In one game but not the other.


Agreed. I just think Wilcox is not very strategic. And I'm not sure what if anything he brings to the coaching table.

Motivator?
Strategist?
Recruiter?
Delegates to great staff?

I mean...just nothing but decent man.
oski003
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calumnus said:

oski003 said:

calumnus said:

oski003 said:

calumnus said:

oski003 said:

82gradDLSdad said:

heartofthebear said:

82gradDLSdad said:

One small coaching decision that didn't affect anything but I couldn't figure out (maybe BI can explain it to me like I'm a 3rd grader):
Why did we go for two at the end?
Down 14 after TD. Why not kick PAT and be down 13? What did getting to 12 down do? There was still a minute chance of getting two TDs and winning instead of getting two TDs and tying.
To get the practice. If you miss it. You still tie with 2 TDs. The chances of Cal getting one more, let alone 2 more possessions was not great enough to make the difference between a tie and win be greater than the benefit of practicing the 2 point conversion. The trouble is that OSU didn't really bother to defend it so I'm not sure what was practiced.


So one week we run plays at end of game for practice and in another we take a knee...for practice. I just think it's because...Wilcox.


Last week we had a banged up QB and a banged up RB. This week we had a new QB getting some reps in garbage time.


We beat ASU.

The comparison is the week before against UW we were driving for what would have been the 5th TD in 5 drives with Jackson at QB completing over 70% and potentially Javian Thomas' first career TD, first down on the UW 33 with 40 seconds left…but instead we ran twice into the pile to run out the clock….




Two weeks ago we had a banged up QB and a banged up RB. This week we had a new QB getting some reps in garbage time.


Then why run tempo and go the length of the field to get to the Red Zone before burning clock? Again, the "banged up QB" was leading scoring drives on every possession and completing over 70% he didn't look banged up. The RB was The Jet getting his first meaningful minutes and he was getting 14 yards per carry. If he was "banged up" he wasn't showing it either, and certainly running him into the pile twice wouldn't help that would it?


The running back I am referring to is Ott. We played hard and got some momentum going until there was less than a minute left; then we did a couple runs and the game ended. Simple as that. If this was Madden with injury mode off, we would have kept up the fast pace. Hatters gonna hat.


Ott was not in the game. It was Javian Thomss. Again, we went from the Cal 26 to the UW 33 in 3 plays. First down on every play, 40 seconds left. why stop? Why not keep going? Why purposely try NOT to score? Again, runs into the pile do not avoid injury. The reasons you are giving are either not true or don't make sense. You could say the exact same thing about the end of the OSU game. The game was out of reach, why risk injury there?



Again, the running back I referred to was Ott, our starting running back. Yes, he was not in the game at the time. Our banged up QB was. We played hard and got some momentum going. When there was less than a minute left, we did a couple runs and the game ended. Simple as that. If this was Madden with injury mode off, we would have kept up the fast pace. This past game, we were getting more reps for our freshman QB, in his very first game, who seems to have now earned the starting job. Hatters gonna hat.
heartofthebear
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UrsineMaximus said:

heartofthebear said:

MoragaBear said:

heartofthebear said:

What's interesting about listening to Wilcox, is that some of his observations are things he could have easily said last week too. And so clearly he has no clue about how to address them. When you have issues and catastrophically bad performances being repeated week in and week out, you have a coaching problem. Maybe more than one. Maybe that coaching problem is Justin Wilcox himself.

I mean the kick coverage is not just bad. It's pathetic. Not a single pass was defended. The OSU QB could literally pass at will. Why? Yeah the OSU team is good. But, has anyone noticed that this is happening every week. Idaho had passing success. North Texas had passing success. Auburn did not because Auburn has one of the worst QBs in all of college football and we still found away to let him score the winning TD in the 4th Q.

This stuff is obvious, consistent, blatant and costly. It doesn't take rocket science to see the coaching failures involved here.
The pass defense and pass rush was horrendous tonight but it hasn't happened every week. The UNT QBs were 15-26 (57%) for 184 yards, 3 TDs and 3 INT. The Idaho QB was 28-46 for 279 yards, 0 TDs and 1 INT. The Auburn QBs were 10-17 (58%) for only 94 yards. But since then, the pass coverage and rush have significantly declined, obviously against better competition with the exception of Auburn.


The league is stacked but the program just can't be where it is now in the 7th year of a head coach's tenure, with the last bowl game 5 seasons in the rearview mirror.
To do a fair analysis of Cal's passing defense over the season, you'd have to compare how Cal did versus how other teams have done versus the same team.
  • In the cases of N. Texas and Idaho, no team is similar enough to Cal in expectation and talent level to make a fair comparison.
  • In the case of Washington, Cal allowed less than what Washington is averaging against quality D1 level competion. They allowed around 389 and Washington is averaging around 450 per game.
  • Washington is the only case where Cal did better than other similar level teams.
  • Against Auburn Cal did worse than Texas A&M. Allowing 94 compared to 56.
  • Against ASU, Cal did significantly worse than the rest of Cal's peers, allowing over 100 yards more than the average of the other competition that played against ASU. Some of that could be due to the fact that ASU had worse QB injury issues prior to the Cal game. But that is hard to determine.
  • Against OSU Cal again allowed over 100 yards more than OSU's passing average against similar teams.

CONCLUSION

One can try to make the argument that, overall, when you factor in INTs, Cal's pass defense held it's own earlier in the season. But since conference play has begun, overall Cal's pass defense has actually gotten worse each week.

When you consider that Cal's secondary was supposed to be better than average, the fact that they started the season at roughly an average level of pass defense, opposition level factored in, and now they have gotten even worse, and when you consider that there are 2 coaches for the unit and that the coaches were tasked with improving problems with big plays over the off-season, and when you consider that big plays have characterized Cal's drop off during the season, and when you consider that other units like the offense are no longer a big problem, it is clear that, other than parts of Cal's STs, the pass defense is pretty much single handedly destoying what would otherwise be a promising season.

When you factor in that the same could have been said for Cal's offensive line and scoring problems over the last 3 years and Wilcox still took 3 years to address it, I find it necessary to pound Wilcox over and over and over again endlessly regarding his DB coaches until he replaces them. Otherwise he might let the next 2 years go down the tubes just like this one is. And we can't afford that.

I know that I have ended up with a reputation as very negative. Actually I am impressed with this Cal team. I think we have an excellent running game, a pretty good red zone defense and now we have found a QB to open up the passing game. Wilcox has made some needed changes, most noteworthy at PK. And the OL is much more serviceable now. Cal is becoming a fun team to watch again. And we are so close to getting back to where we want to be. We have good quality personnel and depth almost everywhere on the field.

So it is much more costly to let a few bad coaches ruin the whole situation. Cal doesn't get the opportunity to compete to get to a good bowl very often or to be ranked. But Cal has the capacity to do that with their current roster and most of their coaching.

When you are that close to turning the corner, you don't hesitate to make the needed changes to get the rest of the way. There are 2 changes. Hire a quality ST coach and replace the DB coaches. THAT'S IT!!! THAT'S ALL I'M ASKING FOR. IT'S BOTH REASONABLE AND DO-ABLE. SO WHY NOT DO IT NOW!!

Last year Wilcox fired the offensive coaches mid-season and the offense improved. So why not do that this season.
During his post game interview, several games ago, Sirmon said that he went too vanilla. Seems to be his M.O. Sirmon makes mediocre QBs look good e.g. the ND QB last year. DJ at OSU was very average prior to this game and Cal gave him confidence when the scouting report on him was to pressure him.
It's not Sirmon only, although I would much prefer we had DeRuyter still. I am not a hater on every little problem. It's when problems are major and get bigger and cost us games single-handedly that I speak out. Sirmon has never figured out how to generate enough of a pass rush compared to DeRuyter. He doesn't like blitzing like DeRuyter did. DeRuyter was an expert at hiding blitzes and was very successful at gettng to the QB. We let DeRuyter make a lateral move to Oregon and kept Sirmon. It's water under the bridge since it happened several years ago now.

My concern is that we did have a good pass D with Alexander as DB coach and he left but was promoted. I get that. But Wilcox did not do a good job replacing him. And then he doubled down on his poor decision by adding a second DB coach to help the first one. It has not worked! Fire both of them and hire somebody that can do what Alexander did.

Also hire someone that teaches a different coverage scheme to the STs. Right now the scheme is teaching guys not to tackle. Certain guys are supposed to force the returner into a lane, apparently. And then other guys are supposed to tackle. I want a guy that has all 11 guys in a roll to tackle if they are in position to do so. I'm tired of watching our ST coverage units surround a guy and not tackle him. It's ridiculous.
HearstMining
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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.
calumnus
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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.
Bobodeluxe
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Buh?
BearlyCareAnymore
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Bobodeluxe said:

Buh?


You know, I have to admit I always hated your "I blame Buh" posts, but this one was funny

Comedy = tragedy+time
Bobodeluxe
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; )
01Bear
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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.

Tosh is dead to me. If he had merely taken another job elsewhere, that would've been fine. But he trashed Cal on his way out and stole Cal recruits to boot. There's no going back.
calumnus
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01Bear 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.

Tosh is dead to me. If he had merely taken another job elsewhere, that would've been fine. But he trashed Cal on his way out and stole Cal recruits to boot. There's no going back.


But it was Wilcox that hired him and used him to get Thompson to flip to UW to play in his defense. Why does Wilcox get a pass? Tedford gave him his first job too. Is it because Wilcox is not a Cal guy?

I don't want Tosh anyway. I want Tyson Alualu.
chazzed
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calumnus said:

01Bear 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.

Tosh is dead to me. If he had merely taken another job elsewhere, that would've been fine. But he trashed Cal on his way out and stole Cal recruits to boot. There's no going back.


But it was Wilcox that hired him and used him to get Thompson to flip to UW to play in his defense. Why does Wilcox get a psss? Tedford gave him his first job too. Is it because Wilcox is not a Cal guy?

I don't want Tosh anyway. I want Tyson Alualu.
I wonder if Wilcox has been asked about his involvement in that whole affair after his return to Berkeley.
Bobodeluxe
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chazzed said:

calumnus said:

01Bear 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.

Tosh is dead to me. If he had merely taken another job elsewhere, that would've been fine. But he trashed Cal on his way out and stole Cal recruits to boot. There's no going back.


But it was Wilcox that hired him and used him to get Thompson to flip to UW to play in his defense. Why does Wilcox get a psss? Tedford gave him his first job too. Is it because Wilcox is not a Cal guy?

I don't want Tosh anyway. I want Tyson Alualu.
I wonder if Wilcox has been asked about his involvement in that whole affair after his return to Berkeley.
It's a business. There is no loyalty to anything but $. Surprise.
calumnus
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chazzed said:

calumnus said:

01Bear 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.

Tosh is dead to me. If he had merely taken another job elsewhere, that would've been fine. But he trashed Cal on his way out and stole Cal recruits to boot. There's no going back.


But it was Wilcox that hired him and used him to get Thompson to flip to UW to play in his defense. Why does Wilcox get a psss? Tedford gave him his first job too. Is it because Wilcox is not a Cal guy?

I don't want Tosh anyway. I want Tyson Alualu.
I wonder if Wilcox has been asked about his involvement in that whole affair after his return to Berkeley.


I doubt it. Most were not here, don't know, are too polite, want to stick with the narrative that Wilcox is a loyal Cal nice guy (that we pay $5 million a year to be here) while we eat our own.
chazzed
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That makes sense, yeah. I'll hold out hope for an intrepid reporter to hold his feet to that fire, though. Maybe when he and Cal part ways.
01Bear
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calumnus said:

01Bear 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.

Tosh is dead to me. If he had merely taken another job elsewhere, that would've been fine. But he trashed Cal on his way out and stole Cal recruits to boot. There's no going back.


But it was Wilcox that hired him and used him to get Thompson to flip to UW to play in his defense. Why does Wilcox get a pass? Tedford gave him his first job too. Is it because Wilcox is not a Cal guy?

I don't want Tosh anyway. I want Tyson Alualu.

Did Wilcox tell Tosh to trash Cal? Did he tell Tosh to recruit for UW on Cal's dime? If so, then sure, Wilcox is also scum and should not have been hired at Cal. However, I've not seen anything suggesting that was the case. Have you?

Just because Wilcox offered Tosh a job at UW doesn't make him immoral or unethical. Lots of employed people are offered jobs all the time. That's perfectly fine (and rather good overall for employees). What's not fine is the employee who accepts such an offer and then setting fire to his former employer's business on the way out.

In short, (absent evidence to the contrary) Wilcox did nothing wring in l'affair Lupoi. Tosh, OTOH, lroved himself to be highly unethical and immoral in sabotaging Cal on his way out.

Eta: FWIW, I'm onboard with Tyson Alualu, as well (assuming he wants to coach at Cal).
calumnus
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01Bear said:

calumnus said:

01Bear 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.

Tosh is dead to me. If he had merely taken another job elsewhere, that would've been fine. But he trashed Cal on his way out and stole Cal recruits to boot. There's no going back.


But it was Wilcox that hired him and used him to get Thompson to flip to UW to play in his defense. Why does Wilcox get a pass? Tedford gave him his first job too. Is it because Wilcox is not a Cal guy?

I don't want Tosh anyway. I want Tyson Alualu.

Did Wilcox tell Tosh to trash Cal? Did he tell Tosh to recruit for UW on Cal's dime? If so, then sure, Wilcox is also scum and should not have been hired at Cal. However, I've not seen anything suggesting that was the case. Have you?

Just because Wilcox offered Tosh a job at UW doesn't make him immoral or unethical. Lots of employed people are offered jobs all the time. That's perfectly fine (and rather good overall for employees). What's not fine is the employee who accepts such an offer and then setting fire to his former employer's business on the way out.

In short, (absent evidence to the contrary) Wilcox did nothing wring in l'affair Lupoi. Tosh, OTOH, lroved himself to be highly unethical and immoral in sabotaging Cal on his way out.

Eta: FWIW, I'm onboard with Tyson Alualu, as well (assuming he wants to coach at Cal).


When Wilcox was hired as the DC at UW he hired his friends Peter Sirmon as LB coach, Keith Heyward as DB coach and Tosh Lupoi as DL coach. Those are all Wilcox guys,. Together they flipped Shaq Thompson to UW to star in Wilcox's UW defense (and play LB for Sirmon) and tried to flip other Cal commits as well.

I guess it is possible Wilcox was clueless as to what Tosh was doing after he hired him and which recruits he was visiting, and when, but far more likely Tosh was staying in close contact with his friend and new boss. They made visits together too. Moreover, I don't know if the idea Wilcox was clueless and was passive and not actively involved in recruiting at his new job is the more flattering picture. It is a strange defense. In order to proclaim his innocence you have to assert he is very clueless and naive, a bad manager, poor communicator and a bad football coach. I think it is far more likely he knew who Tosh was recruiting and when, then happily followed up with his own visits and does not think they did anything wrong. He had no problem giving Tedford a hug after the next Cal-UW game.

BearlyCareAnymore
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01Bear said:

calumnus said:

01Bear 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.

Tosh is dead to me. If he had merely taken another job elsewhere, that would've been fine. But he trashed Cal on his way out and stole Cal recruits to boot. There's no going back.


But it was Wilcox that hired him and used him to get Thompson to flip to UW to play in his defense. Why does Wilcox get a pass? Tedford gave him his first job too. Is it because Wilcox is not a Cal guy?

I don't want Tosh anyway. I want Tyson Alualu.

Did Wilcox tell Tosh to trash Cal? Did he tell Tosh to recruit for UW on Cal's dime? If so, then sure, Wilcox is also scum and should not have been hired at Cal. However, I've not seen anything suggesting that was the case. Have you?

Just because Wilcox offered Tosh a job at UW doesn't make him immoral or unethical. Lots of employed people are offered jobs all the time. That's perfectly fine (and rather good overall for employees). What's not fine is the employee who accepts such an offer and then setting fire to his former employer's business on the way out.

In short, (absent evidence to the contrary) Wilcox did nothing wring in l'affair Lupoi. Tosh, OTOH, lroved himself to be highly unethical and immoral in sabotaging Cal on his way out.

Eta: FWIW, I'm onboard with Tyson Alualu, as well (assuming he wants to coach at Cal).
He took the recruits. It is unlikely he didn't know what was going on. The ethical thing would have been to not hire Tosh until after the signing period as was not a universal, but was a common practice. I think you are naive if you don't think blowing up Cal's recruiting class and possibly getting some of the pieces was part of the appeal.
eastbayyoungbear
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We're discussing ethics while Tosh has been on national championship winning staffs after the fact and is DC of a Top 10 team in the country. If we want to play "big boy football" well guess what -- what Tosh did is just another part of the game. If we're not interested in it then why are we trying to stay in the P5?
calumnus
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Seattle Times article on Shaq Thomason's recruitment:
https://www.seattletimes.com/sports/uw-husky-football/full-of-surprises-the-story-behind-shaquille-thompson-signing-with-washington/

"There was a strong family and local pull to Cal, and Shaquille likely would have ended up there if not for assistant coaching changes at both UW and Cal in January. He resists the notion that it was as simple as following Bears assistant Tosh Lupoi from Cal to UW.

B.T. Thompson calls new UW defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox the bigger influence. Wilcox coached Syd'Quan at Cal.

"When Wilcox went to UW, that opened up UW," said B.T. Thompson."
Wang24
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I'm still in awe that the river rats have figured it out under Coach Smith in less time than Coach Wilcox.. looking at the talent that have been recruited, we are not that far behind OSU. Certainly better than Coogs…

Strykur
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Wang24 said:

I'm still in awe that the river rats have figured it out under Coach Smith in less time than Coach Wilcox.. looking at the talent that have been recruited, we are not that far behind OSU. Certainly better than Coogs…


Yeah and it might come crashing down with the PAC-12 implosion.
01Bear
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calumnus said:

01Bear said:

calumnus said:

01Bear 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.

Tosh is dead to me. If he had merely taken another job elsewhere, that would've been fine. But he trashed Cal on his way out and stole Cal recruits to boot. There's no going back.


But it was Wilcox that hired him and used him to get Thompson to flip to UW to play in his defense. Why does Wilcox get a pass? Tedford gave him his first job too. Is it because Wilcox is not a Cal guy?

I don't want Tosh anyway. I want Tyson Alualu.

Did Wilcox tell Tosh to trash Cal? Did he tell Tosh to recruit for UW on Cal's dime? If so, then sure, Wilcox is also scum and should not have been hired at Cal. However, I've not seen anything suggesting that was the case. Have you?

Just because Wilcox offered Tosh a job at UW doesn't make him immoral or unethical. Lots of employed people are offered jobs all the time. That's perfectly fine (and rather good overall for employees). What's not fine is the employee who accepts such an offer and then setting fire to his former employer's business on the way out.

In short, (absent evidence to the contrary) Wilcox did nothing wring in l'affair Lupoi. Tosh, OTOH, lroved himself to be highly unethical and immoral in sabotaging Cal on his way out.

Eta: FWIW, I'm onboard with Tyson Alualu, as well (assuming he wants to coach at Cal).


When Wilcox was hired as the DC at UW he hired his friends Peter Sirmon as LB coach, Keith Heyward as DB coach and Tosh Lupoi as DL coach. Those are all Wilcox guys,. Together they flipped Shaq Thompson to UW to star in Wilcox's UW defense (and play LB for Sirmon) and tried to flip other Cal commits as well.

I guess it is possible Wilcox was clueless as to what Tosh was doing after he hired him and which recruits he was visiting, and when, but far more likely Tosh was staying in close contact with his friend and new boss. They made visits together too. Moreover, I don't know if the idea Wilcox was clueless and was passive and not actively involved in recruiting at his new job is the more flattering picture. It is a strange defense. In order to proclaim his innocence you have to assert he is very clueless and naive, a bad manager, poor communicator and a bad football coach. I think it is far more likely he knew who Tosh was recruiting and when, then happily followed up with his own visits and does not think they did anything wrong. He had no problem giving Tedford a hug after the next Cal-UW game.



Knowing when Tosh was visiting recruits is one thing, telling Tosh to trash Cal to those recruits while visiting on Cal'a dime is another. To date, no one has managed to show that Wilcox knew Tosh trashed Cal when the latter was still ostensibly a Cal coach or even that he knew it happened.

Also, your own statement that Wilcox and Tosh made recruiting visits together belies your argument that Wilcox was "not actively involved in recruiting at his new job." I doubt you believe that statement, either.

I'm no Wilcox apologist, but in l'Affair Lupoi, there's been no evidence he did anything unethical. Sure, Cal could've preferred he hired Tosh only after the recruiting process was over, but it's not unethical to hire an employee from a rival firm when said firm is in the middle of a crucial period.
BarcaBear
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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.
Strykur
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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.
Wilcox has given Sirmon a few seasons (plus Jackson) to field a decent defense and that hasn't happened thus far, I could see Wilcox booting Sirmon and hiring Tosh back.
calumnus
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Strykur 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.
Wilcox has given Sirmon a few seasons (plus Jackson) to field a decent defense and that hasn't happened thus far, I could see Wilcox booting Sirmon and hiring Tosh back.


Sirmon is his best friend from college days playing alongside each other at Oregon. Wilcox is a former defensive coordinator himself and probably is effectively running the D now. He is not firing Sirmon. I see zero chance of that. He will fire our DB, LB and DL coaches first.
JimSox
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eastbayyoungbear said:

We're discussing ethics while Tosh has been on national championship winning staffs after the fact and is DC of a Top 10 team in the country. If we want to play "big boy football" well guess what -- what Tosh did is just another part of the game. If we're not interested in it then why are we trying to stay in the P5?
Being successful does not make unethical behavior okay. It is not just another part of the game. It's a stain on his character.
Econ141
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Is there any hope that this defense gets fixed this week or at the very least over the next 2-3 weeks? Or is this it - we just have a sucky defense now despite what everyone thought in the off-season - better players, better depth etc.

Wilcox is pissing me off.
01Bear
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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.
Bobodeluxe
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Econ141 said:

Is there any hope that this defense gets fixed this week or at the very least over the next 2-3 weeks? Or is this it - we just have a sucky defense now despite what everyone thought in the off-season - better players, better depth etc.

Wilcox is pissing me off.
"Everyone?"

No.
DoubtfulBear
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Econ141 said:

Is there any hope that this defense gets fixed this week or at the very least over the next 2-3 weeks? Or is this it - we just have a sucky defense now despite what everyone thought in the off-season - better players, better depth etc.

Wilcox is pissing me off.
The fact that not a single DB coach has been fired should tell you everything you need to know about Wilcox's continued blind loyalty to his incompetent staff.
Bearly Clad
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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?
golden sloth
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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 think the biggest mystery to me is the lack of touches for Anderson this year. I see him returning kicks (sort of), but I dont understand the reluctance to get him in game reps at the slot position. He has good athleticism at a position we can use it. I think he is the lead candidate to transfer after the season.
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