California-Colorado State, Live

Posted by: Avinash on Saturday, September 8th, 2007

Nate Longshore hopes to lead Cal against the CSU Rams

I’ll start off the live blog around kickoff. Hang in tight fellas.

11:04–I have to give props to the Rams for actually bringing an actual Ram across the field. I think we’re a long way from bringing bears, although Knut would have been a great possibility a few months ago. Oh well.

11:10–Mmm, a 3 and out. I never like when games start off this way. Three quick passes is the last way you want to go early on.

11:13–Colorado State follows up with their own 3 and out, and then hang a punt right past Desean at the one. Tit for tat so far.

11:15–Ahh, a Chick-Fil-A commercial. There aren’t too many things I miss about living in the south, but Chick-Fil-A was the holy grail at any mall. You’ll have to take a look when you head down there.

11:18–As expected, a slow start by the Cal offense. Only one deep downfield lunge to the tight end, which was broken up. Looks like Tedford is just waiting for the CSU defense to break before attacking, because most of our throws have been very…passive.

11:24–Very quickly, Colorado State attacks with Kyle Ball, who seems to be running pretty well on the Cal defense. If the offense has been slow, the defense has been bending like paper-machete. Not exactly a promising start, but Cal’s defense is notorious for these slow starts.

11:27–Touchdown, 7-0 CSU. I’m not panicking quite yet; that was a really good offensive possession, mixing aggressive off-tackle runs with play action. Concerned, not panicked.

11:32–And Desean decided to take matters into his own hands…77 yard flip for the score, 7-7. Way to take the steam out of Colorado State’s sails.

11:35–Bleh. Colorado State runs practically the same play and ends up in the red zone. Now I’m a little worried–this defense hasn’t been terribly impressive.

11:39–Interception on the goal line, kind of stupidly run out instead of taking the touchback. Thank God for Zack Follett. It’s astounding how we can play great defense only when we have to at the end zone. One of these weeks it could cost us.

11:44–From surveying the Colorado State fans earlier this week, the key to beating the Rams is to pound the defense until they cave in. So I think if at worst, we’re down 7 or tied (I just cringe saying that) going into halftime, the Bears should be in good shape.

11:47–Meh. I’m not exactly sure you could challenge field position so conclusively, but whatever. 1st and 10 for the Bears turns into 4th and 1 and punt, followed by the end of the 1st quarter. 7-7. About on par with a “slow start” for Cal.

11:53–Something must’ve fired up the Bears defense, because they follow up with two quick sacks and a three and out. The resulting punt travels about 20 yards. So much for punting to Desean.

11:58–Longshore quickly says “Fuck it” to passive offense and throws three straight completions down the field, including a gorgeous spiral to the tight end Morrah. Forsett pounds it in later for the touchdown. 14-7, Bears.

12:08–Ouch, one of the main wide receivers for CSU (Sperry) just got nailed. This doesn’t stop the Rams from marching down the field AGAIN. Bleh. Can Cal never make anything easy?

12:11–For the third time today, the Rams are inside the ten. These games always make me uneasy. If we’re spotting these games against Colorado State, what will happen against power offenses in Oregon and UCLA?

12:15–Touchdown, tied. Ugh. Here we go.

12:22–Upgrade that concerned to seriously worried. The Rams just keep on hanging around, and now they force the Bears into a 4th and long. Thankfully an excellent field goal strike puts the Bears up 17-14.

12:25–17-14 at halftime. I guess I could ask for worse.

12:45–Tedford does not look happy at all. I wonder how badly the defense was chewed out during halftime. Spotting 31 to Tennessee is expected–giving up 208 yards of total offense is just shit.

(I have to admit, I like these CSTV announcers. Trev Alberts always seems to make the effort to do analysis.)

12:50–Looks like they did get a good talking to. 3 plays, -2 yards for the Rams. I love drives like that. Desean gets a short punt and doesn’t really have a chance to cut back, but another short field for the Golden Bears.

12:58–Another impressive stop by the Rams; they’ve been pressuring Longshore pretty well, and they force another field goal attempt. Luckily Kay has been a stud from that angle–another long one nailed, this time from 41 to make it 20-14. Still a bit perturbed that we can’t put away this team, so I’m just going to have to hope Colorado State is a rising juggernaut if we keep on playing the way we are.

1:03–The defense has clearly upgraded from Rookie to Pro mode; zero yards on this possession. Tyson Alualu looks like he’ll be my new favorite Hawaiian defensive stopper.

1:06–Oh Christ, what a nightmare sequence. Desean fumbles away a first down, followed by a Hawkins TD on 4th down negated by a holding penalty. Colorado State just hangs around even with no offense so far in the 2nd half. This must be some hangover. Can we check the players for methanol content afterward?

1:12–I’m always impressed by great defense, and the Bears have allowed about six yards in this half. On the flip side, the Rams have done a great job containing Desean despite kicking to him–very smart punting.

1:14–And the offense just continues to sputter. A fumbled snap, a dropped pass by Jackson. I hate this game. I can’t wait until it’s over.

1:19–But the defense has been on full throttle–fumble recovery to the Bears. Feldner has been playing great.

1:23–Forget about hangover…this team seems to have forgotten that there was a season after Tennessee. I seriously hope this is a one-time thing. This offensive line has been particularly dreadful.

1:25–It seems at every part in this game, something has been off. Not enough running by the Bears, bad defense in the first half, Longshore has been throwing long in the second half…and Colorado State keeps on hanging around, with great defense. All it takes is one good drive and the Rams are back in good shape.

1:30–Now I’m really worried, Bell is starting to run through that defense. Then the Rams QB Hanie thankfully throws another INT, followed by a 15 yard unsportsmanlike penalty. Ugh. Even if we win, this is just a crap game. The Bears are all off.

1:36–Other than that Jackson run, the rushing game from Forsett has been inept. The big thing to look out for going into next week is how the Bears decide to reestablish the run. I guess the Tennessee hype really took the steam.

1:39–A rare CSU penalty costs the Rams a field goal attempt, and the Bears get the first down, followed by a Montgomery run to the 2 and a followup run for a TD, 27-14. I’m relaxed. I think.

1:47–If there are any noticeable positives to take from this game, it’s the linebacking play, which has been superb, especially from Follett and Moye.

1:51–Oh yeah…I’d rather struggle against the Rams than against a Pac-10 team. Teams in our conference could finish this defeat, but CSU just doesn’t have enough, as evidenced by their 2nd half play (lots of small runs up the middle, two costly turnovers after big first downs, and they let Cal get away with some weak offensive possessions).

1:52–Jahvid Best decides that it’s best if the pollsters realize that the Colorado State game was not a struggle from running/offensive/covering the spread perspectives, and takes it sixty-four yards into the end zone. 34-14, Bears. I’ll live with this.

2:00–God, another lapse. Sixty-seven yard touchdown on a zone defense? What an ugly win. If we don’t respond with 55 on Louisiana Tech I’ll be furious.

2:04–The special teams decides to do their part and allow the Rams to recover the onside kick. This is followed by ANOTHER bomb to the four yard line. I have to give credit to Colorado State, but this has been hideous.

2:06–Two touchdowns in forty seconds. 34-28. If we blow this game, I think this might be the worst loss of my life. Ever.

2:08–Colorado State pooch-punts it, placing the fate of their game in their defense. Bleh. If we can’t get 10 yards on the Rams now…

2:12–We do, with a nice combination of Forsett and Montgomery. First down, and now Colorado State has to hope for a fumble.

2:13–No dice; another first down, and Cal goes 2-0 in a game that we’ll rate as about a D+ on paper.

I’ll be honest–I’m kind of happy this happened now instead of later. Cal still has one more game before the Pac-10 schedule starts. I think the hype of last week’s game really took the wind out of our sails for this matchup. Playing a big game that early in the season really screamed a letdown for the games following Tennessee. Hopefully we learn from this game. Otherwise our season will be over very quickly.

Now I’m going to take the rest of the weekend off. Games like this aren’t supposed to be stressful. I’ll start by watching the Michigan game, which is a thousand times more fun to watch. Pac-10 love. See you Monday folks.

Topics: Cal Football, Sports

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