Home Jeers–Nate’s Travails, Part II

Posted by: Avinash on Monday, February 4th, 2008

natedown(Part I is here)

Nate Longshore returned to Memorial Stadium with minimal fan support–many fans had placed the blame for the losses at his feet, although there was plenty to go around (poor run D, barest of run support from Forsett against powerful defenses in the Rose Bowl and the desert, fumbles, penalties, the like). Through miserable weather conditions each night, his final home games did not assuage the doubters.


A decent rebound performance by Nate against one of the worst defenses in the Pac-10. His numbers were minimalist, but were more than enough to get the job done. His one interception came early and had no discernible impact as the defense held. However, Longshore did fumble one snap that did lead to a field goal in the third quarter, and while his accuracy was good throughout the game, it did indeed taper off in the fourth. Although yards per catch peaked, it was more of a dink and dunk game because of the wind factor. The one real long ball attempt by Nate became Wazzu’s INT.

Conclusion: A yeoman effort by Nate. But there wasn’t any real signs that Longshore would be able to beat ‘SC with the averageness of his play. Surely didn’t stop the Longshore/Riley debate, which had begun to heat up in earnest. A strong defensive effort by the Bears punctuated the game, which makes their disappearance in the last three games all the more puzzling.

All in all, the wind helped Longshore minimize his risk-taking, which was a very good thing for Cal to hold on. On the other hand, 13 points in 57 minutes is not great output either.


Clear dropoffs here–completion efficiency dropped off, completions dropped off. Because the Bears were always within at least seven points, Cal could afford to run and pass late into the game. After an early flourish though, Nate could not throw the ball down the field effectively. Other than the overthrown pass to Hawkins (who made an otherworldy adjustment to catch it), Nate hung on the coattails of Forsett, who produced some fantastic plays.

Conclusion: Nate didn’t have a great game, but he wasn’t the only culpable party–his receivers missed plenty of routes. There was also the matter of pouring rain, which made it difficult for either Booty or Longshore to sustain drives with their arms. In the end though, Booty made only one mistake (the fumble near the goal line). Longshore made three.

Let’s give credit to the Trojans defense too–USC’s stopped the pver-the-middle passes with their powerful linebacking corps, so when the middle closed out, Nate had to throw passes he was less capable of throwing–a few out patterns and fade routes, two of which turned into the game-deciding interceptions. These were not happy games to attend, and the lack of confidence we displayed in our quarterback showed with sporadic boos.

Well, at least the Big Game wasn’t at home.

Part III: The fall is complete.

Have any of your own thoughts on Nate’s troubles in these games?

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