California-UCLA Report Card
Thanks to Tony for saving me for this weekend. It’s going to be a sporadic run to the finish.
Um, yeah, I went to the game. I was actually standing next to the CGB guys, which was as surreal as it sounds. It was made even better by the fact that I could barely speak. It was not made any better by the sun projecting directly into my hatless, sunglassless eyes. Brain cancer rising.
Before I crawl back into bed, here’s an abbreviated report card. Why so short? Because I think I’ve written the same report card for ASU AND CSU AND MSU. This is a pretty easy team to review. Great at home, terrible on the road. What should we put the USC-Cal line at? -21 sound reasonable?
Quarterback: B (11 for 22 isn’t great. Some of it’s on the receivers though, but it did take that flea-flicker to break out the game. Three slow quarters will earn us double digit defecits in our next three games. But he played much better than he did against Colorado State or Maryland. Everything seemed more controlled, but the receivers could not reward his progression.)
Running backs: A (Best was great as usual–everything about that TD run lived up to the moniker of “Li’l Bush”. Vereen had his patented volume run at the end, and even Slocum showed signs of improvement in his limited touches. Won’t be that easy against Oregon though.)
Receivers: D- (I don’t know what to do. Send these guys to parental care classes? “Treat the footballs like they’re babies. Hold onto them for dear life.”)
Run blocking: B (Better. Noticed a lot of running to the left side or right behind Mack. Guess you can figure out where our weakness is on the line.)
Pass protection: SUCKS (Oregon, USC and Oregon State’s defensive plans: Rush 8 on 1st down. Rush 10 on 2nd down. Drop back 11 on 3rd down.)
Run defense: A (The longest run of the day: 8 yards on a quarterback keeper.)
Pass rush: A (Battered O-line folded like a house of cards. Won’t be so easy for them against Oregon)
Pass defense: A (Tony noted how great our defense was, but I have to say it’s really easy for the secondary to earn an A when Kevin Craft is throwing the ball right to you half the time)
Special teams: C (Anger good, punt block awful, kick coverage sucking, Tevecchio solid, typical schizo performance)
Coaching: B (It’s funny, as the offense stagnated, I was thinking the Bears needed some gadget play to get them loose, and through the third quarter I thought a flea flicker would open the game up. Lo and behold. Can I be the OC now?)
Cal Band: GREAT, UCLA Band: FAIL
Overall: B. The score is illusory. Although it was an enjoyable fan experience, I still think we’re miles away from playing complete football. And we need complete football games against our next four opponents to notch a few victories under our belt. It needs to come together now.
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