So the Bears are playing the team (Oregon St.) that slaughtered the team (WSU) that slaughtered us.
OK, we knew going in that we had the 2nd least experienced team in FBS, AND the toughest schedule — and that was before 7 of the original 11 defensive starters went out with injuries! Bottom line: You won’t find any criticism of the Defensive Coordinator here. A lot of these guys are still learning the basic skills & concepts for their position. There’s only so much time available for practice & for watching film, especially if you’re a student @ Cal. When you have a lot of experienced players, they help each other out. They give each other pointers, and talk about the fine points. I don’t think there’s a whole lot of that happening at Cal at this point. It’s damage control.
Still, the Cal defense played a pretty good game last Saturday; they were able to get several stops. Unfortunately, it was the offense that turned the ball over at the most inopportune times.
The biggest issue coming into this week is confidence. Will the offense, and freshman Jared Goff in particular, be able to regain the confidence that they built for themselves early in the season?
This week, I noticed that the San Jose Mercury News ran a story about Saturday’s game against Oregon St. The story didn’t seems to talk about Cal very much — but went on & on about OSU QB Sean Mannion. So that’s what it’s come to, I guess — maybe the sports writers feel that they can’t write about Cal without violating HIPA (the Health Information Privacy Act).
Saturday and Sunday I’ll be working on our biggest fundraiser of the year — our Pumpkin Ice Cream booth at the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival! By the time we wrap up, I’ll be comatose and rolling myself into bed. Enjoy the game, and Go Bears!
Oh yes — Coach Dykes is successful in getting his team to play with confidence. The Bears will rightfully claim a moral victory, and enjoy one on the scoreboard, too. Cal wins over the Beavers, 31-30.