Saturday, September 27, 2008

A win over CSU that doesn't quite feel right, for the second year in a row

Just some quick thoughts - analysis to follow.

1. What is it about the Rams that leaves the Bears feeling so unsatisfied after beating them? Just like last year, I think everyone expected Cal's offense to light them up, but it never really happened. Can't say it's the Ram defense, because just like last year, Cal just gave away big plays on offense, whether with overthrows, drops, or turnovers. Last year, people said it was the altitude that was making Longshore's balls sail (that sounds funny, ha ha). What's Riley's excuse?

2. Injuries are taking their toll once again. Starting left guard Guarnero is out for the season. One of Boskovich and Fisher were supposed to start at the beginning of camp, so we'll see what they've got pretty quick. Rulon Davis gets the Fred Taylor award for being injured every year. I have noticed something about Davis - as great a player as he is, his gait is a bit heavy-footed and awkward at times. This is the second foot/lower leg injury he's had. Wonder if the two things are correlated. And then of course there's Best. Cal will miss his big play ability, but there will be less drop-off than people think. Vereen is a more traditional tailback, who will perform a bit more like Arrington and Forsett, but with a bit more quickness and wiggle. But more than that, I think the coaches will stop all the lateral passes which they've been forcing to Best the last four games, and which frankly have stalled the offense at times.

3. Tedford told the press Riley was pulled because he wasn't hitting open guys and was playing poorly. In response to questions about opening up the QB competition, he said "We'll see." Yikes. Fact is, and I said it in the preview, Riley has a bit of the yips with wide open, pre-scripted throws. Methodical coaches like Tedford don't like screw-ups on those plays - those are rhythm plays for the offense and he expects them to be completions. Look, Cal has a unique luxury with these 2 QBs. Riley will learn from all this, but he's not getting benched because of INTs or losing the game for us. He's getting benched in a win because coach wants him to play better. Meanwhile, Longshore is a great backup who, right now at least, opens up the playbook a lot more. Good situation to be in.


Anonymous said...

What's the source of your info on Guarnero? I read as late as 9/26 he was listed as probable. Reversing Schwartz and Teofilo at the tackle position suggests Tepper will not be back any time soon. Is he out for the duration as well?


SDGoldenBear said...

Tedford's post-game comments - reported by Chris Nguon on Bear Territory. Torn tendon, done for season.

oldblue said...

Apparently, Coach Tedord is looking for a kicker in order to upgrade our sitation on kickoffs. If the reports on his post game comments are accurate, he may even be scouring the student body for a soccer player with enough leg to reach the end zone on kick-offs.

Riley was not sharp and it did appear that he threw better on roll-outs. He definitely missed open receivers from the pocket. I'm not sure what the answer is. He didn't seem to be having these problems in the opener against MSU.

The offense was sloppy against CSU. We ran the ball well, but turnovers nullified a couple of great drives. The passing attack sputtered. Longshore seemed to gain a rhythm and even rolled out on one play, but I wish Riley would find a comfort zone. As QB he gives us more options and a generally more potent offense.

oldblue said...

I wouldn't want Best gone for the year, but I liked what I saw, not only in Vereen, but Tracy Slocum. If we have to do without best, it looks like we can still have a talented tandem of running backs.

SDGoldenBear said...

I agree - the offense is not where it needs to be, and is far behind where it was in 2006 or last year before Lonshore got hurt. Riley is not turning it over, but his inability to move the offense in pass is bogging things down. I think he's going to be on a short leash vs ASU.
And yeah, I think the run game is going to be fine with Vereen and Slocum. Remember, Vereen was just as highly touted and recruited as Best - he is a very, very good tailback.

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