Friday, October 16, 2009

(Very) Brief UCLA Pregame Thoughts

Sorry folks. On the road this week and weekend, and I'll be at the game, so no time for a preview, except the following thoughts:

1. The Cal defense needs to do two things: (1) attack, and (2) be ready to defend the TE pass, bubble screen, and dump offs to the RBs. That is the key to this game on defense. They are good enough to lock this offense down and force punts and turnovers, and they need to go into this game with that mentality. Anything short of that on the road, and the home team will eventually find its way on offense.

2. The Cal offense does not need to panic. Keep sticking with the game plans, be patient with the run, and finish blocks. The difference this week is just get Riley in rhythm. That is the difference between a balanced offense and a stagnant one. If gets comfortable, Cal will be fine offensively. If he doesn't, again, start drinking.

3. I said I'd hold off on making a judgment as to how good this team was until after this weekend. We'll learn something about this team this weekend.

4. I am not in the business of predictions, but I will say this: Tedford and his staff are usually well prepared, and get the team to play pretty well, after a bye when the expectations are not high. I don't know what we'll see, but I will be surprised if the team looks unprepared.

5. For a different perspective, watch some different players than the RBs and QB for a change. On offense, watch the guards for a whole series. Then watch the WRs run routes and block. On defense, watch the LBs for a whole series. It'll give you a good insight into how well guys are actually playing, regardless of how the play turns out.

Check links to the right for video streams of the game. Between JustinTV and the other sites, you'll find a link somewhere on one of those sites if you poke around long enough. Sorry the quick preview, but I'll have plenty of thoughts after the game.


SamoBear said...

Spot on analysis/comments again--I'm about as guilty as anyone calling for Tedford's neck the past two weeks--so thanks for the sane/rationale perspective. Yesterday's fairly complete victory leaves you wondering had the Bears executed in a similar fashion vs Oregon/SC, the outcome might not have been different, but closer.

Many game balls go to the Ludwig, Offensive Line, Vereen and Anger. The game film should be pretty much a joy to watch. Riley made the difficult throws and characteristically couldnt make the easy ones--although yesterday that didnt hurt us that much. Outside of the first drive and the long TD run, I thought our D held in the red zone and it looks like Hagan played much better, even though we were physicially outmatched vs Paulsen and Embry. I was especially pleased to see the entire team huddle up on the sideline before the start of the 4th quarter and show some emotional leadership that carried them to victory. All this was accomplished on the road, in a place Tedford has never won, vs an opponent as desperate as Cal to get a win, and in unbearable 100+ heat--think this team has character?

This was a big one/relief. This victory has the potential to carry the team for the next 6 games. Go Bears!

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