October 13, 2013

Rapid Reaction: Cal vs. UCLA

Ten quickies following Cal's 37-10 loss to No. 11 UCLA:

1. Andy Buh didn't lose this game.

For maybe the first time this season, it was Cal's DEFENSE that actually played well enough for the Bears to win. One stat that stood out in paricular: Cal entered game allowing a conference-worst 5.41 yards per carry. UCLA has 78 yards on 34 carries for a 2.3 avg. The front seven still didn't get much pressure on the quarterback... but they got some! Their two sacks were a season high and Cal turned in EIGHT tackles for loss. They actually made drive-stalling plays and actually forced three three-and-outs, and held UCLA to field goals on three separate red zone trips. Yes, they still gave up 488 yards and 37 points, but for the first time this season it looked like they improved. A little.

2. The Cal offense kinda did.

Cal's "prolific" offense managed just 320 yards (most of which came with the Bruins running a veritable prevent defense), had FIVE three-and-outs, and also managed to turn the ball over twice. Jared Goff wasn't sharp, Khalfani Muhammad spent more time running east-to-west than he did north-to-south, and the playcalling on Cal's final opportunity to maybe make it a real game was flabbergasting. For all intents and purposes, Cal's inability to do pretty much anything on the offensive side of the ball killed any shot they had at upsetting the No. 11 team in the country.

3. Brendan Bigelow as a slot receiver? Two thumbs kinda sideways.

Four targets, two catches, one drop...

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