October 15, 2013

Revisiting Cal's loss to UCLA

GoldenBearReport looks back on our 5 Things to Watch For against UCLA as a still reeling and depleted Cal team tries to shake off another resounding defeat.

1. Will UCLA's own injury woes have any impact?

Not that Cal could exploit.

The Bruins ripped off 488 total yards of offense and 37 points against Cal on Saturday night, and it really could have been worse. While the run game was held relatively in check (78 yards on 34 carries), Brett Hundley passed for 410 yards on the night thanks primarily to Cal's defenders struggling to make tackles in space, a byproduct of Noel Mazzone's SWINGPASSGASM offense. Defensively, this statistically was a better performance for Cal: they tallied two sacks, 8 tackles for loss, and the run defense was certainly better than what we've seen previously. But again, UCLA was playing without their starting running back and a reshuffled, young offensive line. Despite all that, much of Saturday night displayed a pretty stark contrast between the two teams: UCLA was still a much better team than Cal and it wasn't close. The absence of Ellis McCarthy on the defensive line had little effect on the game as well. It was Eddie Vanderdoes that forced Jared Goff's goalline fumble late in the game. Much more on that whole sequence later.

2. Will the Bruins be looking past Cal?

Guess not.

Turns out all the talk about the UCLA team watching last year's Cal-UCLA game last week and being intently focused on retribution for that embarrassment wasn't just lip service...

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