The Cal Golden Bears defense put together an amazing performance last night against a prolific Oregon Ducks offense, but they came up just short in the end. The Ducks won 15-13 thanks to some huge special teams plays and strong defense (or horrible Cal offense depending on how you look at it). The Cal offense arguably did just enough to win if not for the field goal miss, but at the end of the day it was not quite enough. Here’s what folks have to say about the loss:
Cal Loses By The Slimmest of Margins – San Francisco Chronicle: “They played their hearts out, no question,” Tedford said of his defense. “To give up one touchdown against that offense, they played great. The defensive coaches had a great plan and the kids executed it. It’s a shame. I feel sick for the kids. … It hurts even worse to have a chance to win the game and not get it done.”
Inexperience Shows For Brock Mansion – San Francisco Chronicle: Mansion completed only 10 of his 28 passes for a paltry 69 yards. He was consistently off on his throws, either skipping them to his receivers on a bounce or sailing them well over their heads.
“I feel like I was playing a little too fast,” Mansion said. “I put a lot on my shoulders, especially in the first half. I was making all my reads. Every guy I threw to was wide open. It was (a matter of) me settling down and trying to get in a good rhythm.”
That never happened, though, and the Bears ended up paying the price.
Is there a roadmap for beating Oregon? – ESPN’s Pac-10 Blog: Oregon’s offense isn’t unstoppable: Did California provide a map for at least slowing down the Oregon offense? The Bears didn’t do anything fancy. They mostly just played man coverage, used seven guys in the box to stop the run and the defensive line played downhill, driving to penetrate, making it hard for Oregon’s spread-option to move laterally in the backfield. Or was it just a bad day for the Ducks? In any event, the performance by the Bears showed that — as good as the Ducks are — Oregon’s offense isn’t a supernatural force.
Cal Dares To Shutdown the Mighty Oregon Ducks – California Golden Blogs: When it comes to our team in big games, the Cal defense appears to be Matt Cain, and the Cal offense are the Giants hitters not giving him any run support. And the Cal special teams are like the opposite of Brian Wilson—no one fears the Giorgio Tavecchio porn-stache. Those who had us losing this one because our field goal kicker false started himself (which I didn’t even know was possible) are all dirty liars or Google super computers. It certainly is a new way for our Golden Bears to lose. It’s something we’ve become particularly adept at over the years.
USA Today: Jeff Maehl (FSY) caught a 29-yard pass for the Ducks’ only offensive touchdown, and No. 1 Oregon caught a huge break on an illegal motion penalty against California’s kicker during a 15-13 victory on Saturday night, keeping the Ducks on course for the BCS title game.
Cliff Harris returned a punt 64 yards for the only touchdown in the first half for the Ducks (10-0, 7-0 Pac-10), who undeniably wobbled on the road to a shot at the national championship. Oregon’s offense managed a season-low 317 yards and went scoreless in two quarters — yet the defense largely shut down Cal after its opening drive.