Cal football head coach Jeff Tedford probably will be happy with the 63-12 score his California Golden Bears put up against the Presbyterian Blue Hose. He probably won't be too happy about anything else.
With the win, Tedford secured his 75th victory as head coach, passing the most successful coach in Cal history in Andy Smith. Smith is most famed for the Wonder Teams of the 1920s that went undefeated five seasons straight and captured four national championships. Tedford has been around a bit longer, but his success with the California football program is only paralleled by the Smith and Pappy Waldorf-coached teams from over a half-century ago.
Tedford has a long way to go if he wants his Golden Bears playing like those Wonder Bears.
The Bears racked up nine penalties for 89 yards, all before halftime. Despite the big chunks of yardage Cal picked up on meaningful plays (nearly 7.5 yards per play in the first half), Cal's offense made a lot of errors, particularly along the offensive line (the primary transgressors of said penalties). Dominic Galas continues to be off with his shotgun release (although Maynard is doing a better job of adjusting to throws with poor trajectories) and there were a few errors in run blocking and pass protection. With the fiercer Pac-12 defenses ahead, the Golden Bears need to start winning the battle up front on a down-by-down basis, or things could unravel in a hurry.
In the passing game, Zach Maynard missed a few makeable pass attempts on routine patterns, and then threw a pick-six when he didn't look off his primary read and target on his throw. Cornerback Justin Bethel saw Maynard staring Michael Calvin down and he broke on the ball, taking it right to the end zone for six more points. Tedford said in the postgame quotes that Maynard "needs to be more consistent."
Still, it was a 51 point victory, and there were plenty of positives Cal can hang their heads on. Maynard completed 15 of 25 passes for 215 yards for a fairly strong 8.6 yards per pass attempt and had three passing TDs before halftime. Almost every Cal running back on the depth chart got snaps and piled up the numbers. Isi Sofele put up 105 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns, including a sweet open-field run where he juked out several Presbyterian defenders, C.J. Anderson racked up 7.1 yards per run attempt and managed a touchdown of his own with some nice-looking runs, and Covaughn Deboskie-Johnson put in 7.8 yards per carry and his own TD in garbage time. It was an efficient run attack for the first three quarters before the Bears ran out the clock.
In the receiving game, Marvin Jones and Keenan Allen still look fantastic. Jones had some big-time catches (highlighted by a 51 yard touchdown on a post pattern he caught in stride), hauling in seven balls for 123 receiving yards. Allen didn't have quite as fancy a game after his heroics last week, but he had an incredible-looking hurdle and a touchdown catch before halftime, putting up 85 receiving yards on six catches. Tight end Spencer Hagan made perhaps the most impressive catch of the day, adjusting to a high ball in the back of the end zone to pick up another Cal touchdown.
The Cal offense wasn't quite as bad as the mess on special teams, with Giorgio Tavecchio struggling to connect on any kicks. Most of Tavecchio's kicks were placed on the dirt of the Giants infield (the part of the field where Cal was kicking off in the second and third quarters), so it looked like he struggled to get good footing and good impact on the ball. With the Giants not likely to make the playoffs, Tavecchio probably won't have to deal with the infield dirt again. He did managed to put in all nine of his extra points, which hopefully will be the beginning of the end of Cal's PAT troubles.
Bryan Anger also had a punt blocked, as errors by the Bears on the fundamentals of special teams continue to accumulate. On the plus side, Anger did knock his other two punts a good 50 yards, and true freshman Brendan Bigelow made what might be the first of many big plays for the Bears when he returned a kickoff for a touchdown to cancel that score out, but special teams (like almost everything else for the Bears) remains a work in progress.
Hardly any complaints can be registered against the Cal defense, which rebounded from a horrid performance against Colorado and overwhelmed their opponents early. Presbyterian managed only one first down in the first half off a Cal penalty. The Cal defense was dominant against an overwhelmed Presbyterian side, holding the Blue Hose offense to 48 total yards on 46 plays and no third down conversions until the final play of the game.
Ryan Singer was 4 for 14 for 23 yards. In relief, Brandon Miley completed only two of his six throws for five yards. Singer was sacked four times, as Ernest Owusu and Cecil Whiteside registered solo sacks and C.J. Moncrease, Deandre Coleman, Mustafa Jalil, David Wilkerson and Steve Williams contributed on sack assists. Singer also threw two interceptions to Sean Cattouse. One was right to the Cal safety playing the inside zone which Cattouse returned 20 yards, and another to the far right side of the field on a fade route that Cattouse leaped up and grabbed as the help safety. Cal registered four pass breakups--one each by D.J. Holt, J.P. Hurrell, Steve Williams and Josh Hill. Still, the pass defense wasn't really tested like it was last week; Keith Price, Darron Thomas and Matt Barkley await, so we'll know if they've learned from their Colorado adventures soon enough.
Cal moves into Pac-12 play next week when they take on the Washington Huskies in Seattle. Based on the quality of opponent, I doubt anyone has an idea what type of game will unfold next week. Neither does Jeff Tedford.
To further discuss the Cal-Presbyterian game, go to the California Golden Blogs.