Cal Football Blog will take a look at Worst and Best Case Scenario for our Cal Football team this 2011 season.
Take a look at our schedule when you can.
With so many new faces, new leaders, and new coaches there are many possibilities for Cal Football. However, many sports analyst project Cal at second or third to last in the Pac-12 North because of a lack of returning stars for Cal while coming off Jeff Tedford’s first losing season in 9 years. No hype and no expectations. Maybe that’s a good thing for Cal.
WORST CASE SCENARIOS PART 1/2
September 3rd, 2011 vs Fresno State Bulldogs @ Candlestick Park, San Francisco:
This is the first time Tedford faces his alma mater Fresno State. Fresno State Head Coach Pat Hill knows Tedford’s offensive style, and knows that his team must bring out a solid defense.
The game has started and Fresno State QB Derek Carr is bringing out his A game and torches a young Cal secondary. The Cal defensive line gets a couple sacks, but it is not enough because Cal’s young outside linebackers just can’t seem to get to the quarterback. On the other side Cal’s offense is barely doing anything, as the offensive line is overpowered forcing Maynard to scramble on every play. However, Maynard is available to fling one down to Keenan Allen in the endzone during a broken play for Cal’s one and only touchdown. To make things worse, former Cal specials teams coach and current Fresno State special teams coach, Pete Alamar, pulls off a fake punt for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Final score is 24-10 Fresno State. Fresno State has 200 yards rushing and 220 yards passing while a poor performance from the Bears leave Cal with just 80 yards rushing and 140 yards passing. “We lacked a sense of focus and urgency,” says Coach Tedford. “We just didn’t show up,” says OT Mitchell Schwartz as he furiously walks away from the media.
Cal overall record: [0-1]
September 10th, 2011 at Colorado Buffaloes @ Folsom Field, Boulder, CO:
This is the first home game for the Buffs and also for first year head coach Jon Embree. Colorado tries to bring out their best after a disappointing loss against Hawaii. However, Cal’s loss to Fresno State has lit a fire in the Cal squad and has brought out the best in the Cal defense. The game is full of defensive plays from both teams but lacking from the offensive side. At half-time the score is only 10-7 Cal with Cal’s only touchdown coming from Mychal Kendricks who picks up a fumble after Trevor Guyton hits the ball out of the QB’s hand. In the third quarter, the Cal offense is still sloppy as Maynard has trouble finding his receivers and Cal’s running backs can’t find holes to hit. Bryan Anger keeps the Colorado offense afar, alloing lots of playing space for the Cal Defense, as he continuously bombs 60 yarders in thin Colorado air. In the fourth quarter, the Cal offense finally finds some light as Maynard is able to connect with freshman Brendan Bigelow on a wheel route for a 40 yard touchdown. In the near end of the final quarter, Colorado quarterback Tyler Hansen is able to rally his team into the Red Zone. However, Hansen gets picked by Steve William in the back of the endzone and the game is over. Final score is 17-7 Cal. Colorado only has 70 yards rushing and 150 yards passing while Cal has 130 yards rushing and 210 yards passing. “Our guys were able to shut down RB Rodney Stewart and kept the pressure on Hansen,” says defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast. “There are still a lot of issues on the offense,” says Tedford,”But we will make sure to fix those problems before the next game”.
Cal overall record: [1-1]
September 17th, 2011 vs Presbyterian Blue Hose @ AT&T Park, San Francisco:
Cal fans are absolutely excited for the first home game of the season even though it is against lower division Presbyterian Blue Hose. On the very first whistle, Kaelin Clay goes for a school record 100 yard kickoff return as the Cal special teams is just too much for Presbyterian. On the third offensive play for Presbyterian, freshman NT Moala runs over both the center and right guard and pummels Blue Hose quarterback Brandon Miley, forcing a fumble that is picked up by Cal outside linebacker Cecil Whiteside, who runs into the endzone for an easy 25 yard score. In the very next offensive series for the Blue Hose, Brandon Miley throws an interception to strong safety Sean Cattouse, who also runs it in for a touchdown but only after Moala blocks Brandon Miley so hard Miley has to leave the game with a severe concussion. With seven and a half minutes already into the game, the Cal offense finally sets onto the field. Maynard and the offensive line find their groove against the Blue Hose defense, as the Cal offense easily scores on the Blue Hose on a 75 yard offensive drive. At the end of the first quarter it’s 28-0 Cal. Tedford then brings in his second and third team players for the rest of the game. The Final Score is 45-3 Cal, and Moala’s block ends up on ESPN highlights. Presbyterian has 20 yards rushing and 60 yards passing while Cal has 200 yards rushing and 200 yards passing. At the press conference, the media asks Prebyterian Head Coach Harold Nichols what happened – he replies, “What did you expect us to do? Win?”.
Cal overall record: [2-1]
September 24th, 2011 at Washington Huskies @ Husky Stadium, Seattle, WA:
It’s a miserable day in Seattle, as heavy rain falls on the grass at Husky Stadium. Washington Head Coach Steve Sarkisian has the Huskies coming off a major upset win against Nebraska. The energized defensive coordinator Nick Holt has his squad in the best shape of his career at Washington. Washington comes out blazing with a 24-3 first half. The Cal offensive line can’t hold back any of Washington’s defensive tackles or ends, forcing Maynard to scramble all day. The Cal defense struggles to hold back the Washington offense and RB Chris Polk. Series after series, the Cal offense goes three and out, while the Washington offense continues to tire out the Cal defense, causing cramps and injuries to some of Cal’s defensive players. Cal’s defense comes up with big plays here and there, but it’s no use because Cal’s offense just can’t score. Final score, 34-6 Washington. Washington has 150 yards rushing and 210 yards passing while Cal has 68 yards rushing and 98 yards passing. “Our offensive line was great out there today,” says Sarkisian,”and our defense was able to pressure the quarterback off the edge all game”.
Cal overall record: [2-2]
October 6th, 2011 at Oregon Ducks @ Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR:
In 2010, Oregon could not score over 40 points for the first time that season against the Cal Defense. However, this time, Oregon Head Coach Chip Kelly is ready to face Clancy Pendergast’s defensive schemes. With Oregon going into the game with all the momentum and one of the loudest crowds in the nation, they come out blazing. The Cal defense is not prepared for the speed of the Oregon running backs LaMichael James, Kenjon Barner, and Lache Seastrunk. The Oregon offense has Cal’s young outside linebackers dazed and confused as to where the ball is. Darron Thomas is extremely confident with his passing game as he easily makes completions to his wide receivers and TE David Paulson. The entire game, Cal’s defense is on its heels looking to find some way to stop the offense but continuously failing to do so. On the offensive side for Cal, it is Maynard’s worst game as he throws five picks, two of them to CB Cliff Harris. The Cal’s offense never find a rhythm as Oregon’s defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti laugh at Cal’s futility. Final score, 52-13 Oregon. Oregon has 275 yards rushing and 260 yards passing, while Cal only has 80 yards rushing and 62 yards passing. “Oregon’s defense was really good and my mechanics were completely off today,” says Zach Maynard.
Cal overall record: [2-3]
October 13th, 2011 vs USC Trojans @ AT&T Park, San Francisco:
With back to back Thursday games, the Golden Bears’ usual schedule is off and the players show signs of fatigue. Every year, Cal Fans say,”This is the year we beat USC”. However, for some reason USC always bring out their best against Cal. Once again, Matt Barkely is having a great game, throwing 7 of 8 completions in the first quarter. The Cal secondary is having trouble containing the USC wide receivers, Robert Woods and George Farmer. For some reason, Cal’s defense just can’t find a solution to the Trojan’s pro-style offenses. However, there is some life from the offense as Zach Maynard is able to hit both Marvin Jones and Keenan Allen on consecutive drives. Isi Sofele is having a decent game, but not enough to break out for large gains. At half time, the score is 24-13, giving Cal a sense of hope for a comeback in the second half. However, Lane Kiffin’s Trojans come out roaring in the third quarter, as the Trojans defense continuously pressure Maynard, forcing untimely throws and quick three-and-outs. Cal’s defense tire out as they are constantly on the field because of the lack of productivity from Cal’s offense. As Cal’s defense start to fatigue, the Trojans are able to develop a running game, which they later capitalize on during the fourth quarter to find plays for their receivers. As much as the Cal fans yell and cry in the stands, the Golden Bears just can’t pull off a comeback and fall to the Trojans once again. Final score, 48-16 USC. USC has 180 yards rushing and 210 yards passing, while Cal has 92 yards rushing and 100 yards passing. “This is a tough loss,” says Tedford,”But we are going to go back to the tapes and see what went wrong so we can get back on our feet against Utah”.
Cal overall record: [2-4]
October 22nd, 2011 vs Utah Utes @ AT&T Park, San Francisco:
The last time Cal played Utah was at the Poinsettia Bowl in 2009. Cal was up by two touchdowns early in the game, only to lose the lead and the game 37-27. After losing to USC in the past weekend, Cal comes out with lots of energy and focus. In the first quarter, Maynard and the offense seem to have found an answer to their recent woes as Cal go up 14-0 from a touchdown pass from Maynard to TE Anthony Miller and a huge 50 yard run from Isi Sofele. However, the second quarter becomes an intense battle as Cal continue to stop Jordan Wynn from finding any rhythm, while Utah’s defense is able to shut down Cal’s running game and minimize Maynard’s options. At half time, the score is 14-3 Cal. However, in the second half, Utah comes storming back as Wynn is able to connect with WR Jereme Brooks twice for touchdowns, while Utah’s defense continue to hinder Cal’s running game and containing Cal’s passing offense. After the third quarter, the game is 20-17 Utah. In the final quarter, Cal’s offensive lineman continue to struggle to contain Utah’s defensive linemen, allowing them to reach Maynard within seconds after the snap. Utah once again is able to execute a long drive, setting up a short touchdown run for Utah’s RB Eddie Wide. With the game almost running out of time and Cal down by ten, Cal’s offense give a last minute surge trying to get anything. With a few minutes left, the only thing Cal can get is a 36 yard field goal from Georgio Tavecchio. After the kickoff, Cal’s defense steps it up one more time forcing Utah to go three and out. Only one minute left in the game and Cal starts their drive on their own 27 needing a touchdown to tie the game. Maynard is able to connect with Keenan Allen a couple times to move the chains over to Utah’s 40 yard line. However, in the next play, Utah’s lineman forces Maynard out of the pocket, forcing him to scramble. Maynard looks like up and sees an open Marvin Jones near the endzone, so Maynard decides to sling it while he tries to run away from Utah’s defense. However, the throw is short and the pass is picked. The game is over, 27-20 Utah. Utah celebrates the victory with great joy as Cal somberly walks back to their lockers. Utah has 110 yards rushing and 130 yards passing, while Cal has 100 yards rushing and 100 yards passing. “Both sides played really great defense, but we wanted it more and we fought hard for this win. I’m proud of my guys,” says Utah’s Head Coach Kyle Whittingham.
Cal overall record: [2-5]