1. Offense is back on the right track, but still needs work – It would be nice to see Maynard spread the ball around a little more. The game today is a reasonable representation of his usual passing arsenal. Lots of throws to his brother, some throws to MJ1, and then a throw here or there to a tight end who is projected to be in the NFL. I know the nasty weather today probably forced a lot of conservative play calling, but it would be nice to get more sweep passes to the running back, short stick routes to other tight ends, or bubble screens to other wide receivers like Clay, Calvin, or Edmonds on the outside to break away from the conventional run-run-pass Jeff Tedford offense. As for the running game, it’s great to see carries getting split among Sofele, Anderson and Manual. Having a bruiser back for the goal-line and 3rd-short situations will prove to be a handy commodity moving forward for the Cal offense.
2. Defense proves its flexibility – For the most part, our corners did a good job shutting down Marquess Wilson, who one day will be playing on Sundays, while also getting pressure on Wazzou’s qb with just the front four. We knew our defense against the run was going to be rather stingy this season, but the secondary really stepped it up this game. We’re also seeing a lot more creative blitzing this year from Pendergast while has allowed for our young secondary to look a lot better on paper. Moving forward, our linebacking corp will get better, and it’s just a matter of time developing Steve Williams and Stephen McClure into shutdown corners will opposing offenses find it to be hard to move the ball on our defense.
3. Motivation moving forward – Obviously we’re in the same situation as we were in last year. Three games left: need to win one for bowl eligibility. Unlike last year though, the most likely game Cal can wins comes up first, as opposed to last on the plate. The ambiance last year with the horrid weather, placement during Thanksgiving weekend conjuring with Senior Day, and the last day of Memorial Stadium did not seem to bode too well and resulted in the disappointing defeat. However, this year we’ll get a struggling Oregon State team coming into our house though keep in mind, we haven’t beat these guys in Berkeley in a while. With the bitter taste of having to study for finals with all the other students still fresh in a lot of Cal football player’s heads, I’m sure that will serve as good motivation to get the thorn that is the Beavers out of our behinds.