Monday, September 28, 2009

Contra Costa Times: After Oregon's success, it's no mystery what Cal can expect from opposing defenses

Gary Peterson

Because we know you were wondering: Yes, Cal coach Jeff Tedford did break down the tape from Saturday's 42-3 loss at Oregon. And no, it did not break him.  "We got beat pretty soundly," Tedford said after putting his players through a light workout Sunday evening. "I don't think it's a reflection of who we are as a whole. It's that day, that environment, a very difficult place to play. It just seemed like we couldn't put anything together. You left there kind of shaking your head."

There are no secrets in the college football jungle. When one team has success against you, your next opponent is sure to notice. Among the many things Oregon did extremely well was crowd the line of scrimmage.  The Ducks overcommitted resources at the line to smother Jahvid Best, Cal's breakaway tailback. This, of course, left them vulnerable downfield, with cornerbacks playing man-to-man coverage and one safety to do the work of two. In effect, Oregon dared Cal to pass. Cal couldn't.

Quarterback Kevin Riley, who completed 64.7 percent of his passes for an average of 233 yards in the Bears' first three games, was held to 123 yards on 12-of-31 passing. With no reason to quit crowding the box, Oregon didn't. Thus Best, who averaged 137 yards, three touchdowns and 7.8 yards per carry in Cal's first three games, was held to 55, zero and 3.4. Not to be an alarmist or anything, but next up: USC.

Link to rest of article.


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