Wednesday, September 30, 2009

SF Chronicle: USC-Cal a matchup of the deflated

Bruce Jenkins

Pete Carroll must be relieved to have his job back. In the wake of USC's loss to Washington, it had been taken last week by irate fans and a crabby media contingent (including the student newspaper) labeling Carroll as overrated and unprepared. Now it's Cal's Jeff Tedford in a dismantled state after yet another Pac-10 powerhouse ventured feebly into the great northwest.

The really disturbing part about the Bears' Eugene experience wasn't the final score - OK, we realize Oregon is superior - but that Cal simply wasn't ready to compete. Verran Tucker had an inexcusable drop on a deep crossing route in the first quarter. Josh Hill picked up an Oregon fumble and immediately fumbled it away. Kevin Riley and Jahvid Best botched a simple handoff in the second quarter, a turnover that led directly to the Oregon touchdown for 18-3.

Teams ranked sixth in the nation, as Cal was at the time, simply don't do that. But it was so perfectly Cal. Seasoned alums don't simply expect a devastating, spirit-crushing loss each season, we know it will happen. Maybe two or three times.

Link to rest of article.

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