Thursday, October 08, 2009

SF Examiner: Bears can still salvage their season

James Bucci

Lost in all the hand wringing, frustration and expletive-laced tirades regarding Cal's meltdown over the past two games against Oregon and USC is the fact a good season can still be hand. No, not a spectacular, Rose Bowl year, but a solid season, similar to ones the Bears have had before.  Expectations, usually heightened by bloated national rankings to begin the year, have led fans to believe something more existed when really, it didn't. Cal isn't as bad as its 42-3 and 30-3 losses to Oregon and USC, respectively, seem to indicate, but they weren't as good as its 3-0 start.

The Bears blew through Maryland and Eastern Washington to begin the year, survived against Minnesota and have collapsed the last two weeks. So, what kind of a team are they? That's what the rest of season is for.  It's clear though, the Bears suffered from major breakdowns on each side of the ball, not able to run, pass or tackle. Maybe a hangover from the Oregon game accounted for part of the troubles last Saturday against USC. But, playing at home, in front of 71,799 fans, you'd think the Bears would play with a tank full of confidence. Though after a Kevin Riley interception derailed the Bears' opening drive, which had moved the the USC 6-yard line, it seemed Cal played on empty for the rest of the game. To completely crumble on the road, where the combination of a hungry team and fans can have a snowball effect, is more understandable than to fall apart at home. But, that's exactly what the Bears did.

Link to rest of article.

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