Thursday, October 13, 2011

USC Spanks Cal 30-9

Zach Maynard threw three interceptions and fumbled the ball once in a bitch-slapping by USC at AT&T park. His half-brother got in on the action, fumbling once as well. Tedford insightfully noted "We just turned the ball over too much."
Another fun quote: "The fact he really telegraphed every ball he was going to throw made it easy," said USC linebacker Chris Galippo, who picked off one of Maynard's passes. "When a quarterback stares down his targets like that, you just follow his eyes."
Prior to quitting the University of Buffalo team, Maynard had 18 TDs and 15 interceptions.
WTF? Since Aaron Rodgers left, Cal has had a long line of mediocre QBS, called the "Cal quarterback malaise" by writer Dennis Dodd:
Joseph Ayoob
Steve Levy
Nate Longshore
Kevin Riley
Brock Mansion
And now we have Zach Maynard. He looked erratic at the first few games, and while he can run, he's no Michael Vick. He doesn't play smart and he's just not that good. The malaise continues.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Wall Street Journal: Cal is the Second Most Overrated Team in Past Decade

Today's Wall Street Journal had an article analyzing which college football teams are most notorious for failing to live up to preseason hype, based on the highest dropoff in points from the preseason poll to the final poll. Florida State was #1:

"Since 2001, the Seminoles have been overrated more than any other major program based on the change between how many votes they get in the preseason Associated Press poll and the final one (including this season). Over this span, the Seminoles have finished with 60.4% fewer points in the poll than they began with. That's the largest decline of any team with at least five preseason-poll appearances over this span.
California has the second-biggest drop-off (-47.7%), which is owed to the Golden Bears' repeated failures in the mid-2000s."

Friday, October 07, 2011

Blueprint on How to Beat Oregon

The collapse of the Cal defensive line in the second half last night shouldn't have been a surprise to the coaching staff. Oregon runs a play every 20 seconds, designed to wear down the defensive linemen. LSU recognized this a year ago and began preparing for this season's game against Oregon. Today's Wall Street Journal provided a detailed glimpse on how LSU's coaching staff addressed this threat:
By Scott Cacciola
LSU has earned the country's No. 1 ranking in college football largely through the strength of its defense, which has treated opponents like piƱatas this season, holding them to a sniveling two yards per rushing attempt. As LSU puts its unbeaten record on the line against No. 17 Florida this weekend, this unit is inviting comparisons to some of the all-time greats.But if you have any preconceptions about how a great Southeastern Conference defense gets made, you might want to set them aside. For one thing, this team's starting linemen and linebackers are rather small by the overfed standards of the SEC—they're about 20 pounds lighter, on average, than their equivalents at Alabama. But what really makes this defense unusual is the force that drove its development. It was built on fear—the fear of Oregon.
In September 2010, after LSU agreed to open the 2011 season against the Ducks, head coach Les Miles began to scheme—and sweat. Renowned for its up-tempo, spread-the-field offense and its flair for innovation, Oregon was a game-planning nightmare. (The only team to beat the Ducks last year was Auburn, which had six weeks to plot.) "You can't prepare for an uptempo style of play in one week," former Oregon coach Mike Bellotti said. "You can't do it in two weeks. It takes six weeks, minimum. If you can spend nine months on it, even better."
Miles and his staff recognized that losing to a PlayStation offense from the Pac-12 would be a tricky way to launch a season. But unlike many teams that have struggled to prepare for Oregon, LSU had a head start.
(For copyright reasons I can't include the entire article, but you hopefully can read the rest via this link).

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Tedford Spotted in Galt

Jeff Tedford was at the Cosumnes Oaks vs. Galt game on Friday night. Good to see he's spending his bye week on the recruitment trail.