First, it’s great to see Cal Football open with a win to start the 2011 Season, 36 to 21 over Fresno State. But, this blogger wasn’t able to see the game because he’s still in Atlanta, Georgia. Not such a bad thing – the ATL is jumping: DragonCon, and the Boise St. vs. Georgia game made downtown Atlanta the place to be. But that happens, my schedule and travel changes, I mean.
Second, given than Cal was going into the game with an entirely new offensive scheme, and coaching approach, I expected the Golden Bears to move the ball well. They did: 413 yards of total offense: 266 passing and 147 rushing. Not being able to “see” the game, I had to turn to my favorite place for the Cal Football blind: The Bear Insider Forums.
Did the forum contributors like the new system? Overall, the answer is ‘yes.’ Here’s a sample of some entries:
efa911 Active Bear –
Much improved.. moving the QB around. Spread option looks good. Much more dynamic than before. Offensive scheme matches team skill sets.
Execution: O-Line play needs to get better.
Maynard needs to tighten up his reads, throws, and slow down a little, but seems to be settling in. Starting to not stare down receivers so much.
I totally agree. We’ve implemented a lot of positive changes.
We actually looked more like a spread team today than the old I formation. Zach is a weapon on that read option play.
I was happy to see us integrate some of the Oklahoma ideas where you line up and get a look at the defense and then look to the sideline for the call. I think that makes a lot of sense.
I thought Sofele did pretty well, but I’m suprised we don’t have someone better. He can’t run through tall grass.
It’s hard to say until we start playing Pac 12 opponents, but I think we got a lot more offense than last year and the defense looks like it could be a little better too. I think we could go bowling again. I see a showdown with BYU in the Vegas bowl. I’d take that right now.
Responding to the above:
I thought this was Oregon-esque. The quacks get penalties regularly for their gimmicks/ miss-comms and this must have been one of the most penalized games in recent memory for us. If its gonna cost us 50 yards per game, we need to cut that shet out. Do it right or not at all.
Just looking at the time of possession data ( 30:34) and the total number of plays (69), plus the yards breakdowns here, and matching that with all of the videos from spring practice, and comments today, it reads as if we’re (Cal’s) a lot more like Oregon in using a play-action oriented spread attack.
My one concern, having watched Oregon find itself in a catch-up game with LSU, is does Cal have a package of plays to move the ball downfield in a hurry, or will it rely on the same spread plays?
That aside, given that there’s no “book” on this Cal team, expect more great offensive output until the fifth game of the season.
That’s when not being a mirror-image of Oregon will be a plus – the question is are we not that? I’m sure someone will have a take on that question.