The 2011 Bridgepoint (?) Holiday Bowl from San Diego started off as a defensive battle for both the California Golden Bears and The Texas Longhorns, and ended with the Texas Defense causing Texas to prevail 21 to 10.
It’s a generally accepted view that you can’t win a game by turning the ball over more than the other team, and that observation held as Cal gave the ball to Texas six times. It seemed the Cal Defense could sustain the fist three turnovers, but after the fourth one, it seemed like they collectively gave up – coaches included.
The problem was the Cal Offense, and it’s unfortunate marriage to a pattern of play that is predicable. Cal gets sacked and lose a lot of yards, and so calls some kind of screen. Roll out to pass to the receiver on the side of the rollout; but no rollouts that are throwback passes. The list goes on and on.
And Cal could not solve the riddle of Texas’ defensive ends, who were pitching tents to occupy Cal’s backfield. Cal’t had a scheme problem here all year long, where the offensive tackle is placed in a position of having to chose between the linebacker and defensive end and the end’s moment of indecision produces a sack. That’s why going double tight end, and having a variety “hot” patterns to the weakside – and just throwing from five-wide sets – is the best approach.
Overall, Cal lost the game because it could not hold on to the ball, and it could not run. The grand total for the entire game was seven (7) yards rushing. That’s it. Texas ran for 109 yards, normally not a lot of yards, but by comparison a monstrous total for this game.
Still, with all of the Cal problems self-inflicted, give Texas credit for their game plan, and the win. Also give Cal credit for making it back to College Football Bowl Heaven.