Bears game wrapup

Well, the Bears finally showed up for their first football game.  Unfortunately, it took two games for that to happen.

The first series of the game had a “Tennessee” feel to it with the Bears going three and out and the Gophers taking advantage of poor pass coverage to turn a big play into a touchdown drive (at least this time the Bears tackled them before the endzone and they had to earn the last 20 yards or so).  After that, Tedford’s Bears finally took the field and although the game was tied up until the mid second quarter and in reach until the early 4th quarter, I had no doubt the Bears were going to win once Longshore marched the Bears down the field to tie it 7 to 7 and the defense stopped the gopher run game in its tracks on the following possesion.

I think the biggest revelation from this game is that there is no more quarterback controversy.  As I said in last week’s commentary, Longshore is still young and he needs time to mature.  Well, count this week as proof of his maturing… and fast.  He looked confident, he picked the right receivers, did a good job of avoiding the rush when he could and didn’t throw too many ill-advised passes.  Yes he’s got a ways to go, but he’s definitely on the “Tedford track” and I think he’ll be the quarterback we need.  Next week will give him time to refine his game for the ASU game in two weeks.

The second revelation is that this hybrid spread/pro offense can work.  While I don’t know that it is a improvement over the pure pro-set, it’s not a step back either.  We’ll be able to accomplish what we need with it.

The final revelation is that Syd Thompson is going to be OK at cornerback.  I was hopeful before the game that he too was on a learning curve and he proved it yesterday with solid play.

The biggest disappointment with the game was the penalties.  The players need to realize that it doesn’t matter what the other team does to you, you can’t retalliate.  It always seems to be the case that the retalliation is what gets the flag and this game was no different.  I still think the refs were calling a biased game and there were two or three plays where the Bears didn’t retalliate to plays that should have been called for personal fouls, but nevertheless, the Bears can’t afford to lose yards because of personal fouls.

While we’re on the topic of refs, that “blocking the punter when he’s out of the play” penalty was a J…O…K…E.  Are you stinking kidding me?  The guy was running straight at the play!  If Jackson had managed to elude the tacklers, that block on the punter would have been the difference between a TD and a 20-30 yard return.  That was by far the worst call by the refs.

So, what do we have in summary?  The Bears have a team that has a LOT of potential but is still young in a few more positions than they’d like.  I’m very hopeful, particularly with the schedule the Bears have (particularly remembering that ASU has a soft spot for flopping in Memorial Stadium) that the team will have the time they need to mature as the season progresses while still keeping the Bears in contention for a Rose Bowl bid.  The key games on the schedule still remain Oregon on October 7th at home and USC on the road on November 18th.

3 Responses to “Bears game wrapup”

  1. Michael Says:

    Great game! My dad and I were there in the young alumni section and it was a good day to be a bear!

    The people behind us were recent grads and they were very loud and obnoxious, but aside from that it was an overall awesome experience. Since I sit right next to the visitor’s section, I could see that they were being treated very well, with the exception of a “look at the scoreboard!” or somesuch when they cheered a good play by their team. You see, I have definitely noticed that Cal fans have been building a reputation as the most obnoxious fans of the Pac-10 and I have been seeing it a lot myself. I was infuriated at Big Game last year when they were taunting Stanford people (women, children, elderly) as they walked in front of our section to get to another part of the stadium. Here we were at someone else’s stadium, and we were acting like buffoons, at “non-combatants,” so to speak. The “take off that red shirt” business is classless, as well. Anyway, Minnesota people are the salt of the earth and I was just praying that we would show them the level of courtesy that was apparently shown to us in Tennessee. For the most part, it seemed to me things were good. I actually will be happy about the Tennessee game if it served to turn many of the obnoxious “bandwagon” fans off of Cal football.

    Hopefully I’ll see you next week against Portland State. Where do you sit?

  2. Ken Crawford Says:

    We sit in DD rows 44 and 45 on the edge: 1,2 & 3.

  3. Jason Says:

    The punter penalty was a joke, absolutely. We were talking about it amongst ourselves… if the punter can’t be blocked when he’s on the field, why should the punter be allowed on the field? If you’re going to have that rule, you should force the punter to walk off the field, or wear a special vest, or sit down on the ground after he kicks, or something. If he’s running around on the field of play, how can he not be part of the play?