Looking back on 2006: The Portland State game

(Note to readers: Today we continue in our look back at the games in the 2006 season with Portland State.  Here are links to our past look backs: Tennessee, Minnesota) 

The storyline:
Cal avoids any trip-up from Portland State, a I-AA team, albeit it a highly esteemed one, but a I-AA team nonetheless, by taking care of business in an easy and expected blowout, 42-16.

The reality:
The reality was not much different than the storyline.  It was a blowout and Cal didn’t struggle much.

The forgotten:
Forgotten in this game was the turnovers and penalties.  Cal turned the ball over 3 times including an interception on the first possession of the game.  Cal also had 9 penalties for 103 yards.  Luckily for Cal, their talent so outclassed Portland State that they were easily able to overcome those mistakes.  Some may also remember Tedford being critical of the fact that Cal didn’t score in the 2nd half.  While that was true, there were 2nd and 3rd string players at every position at one point or another in the 2nd half and this definitely affected the play of the Bears.

The 2006 learnings:
This was the 3rd consecutive game with a slow start for the offense.  It was definitely a concern after this game that the offense was taking its time to find its rhythm.  Also re-enforced in this game was Longshore’s firm grip on the starting position.  Both Ayoob and Levy got significant playing time in the 2nd half and neither had near the effectiveness of Longshore.  Finally, with so many backup offensive line and defensive players getting time, and those units mostly not missing a beat, it showed just how much depth Cal had in 2006.

The 2007 learnings:
It’s hard to apply too much from this game to 2007.  One point, and a minor one since team emotions are such a dynamic thing, is that it was clear that Cal came to play even though the game was against a I-AA team.  That suggests that Cal will come to play for their lesser non-conference games against Louisiana Tech and Colorado State in 2007.  Also, A number of the backups that got significant playing time in this game will be the players who replace those lost to graduation and the NFL.  The fact that they mostly did a good job, gives Cal fans reason to be hopeful.

The Conclusion:
Not much can be taken from this game because it was a I-AA team.  It didn’t really validate that Cal was back on track for 2006 because the opposition was so weak.  For 2007, particularly with no I-AA teams on the schedule, not much can be garnered besides talent evaluation of backup players.

2 Responses to “Looking back on 2006: The Portland State game”

  1. 07 Says:

    What was funny/sad was we knocked out two of their qb’s out of the game in the 1st quarter, forcing them to play their 3rd string for the rest of the game.

    While it was a I-AA team and we had the game in the bag, what sucked was they still had the rest of the season to win their championship, but we sadly took out their qb’s in the process of demolishing them.

    Think about having longshore and ayoob out, left with levy to play 10 more games. Dang, what a bummer.

  2. Ken Crawford Says:

    Yes, that was unfortunate for PSU. Although if memory serves, they were just knocked out fo the game, not the entire season. The starting QB was back on the sideline in pads in the 2nd half but didn’t play as a precautionary measure.