downloading iPod movies


Recap

Posted by Eric | November 30, 2007 at 2:18 pm | In Awards, Coaches, DeSean, Players/Alumni | 3 Comments

My apologies, but 1L is getting the best of me and the discouraging season hasn’t helped. Here’s a digest of what we’ve missed here in the past week.

Cal in the news:

  • Freshman RB Jahvid Best is probably out for the year with a hip injury.
  • WR DeSean Jackson’s bad thigh injury makes him probable to play but limited on Saturday. Also out: TE Cameron Morrah and DT Matt Malele.
  • DE Rulon Davis will be back in action for Stanford.
  • Coordinators Bob Gregory (defense) and Jim Michalczik (offense) are on the short list of candidates for WSU’s head coach. Gregory is near the top of the list.
  • Everything is not OK with Coach Jeff Tedford.

Honors:

  • East-West Shrine Game invitees: FS Thomas DeCoud, OT Mike Gibson, WR Lavelle Hawkins, RB Justin Forsett, and TE Craig Stevens
  • Senior Bowl invitees: DeCoud, Forsett, and Hawkins

Cal-related:

Cal at Washington

Posted by Eric | November 17, 2007 at 4:59 am | In Games | 33 Comments

Cal helmetWashington helmet

It’s raining in Seattle.

The Huskies’ freshman quarterback Jake Locker is out, but Carl Bonnell is an adequate backup despite throwing 5 picks last season against the Bears. Meanwhile, Cal will be missing DE Rulon Davis, RB Jahvid Best, and DT Matt Malele. DB Marcus Ezeff may be back.

Cal has no business allowing Washington to stay close in this one, but we shall see how the team plays for pride. After Oregon’s loss to Arizona, hopes of 2 Pac-10 teams in BCS are gone. Emerald Bowl here we come.

EDIT: Here is a live video feed of the game from ESPN.

EDIT 2: Cal loses 37-23. Unbelievable.

Cal drowns in fourth quarter woes vs. USC

Posted by Steve | November 14, 2007 at 12:26 am | In Games, Quarterback | 2 Comments

In what was once considered to be one of the biggest games of the season, the Bears found themselves once again in a close game entering the fourth quarter. And yet again, they fell short, losing 24-17 to the Trojans. Entering the fourth quarter tied, the Bears final three possessions resulted in a three-and-out, a fumble, and an interception, allowing the Trojans to escape with a victory. It’s been reported that QB Nate Longshore has taken full responsibility for the loss:

“I take the responsibility on myself,” Longshore said. “I need to play better down the stretch to give us a chance to win. It’s a culmination of this late season. I haven’t been playing well enough for us to win.

“That’s what it comes down to, and I’ll be the first to say it.”

Also of importance in the article is the injury to RB Jahvid Best. He was taken out of the game during the third quarter with an apparent hip injury. To those at the game, his injury was not pronounced, as he came off the field on his own and was briefly examined on the tables by staff before watching the rest of the game. Although he has been ruled out for Saturday’s game up in Washington, let’s hope it is just precautionary and nothing too serious.

It seems to be a recurring theme of poor fourth quarter play on the part of QB Nate Longshore. Since returning from his ankle injury earlier in the season, he has failed to deliver a dominant fourth quarter, despite some considerably strong first halves. Some would argue that he hasn’t put up even a decent fourth quarter, as in the fourth quarter of the previous four games he’s only been 9-of-28 with 0 TDs and 5 INTs. Many fans have been calling for him to be replaced with red-shirt freshman Kevin Riley, who showed great potential in several fourth quarter drives during the Bears’ loss to Oregon State earlier in the season.

In response to these critics, Ted Lee over at Scout.com has done a breakdown of Longshore and Riley’s performances, analyzing their play game-by-game, quarter-by-quarter, and down-by-down. While I realize that Longshore’s play hasn’t been all that bad overall, it’s quite apparent that something is amiss and he has become incapable of playing a full four quarters to his full capacity. As Ted Lee says, “winning a game with a quarterback consistently putting up fourth quarter numbers like this is almost impossible.”

The media on USC-Cal

Posted by Eric | November 9, 2007 at 10:32 am | In Games | 26 Comments

USC helmetCal helmet

ESPN: “Top 25 Overview”

Just a few weeks ago, this game was penciled in as a must-see meeting between a pair of top 3 teams. But with five combined losses over the last five weeks, the matchup has lost some luster. USC has won the last three meetings and is 21-0 in November under Pete Carroll.

CC Times’ Jon Okanes on Bear Talk:

There wasn’t a whole lot to report from Thursday’s practice, and maybe that’s the biggest news. It was hard to tell that it was USC week this week. That’s not to say the Bears didn’t have a good and spirited week of practice, it just didn’t seem that different than another week. And it certainly didn’t seem to have the buzz as Tennessee week or Oregon week. That being said, I know the players all regard this as a big game, despite the fact that the stakes aren’t as high as some may have anticipated before the season.

CC Times: “Little, but pride, rides on USC game”

It’s finally here. Nov. 10. USC vs. Cal. The Pacific-10 game everybody has been waiting for this season. The showdown for . . . third place?

A strange thing has happened since ABC chose this game for its “Saturday Night Football” package, since the game sold out before the season, since the Trojans and Bears were the preseason picks as the top two teams in the Pac-10.

The rest of the conference caught up. Now, instead of being a battle for Pac-10 supremacy with possible Bowl Championship Series implications, Saturday’s game at Memorial Stadium simply will be a survival to stay relevant.

Daily Cal: “Remember, it’s still USC”

However, in the month of October, the now-No. 12 Trojans and the No. 24 Bears lost a combined five games, and what was supposed to be the game of the year is just not. But don’t tell Cal coach Jeff Tedford that the game has lost its importance.

“This is still a big conference game for us, maybe it doesn’t have the national attention or the weight,” Tedford said. “If we would have played it four weeks ago, it probably would have had a lot more weight of course but that’s the national thing. It still carries a lot of weight to us, and it still, I’m sure, it carries a lot of weight to USC.”

Both teams have fallen hard from their lofty rankings. The Bears (6-3, 3-3 in the Pac-10) ascended to No. 2 in national polls for the first time since 1951 before dropping three consecutive games—a first in Tedford’s career.

At the same time, the Trojans (7-2, 4-2) were the No. 1 team in the country. But unexpected losses to Oregon and—even more shocking­—Stanford dropped the Trojans off their perennial pedestal.

ESPN: “USC-Cal has diminished intrigue, but still has bowl implications”

[USC's] star-laden defense, however, has ranged from good to outstanding, though it too has suffered through numerous injuries. It turned in its most dominant performance of the season against the Beavers, piling up nine sacks. That’s probably why Cal coach Jeff Tedford isn’t buying projections that USC’s tumble from the nation’s elite is at hand. …

When Longshore is healthy — i.e., not appearing to favor his right ankle when he throws — Cal’s offense is second only to Oregon’s in the conference. … But when Longshore will be 100 percent is still in doubt. Perhaps in response, Tedford has been more conservative in his play calling of late, which has provoked muted irritation from a fan base that mostly still believes he walks on water.

In the workmanlike 20-17 victory over the Cougars, the Bears produced long drives –17, 20 and 11 plays — but their longest pass went for just 19 yards. Forsett had a 44-yard touchdown run, but gained only 88 yards on his other 31 carries. Moreover, the Bears must contend with this: USC is 21-0 in November under Carroll, though that perfect mark conveniently leaves out last season’s Dec. 2 loss to UCLA that knocked the Trojans out of the national title game.

OC Register: “USC looks to play more aggressive against Cal”

The USC defense … piling up nine sacks and holding the Beavers to fewer than 200 total yards and no touchdowns. But will an aggressive style work against a more intricate Cal offense, with the Pac-10’s best receiving corps and an offensive line that has allowed just eight sacks in nine games?

Somewhat surprisingly, the Trojans have spent a lot of time in aggressive, man-to-man defensive schemes in practice this week. The players seem to love it. …

After praising Cal’s receivers and pass protection, Carroll said, “I’m as confident in our ability to handle these guys as I’ve ever been based on how we’ve played this season.”

Daily Trojan: “Bears not in the position they expected to be when facing USC”

[Longshore] is still not fully recovered but plans to play Saturday against the Trojans. “We’ve been fairly banged up through the season here, and [Longshore] has been a little bit hobbled,” Tedford said. “He’s able to do more things now so he was very efficient last week.”

Despite all of the Golden Bears’ struggles, USC coach Pete Carroll said he still sees the team as dangerous as ever because of Tedford. “He’s done a fantastic job with their program,” Carroll said. “He’s turned the program around and given them a consistency that they haven’t had.”

The hype has died down for what was supposed to be a game that would determine the Pac-10 winner and possibly a trip to the national championship. And no one could be happier with the diminished attention than Tedford, whose team is taking baby steps on its way back to becoming a national power after snapping its three-game losing streak. “I think we have learned one thing - that winning does not come easy,” Tedford said. “We really need to appreciate it when we do get them.”

ESPN’s Mel Kiper: “5 to watch”

The best one-on-one matchup this week might very well take place in Berkeley between USC DT Sedrick Ellis (No. 5 on my Top 25 Big Board) and California center Alex Mack. Ellis is the fourth on the team in tackles, including 10½ stops behind the line of scrimmage and 7½ sacks. Mack is a junior but he might be the best pivot man in all of college football this [season].

Three other players to keep an eye for the Trojans are: Rey Maualuga, who leads has 7½ tackles for loss from the linebacker position; and cornerbacks Terrell Thomas and Cary Harris. Both will be extremely busy trying to keep tabs on Cal’s wide receiver duo of DeSean Jackson and Lavelle Hawkins.

SJ Mercury’s Jon Wilner: “Pac-10 picks of the week: What to make of Cal-USC”

USC (minus-4) AT CAL: Cal struggled to score against quality defenses of Oregon State and UCLA, and the Trojans’ D is at least as good. Will DeSean Jackson play big (like he did against Tennessee and Oregon) or disappear (like he did last year against USC)? Look for the Trojans to run the ball until Cal proves it can stop Washington/Johnson/McKnight. The Bears will have to be aggressive to get pressure on John David Booty, which means play-action could work wonders for the Trojans, especially play action to tight end Fred Davis, a nightmare matchup for everyone in the conference. If USC limits turnovers, it’s hard to see Cal winning. GIMME: USC.

SJ Mercury’s Jon Wilner: “Cal could get thumped”

Been pondering the Cal-USC game for a few days, and I can’t escape the feeling that the Bears are gonna get thumped.

I’m not talking about a four-touchdown differential or anything like that. I’m talking about a no-frills beat down … Cal makes a few big plays early, maybe even grabs the lead, but USC grinds away, takes control and wins by 10 or 14 points. Cal fans leave Memorial Stadium feeling like the Bears were never really in the game in the second half — never really had a legit chance to win.

I’m not sure why I feel that way, don’t have a great reason for thinking that: The Bears haven’t played well lately, but neither has USC — until last weekend, which it torched Oregon State.

Live blogging for Wash. St

Posted by Eric | November 3, 2007 at 5:46 pm | In Games | 17 Comments

Washington State helmetCal helmet

Well, here we go. The Bears host Washington State (3-5, 1-4 Pac-10) tonight with an opportunity to get back on track after a three-game skid.

Cal should definitely win this one, but given the shaky state of the Bears the Cougars are not a team to be overlooked. They’re coming off a big 27-7 victory over UCLA. However, while they’re 3-1 at home, they have not won on the road this season. They also have an excellent QB in Alex Brink but they’ll be missing starting running back Dwight Tardy.

6:44p: Sidenote, ASU taking a shellacking from Oregon right now. It’s 35-16 and the Ducks don’t look like they’re slowing down at all.

7:15p: Ducks win 35-23 while #2 BC trails 7-0 to FSU. We may be seeing Oregon in the National Championship game come January.

7:21p: Nate Longshore is the quarterback and he looks fine for now. Not sure what’s up with the coverage, but the game just switched on a few minutes into the first quarter. The Bears are sporting the gold jerseys and the offense is moving down the field pretty well.

7:27p: Whoops, FB Brian Holley just dropped a touchdown pass. Still, it looks like the offense is clicking right now, especially the ground game. Justin Forsett and Jahvid Best just made some great runs.

7:31p: QB sneak with Longshore already busted up? Bad idea. The announcers are skeptical about it too. But Forsett takes in the touchdown and the Bears have a successful, efficient opening drive. Bears lead, 7-0. Now… the defense goes to work.

7:38p: I’ll say cautiously that the defense looks alright… Zach Follett makes a big hit, Thomas DeCoud makes a great play breaking up a long pass. Luckily, Brink overthrows a wide-open receiver — whoever was covering him fell down.

7:42p: As usual, Longshore botches the long ball and throws an interception. Lavelle Hawkins appeared to be in perfect position but Longshore simply could not get the ball to him. Luckily, the defense subsequently holds the Cougs to a three-and-out, but let’s see if Longshore can overcome the last setback and lead the Bears down the field from inside the 5 yard line.

7:47p: Forsett and the ground game are tearing up the Cougs right now. However, I feel like I’ll be holding my breath whenever Longshore delivers the ball.

7:56p: Longshore attempts the long ball and is ALMOST PICKED AGAIN on a crucial 3rd and 2! His throws look absolutely terrible right now. The announcers can’t stop talking about his form which is obviously hampered by the ankle injury — they highlight his footwork and repeat “he is really struggling with his feet.” Will we see Kevin Riley soon?

***

EDIT 11/4: Sadly, the internet went out at my apartment complex at this point, effectively killing my live blogging efforts.

The Bears’ drive kept going with a long march down the field. However, with only runs attempted inside the 10 yard line, Cal unsurprisingly settled for a field goal. The first half finished uneventfully besides a nice interception capped with a 37-yard run by Syd’Quan Thompson. Cal totally dominated the time of possession of the first half but only ended up with 10 points to show for it.

In the third quarter, defenses on both squads looked pretty decent — or, the offenses couldn’t execute. There were a few field goals, but nothing too spectacular. 13-6.

Forsett made a bad fumble in the fourth quarter in the Cougar red zone and ended a nice, methodical drive. After exchanging three-and-outs and Washington State registering another field goal, Forsett broke out for a much-needed 44-yard touchdown run opened up by center Alex Mack. 20-9.

Down by two scores, the Cougs made a desperation drive and managed to score a touchdown with a very close two-point conversion. However, the Hawk comes up with the onside kick attempt – game over, Cal wins it 20-17.

This game was much too close for comfort, but I’m pleased that the losing “streak” is over. Longshore performed adequately and looked good with short passes — meanwhile, his long passes continue to terrify me. Overall, the offense is missing something intangible… things really need to come together or there’s no way the Bears take down USC next week.

Despite the clear need for improvement, I can’t help but feel good about the much-needed win last night. Go Bears.

Personnel updates, QB controversy?

Posted by Eric | November 2, 2007 at 9:24 am | In Players/Alumni, Quarterback | 5 Comments

WR Robert Jordan practiced yesterday and “he will play as long as he doesn’t suffer any ill effects on his shoulder.” He appeared to re-injure his hurt shoulder while laying out for a catch last week at Arizona State. FB Will Ta’ufo’ou is also practicing “without limitation” after missing last week due to recurring knee problems.

Sadly, DE Rulon Davis may be out for awhile with a sprained MCL. He returned from a foot injury and immediately made an impact on the pass rush in the Arizona State game. He’ll be sorely missed for the next few weeks.

What about the quarterback situation? Earlier, the CC Times’ J. Okanes observed:

After Nate Longshore took every first team rep at practice Tuesday, Kevin Riley took every first team rep on Wednesday. Longshore still got in some work, but coach Jeff Tedford said that Longshore needed a day of rest.

After Thursday’s practice, Okanes now thinks that QB Nate Longshore is clearly the starter. However, things might be a little murky:

Coach Jeff Tedford once again said it will be a gametime decision. …

Based on what I saw Thursday, it seemed fairly clear that Longshore is the starter. But based on Tedford’s comments, I’m not so sure… saying simply that he is going to continue to monitor Longshore’s condition until Saturday makes me think there might be a better chance of Riley playing than you might expect. …

For the record, Longshore seemed to be moving pretty well. The fact that he was able to practice fully on Tuesday after aggravating his ankle sprain Saturday made me think that he was in pretty good condition.

Yikes, this sounds familiar. Longshore may look normal now, but his ankle has a habit of breaking down as games go on. TBIOOF makes a good point here:

[T]he issue has not been Longshore’s ability to practice or play, but rather his ability to play an entire game. In both the UCLA and Arizona State games, he has started incredibly well, with the passing game leading the Bears. But he has faded to mediocrity in the third quarter, and has been outright awful in the fourth quarter - two interceptions against UCLA, two more against ASU, and the horrible final series against the Sun Devils.

Despite Tedford’s insistence to the contrary, Longshore’s mechanics have melted down as the game’s have gone on. He clearly has both been dropping to side-armed throws (a good indication of a bad leg) and throwing without using his legs at all.

So, the question is…if Longshore is still hampered, why would he be the starter?

We’ll probably see Longshore in the starting lineup tomorrow, but I hope that Tedford is willing to make a change if things fall apart — otherwise, we might be watching in pain as recent history repeats itself.

© 2006-08 the cal football fan Top