Game Five - October 16, 2004
Concerns about a mental letdown after last week's loss to #1 USC were for naught. Although the 21-14 halftime score was closer than many of the 69,000+ at Memorial Stadium would have liked - the Bears were able to take advantage of the porous UCLA defense and were able to withstand a couple of late Maurice Drew touchdowns to win 45-28.
Showing remarkable balance, the Bears passed for 279 yards and ran for 270 yards. With their 549 yards, The Bears pushed their season average to 518.2 which is on a pace to shatter the current school record of 458.2 yards a game set by the 1975 team. UCLA which came into the game with one of the worst rushing defenses in the nation did nothing to bolster their credentials - in addition to surrendering 205 yards to J.J. Arrington, the Bruins' run defense now averages 256.7 yards a game which puts them next to last out of 117 Division I-A teams, just ahead of hapless San Jose State.
Even though Aaron Rodgers' game rating of 180.27 gives him the third-best passing efficiency rating in the country - by another measure Saturday's performance could qualify as one of his least effective performances of the season - which would be hard to believe from any quarterback who throws for 263 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions. Yet Rodgers' standards are so high that most quarterbacks in the country would be thrilled to have one game in their entire careers as good as his game against UCLA.
California's postseason hopes benefitted from losses by Virginia and Purdue - they were leapfrogged by Wisconsin. While it was easy to envision Purdue dropping a game or two this season, Wisconsin has a considerably easier road ahead of them - although games against Michigan State, Iowa, and Minnesota figure to be tests. In terms of team immediately ahead of the Bears, Georgia figures to have tough games against Florida and Auburn, and while Florida State's befuddling 36-3 win over Virginia will keep them in the top 7 for a little while longer, they'll also have a game against Florida at the end of the year. Florida with two losses, has an outside chance of crashing the BCS top 12 if they win out - nonetheless, if Bear fans need a second team to cheer for this year, the Gators wouldn't be a bad choice.
The latest NCAA statistics were released on Monday afternoon with Cal featuring prominently, In terms of team statistics, Cal was #1 in total offense (518.2), #7 in rushing offense (256.2), #25 in passing offense (262.0), #3 in scoring offense (41.6), #10 in total defense (273.6), #9 in run defense (86.0), #37 in pass defense (187.6), #24 in scoring defense (17.2). In terms of individual statistics, J.J. Arrington's 4th in the country in rushing (156.6) - Texas's Cedric Benson leads with a 164.7 average; Arrington is also 5th in country in scoring, averaging 10.8 points a game; Aaron Rodgers is 3rd in the country in passing efficiency (181.1, just trailing Toledo's Bruce Gradkowski with a 181.5 rating)
Note:The Bears added to their nation's best 518.2 yard a game average with 549 yards - doing it with outstanding balance, 279 passing and 270 running...Cal's defense was outstanding in the first quarter, holding UCLA to three straight three-and-outs and limiting them to 18 yards. Although the Bruins picked it up, gaining 358 yards in the final three quarters, they were still outgained by the Bears who accumulated 436 yards...Cal had its way with the UCLA defense in the second half, gaining 268 yards in just 24 plays (11.2 avg.) - and two of those plays were kneel downs to finish the game...The Bears per play average increased with each quarter going from 4.9 in the first quarter to 13.1 in the fourth. Arrington's 205 yards were well-earned, totaling 55 yards (first quarter), 16 yards (2Q), 37 yards (3Q), and 97 yards (4Q). His 200-yard game is the 12th in school history and the first since Adimchinobe Echemandu ran for 201 yards against Arizona last season... Arrington's currently 4th in the country with a 156.6 yard per game average. With 783 yards in five games, he'll need 678 yards in six (113.0) or seven (95.4) games to break Chuck Muncie's school record of 1,460.
Note:Cal's running attack averaged 8.8 yards per carry on first down - it's almost impossible to beat a team under those circumstances. On the other hand, the Bear defense did an excellent job of thwarting UCLA's rushing attack and Maurice Drew, limiting them to 3.7 yards per carry and 82 yards for the game...Cal only faced third down on 11 out of 35 (31.4%) first down possessions. In the second half, the Bears had 14 first-down plays and only ended up facing third down three times. UCLA faced third down on 13 of 28 firstdown possessions (45.7%).
|Aaron Rodgers, CAL||32.4%||34||11||34||281||8.3||30||19||63.3||263||7||4||0||1||-5||3||23|
|CAL TEAM TOTAL||32.4%||34||11||34||281||8.3||30||19||63.3||263||7||4||0||1||-5||3||23|
|Drew Olson, UCLA||19.4%||41||8||41||297||7.2||36||20||55.6||298||5||3||0||2||-10||3||9|
|UCLA TEAM TOTAL||19.4%||41||8||41||297||7.2||36||20||55.6||298||5||3||0||2||-10||3||9|
|Game Note: While Aaron Rodgers had another strong game, Kyle Orton's ineffective effort against Purdue knocked the Boilermaker signal caller back in his quest for the Heisman. Auburn's Jason Campbell had a strong showing on Saturday gaining him some support, but Reggie Bush's effort against Arizona State earned him increased support. Yet his two highlight plays - the long punt return and his pass to Dwayne Jarrett both came when the game was out of hand. For the game Bush ran for 21 yards and had five catches - and arguments could be made that he was at best the third most effective Trojan on the field...UCLA defended Cal's short passing game well - in the first quarter, Rodgers was just 5-of-9 for 37 yards, and in the second quarter, he was 9-of-15 for 97 yards. In the second half, he turned it around, going 5-of-6 for 129 yards and two touchdowns...EXHIBIT A FOR WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE QB RATING SYSTEM; using the current NCAA rating formula, Rodgers emerges with a 180.27 game rating, while Olson comes out with a 152.59 rating. Currently, the nation's top rating belonged to Toledo's Bruce Gradkowski with a 181.5, and the #12 quarterback was Florida's Chris Leak with a 150.8 rating. While Olson had a good statistical game, for long segments of the game he was ineffective - getting a large boost from late game touchdowns of 46 and 43 yards to Maurice Drew and a 41 yard gain early in the second half. For the game, out of 41 pass plays, Olson had only eight of those plays result in first downs or touchdowns, for a success percentage of less than 20% which is very poor. Rodgers' success % of 32.4% was not one of his better efforts - actually it was his worst of the season, but anything in the 30s usually reflects a solid performance...For the season, Rodgers' success percentages have been 36.8% (vs. AFA), 45.1% (vs. NMSU), 37.5% (vs. OSU), 41.4% (vs. USC); Bear opponents' starting QBs numbers have been 23.5% (Carney, AFA), 20.0% (Pierce, NMSU), 15.8% (Anderson, OSU), and 20.7% (Leinart, USC).|
The Success Percentage attempts to measure|
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