Bear Intelligence - 10/10/05

This week's edition looks at one key to the game that went badly for the Bears, how the starting field position difference negated Cal's total offense advantage over UCLA, how the past weekend went for recruiting prospects including one who plays for his "state's most despised team", and a tribute musical that wasn't much of a tribute.

As a team opens the season with victory after victory, it gives cause for increased optimism and expectations, whether or not the reasons behind them have any bearing in reality.  California came into this season as a good team with a chance to be a very good team, depending on how the defensive front seven, quarterback, and receivers progressed.  A 5-0 record certainly looked very good, especially when a lot of other teams have picked up a loss or two along the way by this point.  Those circumstances helped catapult the Bears into the top 10 in two polls which put in on a parallel with last year's veteran team.

But back in June, when writers were putting together their articles for the preseason magazines, no one would draw the conclusion that this was going to be a team on the level of the 2004 team. It was just too early to tell.  Even now, halfway into the season, this is still a team that can be very good and as head coach Jeff Tedford has commented, there are parts of the team that are still works-in-progress.

Very rarely will a young team win game after game by large margins. While last year certainly set the bar high, seasons where you have six blowout conference wins just aren't going to happen very often.  There will be close games and from time to time, teams will lose them. In its first test of the season, against a ranked team, on the road, the Golden Bears played well. 

Certainly it's frustrating to lose a game the way the Cal did, and the sting of the loss, for some, will unfortunately overshadow what was otherwise a fantastically entertaining football game.  Even setting aside the two long punt returns, UCLA needed about a half-dozen key things to all go their way in the fourth quarter for them to win, and they all did.

Thankfully, it's October, and whether you call it atonement, redemption, revenge, or renewal, it's never more than 7 (or 14 if it's one of those infernal bye weeks) days away.

Yardage by quarter

The one number that stands out is the fourth quarter row.  All season long, Cal has been accustomed to firing up the steamroller and beating the opposition to a pulp in the fourth quarter.  Even after a third quarter where they had only 12 plays and 22 yards, UCLA showed tremendous resilience in bouncing back in the fourth quarter, outgaining Cal 149-64 and outscoring them 19-3.

Although one might begrudge Cal for not running the ball in the fourth quarter, the Bruins sniffed out the run by that point, holding Cal to 22 yards on eight carries, and 20 of those came on one Marshawn Lynch run.  (And for those wondering about Ayoob's scramble; since that play was originally a pass, it's counted as passing yardage.) 

CAL UCLA
TOTAL RUN PASS TOTAL RUN PASS
No. Yds. Avg. No. Yds. Avg. No. Yds. Avg. No. Yds. Avg. No. Yds. Avg. No. Yds. Avg.
1 16 118 7.4 4 74 18.5 12 44 3.7 20 137 6.9 7 45 6.4 13 92 7.1
2 23 208 9.0 14 101 7.2 9 107 11.9 16 86 5.4 8 52 6.5 8 34 4.3
3 21 153 7.3 12 112 9.3 9 41 4.6 12 22 1.9 5 11 2.2 7 11 1.6
4 16 64 4.0 8 22 2.7 8 42 5.3 21 149 7.1 10 61 6.1 11 88 8.0
Tot 76 543 7.1 38 309 8.1 38 234 6.2 69 394 5.7 30 169 5.6 39 215 5.5

 

Yardage by Downs

The Golden Bears shoved the UCLA defense around at will, averaging 7.2 yards a play on first down and 9.2 yards a play on second down.

Another measure of offensive domination is 3rd down percentage. On the average, a team will face a 3rd down situation on about half of it's 1st down plays.   UCLA faced 16 third downs out of 27 first down plays for a percentage of 59.2% which is a good showing by the Bear defense. However Cal's offense faced 3rd down just 14 times out of 39 first down plays for a percentage of 35.8%.

Cal's offensive 3rd down percentages for its other games have been 48.3% vs. Sacramento State, 32.3% vs. Washington, 42.3% vs. Illinois, 23.1% vs. New Mexico State and 41.3% vs. Arizona.

Cal's defensive 3rd down percentage for its other games have been 70.3% vs. Sacramento State, 46.4% vs. Washington, 70.0% vs. Illinois, 51.5% vs. New Mexico State, and 62.5% vs. Arizona.

CAL UCLA
TOTAL RUN PASS TOTAL RUN PASS
No. Yds. Avg. No. Yds. Avg. No. Yds. Avg. No. Yds. Avg. No. Yds. Avg. No. Yds. Avg.
1 39 279 7.2 28 189 6.7 11 90 8.2 27 127 4.7 12 67 5.6 15 60 4.0
2 22 202 9.2 8 117 14.7 14 83 5.9 23 151 6.5 12 42 3.5 11 109 9.9
3 14 62 4.4 1 1 1.0 13 61 4.7 16 88 5.5 4 19 4.8 12 69 5.8
4 1 2 2.0 1 2 2.0 -- -- -- 2 41 20.5 2 41 20.5 -- -- --
2 pt. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 1 -13 -13.0 -- -- -- 1 -13 -13.0
Tot 76 543 7.1 38 309 8.1 38 234 6.2 69 394 5.7 30 169 5.6 39 215 5.5

QB comparison

Both Joe Ayoob and Drew Olson had success percentages of less than 30%. Both players' final totals were astoundingly similar - with the one big difference being the sack that Olson took during the 2 point conversion attempt.  Ayoob's best quarter was the second when he was 4-of-9 for 107 yards, three first downs and a touchdown.   Olson's best was the fourth when he was 6-of-10 for 101 yards, two first downs and a touchdown.

Quarterback Analysis

 

 

Succ. % TP FD+TD TP Yds. Avg. Att. Comp. Pct. Yds. FD TD Int. Sacks Scram
Pl. Yds. Pl. Yds.
Joe Ayoob, CAL 26.3% 38 10 38 234 6.2 35 18 51.4 215 8 2 1 1 -2 2 21
Drew Olson, UCLA 27.0% 37 10 37 220 5.4 33 17 51.5 225 8 2 0 2 -18 2 13
Note:   The Success Percentage attempts to measure a QB's effectiveness by looking at how often he achieves a successful result (a first down by passing or running or touchdown) out of all pass plays attempted. Current QB rating methodology does not include either sacks or scrambles  - this rewards QBs taking sacks instead of throwing incompletions. In addition, QB rating formulas reward the eight-yard pass on 3rd-and-12 (i.e., it's a completion, it's not an interception, and there's an above average yardage gain). Anything over 40 is exceptional, 35 to 40 is very good, 30 to 35 is OK, and it's very rare that a team will win when a QB's success % is less than 30. Key: Succ.% - Touchdowns + First Downs/Total Plays, TP - pass attempts + sacks + scrambles, FD - first downs, TD - touchdowns, Yds - Yards, Avg - Average, Att. - Attempts, Comp. - Completions, Pct. - Completion %, Int - Interceptions, Pl. - Plays)

 

Dr. Ayoob and Mr. Joe (continued)

Ayoob's first half and second half differed quite a bit. In the first half, he was more accurate and completed longer passes as indicated by his first half yardage per completion of 13.4 versus his second half yardage per completion of 9.6. It should be pointed out that three of his second half passes were on target but were dropped.

On third down, his success percentage was comparable to his performance for the rest of the game.

Succ. % TP FD+TD TP Yds. Avg. Att. Comp. Pct. Yds. FD TD Int. Sacks Scram
Pl. Yds. Pl. Yds.
1st half 33.3% 21 7 21 151 7.2 19 11 57.8 148 5 2 0 1 -2 1 5
2nd half 17.6% 17 3 17 83 4.8 16 7 43.8 67 3 0 1 -- -- 1 16
3rd down 30.8% 13 4 13 61 4.7 12 6 50.0 56 4 0 0 -- -- 1 5

 

Starting Field Position

While much has been made about how much more yardage Cal gained than UCLA, if one factors in the starting field position difference, the yardage totals almost even out.  Generally Cal did a good job of keeping the Bruins pinned back. Nine of UCLA's possessions began either at or behind their 25, and another began on their 34.   Unfortunately the other four possessions - heavily influenced by two long punt returns, an interception, and a shanked punt, resulted in three touchdowns.

After Cal recovered a UCLA fumbled kickoff in the first quarter, the Bears began 11 of their next 13 possessions inside their 30 yard line, with another possession beginning on the 39, and another, courtesy of a combination of poor Bruin field position and short punt, beginning in UCLA territory.

  1st half 2nd half Total
California 31.0 26.6 28.9
UCLA 34.6 46.6 40.5
Bears advantage/disadvantage +6 -140 -134

Inside the 30

One key area which hurt the Bears on Saturday was their lack of productivity inside the UCLA 30. While the Bears scored all seven times they had the ball, only three possessions resulted in touchdowns while the other four resulted in field goals.  In the meantime, UCLA scored touchdowns on all six of their possessions inside Cal's 30, including all three in the fourth quarter.

  TD FG FGNG Opp. Opp. % Pts/Pos PtsPos%
California 3 4 0 7/7 100% 33/49 67.3
UCLA 6 6 0 6/6 100% 41/42 97.6
Key - TD-touchdown; FG-field goal; FGNG - field goal no good; Opp. - Opportunities; Opp.% - Opportunities possible; Pts/Pos - Points/Points Possible; PtsPos% - % of points possible scored

Century men

For the third time in past 18 games, Cal's had two 100-yard rushers in the same game. Whereas the other two were home games against Pac-10 bottom dwellers; Saturday's effort was on the road against a ranked team.i

  Year Opponent Yards Carries
Forsett/Lynch 2005 UCLA 153/135 10/22
Marshawn Lynch 2005 Arizona 107 20
Justin Forsett 2005 New Mexico St. 235 31
Justin Forsett 2005 Illinois 187 16
Marcus O'Keith 2005 Washington 103 6
Marshawn Lynch 2005 Sacramento St. 147 24
J.J. Arrington 2004 Texas Tech 173 25
J.J. Arrington 2004 Southern Mississippi 261 31
Arrington/Lynch 2004 Stanford 169/122 27/9
Arrington/Lynch 2004 Washington 122/121 22/9
J.J. Arrington 2004 Oregon 188 26
J.J. Arrington 2004 Arizona St. 188 30
J.J. Arrington 2004 Arizona 135 24
J.J. Arrington 2004 UCLA 205 29
J.J. Arrington 2004 USC 112 21
J.J. Arrington 2004 Oregon St. 108 22
J.J. Arrington 2004 New Mexico St. 177 16
J.J. Arrington 2004 Air Force 181 16

Checking in on the running backs

Forsett continues to extremely productive as his 153 yards on Saturday makes him the 9th leading rusher in the country, with an average of 132 yards a game. His per carry average of 8.68 is second only to Arkansas State's Antonio Warren (8.73). Half of Forsett's runs were for first downs or touchdowns.  Lynch was productive as well; the 50-yard run that was offset by penalty would have put him over 180 yards.  Bush's stats were skewed by a 65-yard run in the third quarter. Prior to that, he had 13 carries for 45 yards and was generally ineffective.  Hart put up solid but unspectacular numbers in Michigan's loss to Minnesota.  Peterson, with a nagging injury, saw very limited action in Oklahoma's game against Texas.

  Att. Yds. Avg. TD FD FL >28 OYds OTDs
Forsett, Cal 10 153 15.3 1 4 0 0 -1 0
Lynch, Cal 22 135 6.1 1 7 0 0 13 0
Bush, USC 14 110 7.8 0 3 0 0 33 0
Hart, Mich 28 109 3.8 1 6 0 0 4 0
Peterson, OU 3 10 3.3 0 0 0 0 0 0
Key - Att.-Carries; Yds. - Yards; Avg. - Average; TD - rushing touchdowns; FD - rushing first downs, FL - fumbles lost, >28 - yards gained after the team was up by 28 points or more; Oyds - yards gained through receiving/returns; OTDS - touchdowns gained through receiving/returns

Penalties

Cal's offense had a season-high six penalties: two holding, two false starts, one illegal motion and one pass interference call. The Bears also had one defensive penalty (roughing the passer) and one on special teams (personal foul).

UCLA had eight penalties; five on offense (four holding, one false start), two on defense (both holding), and one on special teams (illegal block).

Receiver distribution

California was 14-of-20 for 183 yards to its wide receivers, 3-of-7 for 17 yards to its running backs, but just 1-of-5 for 15 yards to its tight ends. Three passes were thrown away.

  Att. Comp. Yds.
DeSean Jackson 12 10 127
Robert Jordan 5 3 53
Craig Stevens 3 1 15
Lavelle Hawkins 3 1 3
Marshawn Lynch 2 1 13
Marcus O'Keith 2 1 3
Justin Forsett 2 1 0
Chris Manderino 1 0 0
Eric Beegun 1 0 0
John Rust 1 0 0
Thrown Away 3 0 0

Prospect watch...

McClymonds defeated Crenshaw (R.J. Garrett) 14-8 as junior running back Willie Griffin ran for 127 yards and senior running back Rico Thomas added  91 yards for the Warriors. Griffin credit the offensive line, calling them "The Great Wall of McClymonds."  An SFGate account also singled out the line play and the efforts of Derrick Hill.

Kevin Riley threw for three touchdowns (at least that's what might conclude from followiing Oregonlive's Friday high school sports blog) as Beaverton defeated Glencoe 61-6...Brandon Jones is expected to return from injury next week for O'Dea, but his backup, Quinton Richardson ran for 132 yards and two touchdowns as O'Dea defeated Bainbridge 19-0.  Bainbridge only suited up 29 players for the game...Buchanan (Justin Prueitt) easily handled North Bakersfield 28-0. The Bears defense limited the Stars to just 91 yards...Vista defeated Westview (Daniel Lofton) 24-7...Monte Vista (Mike Costanzo) limited Livermore to -13 yards rushing in cruising to a 38-7 victory...Modesto (Levirt Griffin) defeated Turlock 20-14...Stafon Johnson had 27 carries for 178 yards and two touchdowns as Dorsey (Keith Browner) beat Birmingham  46-21. For Birmingham, sophomore running back Milton Knox Jr. ran for 106 yards...Wilcox (Isaac Leatiota) increased its record to 5-0 as they defeated Santa Clara 31-7 on a Saturday game.

Jamere Holland demonstrated his big play capability on two touchdowns; a 78-yard pass reception and a 70-yard punt return as Taft defeated Narbonne 38-6. Holland, who was honored as a U.S. Army All American before the game, had two catches for 114 yards. For Narbonne, Major Culbert ran 32 times for 156 yards.  Said Culbert of Holland afterwards, "What can I say? There goes the best high school athlete in the nation."...WR/DB Alterraun Verner, who's been drawing some interest from Cal, had a 102-yard interception return for a touchdown as Mayfair defeated Gahr 33-0...WR Anthony Houston caught a 10-yard touchdown pass as Mission Bay defeated Crawford 30-0...Anthony McCoy caught five passes for 52 yards and had at least two sacks as Bullard defeated Central 30-0...Edison (Fresno) stunned Clovis East 21-20. For Clovis East, Tracy Slocum had 11 carries for 73 yards while struggling with a calf strain. Edison stopped Slocum on third-and-goal and fourth-and-goal runs with less than five minutes left...Allen Bradford had seven carries for 137 yards and three touchdowns as Colton poleaxed Yucaipa 66-0...In a related story, Bradford and Rancho Cucamonga's Devin Ross were both named U.S. Army All-Americans, and both will announce their college choices during the game...Mullen, anchored by OL Chris Guarnero, ran for more than 300 yards in defeating Boulder 41-28...

RB Lonyae Miller had 28 carries for 197 yards for Kaiser as they fell to La Sierra 34-15. Miller had touchdown runs of 73 and 47 yards called back because of penalties...Bellevue had little problem with Liberty, 35-14...James Montgomery has 22 carries for 246 yards and three touchdowns as Cordova defeated Galt 46-14...Louis Arnold's 116 yards weren't enough as Bishop O'Dowd lost a nail-biter to Hayward 14-13...Oakland High's Cameron Brown was at it again. One week after running for 337 yards, he ran for 288 yards as Oakland defeated Albany 37-6...Curtis Shaw ran 29 times for 165 yards as Lincoln narrowly defeated Tokay 7-6.  Nick Ruhl didn't have one of his sharper games, completing just one of his first 11 passes...In a battle of two of the Southland's top quarterbacks, Notre Dame's Garrett Green ran for 219 yards and three touchdowns, passed for 155 and even had an interception as Notre Dame defeated Valencia 35-28.  Rodney Glass added two touchdowns for the victorious Fighting Irish. For Valencia, Michael Herrick threw for 320 yards...Stanley Havili ran for 199 yards in Cottonwood's 49-20 victory over East, but getting dinged as "the state's most despised team" is never a good thing...Long Beach Poly defeated Millikan 65-6. Accounts of the game have been harder to track down than the inverted Jenny....Mission Viejo defeated De La Salle 36-26 as Chane Moline ran for 138 yards in front of a standing-room only crowd of more than 7,000.

Another sophomore running back to keep an eye on is Centennial Corona's Ryan Bass, who ran for 307 yards and four touchdowns as Centennial defeated Clovis West 42-21.  Clovis West had just given up 21 points in its previous four games and hadn't lost in two games. For an additional account, go here..Jimmy Clausen was 8-of-10 for 283 yards and four touchdown as Oaks Christian beat Santa Paula 65-12.  Marc Tyler scored at least twice, once on a 40-yard run and another time on a 60-yard kick return following a safety...Camarillo defeated Oak Park 31-21 as junior QB Samson Szakacsy had one of his best games of the season, going 16-of-22 for 245 yards and three touchdowns. For Camarillo, receiver Sean Creadick had nine catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns...Bishop Montgomery had a sophomore quarterback who was 3-of-5 for 175 yards for three touchdowns and played the entire second half as the Knights defeated Ribet Academy 55-14. This is noteworthy not just because the signal-caller was 5-foot-9 and 145 pounds, but because Miranda McOsker also plays on the girls' junior varsity basketball team.

Games of interest...

Involving Cal commits:
Crenshaw (R.J. Garrett) vs. Locke, 7:00 p.m.
Dorsey (Keith Browner) at Fremont, 7:00 p.m.
Monte Vista (Mike Costanzo) vs. Fremont, 7:00 p.m.
Beaverton (Kevin Riley) at Southridge, 7:30 p.m.
Buchanan (Justin Prueitt) at Madera, 7:30 p.m.
Modesto (Levirt Griffin) vs. Ceres, 7:30 p.m. at Downey
Westview (Daniel Lofton) vs Rancho Bernardo, 7:30 p.m.
Wilcox (Isaac Leatiota) at Los Gatos, 7:30 p.m.
O'Dea (Brandon Jones) at Lakeside, 7:00 p.m. (Saturday)

Other games of interest:
Narbonne vs. Washington, 3:00 p.m.
McClymonds vs. Castlemont, 3:45 p.m.
Oakland vs. Oakland Tech, 3:45 p.m.
Camarillo at Pacifica, 7:00 p.m.
Centennial (Corona) at Norco, 7:00 p.m.
Cottonwood at. East, 7:00 p.m.
Kaiser at Jurupa Valley, 7:00 p.m.
Lincoln (Sacramento) vs. Colfax, 7:30 p.m.
Long Beach Poly at Wilson, 7:00 p.m.
Mullen at Fairview, 7:00 p.m.
Rancho Cucamonga at. Los Osos, 7:00 p.m.
Bellevue vs. Sammamish, 7:30 p.m.
Bullard vs. Reedley, 7:30 p.m.
Clovis East at Clovis, 7:30 p.m.
Colton vs. Redlands, 7:30 p.m.
Cordova at El Dorado, 7:30 p.m.
Mission Viejo vs. Dana Hills, 7:30 p.m.
Oaks Christian at Fillmore, 7:30 p.m.
West Campus (Sacramento) at Mesa Verde, 7:30 p.m.
Bishop O'Dowd vs. San Lorenzo, 1:15 p.m. (Saturday)


Junior College
Laney at West Valley, 7:00 p.m. (Friday)
CCSF vs. Sacramento, 1:00 p.m. (Saturday)
College of the Canyons at Citrus, 1:00 p.m. (Saturday)
El Camino at Orange Coast, 5:00 p.m. (Saturday)

Pop culture tip:  ...The idea was to make this week's tip Almost Heaven, the tribute musical/stage production to John Denver. The production was playing in Walnut Creek for a month prior to moving to Broadway, and with several performances sold out, there must have been something to make this production distinct from being glorified karaoke with better singers. 

Uh......

While the intentions were probably pretty good, the result is more along the lines of American Idol does John Denver.  His music and life became substantially more interesting after he drifted from the Top 40 spotlight, but both of those were sparingly addressed.  A tribute musical ought to try to stay reasonably faithful to some of the singer's original arrangements for a few well-known songs. Instead of helping understand the cultural significance of Leaving On A Jet Plane, someone sings a smokey smooth-jazz version of the song.  One could ostensibly get away with singing "Rocky Mountain Ha" instead of "Rocky Mountain High" if the singer had an accent (which this one didn't); and what happened to "Take Me Home Country Roads" you wouldn't even wish on an Air Supply song. There's a lot more to gripe about, but that's probably more suited for an Internet message board somewhere.  

So, instead for good, clean, fun, if you ever liked playing Boggle but hated shaking up the box with all the cubes, messing with the sand time, and having an opponent drag out proceedings by attempting to pass off bogus words, you'll love this.

============

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As a team opens the season with victory after victory, it gives cause for increased optimism and expectations, whether or not the reasons behind them have any bearing in reality.  California came into this season as a good team with a chance to be a very good team, depending on how the defensive front seven, quarterback, and receivers progressed.  A 5-0 record certainly looked very good, especially when a lot of other teams have picked up a loss or two along the way by this point.  Those circumstances helped catapult the Bears into the top 10 in two polls which put in on a parallel with last year's veteran team.

But back in June, when writers were putting together their articles for the preseason magazines, no one would draw the conclusion that this was going to be a team on the level of the 2004 team. It was just too early to tell.  Even now, halfway into the season, this is still a team that can be very good and as head coach Jeff Tedford has commented, there are parts of the team that are still works-in-progress.

Very rarely will a young team win game after game by large margins. While last year certainly set the bar high, seasons where you have six blowout conference wins just aren't going to happen very often.  There will be close games and from time to time, teams will lose them. In its first test of the season, against a ranked team, on the road, the Golden Bears played well. 

Certainly it's frustrating to lose a game the way the Cal did, and the sting of the loss, for some, will unfortunately overshadow what was otherwise a fantastically entertaining football game.  Even setting aside the two long punt returns, UCLA needed about a half-dozen key things to all go their way in the fourth quarter for them to win, and they all did.

Thankfully, it's October, and whether you call it atonement, redemption, revenge, or renewal, it's never more than 7 (or 14 if it's one of those infernal bye weeks) days away.

Yardage by quarter

The one number that stands out is the fourth quarter row.  All season long, Cal has been accustomed to firing up the steamroller and beating the opposition to a pulp in the fourth quarter.  Even after a third quarter where they had only 12 plays and 22 yards, UCLA showed tremendous resilience in bouncing back in the fourth quarter, outgaining Cal 149-64 and outscoring them 19-3.

Although one might begrudge Cal for not running the ball in the fourth quarter, the Bruins sniffed out the run by that point, holding Cal to 22 yards on eight carries, and 20 of those came on one Marshawn Lynch run.  (And for those wondering about Ayoob's scramble; since that play was originally a pass, it's counted as passing yardage.) 

 

Yardage by Downs

The Golden Bears shoved the UCLA defense around at will, averaging 7.2 yards a play on first down and 9.2 yards a play on second down.

Another measure of offensive domination is 3rd down percentage. On the average, a team will face a 3rd down situation on about half of it's 1st down plays.   UCLA faced 16 third downs out of 27 first down plays for a percentage of 59.2% which is a good showing by the Bear defense. However Cal's offense faced 3rd down just 14 times out of 39 first down plays for a percentage of 35.8%.

Cal's offensive 3rd down percentages for its other games have been 48.3% vs. Sacramento State, 32.3% vs. Washington, 42.3% vs. Illinois, 23.1% vs. New Mexico State and 41.3% vs. Arizona.

Cal's defensive 3rd down percentage for its other games have been 70.3% vs. Sacramento State, 46.4% vs. Washington, 70.0% vs. Illinois, 51.5% vs. New Mexico State, and 62.5% vs. Arizona.

QB comparison

Both Joe Ayoob and Drew Olson had success percentages of less than 30%. Both players' final totals were astoundingly similar - with the one big difference being the sack that Olson took during the 2 point conversion attempt.  Ayoob's best quarter was the second when he was 4-of-9 for 107 yards, three first downs and a touchdown.   Olson's best was the fourth when he was 6-of-10 for 101 yards, two first downs and a touchdown.

 

Dr. Ayoob and Mr. Joe (continued)

Ayoob's first half and second half differed quite a bit. In the first half, he was more accurate and completed longer passes as indicated by his first half yardage per completion of 13.4 versus his second half yardage per completion of 9.6. It should be pointed out that three of his second half passes were on target but were dropped.

On third down, his success percentage was comparable to his performance for the rest of the game.

 

Starting Field Position

While much has been made about how much more yardage Cal gained than UCLA, if one factors in the starting field position difference, the yardage totals almost even out.  Generally Cal did a good job of keeping the Bruins pinned back. Nine of UCLA's possessions began either at or behind their 25, and another began on their 34.   Unfortunately the other four possessions - heavily influenced by two long punt returns, an interception, and a shanked punt, resulted in three touchdowns.

After Cal recovered a UCLA fumbled kickoff in the first quarter, the Bears began 11 of their next 13 possessions inside their 30 yard line, with another possession beginning on the 39, and another, courtesy of a combination of poor Bruin field position and short punt, beginning in UCLA territory.

Inside the 30

One key area which hurt the Bears on Saturday was their lack of productivity inside the UCLA 30. While the Bears scored all seven times they had the ball, only three possessions resulted in touchdowns while the other four resulted in field goals.  In the meantime, UCLA scored touchdowns on all six of their possessions inside Cal's 30, including all three in the fourth quarter.

Century men

For the third time in past 18 games, Cal's had two 100-yard rushers in the same game. Whereas the other two were home games against Pac-10 bottom dwellers; Saturday's effort was on the road against a ranked team.i

Checking in on the running backs

Forsett continues to extremely productive as his 153 yards on Saturday makes him the 9th leading rusher in the country, with an average of 132 yards a game. His per carry average of 8.68 is second only to Arkansas State's Antonio Warren (8.73). Half of Forsett's runs were for first downs or touchdowns.  Lynch was productive as well; the 50-yard run that was offset by penalty would have put him over 180 yards.  Bush's stats were skewed by a 65-yard run in the third quarter. Prior to that, he had 13 carries for 45 yards and was generally ineffective.  Hart put up solid but unspectacular numbers in Michigan's loss to Minnesota.  Peterson, with a nagging injury, saw very limited action in Oklahoma's game against Texas.

Penalties

Cal's offense had a season-high six penalties: two holding, two false starts, one illegal motion and one pass interference call. The Bears also had one defensive penalty (roughing the passer) and one on special teams (personal foul).

UCLA had eight penalties; five on offense (four holding, one false start), two on defense (both holding), and one on special teams (illegal block).

Receiver distribution

California was 14-of-20 for 183 yards to its wide receivers, 3-of-7 for 17 yards to its running backs, but just 1-of-5 for 15 yards to its tight ends. Three passes were thrown away.

Prospect watch...

McClymonds defeated Crenshaw (R.J. Garrett) 14-8 as junior running back Willie Griffin ran for 127 yards and senior running back Rico Thomas added  91 yards for the Warriors. Griffin credit the offensive line, calling them "The Great Wall of McClymonds."  An SFGate account also singled out the line play and the efforts of Derrick Hill.

Kevin Riley threw for three touchdowns (at least that's what might conclude from followiing Oregonlive's Friday high school sports blog) as Beaverton defeated Glencoe 61-6...Brandon Jones is expected to return from injury next week for O'Dea, but his backup, Quinton Richardson ran for 132 yards and two touchdowns as O'Dea defeated Bainbridge 19-0.  Bainbridge only suited up 29 players for the game...Buchanan (Justin Prueitt) easily handled North Bakersfield 28-0. The Bears defense limited the Stars to just 91 yards...Vista defeated Westview (Daniel Lofton) 24-7...Monte Vista (Mike Costanzo) limited Livermore to -13 yards rushing in cruising to a 38-7 victory...Modesto (Levirt Griffin) defeated Turlock 20-14...Stafon Johnson had 27 carries for 178 yards and two touchdowns as Dorsey (Keith Browner) beat Birmingham  46-21. For Birmingham, sophomore running back Milton Knox Jr. ran for 106 yards...Wilcox (Isaac Leatiota) increased its record to 5-0 as they defeated Santa Clara 31-7 on a Saturday game.

Jamere Holland demonstrated his big play capability on two touchdowns; a 78-yard pass reception and a 70-yard punt return as Taft defeated Narbonne 38-6. Holland, who was honored as a U.S. Army All American before the game, had two catches for 114 yards. For Narbonne, Major Culbert ran 32 times for 156 yards.  Said Culbert of Holland afterwards, "What can I say? There goes the best high school athlete in the nation."...WR/DB Alterraun Verner, who's been drawing some interest from Cal, had a 102-yard interception return for a touchdown as Mayfair defeated Gahr 33-0...WR Anthony Houston caught a 10-yard touchdown pass as Mission Bay defeated Crawford 30-0...Anthony McCoy caught five passes for 52 yards and had at least two sacks as Bullard defeated Central 30-0...Edison (Fresno) stunned Clovis East 21-20. For Clovis East, Tracy Slocum had 11 carries for 73 yards while struggling with a calf strain. Edison stopped Slocum on third-and-goal and fourth-and-goal runs with less than five minutes left...Allen Bradford had seven carries for 137 yards and three touchdowns as Colton poleaxed Yucaipa 66-0...In a related story, Bradford and Rancho Cucamonga's Devin Ross were both named U.S. Army All-Americans, and both will announce their college choices during the game...Mullen, anchored by OL Chris Guarnero, ran for more than 300 yards in defeating Boulder 41-28...

RB Lonyae Miller had 28 carries for 197 yards for Kaiser as they fell to La Sierra 34-15. Miller had touchdown runs of 73 and 47 yards called back because of penalties...Bellevue had little problem with Liberty, 35-14...James Montgomery has 22 carries for 246 yards and three touchdowns as Cordova defeated Galt 46-14...Louis Arnold's 116 yards weren't enough as Bishop O'Dowd lost a nail-biter to Hayward 14-13...Oakland High's Cameron Brown was at it again. One week after running for 337 yards, he ran for 288 yards as Oakland defeated Albany 37-6...Curtis Shaw ran 29 times for 165 yards as Lincoln narrowly defeated Tokay 7-6.  Nick Ruhl didn't have one of his sharper games, completing just one of his first 11 passes...In a battle of two of the Southland's top quarterbacks, Notre Dame's Garrett Green ran for 219 yards and three touchdowns, passed for 155 and even had an interception as Notre Dame defeated Valencia 35-28.  Rodney Glass added two touchdowns for the victorious Fighting Irish. For Valencia, Michael Herrick threw for 320 yards...Stanley Havili ran for 199 yards in Cottonwood's 49-20 victory over East, but getting dinged as "the state's most despised team" is never a good thing...Long Beach Poly defeated Millikan 65-6. Accounts of the game have been harder to track down than the inverted Jenny....Mission Viejo defeated De La Salle 36-26 as Chane Moline ran for 138 yards in front of a standing-room only crowd of more than 7,000.

Another sophomore running back to keep an eye on is Centennial Corona's Ryan Bass, who ran for 307 yards and four touchdowns as Centennial defeated Clovis West 42-21.  Clovis West had just given up 21 points in its previous four games and hadn't lost in two games. For an additional account, go here..Jimmy Clausen was 8-of-10 for 283 yards and four touchdown as Oaks Christian beat Santa Paula 65-12.  Marc Tyler scored at least twice, once on a 40-yard run and another time on a 60-yard kick return following a safety...Camarillo defeated Oak Park 31-21 as junior QB Samson Szakacsy had one of his best games of the season, going 16-of-22 for 245 yards and three touchdowns. For Camarillo, receiver Sean Creadick had nine catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns...Bishop Montgomery had a sophomore quarterback who was 3-of-5 for 175 yards for three touchdowns and played the entire second half as the Knights defeated Ribet Academy 55-14. This is noteworthy not just because the signal-caller was 5-foot-9 and 145 pounds, but because Miranda McOsker also plays on the girls' junior varsity basketball team.

Games of interest...

:
Crenshaw (R.J. Garrett) vs. Locke, 7:00 p.m.
Dorsey (Keith Browner) at Fremont, 7:00 p.m.
Monte Vista (Mike Costanzo) vs. Fremont, 7:00 p.m.
Beaverton (Kevin Riley) at Southridge, 7:30 p.m.
Buchanan (Justin Prueitt) at Madera, 7:30 p.m.
Modesto (Levirt Griffin) vs. Ceres, 7:30 p.m. at Downey
Westview (Daniel Lofton) vs Rancho Bernardo, 7:30 p.m.
Wilcox (Isaac Leatiota) at Los Gatos, 7:30 p.m.
O'Dea (Brandon Jones) at Lakeside, 7:00 p.m. (Saturday)

:
Narbonne vs. Washington, 3:00 p.m.
McClymonds vs. Castlemont, 3:45 p.m.
Oakland vs. Oakland Tech, 3:45 p.m.
Camarillo at Pacifica, 7:00 p.m.
Centennial (Corona) at Norco, 7:00 p.m.
Cottonwood at. East, 7:00 p.m.
Kaiser at Jurupa Valley, 7:00 p.m.
Lincoln (Sacramento) vs. Colfax, 7:30 p.m.
Long Beach Poly at Wilson, 7:00 p.m.
Mullen at Fairview, 7:00 p.m.
Rancho Cucamonga at. Los Osos, 7:00 p.m.
Bellevue vs. Sammamish, 7:30 p.m.
Bullard vs. Reedley, 7:30 p.m.
Clovis East at Clovis, 7:30 p.m.
Colton vs. Redlands, 7:30 p.m.
Cordova at El Dorado, 7:30 p.m.
Mission Viejo vs. Dana Hills, 7:30 p.m.
Oaks Christian at Fillmore, 7:30 p.m.
West Campus (Sacramento) at Mesa Verde, 7:30 p.m.
Bishop O'Dowd vs. San Lorenzo, 1:15 p.m. (Saturday)



Laney at West Valley, 7:00 p.m. (Friday)
CCSF vs. Sacramento, 1:00 p.m. (Saturday)
College of the Canyons at Citrus, 1:00 p.m. (Saturday)
El Camino at Orange Coast, 5:00 p.m. (Saturday)

Pop culture tip:  ...The idea was to make this week's tip Almost Heaven, the tribute musical/stage production to John Denver. The production was playing in Walnut Creek for a month prior to moving to Broadway, and with several performances sold out, there must have been something to make this production distinct from being glorified karaoke with better singers. 

Uh......

While the intentions were probably pretty good, the result is more along the lines of American Idol does John Denver.  His music and life became substantially more interesting after he drifted from the Top 40 spotlight, but both of those were sparingly addressed.  A tribute musical ought to try to stay reasonably faithful to some of the singer's original arrangements for a few well-known songs. Instead of helping understand the cultural significance of Leaving On A Jet Plane, someone sings a smokey smooth-jazz version of the song.  One could ostensibly get away with singing "Rocky Mountain Ha" instead of "Rocky Mountain High" if the singer had an accent (which this one didn't); and what happened to "Take Me Home Country Roads" you wouldn't even wish on an Air Supply song. There's a lot more to gripe about, but that's probably more suited for an Internet message board somewhere.  

So, instead for good, clean, fun, if you ever liked playing Boggle but hated shaking up the box with all the cubes, messing with the sand time, and having an opponent drag out proceedings by attempting to pass off bogus words, you'll love this.

============

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