It's what he's been trying to get across all along.
During high school, he played in front of a few hundred people if he was lucky. Since most parents worked in San Francisco, they wouldn't be able to attend any Friday games, so his team's games were scheduled on Saturday. One problem with playing games on Saturday is that school's out, and aside from friends and family, there aren't going to be a lot of people watching, no matter how good you are.
Circumstances took him to City College of San Francisco where he was a part-time student in 2002 and going into 2003 he wasn't even sure when he'd play. The Rams had a strong team and were a strong candidate to win the state championship, and he was backing up Jason Swanson. Swanson got injured, and Joe took ever, leading CCSF to victory after victory. In the state championship game with CCSF trailing Grossmont 35-31 with 6 minutes left and the ball on the Ram 5-yard line, he drove the team 95 yards for the game-winning touchdown, including a 20-yard scramble on a 4th-and-5.
One of his coaches said about him, "That's the main thing to say about [him]. He's tough under pressure. He's comfortable when the game is on the line."
The following year, as a starter, the 2004 CCSF team steamrolled opponents with rout after rout. The Rams found themselves back in the state championship game where they were matched against College of the Canyons. COC came out with an offensive game plan that threw the Rams off-balance. The usually reliable quarterback had struggled in the early going, and early in the fourth quarter the Rams found themselves down 39-18. A 76-yard drive culminated with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Maurice Purify made it 39-25. Following a missed field goal, it took just five plays to drive 86 yards as the quarterback scrambled twice for 30 yards and was 3-of-3 for 51 yards passing. 39-32. Canyons went three and out and was forced to punt.
On its 30 yard line with less than two minutes left and a thick fog that severely affected onfield visibility, Joe went to work again. A six-yard scramble on 3rd-and-10 was followed by a 22-yard pass on 4th-and-4 that put the ball on the CCSF 46-yard line. Three completions put the ball on the Canyons 22 with 12 seconds left. He fired a pass deep into the end zone and was caught by Purify. The referee ruled that the ball was caught out of bounds, but through the fog and from a distance, it's difficult to see how that decision could have been made with any degree of certainty. A couple of people who were standing right by the end zone told the coaching staff afterwards that the catch was indeed inbounds. There was time for one last play, another pass into the end zone that was caught by John Bryant - but again ruled out of bounds.
Although the Rams had fallen short, the quarterback had very nearly pulled off a miracle rally for the second consecutive year. Combines can measure any number of things, but they can't measure how well a player will perform under game conditions. Every weekend, box scores are filled with quarterbacks who put up handsome stat lines who disappear during the fourth quarter.
Asked about those two games later, Joe said, "It's a matter of not wanting to lose. I don't like to lose. I'm a competitor and if you have that drive in you, you'll keep at it. We had plenty of time, I'd tell the offense something and they responded, it's just too bad that we came up short."
Going into the 2005 season with a new school and a new team, once again Joe started the season as a backup and once again got the starting job due to injury. Whatever he did in junior college wasn't going to matter a lick to 55,000 people. Coming on the heels of California's most successful season in decades, every incomplete pass and every sack was going to be compared to the 2004 season, when in all fairness, 2003 might have been a more appropriate comparison.
The nature of the quarterback position means that a play will receive inordinate credit if a team wins and an inordinate amount of blame if a team loses. Whatever issues the team might have had with regard to injuries, defense, and special teams were seemingly dwarfed by concerns about the quarterback. Two shaky fourth quarter performances, were leaving many to wonder if anything happened to the quarterback who said during spring practice, "I haven't played in front of 60,000 people before but at the same time, I feel like it's going to make me play that much better. I thrive under pressure."
Those who've followed his career closely during the past few years have been waiting for him to show the poise and temperament that can rally a team during its time of need, because they've seen it and they know what's possible. And if it wasn't going to be possible for him to achieve that level at Cal, then he wouldn't be here. In due time, his eighth game as quarterback at Cal will be about as well-remembered as his eighth game at CCSF or Aaron Rodgers' or Kyle Boller's eighth game, which in other words, is not very.
But it does represent a start. And something that couldn't be communicated through postgame interviews or media luncheons, comes clearly with a 57-yard touchdown to a walk-on redshirt freshman and another 9-yard touchdown to a former CCSF teammate in a come-from-behind victory.
It's what Joe Ayoob's been trying to get across all along.
Yardage by quarter
A stellar offensive effort by Cal was nearly overshadowed by Washington State's 600-yard effort. The Bears ran well with both Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett. Having Lynch in on kickoff duty just meant that he wasn't in on the offensive play immediately after the return, but had no adverse effects on the running game. The Bears passed well, but as the handwringing commenced in the third quarter, Joe Ayoob came through with a 5-of-8, 98-yard, 2-touchdown fourth quarter.
Yardage by Downs
The Bears were able to run successfully on first and second downs, averaging 6.7 and 7.2 yards. Cal's offense was proficient on all three downs; impressive given the health issues of the receiving corps and the offensive line. Washington State's averages look very good, but their numbers are badly skewed by a handful of extremely large gains. While the Bear defense has been occasionally vulnerable to the big play, the Cougars were the first team this year to hammer them with play after play.
Joe Ayoob's success percentage was weighed down by a difficult third quarter. During the first, third, and fourth quarters, his success percentage was 34.4%. Alex Brink's success percentage had even a wider variation between the 1st/3rd quarter (47.1%) and the 2nd/4th quarter (18.5%).
Other key elements of Ayoob's performance - he didn't take a sack after the first possession of the 3rd quarter, he didn't have a pass where he was throwing it away for the sake of throwing it away and during his last five passes he was 5-of-5 for 98 yards and two touchdowns
|Joe Ayoob, CAL||28.4%||38||11||38||260||6.8||35||19||54.3||277||7||4||2||3||-17||--||--|
|Alex Brink, WSU||30.2%||43||13||43||407||9.5||38||17||44.7||426||8||5||2||4||-23||1||4|
|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
Aside from a shaky third quarter, Ayoob had one of his better games of the year with a strong first half and a thrilling fourth quarter. While statistically, Ayoob's fourth quarter falls behind his Washington 2nd quarter (7-of-11, 147 yards), New Mexico State 1st quarter (7-of-9, 133 yards), Oregon State 3rd quarter (5-of-8, 120 yards), his UCLA 2nd quarter (4-of-9, 107 yards), it was his most significant quarter in terms of significance and context.
Odds and Evens
It's hard to say whether this has anything to do with not eating Wheaties or if it's just oneof those freak things, but Alex Brink did considerably better during odd-numbered quarters than even-numbered quarters on Saturday. Washington State was travelling to the south end of the field in the 2nd quarter, and was headed towards the north end in the 4th quarter. In the 1st and 3rd quarters, Brink averaged 20.6 yards per play and 35.1 yards per completion. In the 2nd and 4th quarters, those numbers dropped to 2.1 yards per play and 10.7 yards per completion. Included in Brink's even quarter merriment was an 0-for-7 2nd quarter that included two interceptions.
Starting Field Position
After disadvantages the past two games, Cal benefited from a 161-yard advantage in starting field position, which is difficult when a team has three turnovers. The Bears kept Washington State hemmed deep in their territory for much of the first half and the Cougars' punting attack was good, but not strong enough to back Cal up.
|1st half||2nd half||Total|
Inside the 30
Cal had one of its least effective games inside the opposition's 30-yard line, scoring on just three of six possessions. The fumble by Chris Manderino was dubious; his momentum seemed to have stopped, but with the cold weather it didn't figure that any quick whistles were going to be blown. Although Washington State had six scoring plays, only two occurred from inside Cal's 30. The Cougar's other scoring plays were 66, 63, 38, and 38 yards.
|Key - TD-touchdown; FG-field goal; TO - turnovers; Opp. - Opportunities; Opp.% - Opportunities possible; Pts/Pos - Points/Points Possible; PtsPos% - % of points possible scored|
The Century Men Strike Back
Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett went over the 100-yard mark in the same game for the second time this year. For both runners, it marked their fourth 100-yard games of the season. After eight games, Forsett has gained 867 yards, while Lynch has gained 653 yards. For both players to finish with more than 1,000 yards, and with Cal destined for a bowl game, Lynch will have to average 111.8 yards for the rest of the season while Forsett would have to average 33.3 yards.
While one can't technically call one game a streak, Cal's made its first step to starting a new one on Saturday.
Checking in on the running backs
Lost in all of the things there were to be lost in after last Saturday's game was that Marshawn Lynch had career highs in carries (25) and yards (160) against Washington State. How was he holding up towards the end? His last five carries were for 36 yards, for a 7.2 average. Maurice Drew has been added to the list this week, he had a solid week running but did more damage with two touchdown receptions. Justin Forsett is 106 carries into the season and he's still averaging 8.2 yards per carry. Reggie Bush had minimal impact as a running back or a wide receiver, but his 84-yard punt return assured him of another appearance on SportsCenter. Michael Hart and Adrian Peterson had various issues with injuries.
|Peterson, OU - DNP||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|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|
Either the second half of last Saturday's game was one of the cleanest halves ever played, or the refs were hoping to move the second half along as quickly as possible so they could head for someplace warm. Three penalties were called; two on special teams and one holding call that was declined. In the first half, five penalties were called.
Cal had five penalties called, three on offense (one personal foul, one encroachment, one delay of game), one on defense (pass interference), and one on special teams (interfering with the punt returner.)
Washington Sate had two penalties called, one on offense (false start) and one on special teams (false start).
With DeSean Jackson, Robert Jordan and Noah Smith out, Cal's starting receivers were Lavelle Hawkins, Sam DeSa and LaReylle Cunningham. The receivers were up to the task as the Bears were 14-of-21 for 197 to the threesome. Cal was 2-of-7 to its running backs for 16 yards and 3-of-6 to its tight ends for 64 yards. One incompletion is unaccounted for as it was hard to tell from the author's vantage point and it wasn't noted on the radio or the official play-by-play.
Story this week on Bishop O'Dowd's Louis Arnold. Bishop O'Dowd head coach Paul Perenon says Arnold is, "actually better on his 40th carry than his first."...A junior quarterback to keep an eye on is El Cerrito's Don Miguel Tutass. Tutass is being tutored by former Cal head coach Roger Theder....Derrick Hill and Josh Tatum were named to the U.S. Army All-American Game. Tatum will not play due to a torn left ACL...It's a new world when being 6-1 and 270 isn't going to be big enough to play offensive line in college...On the other hand, if your son is 5-6 and 120 and a sophomore in high school, don't laugh...
One of the biggest games of last Saturday was Crenshaw's 16-13 win over Dorsey. For Crenshaw, R.J. Garrett ran for 86 yards and two touchdowns, while Tyquan Knox caught five passes for 71 yards. Dorsey's Stafon Johnson carried the ball 29 times for 144 yards.
Monte Vista (Mike Costanzo) cruised to a 37-7 win over Granada, sophomore quarterback Drew McAllister was 20-of-34 for 268 yards...Wilcox (Isaac Leatiota) defeated Homestead 41-7...Buchanan (Justin Prueitt) upset Clovis West 15-14...Modesto (Levirt Griffin) limited Johansen to 108 yards in a 28-7 win...Torrey Pines shut out Westview (Daniel Lofton) 51-0...In a game critical for Beaverton's postseason aspirations, Kevin Riley took matters into his own hands, throwing 15-of-19 for 302 yards and four touchdowns and running 10 times for 56 yards and two more touchdowns as Beaverton routed Sunset 41-15...Brandon Jones continues to recover from a knee sprain as O'Dea easily handled Seattle Prep 42-7. It's hard to say if it's a typo or not, but in the game story, one of O'Dea's backs has the unusual dimensions of being 5-4 and 175 pounds.
Anthony McCoy had 7 catches for 208 yards and 3 touchdowns as Bullard defeated Edison 55-27...Tracy Slocum sat out Clovis East's 38-7 win over Central with a bone chip in his fibula...Although James Montgomery scored three touchdowns and had 22 carries for 150 yards, Cordova was defeated by Union Mine 24-21...Rico Thomas ran for 148 yards, Terrance McCoy ran for 108 yards, and Willie Griffin ran for 88 yards as McClymonds shut out Oakland 48-0. For Oakland, Cameron Brown was held to 61 yards...Dominic Williams ran for three touchdowns in Aragon's 39-14 win over Carlmont...Lonyae Miller has 13 carries for 215 yards and five touchdowns as Kaiser trounced Rubidoux 52-7...Although Allen Bradford ran for just 80 yards and Shareece Wright ran for just 48, Colton quarterback Bradley Sorenson was 5-for-5 for 173 yards and three touchdowns as the Eagles defeated Eisenhower 46-13...Major Culbert ran for 103 yards, but Narbonne needed a late touchdown to defeat Gardena 7-0...Louis Arnold had a pedestrian game by his standards, running for 217 yards in O'Dowd's 21-14 loss to California...Tyler Porras caught a 22-yard touchdown with 8.8 seconds left as Saguaro defeated Greenway 43-42....Brophy defeated St. Mary's 14-13. In defeat, Keaton Kristick ran for 122 yards.
Jamere Holland had six catches for 140 yards as Taft defeated Birmingham 25-0. Birmingham head coach Ed Croson said, "Their guys look like they're about 25 and our guys look like they're 12." Birmingham's Milton Knox was held to 60 yards on 18 carries...Konrad Reuland caught a touchdown pass in Mission Viejo's 62-0 win over Capistrano Valley...Bellevue had little trouble with Interlake 62-7...Cherry Creek defeated Mullen 24-21 on a last-second field goal.
Ryan Bass ran for 103 yards as Centennial defeated Valley View 35-14...Samson Szakacsy was 15-of-18 for 163 yards and three touchdowns as Camarillo shut out Oxnard 28-0...Marc Tyler had 19 carries for 200 yards and three touchdowns as Oaks Christian clobbered Palmdale 58-14...Sophomore quarterback Darius Banks was 14-of-22 for 252 yards as Culver City defeated Hawthorne 42-12. Culver City head coach Greg Goodyear said afterwards, "The kid is a definite Division 1 kid with the speed, the quickness. He just has to be a little more refined with his mechanics."
Roger Brunswick has a 79-yard touchdown catch as Fresno City College defeated Merced 35-14...Marcel Reece had touchdown catches of 64 and 58 yards as El Camino defeated Santa Ana 52-38...Laney's Frank Summers scored three touchdowns despite a sore ankle, but it wasn't enough as Los Medanos rallied to defeat Laney 45-44, overcoming one of the most horrendous evenings of special teams play at any level of football...Maurice Purify had 5 catches for 184 yards and 3 touchdowns as CCSF defeated Butte 42-14. Although he sat out the entire second half with tightness in a hamstring, he helped push the Rams to a 35-7 halftime lead with catches of 29, 10 and an 85-yarder off a screen pass where he beat a would-be tackler and ran untouched down the sideline.
Games of interest...For those of you who have trouble keeping your clovises straight, this Friday's Clovis East vs. Clovis West matchup could be confusing. Clovis East is the one with Tracy Slocum. Those of you who live in the Central Valley can catch the game on TV.
Involving Cal commits:
Crenshaw (R.J. Garrett) at Jefferson, 2:15 p.m.
Dorsey (Keith Browner) at Locke, 2:15 p.m.
Monte Vista (Mike Costanzo) vs. Foothill, 7:00 p.m.
O'Dea (Brandon Jones) at Eastside Catholic, 7:00 p.m.
Beaverton (Kevin Riley) at Hillsboro, 7:30 p.m.
Buchanan (Justin Prueitt) at Clovis, 7:30 p.m.
Modesto (Levirt Griffin) at Downey, 7:30 p.m.
Westview (Daniel Lofton) at Poway, 7:30 p.m.
Wilcox (Isaac Leatiota) at Milpitas, 7:30 p.m.
Other games of interest:
Aragon vs. San Mateo, 3:00 p.m.
McClymonds vs. Fremont, 3:45 p.m.
Birmingham vs. Cleveland, 7:00 p.m.
Bishop O'Dowd vs. Mount Eden, 7:00 p.m.
Camarillo vs. Channel Islands, 7:00 p.m.
Centennial (Corona) vs. Moreno Valley, 7:00 p.m.
Kaiser vs. Norte Vista, 7:00 p.m.
Taft vs. Chatsworth, 7:00 p.m.
Long Beach Poly at Compton, 7:00 p.m.
Narbonne at Gardena, 2:15 p.m.
Rancho Cucamonga at Upland, 7:00 p.m.
Bellevue vs. Issaquah, 7:30 p.m.
Bullard at Sanger, 7:30 p.m.
Clovis East vs. Clovis West, 7:30 p.m.
Colton vs. Rialto, 7:30 p.m.
Cordova at Oak Ridge 7:30 p.m.
Mission Viejo vs. Trabuco Hills, 7:30 p.m.
Oaks Christian at Carpinteria, 7:30 p.m.
West Campus (Sacramento) vs. Mira Loma, 7:30 p.m.
Laney at Diablo Valley, 1:00 p.m. (Saturday)
CCSF at San Mateo, 1:00 p.m. (Saturday)
El Camino at Cerritos , 7:00 p.m. (Saturday)
College of the Canyons vs. Hancock, 7:00 p.m. (Saturday)
Pop culture tip: It's that time of year when mailboxes begin to be deluged with mail order catalogs. Even though shopping through the Internet has become increasingly convenient, there's nothing like a catalog to jog your memory about something that you might have bought a long time ago but simply haven't thought about for awhile. One of Bear Intelligence's long-time favorite catalogs isn't for clothing, shoes, or calendars, but smoked meat. If you're one of those people who have everything and that people have trouble shopping for, consider this eternal question: what's going to come in handier during halftime of a basketball game at Haas, a striped tie or a bag of jerky?
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