Normally 38 points will get you a victory. The offense atoned for its mediocre performance against Air Force by rolling up 472 total yards of offense. The offense certainly wasn't perfect but they were exciting and showed the ability to be quite dangerous.
Kyle Boller had a tremendous week. Anytime you pass for 374 yards and 4 touchdowns you are doing something right. Boller also continually brought the Bears back in the second half from two ten point deficits. Of course two interceptions didn't help the cause but despite the loss Boller had a great comeback week to offset a less than stellar performance against Air Force.
Saturday was very nice day for Joe Igber. He was outstanding in the first half and on the whole he was a huge key to the Bears offensive success. Cal didn't bring in any options so it was Joe or nothing. Looks like he's well on his way to a great year. He might even have a shot at 1000 rushing yards.
You have to give the offensive line kudos for another solid performance. Igber had over 100 yards and the O-line only gave up one sack. The offensive production spoke volumes of the O- line's performance. Heck the offensive line even scored a crucial touchdown. The Offensive line has easily been the most solid and dependable unit to date.
What a big reversal of fortune for the wide receivers this week. After an abysmal showing against Air Force the wide receivers atoned in a big way making one handed touchdown grabs, diving catches. If Boller threw a catchable ball the wide receivers and tight ends snagged it.
Defense Oh boy the defense was ugly. 48 points and 578 yards later the defense could only throw up their hands and give up. Granted it wasn't as much a defensive lapse as it was an unstoppable Washington St. aerial assault. The defense held firm for one half and then couldn't stop WSU at all in the second half. However, the defensive stop on 4 and inches was impressive.
The D-line pressured Jason Gesser in the first half and limited his explosiveness. However in the second half the pass rush couldn't quite get there and Gesser had a field day on the secondary. If Cal is going to win games they need pressure from the front four. Two sacks aren't bad but it was nearly enough.
Linebackers Injuries really plagued the linebacker group and it showed up on draws in the second half. The draw is becoming a liability, which on top of Cal's secondary deficiencies is certainly becoming a glaring issue for seemingly obvious pass situations.
Secondary played fairly well in the first half. Once the second half starter the secondary couldn't stop Gesser and WSU. The secondary play brought back visions of last year. It's a shame that the secondary couldn't come up with a few big plays to give Cal a win. If Cal is going to have any chance against Washington in Seattle the secondary needs to get itself together and commit to making some huge stops.
Special teams had their worst game to this point in the season, which says a lot since special teams had a good game for the most part. The blocked punt for a touchdown by WSU was a critical blow and helped WSU maintain momentum in the second half. Cal did help itself by blocking a PAT. Kick and punt coverage was excellent and only had one breakdown.
The game was a tale of two halves. Cal dominated the first half and Washington State exploded in the second half. The game revealed some very positive and negative aspects to the Cal football team.
1) The Bears will have a chance to win every time they step out on the football field. This certainly was not the case last year.
2) Cal has repeatedly shown the ability to come back, which speaks volumes about the mental and psychological improvements that have been to this football team.
3) The defense is the Achilles' heel. The Bears will give up a lot of points and yards this year.
4) Cal is not as talented as most teams in the Pac-10. This is quite evident in speed, size, and depth.
5) Cal has a lot of room for improvement. The fans need to be patient. Football is a very difficult sport to improve in overnight. So far the Bears have played extremely well given their relative lack of athletic ability. The process of turning the program around requires reversing ten years of mediocrity while also dealing with effects of NCAA penalties.
Another valiant performance by the Bears, but unfortunately it wasn't quite enough. The attitude is there, but the talent and depth isn't. A tough loss to be sure but Washington St. badly outplayed Cal in the second half. This particular game pointed out that coaching could only go so far, but eventually talent, when playing at its potential, will outperform a well-coached team. Two consecutive losses will certainly bring out the doubters and the nay-Sayers, but the last two losses have been against two bowl quality teams, one of which, WSU, could be a BCS team. Yes, Cal is 3-2 but they are 3-2 having had the opportunity to win all five games. After the first five games of last year Cal was 0-5 having had only one shot at winning a game. Things are getting better, but it will take time. Next up for Cal is a return to the "chamber of horrors", Husky Field, in Seattle, where the Bears will look to snap a 25-year losing streak to the Huskies.