Commentary: Cal Must Develop Killer Instinct

The California Golden Bears defeated Colorado State 42-7 in a game that the score really did not indicate how the Bears played…

In the first half, California had one offensive touchdown. In all, 14 of their 21 first half points came on a blocked punt and a 43-yard interception return. After an extra week of practice, the Bear offense was not able to come out and assert themselves against a bad Colorado State football team. On the other hand, this is the type of game Cal has to find a way to win and they did.

Two weeks ago against Maryland, the Bears came out sluggish and were not able to gain control of the football game. Ca was able to create turnovers against the Terrapins, but the Bears were not able to take advantage of those turnovers and turn them into points. As a result, Cal ended up losing that game. On Saturday, if Cal did not create turnovers that turned into touchdowns the halftime score would have been 7-0 and the game could have played out differently.

The Bears find themselves in a position where the Pac-10 is winnable. After USC was upset by Oregon State on Thursday night, the Rose Bowl is a possibility for any team in the league that is willing to step up their game and seize the opportunity.

The Bears are already a game-and-a-half ahead of the Trojans in the standings. Cal cannot have the same type of offensive performance next week against Arizona State and expect to win the game. The Bears have three of the next four games at home. Cal must take advantage of this situation, and one way they can do this is by the offense putting points on the board early and often.

The Bear defense held the Rams starting quarterback Billy Farris to 12-of-25 passing with zero touchdowns and two interceptions. The Bears will not see another offense as inept as Colorado States was for the remainder of the season. For the Bears to compete for the Pac-10 title, they must be able to get off to better starts and learn to put games away early when they have the opportunity. Leaving the door of possibility open for their opponents is inexcusable.

The Bears have to find a way to get their passing and running game working in unison. Cal is quickly approaching the meat of their schedule with Arizona State at home, at Arizona, UCLA and Oregon at home in the next four games. The Bears have to be clicking on all cylinders during this stretch of games. The one benefit of the USC loss is that the Bears control their own destiny. Now, they must take advantage of the situation they have ahead of them.

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