Bears Remain Out of Sync

Once again, Pac-10 refs made bad call after bad call, but Cal could not execute when needed. The Bears are not trying to play USC close they are trying to beat them. For the majority of the game, California trailed only 10-3. Cal did a lot of things right they kept the ball away from the USC offense…

Cal was able to pressure Mark Sanchez and the defense kept them in the game all the way to the fourth quarter. The same mistakes that have plagued Cal on offense all season long resurfaced again.

The quarterback situation still has not been settled. Kevin Riley or Nate Longshore should have been named the permanent starter from day one with only an injury forcing the other player into the game. A big part of any offense is timing and Longshore and Riley bring different sets of skills to the table. It has to be very difficult for a receiver to get comfortable with Longshore in the first half then have to adjust to Riley in the second half.

Longshore threw two interceptions in the same drive that resulted in the Bears only points of the contest. The first pick was called back by a roughing the passer penalty against Brian Cushing that made Pete Carroll lose his mind. A few plays later, Longshore threw another pick that was negated, because of a pass interference call. Overall, Longshore was 11-of-15 for 79 yards and no turnovers in the first half. But something made Jeff Tedford decide to insert Riley in the game at the start of the second half.

"We felt like the pass rush was pretty heated," Tedford said of why benched Longshore in favor of Riley. "We felt like Kevin could make a few more plays, getting out of there, having an escape dimension."

Jahvid Best and Shane Vereen are clearly the best two players on offense. But they did not touch the ball enough. Best had 13 carries for 30 yards and 3 catches for fifteen yards. Vereen only had 5 carries for 3 yards and one reception for 2 yards. There was a beautiful reception for a touchdown by Shane that for some odd reason was called back on an ineligible receiver down field penalty.

ABC went over this play numerous times and could not find an offensive lineman illegally downfield. Putting the bad call aside the Trojans found a way to constantly get the ball in their playmakers hands. The Trojan running backs had a busy night Stafon Johnson had 14 carries, C.J. Gable ran the ball 10 times and Joe McKnight had seven rushes and three receptions. The Bears must find a way to force feed the ball to Best and Vereen in the same manner.

The passing game has not been good all season. The blame for a lack of a passing game could be blamed on a quarterback situation that has remained in flux and the continuation of dropped passes by receivers. After 11 weeks, the passing game remains out of sync. Either the quarterback overthrows the ball or throws the ball behind the receiver or the receiver does not run the correct route. These types of mistakes can't be made against USC, a football team that does not lose a game in the month of November. Cal is known as an offensive team, but has not been consistent on that side of the ball all year. When you look at the Bears record of 6-3 they could be over achieving this year.

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