EUGENE, OR - OCTOBER 06: Quarterback Zach Maynard #15 of the California Golden Bears throws a pass against the Oregon Ducks on October 6, 2011 at the Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
It's always fun to get the view from the other side.
This week is no different...especially when its from the guys at California Golden Blogs.
Here is our Q&A with CGB...
1) was the Cal defense gassed in the second half against Oregon, or did Oregon just come up with a better scheme?
Berkelium97: On Oregon's first drive of the second half, their O-line was getting a tremendous push on our D-line. They had a very un-Oregon drive: long, methodical, and full of short gains. It looked like the line had simply been worn out form that point forward.
The Oregon passing game also came alive, as Oregon took advantage of Marc Anthony's
absence after he left the game with a separated shoulder. We stayed with our cover-zero scheme, but we simply did not have the personnel to keep up with the Ducks. Once we tired after a valiant first-half performance, it was all over.
2) Maynard plainly has an understanding with Keenan Allen but was all over the map against Oregon. Do Cal fans expect that they can develop a consistent understanding like McCoy and Shipley or Barkley and Woods?
Berkelium97: Maynard and Allen have some unbelievable chemistry. Several times this season Maynard has seen his receivers covered and scrambled out of the pocket to buy time, only to find the smallest imaginable window to pass to Allen. For every one of those we see five passes that are uncatchable, however. If Maynard can refine his mechanics, we might be able to see something like the duos you describe. Until then, Maynard's inaccuracy will limit their potential.
3) it looks like Cal's defense is pretty stout against interior running schemes, which is about all that SC can muster at the moment. Since SC is likely going to have to keep it in the air on offense, what should they expect from the Cal secondary?
Berkelium97: Not much. As I mentioned, Marc Anthony is out with a separated shoulder. Stefan McClure
, a true freshman, will probably start this week opposite Steve Williams. Safeties Sean Cattouse and DJ Campbell have their moments, but neither has filled the void left by Chris Conte.
From what I've seen of USC's passing game, screens, slants, and other short passes make up a large part of the passing game. Our young OLBs have not been great in coverage on those types of passes, as they have a tendency to bite on playaction, which opens up the middle for screens and TEs who break free. They have improved somewhat since getting torched by Colorado, but they still make mistakes.
Finally, our pass rush has been limited this season. Without a Cameron Jordan
up front, we have not been able to generate as much pressure as we could last year. We have loads of talent in the front seven, but many players need more experience before we can expect them to make a difference. Trevor Guyton
and Ernest Owusu
have had shining moments, but they have not lived up to their predecessors.
4) Jeff Tedford keeps players graduating, gets good recruits, and is very successful in the overall history of Cal football - but the last couple of years have been "interesting" in the QB front and it looks like Oregon has vaulted into the top of the conference for some time to come. How much longer does Tedford have before people lose patience about getting to the Rose Bowl or even further?
Berkelium97: Tedford has until the end of next season. By then we will have finished the renovation project and begun to groom the excellent recruiting classes of 2010 and 2011. If we cannot get to that 9-10-win level and challenge for the Pac-12 North after New Memorial is finished, Tedford's seat will warm up considerably. As the OC and QB coach this year, Tedford will face increased scrutiny if the offense fails to meet expectations this year.
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Should be a fun one on Thursday night...