Encouraging signs in Cal's loss to Buckeyes

Greg Bartram/US PRESSWIREDespite the loss

Greg Bartram/US PRESSWIREDespite the loss

It’s difficult to determine whether Cal should be encouraged or discouraged by its 35-28 loss to No. 12 Ohio State on Saturday.

The Golden Bears played by far their best game of the young season, demonstrating capabilities that did not seem to be present in the first two games — a home loss to Nevada and a victory over FCS school Southern Utah, which was very much in the game until the fourth quarter.

The Bears outplayed the nationally ranked Buckeyes in the second half and had a chance to pull off their biggest road win in years.

#link_box { width: 150px; height: auto; margin: 0; padding: 0; margin: 10px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 10px; background-color: #fbfade; /* ecru – light yellow */ border: 1px solid #343a25; /* green – for summer arts */ float: left; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-size: 11px; } #link_box img, #link_box a { border 0px; border-style: none; outline: none; } #link_box h1 { margin: 0; padding: 5px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; text-transform: none; color: #8A0808; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 12px; text-align: center; } #link_box h2 { margin: 0; padding: 5px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; text-transform: none; color: #000; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 10px; text-align: center; } #link_box ul { list-style: none; margin: 0; padding: 0; border: none; } #link_box li { margin: 0px padding: 0px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; border-bottom-width: 1px; } #link_box li a { display: block; padding: 5px 5px 5px 15px; /* Padding for bullet */ /* border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; border-bottom-width: 1px; */ color: #000; width: 100%; width: auto; /* height: auto; */ /* border: 1px solid blue; */ margin: 0px; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-size: 11px; line-height: 14px; text-decoration: none; } #link_box li a: before { /* background-position: top left; */ } #link_box li a:hover { background-color: #ddd; color: #000; }

Quarterback Zach Maynard clearly played his best game of the season and probably the best game of his career, completing 26-of-37 passes with just one late interception despite facing constant pressure from the Ohio State defense. And Brendan Bigelow emerged as the big-play back the Bears had been lacking, producing touchdown runs of 81 and 49 yards, the former being one of the most impressive runs by a Cal back in recent memory.

However, much of that good news was canceled by the fact that Cal failed to finish off the victory, falling to 1-2 with a road game next at USC, which lost to Stanford 21-14.

The final five minutes were particularly disappointing for the Golden Bears. First, they failed to score points after getting to the Ohio State 25-yard line in a tie game. Then they gave up the game-winning touchdown on a horribly blown coverage that allowed Buckeyes receiver Devin Smith to get 10 yards behind the closest Cal defender on his way to an easy 72-yard touchdown reception on a third-and-seven play with 3:26 left.

It’s also difficult to determine whether the result eased or increased the pressure on Cal coach Jeff Tedford.

The Bears’ overall improvement, which included just four penalties, suggested Tedford had not lost control of the team. It also indicated the Bears have improved significantly since the opener and are capable of competing against high-quality opponents on the road.

But being unable to get his team to finish off the big win and getting the wrong result on a tough decision he made late in the game will mean the critics will remain.

Facing a fourth-and-one at the Ohio State 25 with 4:26 left in a tie game, Tedford opted to attempt a 42-yard field goal, even though kicker Vince D’Amato had missed his two previous field-goal attempts — of 40 and 42 yards, the former by a wide margin.

He missed this by an even wider margin, leaving the game tied and setting up the Buckeyes’ game-winning score. D’Amato’s three misses on makeable field goals played a major role in the loss.

 

collegeCollege Sports

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City College union deal staves off layoffs, class cuts

One year agreement allows community college time to improve its finances

A Homeless Outreach Team member speaks with homeless people along Jones Street in the Tenderloin on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Breed proposes another street outreach team to divert calls away from police

San Francisco would launch a new street outreach team to respond to… Continue reading

Chelsea Hung, who owns Washington Bakery and Restaurant in Chinatown with her mother, said the restaurant is only making about 30 percent of pre-pandemic revenues. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Chinatown’s slow recovery has business owners fearing for the future

Lack of outside visitors threatens to push neighborhood into ‘downward spiral’

A worker sets up irrigation lines to water almond tree rootstocks along Road 36 in Tulare, Calif. (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Gov. Gavin Newsom extends drought emergency to 41 California counties

Faith E. Pinho Los Angeles Times In a stark indication of California’s… Continue reading

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a new stimulus plan on Monday. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner file photo)
More Californians would get new $600 stimulus checks from the state under Newsom plan

Sophia Bollag The Sacramento Bee Two-thirds of Californians would get an extra… Continue reading

Most Read