Cal Postgame Thread

ThePiombino

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Can someone explain to me why we didn't take a shot at the end zone/arm punt on 4th down at the end of the 1st half with only like 5/6 seconds on the clock?

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stlnd01

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Can someone explain to me why we didn't take a shot at the end zone/arm punt on 4th down at the end of the 1st half with only like 5/6 seconds on the clock?

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I kind of got punting when there were 35 seconds on the clock and they had timeouts. But then we ran the clock down to three seconds and Cal inexplicably called a timeout.
So, no.
 

TNUtoNotreDame

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Can someone explain to me why we didn't take a shot at the end zone/arm punt on 4th down at the end of the 1st half with only like 5/6 seconds on the clock?

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Only thing I got to offer is Pyne couldn't make it yo the end zone maybe? I doubt that is true
 

stlnd01

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Only thing I got to offer is Pyne couldn't make it yo the end zone maybe? I doubt that is true
Pete Sampson notes in his story this morning that Pyne's average "depth per completion" - how far downfield the receiver was when he caught the ball - was 0.65 yards. He attempted three passes that traveled more than 10 yards in the air (one was caught), and none more than 20. So even if Pyne can throw it 50, that certainly wasn't the gameplan.
 

Irish#1

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Each one of us has an internal ethic compass. I have made my point without considering Freeman. That my point is so beyond the pale for some of you is really revealing...and sad frankly. I have nothing more to add.
It's collegiate football. You might be better off watching the local pee wee teams play.
 

Whiskeyjack

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Here's the post-Cal Rakes Report:

1) When you’re 0-2 and just trying to scratch out a victory to get off the mat and have something to feel good about, I don’t think there really can be an Ugly Win. The first quarter of Saturday’s game against the Golden Bears really tested that hypothesis, however, with seven punts and a missed field goal comprising the eight drive results. But as the game wore on Notre Dame repeatedly rallied from deficits, the defensive line played like we hoped they would all season and the offense did enough to pull out Marcus Freeman’s first win as head coach – but not until after a final minute that provided further evidence we are being put through some sort of fifth dimension psychological test, or at least subject to the whims of professional wrestling bookers. This team could have let go of the rope, they didn’t, and we were all reminded after a far-too-long hiatus that winning ugly and stupid is always better than any kind of loss.

2) During the first half, it certainly seemed like we were heading for another defeat, as the offense was unable to get out of their own way. A too-amped Drew Pyne was mishandling snaps and missing open receivers, while he got little help from his teammates with a number of false starts and drops. After unwisely eschewing the use of Chris Tyree last week, they let him loose for the first half’s only touchdown drive, then things were much better after halftime. Whatever pep talk or schematic tweaks were made led to the first three drives after the break ending in scores (two touchdowns and a field goal). I don’t know how successful an offense can be long term when it’s exclusively runs plus throws within a few yards of the line of scrimmage, but it was enough to get the job done on Saturday against a quality Cal defense and for that I’m thankful.

Tyree and Audric Estime were very productive on Saturday*, with Tommy Rees using them in both the pass and run game. The offensive line was also able to get some consistent push – nothing too flashy, but the difference between seeing a bunch of second and sixes versus second and ten or elevens is huge. Pyne wasn’t asked to take many chances but he was accurate and looked much more comfortable after the initial miscues, and even showed a bit of mobility. Still would like to get some more touches to Lorenzo Styles and you can’t go away from Michael Mayer that long even if the defense is focused on him, but there was enough to dream on a little after that performance. I would have preferred more aggression on either of the final two drives where the Irish could have formally ended things but the gamble (barely) paid off.

* Freeman said after the game Logan Diggs was out with an illness, but the switch might have been wise even if he were healthy considering his struggles so far this season. Hopefully he can get right as this team is going to need him at some point.

For red zone aficionados, the Irish have converted every visit into points, so they’re tied for first in the nation. They’re also tied for tenth in conversion rate of red zone trips to touchdowns, which is really good. Now, is being tied with UTEP, Louisiana-Monroe and Akron at 118th in number of red zone attempts (seven) through three games ideal? Not necessarily, but at least they're making it count when they get there.

3) After wondering where the defensive line was after two games, they stepped up in a big way on Saturday, with the Brothers Ademilola, Isaiah Foskey and Jacob Lacey all notching sacks. Cal’s offenses have been bad for years but the defense shut down the Golden Bears’ lead tailback and held quarterback Jack Plummer to a 43% completion rate and only five yards per attempt. If they had been able to bring him down all the times they got pressure or the refs had been more interested in throwing flags, the performance would have been even more impressive. I’m assuming “Account for Plummer’s legs” wasn’t in the defensive gameplan but I wish they had adjusted a bit because it was very frustrating to see him turn into Denard Robinson over the course of the second half.

We’re still on Turnover Watch, but at least they almost had two to close out the game? Howard Cross racked up the tackles again, but it was a slow day at the office for the linebackers. Some more positive plays by Clarence Lewis, and a secondary that’s been really strong all season —D.J. Brown, keep it up; TaRiq Bracy, you as well, and thanks for the attempt at the backdoor cover as it’s truly appreciated — prepares for another major test on Saturday. Bad plays from J.D. Bertrand on the targeting and Brandon Joseph on the attempted interception at the end, but overall solid defensive effort against what is probably a bad offense.

4) The fourth quarter brought the best stretch of complementary, cohesive football we've seen all season. Blake Grupe drilled a 47-yarder to tie the game, the defense immediately got a three-and-out (keyed by a Lacey sack), the offense scored in seven plays to take the lead and then Foskey snuffed out the response drive with a fourth down sack. Would have been nice for the offense to have been able to run out the clock or tack on another score at that point, but it was so rewarding to see things clicking when everything had felt like such a struggle for 11 quarters. Cannot say enough about Grupe or Jon Sot, who might be the team’s MVP through three games. Do you want your punter to be MVP? You do not, but credit where it is due.

If you have the ball at your opponent’s 45-yard line with four seconds left in the half, try to throw it into the endzone? I didn’t see anyone ask Freeman about that after the game, but I’m curious about the decision making there.

5) I thought the green out looked awesome in the stadium, and considering they’ve only been doing it for a few years that’s a pretty quick adoption of a new tradition so nice work from the athletic department and fans. Running it back for Ohio State next September, perhaps? Great and deserved ovation for Manti, very cool to see. Really enjoyed the marching band’s Top Gun-themed halftime show, and the clip of Maverick saying “Well, I’m going anyway” before his unscheduled test run as a hype up video. 2:30 kickoffs are a smidge too early for my tastes, as you don’t get quite enough tailgate time and it feels a little too rushed. Was still wonderful to be back on campus and see so many folks, just wish we had longer to hang. Also miss the voices of Mike Collins and Tim McCarthy in the stadium, but so it goes.

Pod plug: If you want parts of this in audio form plus a lot of great thoughts from Jess and a discussion of the football weekend that was, we recorded a pod on Sunday afternoon you can listen to here.

6) Quick hoops aside: On Sunday, the Las Vegas Aces won the WNBA championship, meaning that Jackie Young picked up her first professional ring (closing things out in Connecticut) one year after winning a gold medal in Tokyo. You might also remember her being involved in a couple solid teams during her collegiate career? Skylar Diggins-Smith was also named All-WNBA First Team for the second straight season and fourth time overall. Almost Olivia Miles Season, folks.

7) Winning Is Hard/Schadenfreude Round Up: Herm Edwards’ status at Arizona State seemed pretty tenuous all offseason and a good way to get certainty is to lose at home to Eastern Michigan, which the Sun Devils did on Saturday night to lead to Edwards losing his job on Sunday. Between investigations and a desiccated recruiting operation, they maybe could/should have moved even sooner. While Edwards had a brief run of competency, those who questioned how he would fit as a modern college coach at the time of his hire ended up correct.

Arkansas had a helluva time pulling away from their old friend Bobby Petrino’s Missouri State team. Florida almost lost at home to South Florida but didn’t, avoiding a fall to 1-2 after their big opening weekend win over Utah. Northwestern lost at home to Southern Illinois. My beloved App State Mountaineers needed a Hail Mary to survive their “GameDay” contest against Troy. Louisville lost at home to Florida State and Scott Satterfield is probably on the hot seat. Auburn got romped by Penn State at home and Bryan Harsin is definitely on the hot seat. Sparty was ranked No. 11 for some reason but got handled at new-look Washington.

Miami tried five field goal attempts in a 17-9 loss to Texas A&M. Wake Forest almost lost at home to Liberty. Purdue blew a late lead at Syracuse and is now 1-2 on the season with two very hard luck losses. Indiana needed overtime against Western Kentucky. Virginia needed a late kick to survive Old Dominion, as did UCLA against South Alabama. 3-0 Kansas State lost at home to Tulane as a two-touchdown favorite. Preseason Group of 5 favorite Houston already picked up its second loss, falling to the mighty Jayhawks.

Finally, following last week’s victory in South Bend, Marshall head coach Charles Huff received a lot of well-earned praise for having his team ready to play, taking advantage of an opponent that was coming off a big, emotional game and might have been overlooking the Thundering Herd since they were a three-score favorite. On Saturday, Marshall came off a big, emotional game as a three-score favorite and…lost to Bowling Green. It can occasionally be tough to keep a locker room of college students focused on a weekly basis.

8) For a September road trip to face an unranked (but 3-0) Tar Heels team, this is a really big game. A victory and Notre Dame gets to even on the year going into their bye, riding a two-game win streak and feeling much better about everything as they have a fortnight to prepare for the Shamrock Series. Lose? Did you know the last time Notre Dame lost their third game of the season was November 25, 2017? They have not lost a third game of a season since then, which has been a lot of fun. If you assume they might have some issues with the two top-ten teams remaining on their schedule, that gets us to five losses, at which point you’re running out of wiggle room for bowl eligibility.

North Carolina is tested (they already have two road wins over Sun Belt teams – do you know how hard that is?!) and they will be rested coming off a bye, presenting an inverse challenge from the Golden Bears with a nasty offense but a defense that has left much to be desired all season. Rees and Pyne should have an easier time than they did against Cal, but they’re also going to be pressed by Drake Maye, who has been absolutely stellar since replacing Sam Howell and who likely did not mind seeing how loose Plummer could get with his legs. Can the Irish defense limit Carolina like they did Ohio State? If so, should be in solid shape. If not, there have been no signs this Notre Dame team is capable of winning a shootout with the season already a quarter over but perhaps there is another gear left to find.

We’ll find out Saturday after Tommy spends another week in the lab and Pyne gets another set of starter’s reps at practice. Until then, take care of yourselves and each other. Go Irish.
 

TNUtoNotreDame

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It's collegiate football. You might be better off watching the local pee wee teams play.
They also wouldn't have tattled on themselves, especially without replay. I think he should play video games, they rarely miss penalties, or I'd they do you can turn up the sensitivity and increase the number.
 

benneboy

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Just flying through the comments quick and I’m surprised that I don’t see more Tyree.

He had about his best game running the ball behind the line in his career yesterday. He looked quick and had looked more in place in the RB position than I have seen.
Maybe he should stick to RB after all…
I did not have this takeaway. Oline blocked very well all day and Kyren would have gone for 200. Tyree still goes down at the hint of contact and is always going straight down or backwards. His vision was good most of the day so I'll give him that.
 

IrishTusker

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I think there was a little bit of a culture clash in terms of Cal/ND fans. The religion aspect and the relative whiteness of the ND fanbase were mentioned.

Of course, if Cal wants to join the Big Ten, they probably should get used to relatively white fanbases. The ND-Wisconsin football game last year was among whitest sports events I have ever been to, although outdone by the ND-Wisconsin hockey game a few months later. It's just not something that I particularly mind or think about that much.
 

BeatSC

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Show me one coach that would decline the penalty
Well all coaches are degenerates you know just like many of us. Some of us are just not Holier than thou……

Let the refs take the heat for blowing that call. The ball bounced Cals way as did most of the calls or no calls all day.
 

NDPhilly

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I think there was a little bit of a culture clash in terms of Cal/ND fans. The religion aspect and the relative whiteness of the ND fanbase were mentioned.

Of course, if Cal wants to join the Big Ten, they probably should get used to relatively white fanbases. The ND-Wisconsin football game last year was among whitest sports events I have ever been to, although outdone by the ND-Wisconsin hockey game a few months later. It's just not something that I particularly mind or think about that much.

I hope they felt as uncomfortable as possible.
 
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Whiskeyjack

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nsisk157

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I think there was a little bit of a culture clash in terms of Cal/ND fans. The religion aspect and the relative whiteness of the ND fanbase were mentioned.

Of course, if Cal wants to join the Big Ten, they probably should get used to relatively white fanbases. The ND-Wisconsin football game last year was among whitest sports events I have ever been to, although outdone by the ND-Wisconsin hockey game a few months later. It's just not something that I particularly mind or think about that much.

Curious if you have an article for this? I'd love to read.
 

TNUtoNotreDame

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I think there was a little bit of a culture clash in terms of Cal/ND fans. The religion aspect and the relative whiteness of the ND fanbase were mentioned.

Of course, if Cal wants to join the Big Ten, they probably should get used to relatively white fanbases. The ND-Wisconsin football game last year was among whitest sports events I have ever been to, although outdone by the ND-Wisconsin hockey game a few months later. It's just not something that I particularly mind or think about that much.
Glad they were, I felt uncomfortable in San Fran/Berkeley area with the tent cities and poop. If we flung poop at them they would've felt right at home I am sure.


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Bluto

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I hope they felt as uncomfortable as possible.
Why?

Anyhow, this whole take by Tusker seems kinda dumb and overstated to reinforce some weird point.

ND stadium and the campus at ND are one of the least intimidating places I’ve ever been. On the flip side the many Cal grads I’ve met and worked with over the years have all been pretty nice/complete nerds.
 

Irish#1

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Cal fans were intimidated? By what? Been coming to games since ‘73 and opposing fans have always complemented on how nice the campus and ND fans were.
 

MacIrish75

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Cal fans were intimidated? By what? Been coming to games since ‘73 and opposing fans have always complemented on how nice the campus and ND fans were.
I was officiating a basketball tournament last Saturday morning and one of the teams on my court was from…Huntington, WV. Of course I got to talking to them about the Marshall game and there were 5-6 guys between the coaches and parents who had been at the game. To a man, they said it was the best gameday experience of their lives and truly was a memorable and unforgettable trip, even if they would have lost. Said ND fans were all class and super helpful as they made their way around SB and around campus.
 

pumpdog20

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I think there was a little bit of a culture clash in terms of Cal/ND fans. The religion aspect and the relative whiteness of the ND fanbase were mentioned.

Of course, if Cal wants to join the Big Ten, they probably should get used to relatively white fanbases. The ND-Wisconsin football game last year was among whitest sports events I have ever been to, although outdone by the ND-Wisconsin hockey game a few months later. It's just not something that I particularly mind or think about that much.
Are you trying to say that 90% of Cal's fans in the stadium weren't white? Because that would be a lie if you or "they" are.
 

ulukinatme

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They saw touchdown Jesus and it triggered them. They will need a lifetime of therapy to recover. They should sue ND for not providing a safe space or cry room.
This. The only thing I can think of is they're used to a lot of empty stadiums in the PAC-12. Stanford is one of their rivals and that stadium can still be empty after they downgraded from 89,000 seats to 50,000. :laugh: It's not that intimidating.
 
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