Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A Cal Fan's Notes/Oregon State

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Bears,


One thing good about taking the Coast Starlight Express to an OSU game, is because the schedule is so undependable (it can be 18 hours late) you have to leave on Thursday to make sure you’ll be in Corvallis by Saturday. And even that’s iffy—but it adds texture to “Roll on You Bears.”
I got to get my game face on 24 hours ahead of time.
I was filled with “Bear-ticipation”—butterflies swirling--all the way down to Emeryville, where The Trickster and I caught the choo choo. (We left at 10:15pm—the train was only 11 minutes late—and arrived at Albany (nearest stop to Corvallis) at 5pm—only three and a half hours late.
By Coast Starlight time, that is ahead of schedule.
Cindy had packed a spinach salad for me so I’d have plenty to munch on. She’s insisting that I eat my spinach these days—don’t ask me why.
I won’t bore you with the story about how they wouldn’t let me disembark at Albany, and I had to ride up to Salem, turn around and take a cab back to Corvallis—thereby missing one of the all time great Cal functions at Tyee Winery. Let’s just say that paying $67 for a ticket to ride 600 miles, seemed quasi-reasonable.
Paying $100 for a half hour cab ride from Salem to Corvallis didn’t sit to well—no matter how ardent a fan one is.
Lesson #2. Don’t leave your cell phone in the car when you are going on a road trip. It doesn’t make for good communications with your fellow bears, especially since (as they assume you have their number in your phone) when you call from a land line to get messages, not one of them will leave a number where they can be reached). It’s the 90’s Mr. Bahnks!
Lesson #3. Don’t get so mad at the conductor who wouldn’t let you off at the station (don’t ask), that you leave your jacket on the train.
Lesson #4. If your friend brings your jacket from the train, back down to Corvallis, don’t get so discombobulated at the Airport on the return home, that (after the folks at the counter say you can take your mouthwash and toothpaste on—but the folks at the security checkpoint, say they need a supervisor, because your toothpaste and mouthwash went through in a plastic bag—that was in your suitcase—not in a plastic bag, separately put through the x-ray—that you need to be shaken down. Should you do so, you’er apt to leave that same jacket in the plastic bin at Portland Airport.
That’s the downside to going up to the land of Ken Kesey and Hank Stamper.
The upside is awakening at dawn, and seeing Mt. Shasta glistening in the rising sun. Still snow covered, it is surrounded by huge black volcanic rocks, speckled by orange and read leaves—fall is arriving. The Trickster and I sat there spell bound by the sheer beauty of it all. When the porter suggested a bloody Mary at 6”30am, we demurred—until we realized it must be 7am somewhere in the world.
What a glorious way to greet the day in anticipation of a Bear game.
Of course, who can relax when the Bears play the Beavers. Last season, the Beavers visited Strawberry Canyon throttled us, Bears 23-20, dropping us in the rankings and ending a 10-game winning streak at Memorial Stadium.
OSU wins the toss and for some reason defers.
We receive and go 64 yards in 6 plays to take a 7 love lead. Of course, it was actually 62 yards in two plays, as a 28 yarder and 34 yarder to Hawkins for the score, were the bulk of the drive. We didn’t feel at all secure.
The Beavers took it right to us. How come we can’t play D in the first half? They marched 71 yards in 7 plays, but Desmond Bishop Two Two, caused a fumble and young Thompson recovered.
On the arm of Longshore, we went 85 yards in 8 plays featuring two long beauties (30 yards to Hawkins and 27 to Jackson for the TD). We are up 14 zip.
They go 5 and out.
We then (featureing Lynch on runs of 6, 27—two in a row—and the final 15 for the score) go 74 yards in 6 plays. It’s 21 zero, and we’re still in the first quarter.
Are we looking at another 42-0 first half?
They keep the ball for 12 plays but only get 44 yards (Follet, again on a sack).
We go 80 yards in 7 plays with a nifty fake to Lynch on a sweep—Longshore “bootlegs” right, and then throws back, 27 yards to Lynch sprinting up the sideline. Haven’t seen that one before, and it’s a beauty.
After they punt, we go 36 yards in 6 plays and Schnieder boots a 37 yard field goal.
OSU moves to it’s own 49, and Alexis Serena boots a 58 yard field goal as time expires. Half ends 31 to 3
First half stats: We’ve rolled up 384 yards and a QB is 15 for 18. But alas, it is their QB. One can see our consternation. We seem to be dominating—Stoney called it delivering a clinic—but what’s it mean if their QB can complete 15 of 18?
Or are we too picky?
To start the 2nd half, they run 13 plays, but get only 49 yards but get a field goal to make it 31-6.
We each go 3 and out, then we go 80 yards in 8 plays. Egads, forsooth! A second half TD by the O! First time in three games.
They score, then we run 14 plays, netting 55 yards and Schnieder (named Pac 10 Special Teams Player of the Week) boots a 42 yarder and we go up 41-13.
So what are we to make of it?
Longshore threw for 341 yards and four touchdowns, including two to Marshawn Lynch. Lynch finished with three touchdowns and 106 yards for the Bears.
Hawkins had 128 yards receiving for the Bears. Longshore completed 22 of 31 passes with one interception in his third game this season with at least four touchdowns.
We are clearly doing some things well. The O line is protecting Longshore and producing 100 yard runners. But the Beavers moved our D around pretty well. Linebacking play seems to have improved, but will the D line be moved out by the much bigger Oregon one? Where are the big hits? That’s what to look for this week.
The O is there. But if we play some smash mouth—especially on the defensive side, watch for some fun stuff. But if we play as we have in almost everygame, as we’ve done in the first quarter—it could be a long afternoon.

Go Bears,
Jeffrey Earl Warren ‘70
New Website: www.jeffwarren.com/

No interesting gossipy rumors this week. Here are some words from others:



Jeff,

I am writing this from Dubrovnik, Croatia. I have no way to access Cal scores or other news about today's game. It is now about 8:00 PM on Sat, Sept 30, so I think the game will be starting in a few hours back in your time zone. Please email me when and as events unfold. I will be anxious to learn the news ASAP.

Go Bears!


LOL, you are too funny re train to Corvallis....do they also call it the "Express?" If I had 2 weeks I would have loved to have joined you!
Looking forward to your Notes next week...
Go Bears!
John


My memory is etched in Jack Hart, but here’s what Dave George who was on the field says about the 58’ Big Game. I’d trust him, not me.
Jeff: Good to read your dissertation on the A. St. game as I lost contact with you last year and missed some good stuff, probably?! One correction: Jack Hart did NOT, with all due respect to my teammate, make that tackle on Skip Face in the '58 Big Game to stop a score and send us Bears to the Rose Bowl: IT was Bill Patton, FB/linebacker, who got the hit!!! Score: Cal 16-Stanford 15!! The game has changed, yes, but that is all relative to each of our Cal team's era as far as coaching, off season workouts, weight training(I actually was WAY into it despite the notion at the time that wt. trng made you slower etc.which worked well for me because my summer running and weights made me faster despite being 15 pds heavier), specialization, fabulous staffs for everything including tutoring, no playing rugby, FULL rides scholarships not grant in aids, etc. Truck was a great player and asst. coach when I was at Cal, also, and remember his Rose Bowl/Pappy teams were made up of WW ll vets with ages in their early to mid twenties and NO minorities of any note nor did the Big 10. Where is your tailgate? Would like to meet up before the Oregon game. Note: Turnovers are very KEY to today's game and that showed along awesome team speed. A. ST. had a great O line! Beat the Beavers, Dave George, '59 Rose Bowl Bears.


From Greg Regading the TV debate.

From Erin of CAA: "Regarding the Comcast TV thing for Cal @ OSU, Nad Permaul writes: This comes from the Pac-10 Office. In essence, if Cal wished its game at Oregon State to be televised this Saturday, after the networks had already selected the games they wanted to televise, we would have had to petition the conference to move the game to a 7:00 p.m. start. Cal did not choose to do so, neither did Oregon State, and no one knows if Fox Sports would agree to the waiver request. Let's stop blaming the Conference for the complexity of the process, or for the decision by the networks to have chosen a game like Ucla vs. Stanford, over our game with the Beavers..............


From Jake Curtis of the Chron, via Greg:
Jake Curtis Monday, October 2, 2006 Cal folks will tell you the Bears' Nov. 18 game against USC is the one to circle on the calendar, but Saturday's matchup of No. 11 Oregon and No. 16 Cal in Berkeley has the look of something special. Our five R's begin with the Reasons the Oregon-Cal game holds such promise: -- It is only the second time since 1972 that two teams ranked in the top 16 play a game in the Bay Area. The other was in 1991, when No. 7 Cal lost 24-17 to No. 3 Washington. -- With USC suddenly looking vulnerable, the Oregon-Cal winner becomes a prime contender for a Rose Bowl berth. -- Only four players in the country are averaging more than 100 rushing yards per game and better than 7 yards per carry, and two of them will play at Memorial Stadium on Saturday: the Bears' Marshawn Lynch and Oregon's Jonathan Stewart. -- Only eight teams are averaging more than 38 points, and Cal and Oregon are two of them. -- Cal quarterback Nate Longshore is tied for the national lead in touchdown passes with 14, and Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon, who grew up in the East Bay, leads the Pac-10 in total offense. -- Oregon wide receiver Jaison Williams is second nationally in receiving yardage (115.5 per game) and had seven catches, including two touchdown receptions, in the first quarter alone against Arizona State. Cal wideout DeSean Jackson is tied for the national lead in touchdown receptions with seven and has a punt return for a score as well. -- Cal head coach Jeff Tedford and four of his assistants once coached at Oregon, and three Oregon assistants were born in the Bay Area. -- The past three Oregon-Cal games have been tight: a 27-20 overtime win for the Ducks last year, the Bears' 28-27 victory in 2004 and Oregon's 21-17 decision in '03................Washington and Arizona State are the surprise teams of the Pac-10. Tyrone Willingham's Huskies, picked to finish last, are 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the conference, and as unbelievable as it might seem, the Huskies could give USC a game in Los Angeles on Saturday. Quarterback Isaiah Stanback completed 11 straight passes during the Huskies' 21-10 victory at Arizona on Saturday night, and the Huskies scored more points and had more total offense against Arizona than USC did the previous week. Meanwhile, the wheels are falling off at ASU, which was expected to be a conference contender but is 0-2 in the Pac-10, giving up more than 40 points in both losses. Dirk Koetter's decision to name Rudy Carpenter his starting quarterback two days after announcing Sam Keller would be the starter is looking worse all the time. Keller no doubt would be the starter now, but he transferred to Nebraska after Koetter's strange change of heart. Carpenter threw four interceptions at Cal on Sept. 23, and against Oregon, he was 6-for-19 for 33 yards, which is 87 yards less than the previous low under Koetter at ASU. Koetter recognized the fans' frustration after Saturday's 48-13 loss to the Ducks in Tempe. "We should be paying them to make them sit through that," he told the Arizona Republic.......... Although the Trojans are no longer squashing opponents, they won their 25th straight Pac-10 game, dating back to their loss to Cal in the 2003 conference opener.