The reaction from Cal fans has been pretty brutal, which is understandable… Tom Holmoe went 1-10 in his last year coaching the Bears, in 2001. This year they were 4-0 and looking like the surprise team of the conference until QB Chase Garbers got hurt vs ASU. They’re now on a 4 game slide, and haven’t been blanked in 20 years, not since BYU’s AD was guiding the Cal ship under the waves…so I guess that remark is appropo.
Cal just ran into the buzzsaw which is Utah’s defense in 2019 under Morgan Scalley… and they were down to their 3rd and 4th string QBs. When Leki Fotu enhanced his NFL draft prospects in accelerating like a Yellowstone Buffalo angry at a Scion, stampeding their FR QB Brausch for a 18 yard sack, it was apparent this was a mismatch that might have caught the attention of the Humane Society.
Gameball: Morgan Scalley
In a game where we needed to give Huntley as much rest as possible getting ready for a BYE rested UW next week, the gameball to Morgan Scalley is totally justified. It’s the players who make plays, and none of what we’ve done defensively would be possible without our seniors and JJ who skipped the NFL draft to address “unfinished business”. But Scalley’s use of this talented, mature, motivated group has been a masterpiece, from the blitzes, the smothering coverage & exotic coverage masking no college QB should have to deal with, to the “who were our LBs last year?” play of Bernard and Lloyd… there’s really nothing to nitpick on what we’ve done since the SC game.
Tyler Huntley & Andy Ludwig - so far, even better than Brian Johnson & Andy Ludwig in '08. Threading the needle to Kuithe to get us out of a serious hole, on our way to TD #2, was a thing of beauty. The 3rd-and-1 pass over the top to Bryan Thompson for a 40 yard TD was artwork Huntley & Bryan Thompson should put their signatures on and sell at next year’s FanFest.
Moss’s 2nd TD run was just ridiculous. The first move was a Barry Sanders dance move. (I’m not making the overall comparison - invoking Sanders is unfair to anyone else in any overall comparison - but on that play, yeah, we can mention the resemblance, even though it’s just college ball.)
It was crazy weird watching our offense gobbling up 231 yards on the ground, 242 in the air… while Cal’s stud LB had 22 tackles before being taken out late, literally throwing up his hands, like “what else could I have done?” If Evan Weaver has 22 tackles, you’d just assume Cal had another impressive defensive performance… and in this case, you’d be wrong.
When Utah’s offense just had to produce enough to give key players some rest before next week’s game, they cranked out 473 yards and scored TDs on 5 straight possessions.
Jason Shelley’s TD to Kuithe was money in the bank. Hopefully we don’t need it, but Shelley is ready to pick up the rifle, like last year.
UW gets the advantage of a BYE, and normally playing the Huskies in November at their place involves some crappy weather. We’re as prepared as we could possibly be, in this undesirable scheduling scenario.
ASU was hungover after challenging us physically, lost to the Bruins. We’re used to the physicality, had no problem against a QB hobbled Cal squad that should have tried to go physical, and with our depth and player leadership, I think we’ll be able to match up physically against the BYE rested Huskies, at which point it becomes a skills matchup, where I think we (finally) matchup respectably.
This season has been a blast, at the 2/3 mark.
Find a way to leave Seattle with a “W”, and get a week off. That’s the deal.