Sunday, June 12, 2011

California Golden Bears 2010 Review

California Golden Bears
2010 Record: 5-7 (3-6), 8th Pac-10
2010 Bowl Game: None

     Consider me to be a guy that does not believe in the smoke and mirror act that Jeff Tedford as engaged in in Berkely. I am still trying to figure out why Teford is given the status amongst coaches that he has received from the main stream media, and most fans in general. He has missed every opportunity to take his team to the next level, and now the window appears closed for the future, near and far, as another opportunity was dropped in 2010. Now, Cal appears mired in the muck miles behind arch rival Stanford.
      Tedford was lauded as being an offensive mind, with the ability to develop top tier talent at the QB position. I have never seen proof of that, as Kevin Riley never developed into a top flight QB during his tenure at Berkely, which came to an end. Riley passed for 1409 yards on the season with 13 TDs and 6 picks, but he ended up missing 4 games due to injury, and only averaged 176 yards per game through the air when he did play. Brock Mansion played in his absence, but Cal coaches liked what they saw in him so little that they decided to leap frog him this spring with a transfer from Buffalo...yeah...Buffalo.
     Shane Vereen was as advertised for the Bears in the backfield last fall, as he rushed for 1167 yards and 13 TDs, but even he failed to average the 100 yards per game that people expected of him. Vereen was still solid, however, as he averaged just a shade over 5 yards per carry, and was one of the bigger threats at RB in the Pac-10. Isi Sofele is the heir apparent, as Vereen departed, but he never scored last season.
     Due to the staggering lack of excitement in the passing game, the Bears only had three receivers with at least 20 grabs during the season. Marvin Jones was by far the leading receiver, as he posted a line of 49-756-4 as a junior. Freshman Keenan Allen moved his way into the lineup early last fall, and was instant impact, as he posted 47-496-5. Vereen was the only other player to post 20 or more grabs, having posted 22-209-3.
     One thing that was solid most of the time was the Cal defense. The Bears were not horrible on that side of the football, as the only allowed 319.1 yards per game, and only allowed 30 TDs all season. That's really not bad.
      Six defenders collected an average of five or more tackles per game for the Bears, and they had some serious talent running around on D. Mike Mohamed was the best of the bunch, as he collected 96 tackles last season, averaging 8 per game. He was followed by DJ Holt (85), Chris Conte (72), Mychal Hendricks (65), Cameron Jordan (61), and Sean Cattouse (59). The Bears lost half of this group to the NFL after the season, giving Teford some serious issues on D as well.
     The Bears were able to apply decent pressure up front that was provided by 3 sources. Kendricks led the team with 14.5 TFLs as a junior LB, while Jordan, a senior DE collected 12.5. Trevor Guyton missed two games, and probably would have nailed double figures, but finished with 8.5 in 10 games played. Kendricks led the team with 7 sacks, and the Bears averaged 2.75 sacks per game.
     The Bears defended 47 passes as a team last fall, and four defenders knocked away 5 or more. Cattouse was the leader, as he knokced away 7 passes, and he was followed by Marc Anthony (6), Darian Hagan (5), and Josh Hill (7). The Bears did have a problem in general when it came to creating turnovers, as they only picked off 9 passes as a team all last fall, and Anthony was the only player to pick off more than 1 (he had 2).
      Giorgio Tavecchio was not exactly the best kicker in the conference last fall. Tavecchio only hit 11 of his 16 FG attempts, good for only 68.8%, which is not getting anyone excited in Strawberry Canyon. What probably did get some folks fired up was the punting leg of Bryan Anger, who averaged 45.56 yards per punt. The Bears get them both back this fall, but they are probably more excited to see Anger back, even though his job is to give the ball away, which he did to a tune of 5.2 punts per game last fall.
      Allen was the main fixture on kick returns last fall, as he averaged 22.56 yards per return. Jeremy Ross backed him on kick returns, but handled all of the punt return duties, and averaged 12.68 yards per return.
Final Notes
     Tedford had some expectations on him coming into last season, and none of those were met, and Cal missed out entirely on the bowl season with 7 losses. They are out of excuses now, and the window is closing on any kind of glory period that the Bears should have been celebrating but never did. IN all honesty, seeing what they lose coming out of last fall, especially when you look at losses on defense and he loss of Vereen, the Bears could be in bunches of trouble.

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