So my brother had a lacrosse game that forced me to leave in the middle of the 4th quarter. He neglected to tell me that it wasn't a game- it was a tournament. So I just got back home and am finishing up the game and it's late and I'm bored. Sorry for all of this in advance...
I don't know what to make of Pete Thomas. He was crappy, but it wasn't for normal freshman year things. He was very calm in the pocket and went through his progressions, and he stood tall against the rush. But he looks like he's playing underwater. Everything he does is slowwwwwwwww. He doesn't have a long widup like Cody Hawkins, but the ball takes FOREVER to get out of his hand. I've never seen anything like it. I haven't seen enough tape on him to know if that's his natural release or if he was just aiming the ball. It's just weird.
That said- the defense was awesome. They were everything we were led to believe. The defense line was shooting the gaps and the linebackers were everywhere. Absolutely everywhere. Beatty, Sipili, and especially Major. They were just ridiculously outstanding. And the corners were as advertised, Sandersfeld was opportunistic, and Perkins made several big plays. We didn't see much of Polk, basically because no one got to him. That's fantastic for a free safety.
The Buffalo package is garbage. Scott Fernandez was awful. The end
Keenan Stevens is a pretty crappy center. Fumbled a snap. Several low shotgun snaps. A penalty. Several missed assignments. Just bad.
Otherwise, the line held up well. minus the penalties, still to be discussed.
So yeah- the defense looked great. Honestly, though, the offense looked like last year's offense, just with better players. Last year, every single penalty, every botched snap, every dropped ball, was a drive killer. This year we had the talent to make up for it. The receivers were stretching the field and getting YAC. Hansen was scrambling opportunistically. Last year that didn't happen... But they made the same mistakes. Same penalties, same running backs not picking up blitzes. Same terrible footwork from Hansen. Normally, I would chalk it all up to it being the first game, but we've got too much history with this exact same garbage.
Goodman kicked the motherloving hell out of the ball. His kickoffs barely touched the field of play
I am not looking forward to facing Mike Orakpo for 3 more years.
I'm not sold on this team at all, but I still think Cal is winnable. Their best player is the punter. Vereen is the truth, and they've got a very good DE, but that's about it as far as guys you have to scheme against. I'm still super excited to go to the game. If we had lost this one, I might've just not bothered.
I want to get back to being a top flight program for one reason, and one reason only- I never ever ever again want to see a game on the mtn. or FCS