For the third straight yr, the Axe will reside in Berkeley, because the California Golden Bears (5-6, 3-5 Pac-12) secured a 27-15 win over the Stanford Cardinal. The Golden Bears pulled away towards the tip of the fourth quarter, preserving their bowl eligibility hopes alive.
Regardless of taking part in poorly for many of the first half, the Cardinal discovered themselves down simply eight factors because of well timed defensive performs and a few kicks from senior kicker Joshua Karty. After the Golden Bears took a 21-6 lead early within the third quarter, Stanford went on a 9-0 scoring run after a 41-yard catch from freshman Tiger Bachmeier and a 50-yard Karty subject aim.
However regardless of holding solely one-possession deficit early within the fourth quarter, Cal quarterback Fernando Mendoza engineered a 13 play, 75-yard drive to increase the Golden Bears’ result in twelve. That was all Cal wanted, because the protection was prevented the Stanford offense from scoring once more.
For Stanford followers, the sport highlighted the group’s lack of offensive rhythm and operating recreation, in addition to points with defensive personnel.
Lack of offensive rhythm
All through the sport, sophomore quarterback Ashton Daniels didn’t get in sync along with his broad receivers. All through the sport, regardless of some efficient play calls by Stanford head coach Troy Taylor, Daniels threw to receivers off-target and off-time. The consequence was that Daniels had a pedestrian 51% completion proportion paired with solely 188 yards. A lot of Stanford’s offensive success within the Colorado and Washington video games got here when Daniels was related with Bachmeier and Elic Ayomanor on perimeter throws, like comebacks and back-shoulder fades. These routes typically required the quarterback and broad receivers to be on the identical web page. Sadly for the Cardinal, that was not the case yesterday.
Defensive personnel nonetheless a difficulty
Going into the sport, Stanford followers knew they’d see a gradual dose of Cal operating again Jaydn Ott. After yesterday’s recreation, Ott is now the Pac-12 chief in speeding yards. However Cal quarterback Mendoza recognized one other mismatch on the sector with walk-on broad receiver Trond Grizzell. Grizzell had a profession day towards the Cardinal, accumulating seven receptions for 136 yards. He typically leveraged his mixture of dimension and pace to push back Stanford defenders.
Whereas Grizzell could have been an missed expertise, his efficiency exhibits that Stanford wants to enhance in figuring out proficient safeties and corners that may match up towards Energy-5 competitors. This contains bringing in personnel which have the size and pace to maintain up with good receivers and tight ends.
Moreover, the Stanford defensive position was constantly beat off the road of scrimmage towards Cal. The Golden Bears excelled in pinning the Cardinal again on their gap-scheme runs and permitting offensive linemen to dam in house towards the again seven. Whereas there have been a number of occasions Stanford was in place to make tackles that might hold Ott’s beneficial properties minimal, the star operating again was in a position to break tackles towards the shaky Cardinal secondary. To stop this from taking place sooner or later, the Cardinal will want stronger linemen and secondary gamers who can sort out in house.
Lack of operating recreation
Stanford’s speeding chief through the recreation was quarterback Ashton Daniels, who tallied 67 yards on twelve rushes. Whereas on the floor, this may increasingly not appear horrible, it’s regarding to see a quarterback who had damage considerations going into the sport lead the group in rush yards.
Regardless of operating by a secure of proficient operating backs all year long, Stanford has not been in a position to develop a floor recreation because of its shaky offensive line. Senior operating again E.J. Smith averaged simply three yards a carry towards Cal, and different individuals who had touches weren’t a lot better.
The absence of a standard run recreation impairs the Cardinal offensively, because it makes them way more predictable and the run performs can definitely be telegraphed, reminiscent of when sophomore quarterback Justin Lamson comes into the sport. This lack of run recreation places the Cardinal in third-and-long conditions, which makes it tough to maintain drives. To ensure that Taylor’s offense to work sooner or later, the offensive line might want to drastically enhance its run blocking.
Up subsequent, the Cardinal will tackle the No. 20 Notre Dame Combating Irish (8-3, Impartial) for the ultimate recreation of the season. The Combating Irish have a balanced group that possesses the sixteenth greatest scoring offense and twelfth ranked scoring protection. The sport will spherical out a difficult schedule for the Cardinal this yr, which included six ranked groups. Kick-off is at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 25.