Jeff Tedford had to feel pretty good about his job after Cal thrashed UCLA and Washington State. But now, after booing from fans in an embarrassing Big Game, any safety he felt is gone.
Cal dropped just three points on a Stanford defense that allowed 48 points just two weeks earlier, as Zach Maynard was terrible and the run game was as well. Cal ran for three yards, and Maynard had eye troubles all game. By that, I mean he thought his receivers were 20 feet tall.
Maynard’s accuracy was off all game, and it cost Cal. The play-calling was abysmal, as Tedford kept trying to establish a run game that clearly wasn’t there. Cal’s defense was alright, but they couldn’t get key stops on third down, and they were rocked in the first half.
Stefan Taylor bounced off some tackles for an early touchdown. Backup quarterback Kevin Hogan tossed a touchdown to Levine Toilolo, and Zach Ertz hauled in a touchdown pass from regular quarterback Josh Nunes. Cal’s defense was horrible, as they couldn’t apply any pressure to Nunes.
They bounced back in the second half, although Stanford did threaten (Jordan Williamson also missed a short field goal earlier in the game.) Cal’s offense had a chance to win the game, but it would take some offense. Keenan Allen and Chris Harper made some nice catches to save Maynard from some picks and incompletions, but that was the only bright spot.
Now, it’s only dark for a once-prominent program that sometimes terrified opponents under the reign of…Jeff Tedford. Tedford’s approach worked when he first came to Cal, and he took his team and Cal fans along on a fun, long ride to success. However, in Cal’s last 35 games, they have a 15-20 record. That’s a sign of bad coaching and a need for a change.
AD Sandy Barbour respects what Tedford has done for the program, so she will be reluctant to have him ousted. Unfortunately, that is what’s needed. Tedford was booed all game long, for his conservative approach, willingness to run the ball and get 0.1 yards per carry, and decision to keep Maynard in the game.
In my opinion, Maynard is the worst quarterback Cal has had in a while. He doesn’t make smart decisions, he always makes his receivers climb invisible ladders or dive well in front of them to catch the football, and he is sometimes reluctant to throw the ball. Tedford is having trouble working with him, since he is used to working with talent.
But Jahvid Best, DeSean Jackson, Marshawn Lynch and Aaron Rodgers aren’t here anymore. Instead, it’s a team full of nobodies and Keenan Allen, with Tedford making comments about how great he thinks the program is. He has taken a step back in recruiting, and his approach isn’t working with the team.
What would work, though, is a fresh start. Teams like Stanford, with top-notch, hard-nosed defenses, would be challenged by Cal and a current college coach or NFL coordinator. A good quarterback and a wealth of talent would help, too, but that’s probably a stretch.
With Oregon State and Oregon, two top 10 teams, and Washington and Utah, two above-average teams, awaiting Cal on the schedule, a bowl game seems impossible. They will have to win three of those four games, making the chances even more slim. Right now, it seems like we fans are focused on the future and not the present.
Because that’s pretty much all the Big Game taught us. The Jeff Tedford era is over, and it’s time to wake up.