The Daily Californian and the CU Independent, the University of Colorado’s daily student newspaper, have collaborated to bring wide-ranging coverage of Saturday’s matchup between Cal and Colorado. The CU Independent will be publishing a column reflecting the game by a Daily Cal football writer; below is analysis of the game from Colorado’s point of view, written by Michael Krumholtz, sports editor of the CU Independent.
Eight Observations from CU-Cal
by Michael Krumholtz, CU Independent sports editor
1. Colorado, left in a hole from the mangled and mis-managed Dan Hawkins era, is a long way from being competitive in the Pac-12. The current defensive roster is not especially deep or talented. Recruiting for speed is a necessity if Jon Embree wants to take a realistic shot at stopping an Oregon or a Stanford.
2. Three NFL receivers played in this game. Cal’s duo of Marvin Jones and Keenan Allen are legitimate wideouts who, when teamed on opposite sides, are impossible to stop for four quarters. Jones looks to be a middle-round pick and Allen, with another year or two, should be one of the premier prospects of his class.
CU’s Paul Richardson, who set a school-record on the day with 284 yards, has speed for days. He caught everything in his area and took such great angles after his catches that Cal defenders had no chance to catch up. Although Allen owns the advantage in size, the sophomore Richardson will be another top prospect when he declares.
3. Zach Maynard is one of the better quarterbacks to suit up for Cal in quite a while (I won’t dare mention the name of a current Green Bay Packer, who was pretty alright as well). For his first away game he had every opportunity to choke under the eyes of a loud Folsom Field crowd. Instead he threw a couple clutch passes, including the 32-yarder to Allen in overtime, that won Cal the football game.
4. Cal’s defense has serious issues defending the pass. Obviously giving up 474 yards through the air is not promising. But, seeing that Cal had zero sacks and never really hurried quarterback Tyler Hansen does not bode well for future Pac-12 opponents.
5. Cal has a really good punter. I don’t know his name and, although I could look it up and put it here, no one ever remembers the punter’s name anyways. On a few occasions during Saturday’s game he completely flipped the field position and made it a little tougher for the Buffs offense.
6. Bears fans showed a surprising outing on Saturday. They filled up the away section and could be heard well throughout the game.
7. The penalty differential was beyond unpredictable. A 12-to-five disadvantage in CU’s corner allowed Cal to keep possession on numerous drives and killed the Buffs offense on others. Playing in front of a roaring collage of yellow-shirted and mostly drunken CU students had no effect on Cal’s composure.
However, the Buffs, whose coaches have preached discipline for an entire offseason, have major problems. Most of it came from the offensive line and a rotating set of centers.
8. Folsom Field provides the Buffs with a needed advantage. Since they have dropped their last 18 away games, including the 52-7 seizure in Berkeley, the Buffs have depended on Folsom to allow them some wins. If this game were played on a neutral surface, I’m not sure that Cal would not have won by two touchdowns. This team plays so much better at home, leading even Embree, while watching from afar, to say he thought the team quit last year in Berkeley.