Bears burned by five turnovers in Holiday Bowl loss

Zach Maynard and the Cal offense turned the ball over five times in the Bears' 21-10 Holiday Bowl loss to Texas on Wednesday.
Taryn Erhardt/Senior Staff
Zach Maynard and the Cal offense turned the ball over five times in the Bears' 21-10 Holiday Bowl loss to Texas on Wednesday.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Even three days after Christmas, the Cal football team’s offense still looked slow and sleepy.

This was the scene at the Holiday Bowl: quarterback Zach Maynard sitting with a 1st-and-10 at the Texas 29-yard line, ready to command Cal out of a four-point deficit.

“It felt like pretty good shape right then,” said head coach Jeff Tedford.

With over a quarter left Wednesday evening, the Bears’ defense had pinned the Longhorns on their own 1, tying a giant bow on a belated present for the offense. Then Cal moved backward — literally and metaphorically, until it left Qualcomm Stadium with a 21-10 loss.

An incomplete pass was followed by a two-yard rushing loss. Thanks to a personal foul by tight end Anthony Miller, the Bears retreated 15 additional yards. Suddenly, they were stuck with a 3rd-and-27.

Down 14-10, Cal had already turned the ball over three times without giving away the game — what else to do but toss away one more?

Maynard was dragged to the ground for a 12-yard loss, and lost the ball for the fourth of his team’s season-high five turnovers.

“We shot ourselves in the foot a lot today,” said senior wide receiver Marvin Jones. “This was the end result.”

It took the Longhorns two plays to score: a weaving 37-yard run by receiver Marquise Goodwin, and a 2-yard run by tailback Cody Johnson on his second touch of the day.

Goodwin, a potential track Olympian, abused the Bears on several plays. The junior repeatedly burned the Cal secondary, recording 49 yards and a touchdown on three catches. He nearly added another long catch, but stepped out of bounds before reeling in the ball.

“You’ve got to have a go-to guy,” said Texas coach Mack Brown. “We’ve got to improve our passing game and that started tonight.”

It didn’t help that the Bears showed almost no sign of life on offense. Maynard struggled under constant pressure, completing 19-of-33 passes for 188 yards and one interception.

“They got momentum on us early … Our defense did a heck of a job today,” Maynard said. “We’ve got to help them out more.”

Cal rushed for seven total yards, a number partially suppressed by the six sacks Maynard endured.

“We couldn’t get to space today,” Tedford said. “Couldn’t get to the second level.”

But Texas’ offense only woke up after the halftime break. The Longhorns outgained the Cal offense, 255 to 195, but they couldn’t crack 100 through the first two quarters. After one period, Texas had produced only seven total yards.

To say that the first two quarters of football were ugly would be kind: 41 yards of combined first-quarter offense; a shanked 24-yard punt and a missed 38-yard field goal; illegal formation penalties on both a punt and a field goal.

In front of 56,313 people, the two teams punted a combined 16 times, a Holiday Bowl record.

Cal and Texas also managed to tie the lowest-scoring first half in Holiday Bowl history, matching the 10-point total that Oregon and Oklahoma scrapped together in 2005, an eventual 17-14 Sooner victory.

The Bears, who won the coin toss and deferred, burst out of the break with an 11-play, 69-yard drive. They ate up over five minutes of clock, capping the attack with a beautiful toss to running back Isi Sofele, who ran into the end zone nearly untouched.

It was Cal’s last score of the season.

Tedford’s team would earn no amount of vengeance for the perceived slights of 2004, when Texas leapfrogged a one-loss Bears squad for a Rose Bowl berth. Cal then ended up in the Holiday Bowl, where it lost a 45-31 shootout to Texas Tech.

The blue and gold faithful haven’t forgotten, evidenced by the anti-Brown T-shirts many wore. Wednesday night’s loss will likely add more fuel to the long-burning fire. Unless Cal and Texas match up again in the postseason, the squads won’t meet until 2015.

And the Bears’ fans will continue stewing.

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  • Really?

    Attention Cal QBs: Transfer now. Because of Tedford’s deal with the devil, Maynard will be starting next year. Bridgford will be a senior when he finally gets a true chance to play. Tedford will then opt for someone younger on the roster. Will Bridgford be the next Matt Cassel? Maybe, but he should just transfer so he actually gets a chance to play football in college. All other QBs should transfer in protest of Tedford’s obvious deal with KA21.

  • Cal Football Sucks

    Jeff Tedford, $2.4 million and totally worth every penny, amirite?

  • AB


  • loverspoint

    The Pac-12 is 1-4 so far in Bowl Games. Arizona 24 vs #8 Boise 56, California 10 vs Texas 21, Washington 56 vs #15 Baylor 67, Utah 30 vs Georgia Tech 27, UCLA 14 vs Illinois 20. Thank God we let Utah into the Pac-12, they are saving what little pride we have in the Pac-12. I can understand why Arizona lost, why someone matched them with the #8 team in the country, I have no idea, plus Arizona had no Head Coach. Washington gave #15 Baylor with their Heisman QB a run for their money in the greatest shoot out ever in Bowl History. UCLA played tough but was also without a Head Coach. 

    That leaves us with Cal, and the question; Would we have done just as well or better without a Head Coach?  

  • loverspoint

    Just saw Cal basketball team beat UCLA. If only we could infuse the winning mentality from all of Cal’s athletic programs into the football program. 

  • Mike P

    Tedford says turnovers cost them the game; I say it was coaching.  What led to the turnovers?  Bad preparation and lack of focus which are signs of leadership.  Yes, Texas has a good defensive line that is quick but good coaches ADAPT; there was no adaption by Cal.  There was some success in the first half running the quick passes, so why did they go away from that?  There must be some hidden reason Tedford has so much faith in Maynard.  Yes the rush by Texas was effective, yes turnovers hurt, but if you (Tedford) focus on Maynard and watch a film of that Holiday Bowl game and watch every other game from this season, you will see that he is not a leader, not the future, and realize you ought to try something different for next year.  I’ve heard your own players wonder why Bridgeford didn’t get a shot this year; you need to ADAPT.  The reason the Texas line was so good is that even with two of the best receivers in the country, defenses know they only have to play single coverage and occassionally throw double coverage to increase their interception stats.  And then that 15 yard penalty by Miller which is another sign of leadership, or lack thereof.  We will continue stewing, but it’s not about Texas anymore. I’m over that.  It’s about Tedford’s stubborness with the QB situation and his game time leadership.

    • loverspoint

      Here is a great question for Tedford. What was it that had you go all the way out to Buffalo to recruit Maynard? Common tell us the truth, you sold your soul to the Maynard/Allen family not so you could get Maynard, who has never had nor never will have a shot at the NFL but because it was a package deal involving Maynard/Allen. So in a sense Tedford you sold out the team so you could get your recruit. You now have a QB that stays zeroed in on his brother, everyone else is pretty nonexistent. Over the years we have seen Miller go from a decent catching TE to someone who wasted his senior year blocking because Tedford was to lazy to recruit offensive linemen. One of the reasons for USC’s constant success has been the steady stream of monster offensive linemen, same could be said now of Stanford. Where as Cal could only count on having one maybe 2 decent offensive linemen each year. 

  • Angry Alum

    What do we have to look forward to next year?  Tedford remains winless against the current coaching staffs from USC, Oregon, Furd, Washington State and Washington. He has a 30% winning record against Oregon State and he has yet to compete against 3 of the new coaching staffs.

    That leaves Colorado and Utah as the ONLY staffs in the conference against whom he has had success.

    Forget the dreadful play of his team this year, what we SHOULD be focused upon is the REAL problem: his incompetence as a coach vs the competition.

    Bottom-line: It ain’t gonna get better, folks.

    • MondayQB57

      We might get lucky because the defensive coordinator at Wash U was released this week.  He was at USC with Sarkesian.  While there, Pete Carroll had him memorize Teford’s playbook.  The new D coordinator will not have that advantage.  This is a window of opportunity to beat Washington before they reel off a string of W’s before Tedford’s retirement.  Once the new D coordinator sees our offense, our goose is cooked.  In fact, if he is good, he’ll have us figured out by half time.  No throws to the middle of the field, no shots into the end zone unless we’re less than 5 yards from the goal line, and cover the sidelines.

      • loverspoint

        Gee Tedford keeps telling the world that one of the reasons he plays favoritism with QB’s is because the other players can’t comprehend his complicated playbook. 

  • Anonymous

    Cal needs a new starting quarterback.   Zack M is no Aaron Rodgers.  

  • Anonymous

    Allan Bridgford should get the starting nod next season, Zack Maynard is not getting it done.  

    • loverspoint

      Would of, Could of, Should of, except we all know that Tedford made a promise to Maynard that if he could persuade his brother Keenan to go to Cal that Jeff would let him start at QB for 2 years and Allen who was recruited primarily as a DB would start as WR so as that Zack would presumably have a leg up on the other QB’s, no competition necessary.

      • MondayQB57

        I don’t think the problem is Maynard.  I think it’s coaching.  Maynard has a different set of talent the coaching staff should recognize; the staff should call plays that works best for Maynard.  I recall Tedford’s comments during the years of Marshawn and DeSean.  He said it was up to the coaches to put the players in a position to succeed and make plays.  If that is the litmus test, he’s failed.  He had Maynard sitting in a pocket and that’s a formula for failure.  In DeSean’s final year, the only throws to DeSean were the quick tosses.  Replace Maynard and we still have the same problem – poor coaching.  Get ready for more of the same.  The only joy I get out of Cal football is to watch the talented players move onto the NFL where they can unleash their talent for all to see.

        • loverspoint

          Tedfords real problem- although someone anointed  him a QB guru, in truth he has mainly relied on the run since he came to Cal. Forget about Aaron Rodgers, Tedford did not recruit him, he stumbled upon him. Longstreet, Riley, and now Maynard. Ask yourself how many times has Tedford kept his starting QB in the game long after it was out of reach- he never lets the second stringers into the game- The only time Joe Montana was let into games was when Notre Dame was being blown out- That is how Montana got the early nickname of the “Comeback Kid”, the coaches at Notre Dame could no longer ignore him, even though they like Tedford had their preferred favorites. 

  • unbearable

    Texas, flat out, was better coached. It was painfully evident, as their defensive coordinator called blitz after blitz on Maynard who couldn’t get into a rhythm. While Cal was waiting for something to happen, Texas made things happen. And Cal’s play-calling was horrible to say the least.

  • Another

    I really hope Maynard doesn’t start next year.  I will renew my season tickets when Tedford mans up and demotes him to third string.  That O-line though…man they were terrible, I almost felt bad for Maynard, almost.  

  • UT Grad

    Maybe Cal can get over the perceived snub from 2004 now? Maybe Aaron Rodgers should have taken care of business in 2004 instead of getting crushed by Texas Tech. Hook Em Horns!

    • Guest

      You okay, man?

      • MondayQB57

        Does UT stand for uterine trash?

    • Anonymous

      I remember when Texas had good teams.

      Go Ducks

      • Stan De San Diego

        I remember when you had an intelligent handle.

        Oh wait jk

    • over it

      What snub? You mean that one fueled by the media? I think you need to get over it. I don’t have to remind you what Mr. Rogers has done lately. ( Super Bowl, Super Bowl MVP……and……uh….oh yeah……… male athlete of the year)

    • Anonymous

      Does UT stand for uterine trash?

  • loverspoint

    So what do we have to look forward to next season? Well Tedford will deliver his usual statement; We are having plenty of competition but in the long run I will choose my favorite inept people at those positions. You gave Maynard his shot- he is a failure- but he will be your 1st string QB next year because you will tell the press that no other QB can run your complicated offense. Tell me Tedford, when and if you ever watch any game films does it ever concern you that Maynard keeps throwing into double coverage?. If Galas is any reflection of your new offensive line coach then Cal is in big trouble, the only thing Galas is good at is causing penalties. 

  • loverspoint

    Cal is now 0-5 vs Texas. It had 5 turnovers and seemed to have only 5 men on offense or defense.  For all those Seniors that should have been hoping to make a good impression on NFL scouts, lets just say; I hope you got a good education. There won’t be any Bears drafted in the top 3-4 rounds in 2012. Now go back to Berkeley and hibernate like good little bears.

    • unbearable

      Well…… least they’ll get a great education at Berkeley. They did get schooled on the field, though. That’s what happens when Student athletes play a bunch of future pros.

      • Anonymous

        Tedford’s teams have had the second lowest graduation rate in the Pac-12.  So much for Student athletes.

  • Just Deserts

    How much did Tedford make this year?
    $2.4 million, good stuff that.
    Go team, you shiny waste of resources, Go!

    • loverspoint

      Don’t forget his $500,000.00 bonus for watching the construction of the training facility and retro work for Memorial Stadium. 

    • hello

      Cal football turned a profit of over $5million last year. That’s including all operating expenses like Tedford’s salary.

      • loverspoint

        HELLO, HELLO, HELLO, you could put 11 young men on the field without any coaches and you  will still could turn a profit on football ( tickets, TV, merchandise are what make up the profit). Obviously you don’t seem to care that corporate CEO’s that have run their businesses into the ground much like Tedford has done with this football team raked in millions in bonuses for failing at their jobs. We are not getting any bang for our buck. 

        • MondayQB57

          That’s a good reply.  Sadly, there’s no incentive to can Tedford.

  • Afe

    I am no longer going to purchase any more tickets to Cal games…the performance by the Bears tonight was unbearable to watch. 

    • loverspoint

      That’s the only kind of statement you can make in order to get Barber and Tedford fired for their ineptitude. Neither has any pride, as long as the money keeps rolling in. When the Regents and alumni ask for a progress report, they just point to the pie chart that shows the money they are making, it doesn’t show how they almost lost the Rugby and Baseball teams or Tedfords dreadfull record, all they are interested in is that Cal go to a Bowl game.

  • Anonymous

    The best team won tonight.  TX was bigger, stronger, and faster than Cal and blew them out of the building.  TX also deserved that 2004 Rose Bowl berth and had the same record as Cal that year with a way tougher schedule.  If they had settled it then the result would be the same.  Outside of SC, Stanford and Oregon; the Pac 12 is slow and lacks any ability to play stout defense.  Big XII and SEC will beat you every time.

    • Fromthemothership

       “Big XII and SEC will beat you every time.”
      Calm down, sport. <3

      • Sshafikh

        I just have to hand it to you Texas fans that your football team is better than ours. I guess that’s to be expected from a program that is a farm system for NFL and not really a program designed for student athletes. Also of note, Texas always lands top 10 recruiting classes year-in and year-out. Us Cal fans just have to settle for knowing that UC Berkeley alums may be a bit better than UT alums in fields other than football, say academics or running other universities, i. e.  UT.

        Good luck

        • Brolls

          “Us Cal fans just have to settle for knowing that UC Berkeley alums may
          be a bit better than UT alums in fields other than football, say
          academics or running other universities, i. e.  UT.”

          You may be a bit better at self-pity, snark, and pomposity too.

          • Fromthemothership

            You need to calm down too. <3

          • Fromthemothership

            Oops, had a bit of a typo there.

            *You need to calm down… again. ;D

          • Guest

            But UT is the best at self-delusion and aggressive cognitive dissonance.  Don’t work too hard…

    • Cbforth

      If you are proud of the way the longhorns looked tonight, then you are delusional. Texas was awful in the first half… it was almost unwatchable. Actually, I would call the first half of the game a joke, and an embarrassing bowl performance for both teams. Cal just happened to be a bit crappier.

    • loverspoint

      Don’t give all the credit to the players. The coaches of Texas seemed more motivated, they went for it on 4th down and they tried a few trick plays and if it weren’t for penalties Cal would have looked even more confused- Tedford thinks of trick plays as unsportsmanlike conduct, he believes in the old standard, run right, run left, now pass to Keenan Allen on a 5 yard route and let him run the ball, but Tedford will tell you his players aren’t smart enough to learn plays like that, I think Tedford lacks the imagination to draw up a creative play. I can still hear John Madden say; why is that QB throwing to a WR on a 5 yard route when it is 3rd and 15. Cal doesn’t know how to play football, period. 

    • Anonymous

      If the steers can’t win with a 5-turnover edge, then you’re not as dumb as you sound.