Cal Bears podcast with Michael Duca: Golden Bears looking for that first win; Face Oregon Saturday night

Cal Bears quarterback Chase Garbers prepares to throw against the Arizona State Sun Devils in the first half of Sep 27, 2019 game at Cal. Garbers and the Bears host the Oregon Ducks this Sat Dec 5, 2020 at Berkeley (AP News file photo)

Cal Bears podcast with Michael:

#1 The Cal Bears (0-3) play their fourth game of the season at Berkeley against the Oregon Ducks (3-1) on Saturday at 4:00pm  Oregon a tough team to play against and the Bears are badly looking for their first win.

#2 The Bears just missed a close game last week to the Stanford Cardinal 24-23 when Cal kicker Dario Longhetto had a blocked kick on an extra point which turned out to be the difference maker.

#3 It wasn’t a win but talk about Cal quarterback Chase Garber who threw for 151 yards, two touchdowns, and in a game where every scored counted and those two touchdowns were vital even in the loss.

#4 Garbers certainly would like to convert some more offense from his running backs and receivers. Running back Christopher Brown Jr carried for 26 yards and receiver Kekoa Crawford ran for 52 yards and had a touchdown.

#5 The Bears next opponents the Ducks (3-1) had a four game win streak until they faced the Oregon State Beavers (2-2) last Friday in a 41-38 loss. The Ducks quarterback Tyler Shough threw for 285 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in the loss.

Join Michael Fridays for the Cal Bears podcasts at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Arizona State holds off Cal, 70-62 in Pac-12 opener

By Morris Phillips

BERKELEY, CA–Coach Mark Fox gave an honest opinion in handicapping his Bears’ assignment against high-scoring Arizona State saying, “we’re going to have to overachieve.”

Fox got his wish, with Cal playing above its current abilities and pushing the Sun Devils to the limit. But that effort wasn’t quite at the level needed to pull a significant, early season upset.

Senior Remy Martin led ASU with 22 points, five assists and the Bears went the final 2:11 scoreless, falling 70-62 at Haas Pavilion. The Pac-12 opener for both teams saw the Sun Devils maintain a slim lead throughout the game’s final 21 minutes after Cal led for the final time, 34-31 just before halftime.

Matt Bradley led Cal with 20 points, but missed 14 shot attempts as Cal’s offense never got dialed in despite a significant edge on the glass providing additional opportunities.

The Bears shot just 40 percent from the floor and committed 20 turnovers. That and a quiet night from the Cal bench (6 points) marked the line between Fox’s desired overachievement and something decidedly less.

The Golden Bears (2-2, 0-1) travel to UCLA on Sunday afternoon knowing their glaring needs of better ball movement and a consistent, secondary scorer are clearly discernable for their opponent. The Bruins exploited both issues in Cal’s worst offensive effort of last season, also at Pauley Pavilion.

While transfers Ryan Betley and Makale Foreman have been capable starters and shooters, returning Bears Joel Brown, Andre Kelly, Lars Thiemann and Grant Anticevich haven’t had representative games in any of the four contests to date. Anticevich is 3 of 16 from distance thus far with Fox saying shooting improvement from distance should come quickly for his senior forward and Bradley as well.

The Sun Devils got 14 points, three rebounds from their highest rated recruit in program history, Josh Christopher, the younger brother of former Cal star Patrick Christopher.

Cal Bears basketball game wrap: Strong second half solidifies Bears a win in home opener 60-49 against Nicholls

The Cal Bears Matt Bradley (20) puts some defense on the Nicholls State offense. Bradley led Cal with 26 points in the Bears first win of the 2020-21 season (calbears.com photo)

By Barbara Mason

It had been 275 days since the Cal Bears had played at Haas Pavilion so it has been a long time coming. Monday night the Bears played their home opener taking on Nicholls State. Cal was leading at half-time 23-18. The Bears sealed the deal with a strong second half surge winning by the score of 60-49. Cal outscored Nicholls in the second half 37-31.

Cal’s Matt Brandley turned in a solid performance scoring 26 points in this third game of the season. Grant Anticevich also had 11 points in this game. The Bears sank 10 3-pointers courtesy of starters Anticevich with three and Brandley who also had three. Makale Foreman and Ryan Betley both turned in two 3-pointers each.

While the Bears did trail early by a slim margin 4-3 they really turned it around going on an amazing 18-2 run inside of nine minutes in the first half. Nicholls made it interesting when they tied up the game at 23 early in the second half. It was a 3-pointer by Brandley that put the Bears ahead for the remainder of the game. They never looked back taking this game by a comfortable margin.

The Bears now have a 2-1 record after beating Northwest WA handily while dropping one to Oregon State for their only loss this season. The Bears will meet their biggest challenge Thursday night when they take on Arizona State. That game will also be played at Haas with tip-off at 7:30. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.

 

Cal Bears Football podcast with Michael Duca: Stanford just edges Cal in a game no one gave an inch

The Cal Bears linebacker Kuony Deng (8) led the Bears with 14 tackles against the Stanford Cardinal on Fri Nov 27, 2020 (calbears.com photo)

On the Cal Bears football podcast with Michael:

#1 Michael, one thing you could say about that first half of the Big Game all indications was that this was going to be tight game no team was giving in. Cal (0-3) and Stanford (1-2) finished the first half to a 10-10 tie.

#2 Michael, in the second half it was very unfortunate for Cal time just ran out as the Bears picked up a touchdown in the third quarter and one in the fourth but the kicker  Stanford scored two touchdowns in the third quarter to edge Cal by one point.

#3 Stanford quarterback Davis Mills threw for 205 yards and one touchdown talk about the job he did and how the Cardinal offense performed against the Bears.

#4 Cal quarterback Chase Garbers looked like he had a good afternoon under center in spite of the loss throwing for 151 yards and two touchdowns.

#5 Oregon comes to Cal for the next home game next Sat Dec 5th at Memorial Stadium. The Ducks have won four straight games and have been a worthy opponent in the Pac 12.

Michael Duca filled in for Morris Phillips for the Cal Bears podcast at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Blocked extra point leaves Cal winless, and without the Axe

By Morris Phillips

How could a blocked extra point be so costly?

For star-crossed Cal, it was just that: no overtime, no win over Stanford, no Axe and likely no postseason.

With under four-and-a-half minutes remaining, the Bears moved smartly and quickly down field culminating with Christopher Brown Jr.’s 3-yard touchdown to pull the Bears within 24-23 pending the extra point. But with 58 seconds remaining, Dario Longhetto’s kick was blocked, leaving Cal agonizingly short.

“We had multiple opportunities to win the game but we didn’t get it done,” coach Justin Wilcox said. “We can’t sit around feeling sorry for ourselves. We have to own it, starting with me. We have to coach better and individually have to own up to what we didn’t do well enough to win the game.”

Wilcox hinted at other problems, not just the blocked kick. There were several–a muffed punt, a blocked field goal attempt before the half, and two critical deficits, 17-10 and 24-17 with time running short–leading the Bears to a tough loss without any wins.

The Bears got another gritty effort from Chase Garbers, and a 121-yard rushing effort from true freshman Damien Moore. But missing three starters on the offensive line prevented the Bears from seizing momentum and keeping it. No consecutive scores and miscues kept the Bears locked in a close game.

Stanford–absent of the edge in physicality that propelled them to eight, consecutive wins in the series prior to last season–simply followed Cal’s miscues with opportunism.

Stanford Cardinal post game report: Stanford wins a thriller as they defeat the California Bears 24-23

Stanford’s Thomas Booker got an elbow on Cal kicker Dario Longhetto’s extra point attempt in the fourth quarter which was a crucial point attempt that ended up with Cal losing by one point at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley on Fri Nov 27, 2020 (photo from sfchronicle.com)

By Daniel Dullum

Stanford met the University of California for the 123rd time on Friday. The game was played at Memorial Stadium on the Cal campus with no fans in the seats. It didn’t matter as this was the Big Game. The storied rivalry between the two teams has captivated their fans for years.

Neither team had won a game this season. Each team had a game canceled due to Covid-19. The excitement was still palpable. The Bears won control of the Axe when they beat Stanford 24-20 last year. Stanford’s coach, David Shaw, improved to 9-1 against the Bears. Cal’s coach, Justin Wilcox, is now 1-3 against the Cardinal.

The game was, without question, one that either team could have won. The Bears had opportunities to win the game. They didn’t, as they made five critical mistakes that allowed Stanford to win 24-23.

The Cardinal blocked a Bear field goal attempt at the end of the first half that would have put the Bears ahead 13-10. They failed to make a fair catch. The fumble led to a Stanford score. Another fumble allowed Stanford to score their second touchdown of the game.

The Bears defense was called for a holding penalty. Stanford took advantage and put seven points on the board. The final mistake came late in the fourth quarter. The Bears started a game-tying drive from their ten-yard line. Led by quarterback Chase Grabers, the Bears marched down the field.

One of the key plays was Damian Moore’s 27-yard scamper. Grabers connected with Clark to get the ball down to Stanford’s 18-yard line. Cal running back Christopher Brown blasted through the Stanford line to get the ball inside the five-yard line. Two more plays moved the ball to the three. Brown scored to make in 24-23. Stanford then blocked the try for the extra point to destroy Cal’s hopes to tie the game and possibly win it in overtime.

In the first half, Cal’s offense scored the first touchdown of the game when Chase Grabers connected with Kekoa Crawford for the score. Cal’s defense played well in the first quarter keeping Stanford off the board.

The Bears led 7-0 after the first fifteen minutes of play. The Cardinal’s Jet Toner kicked a field goal to start the second period to make it 7-3. The Bears regained the seven-point advantage when Grabers made two great runs to get the ball into the red zone. The Bear drive stalled at the 7-yard line. Cal kicker David Longhetto made the field goal to put the Bears ahead 10-3.

Things started going south for the Bears when Remigio muffed the punt. Stanford recovered on the Bears 16-yard line. Davis Mills connected with Mike Wilson to tie the game 10-10 with 2:09 left in the first half.

The Bears mounted a drive that got them to the Cardinal 15-yard line with just eight seconds left. Stanford was guilty of pass interference on the play. Grabers pass into the end zone was incomplete. Stanford blocked the Bear’s field goal try. The half ended tied 10-10.

Davis Mills was 13 for 17, good for 104 yards and one touchdown. Austin Jones had five carries for just twelve yards. Mike Wilson caught five passes for 55 yards and one touchdown. Chase Grabers was 12 for 15 for 98 yards and a touchdown. He led the Bears in rushing with five carries for 32 yards.

Stanford took the lead for the first time in the third quarter. The Bears fumble, recovered by Stanford on Cal’s 40-yard line, allowed Stanford to put more points on the board. Mills’ pass to Wilson took Stanford inside the ten-yard line.

Jones took the ball to the three and then to the house to give Stanford a 17-10 lead. Cal stormed back to tie the game. Running back Damien Moore ripped off a 54-yard run. Grabers connected with Nikko Remigio for the score to tie the game 17-17.

Mills was taking the Cardinal downfield once again. It looked like the Bears had stopped the Cardinal drive when the Cal defense intercepted Mills’ pass. The referees called a holding penalty, and Stanford retained control of the ball. The Cardinal took the ball down to the Bears’ eight-yard line. Austin Jones rammed his way into the end zone for the tally. 24-17 Stanford advantage.

The Bears started the tying drive on their ten-yard line. They marched down the field for the score. With 62 seconds left in the game, Christopher Brown scored. All Cal had to do was make the extra point, and the game would be tied.

Cal coach Justin Wilcox had an option. He could have asked his team to go for a two-point conversion. If Cal made it, they would have won. Wilcox went for the safer option. Make the extra point, and Cal will take its chances in overtime. Stanford’s defense rose to the occasion and blocked the kick. Stanford won and reclaimed the Axe.

Game stats- Davis Mills was 24 for 32, good for 205 yards and one TD. Grabers was 19 for 29 for 151 yards and two TDs. Austin Jones had 18 carries for 72 yards and two TDs/ Cal’s Damien Moore rushed ten times for 121 yards. Mike Wilson had seven catches for 88 yards and one TD. Kekoa Crawford had five receptions for 52 yards and one TD.

Team stats:
Total Yards- Stanford 289- Cal 392
Time of possession-Stanford 33:15- Cal 22:17
Turnovers- Stanford 0- Cal two
First downs-Stanford 15-Cal 20
Penalties-Cal six for 75 yards- Stanford on for 10 yards.

Stanford goes to Seattle to play the Washington Huskies on December 5th. Cal hosts the University of Oregon.

 

Cal Bears podcast with Michael Duca: Big Game commences after season of cancelation and loses for both teams

On the very offensive first play of the game between the Cal Bears and Oregon State Beavers running back Jemar Jefferson (6) carried for 75 yards for the opening score on Sat Nov 21st, 2020. Cal is trying to avoid such an offensive volley like this as they kick off with the Stanford Cardinal in the Big Game Fri Nov 27, 2020 at Memorial Stadium (AP News photo)

Cal Bears podcast with Michael Duca:

#1 The Big Game has arrived an event that everyone is counting on regardless where either Stanford (0-2) or Cal (0-2) is in the standings both schools look forward to the battle for the ax.

#2 Taking a look at visiting Stanford first, quarterback Davis Mills threw for 327 yards and carried for a touchdown. In spite of a great day of throwing the Cardinal offense couldn’t execute against the Colorado Buffaloes defense scoring in single digits in each of the first three quarters in a 35-32 loss.

#3 The Cal Bears quarterback Chase Garbers threw a game that was good enough to win against the Oregon State Beavers (1-2) in the Bears last game. Garbers with 315 yards passing and three touchdowns but Cal came up short 31-27.

#4 Michael, both teams have lost both of their games and have two games canceled due to Covid-19 for this Big Game today how much of their timing do you expect to be off after two weeks worth of downtime?

#5 It’s the Big Game today at Cal you’ve attended a few Big Games in your career and while it’s a great thing to be their working a game like this behind the scenes you can get a great sense how important it is for both of these schools to battle hard for that ax.

Michael Duca does the Cal Bears podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

Cal basketball in the win column with blowout of Northwest WA, 86-61

The Cal Bears Ryan Betley (00) led all scorers on Thanksgiving night at Northwest University at Gill Coliseum with 14 points in the Bears first win of the 2020-21 season (KLC Photos)

By Morris Phillips

It’s not the distinction the Cal athletic department was looking for but hey, it’s 2020 and just about anything goes.

The Cal men’s basketball team has a win at least a day before the Cal football team gets its initial win. Call it calendar confusion or a COVID cancelations conundrum, the Bears hoopers have their first win, 86-61 over Northwest (WA) a day before the Cal football team (0-2) faces Stanford in the Big Game.

Normally, the overlap between college football and college basketball is brief, but nothing is normal this season. In fact, it wasn’t until midway through this week that the Bears found out they would be playing on Thanksgiving day.

But once the novelty of it all played out the Bears got down to business, decimating the NAIA Eagles with a 27-4 run early in the first half on their way to a 20-point halftime lead and a 25-point win.

Five Golden Bears scored in double figures led by Ryan Betley with 14 points, nine rebounds. Andre Kelly an Matt Bradley each scored 11 points, Makale Foreman and Joel Brown each had 10.

Mark Fox jumbled his lineup, inserting Foreman, Kuany Kuany and D.J. Thorpe as starters after the team started sluggishly on Wednesday versus OSU. Fox took advantage of the big lead by getting playing time for his entire roster with Logan Alters, Blake Welle and Jalen Celestine making their season debuts.

The two schools were originally scheduled for Friday afternoon but the late scratch of the Colorado State Rams due to COVID issues forced the teams to move up 24 hours to accommodate a newly scheduled Northwest (WA)-Oregon State matchup on Friday.

The Bears return to the Bay Area early in anticipation of their home opener against Nicholls of the Southland Conference on Monday night.

 

 

Bears’ late rally falls short in season-opening loss to Oregon State, 71-63

By Morris Phillips

A sluggish start doomed the Cal Bears in their much-anticipated season opener against Oregon State.

After trailing by five at the half–and as many as 14 in the second half–the Bears’ late rally came up short in a 71-63 loss at Corvallis. Cal gets a quick turnaround with Northwest University up next at 3pm on Thursday also at Gill Coliseum.

The Bears and Beavers agreed to play each other in a rare non-conference matchup between Pac-12 foes just 48 hours earlier when Cal’s scheduled opponent, Colorado State was forced to withdraw from the multi-team event due to Coronavirus issues.

The Bears may have had a couple of more returning players than did OSU, but the Beavers had the more impactful newcomers as they controlled the glass and displayed better shot selection in a game the home team led throughout. Senior guard Ethan Thompson led OSU with 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists and Nicholls transfer Warith Alatishe contributed 16 points to help Oregon State hold off Cal, who climbed within 67-62 with a 1:30 remaining but could get no closer.

The Bears got 21 points from Matt Bradley, who led Cal despite missing 11 of his 16 shot attempts from the floor. Transfer guard Makale Foreman was the only other Bear in double digits with 10.

Cal ran into trouble early, falling behind 10-4 on their way to missing 18 of their 30 field goal attempts before halftime. The Bears ran into more problems in the second half by shooting threes in an attempt to get back in the game, but missed 11 of 14.

The Beavers controlled the glass 43-32 to make up for their subpar 44 percent shooting. Reserve Rodrique Andela grabbed 11 rebounds in just 23 minutes off the bench. Jarod Lucas was OSU’s other bench contributor with 11 points in 24 minutes.

Freshman Monty Bowser and graduate transfer Ryan Betley made their Cal debuts with Betley starting and scoring nine points.

The two schools hadn’t met as non-conference opponents since the 1987 NIT. Prior to that they met in a regular season contest at the Far West Classic in Portland in 1984.

The Bears and Beavers will meet again on January 2 and February 25 in Berkeley. They split last season with each team winning at home.

Cal Bears podcast with Morris Phillips: Big Game at Cal has Stanford and Bears looking for that first win

Oregon State Beavers quarterback Tristan Gebbia keeps a one yard rush for the go ahead touchdown with just 4:30 left in the game against the Cal Bears at Corvallis at the Oregon State University on Sat Nov 21, 2020 (Oregonian/OregonLive photo)

Cal Bears podcast with Morris Phillips:

#1 It was a game that got away from the Cal Bears (0-2) in the fourth quarter the  Oregon State Beavers (1-2) had a lead after Jake Tonges scored on a two yard pass from quarterback Chase Garbers at 8:04 remaining for a 27-24 lead over the Beavers.

#2 The Beavers got back with 4:30 left in the ball game when quarterback Tristan Gebbia took a one yard keeper into the end zone for a Beavers 31-27 lead and eventual win.

# 3 After losing in UCLA last week to the Bruins this one had to be hard to take as well dropping to 0-2 and such a hard effort against a team like the Beavers only to lose it in the end for Cal?

#4 Cal Bears quarterback Chase Garbers threw a good enough game to win with 315 yards and three touchdowns but as the Bears know turnovers will hurt you and Garbers was intercepted twice by the Beavers in this one.

#5 Like the Stanford Cardinal (0-2) the Bears have played on two games and had two games canceled. The Big Game is scheduled for this Fri Nov 27th at Cal Memorial and for both teams a critical game to get in the win column as both are looking for that first win and also trying to avoid a third cancelation as Covid outbreaks have been rampant in the Pac 12.

Morris Phillips does the Cal Bears podcasts each Monday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com