Cal Bears podcast with Morris Phillips: Bears prepare for Colorado; Cal in second road game in a row

Cal Bears head coach Justin Wilcox had worry on his mind all game long against the Washington State Cougars at Pullman on Sat Oct 1, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the Cal Bears podcast:

#1 Morris, like you questioned in your column on Saturday can the Cal Bears (3-2) win a game on the road?

#2 Cal is in last with a 3-2 record how concerned is head coach Justin Wilcox?

#3 To quote Wilcox after the game “We got nothing going in the run game,” coach Justin Wilcox admitted. “Pass protection wasn’t where it needed to be. 

#4 Cal quarterback Jack Plummer went 23-33 for 273 yards against the Washington State Cougars (4-1) but did not throw one touchdown and one interception. Coach Wilcox mentioned lack of pass protection was that more the case or Plummer just couldn’t get settled in to find targets?

#5 The Bears have a bye this Sat 7th and return to action on Sat Oct 15th to continue their road trip and face the Colorado Buffaloes (0-5) in Colorado. The Buffaloes were trampled on by the Arizona Wildcats last Saturday 43-20. Is Colorado Cal’s best chance to pick up their first win of the season?

Join Morris Phillips for Cal Bears podcasts at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Bears Blues: Cal bows out quietly in 28-9 loss at Washington State

By Morris Phillips

The question “Can the Cal Bears win one on the road?” became more burdensome as the afternoon in Pullman, Washington progressed.

As in “Can the Bears win on the road if they don’t score first, don’t get a big afternoon from Jaydn Ott, or if they score a measly fraction of the 49 points they put up on Arizona last week?”

The answer: No, no, no and no.

In losing 28-9 to Washington State, the Bears wasted a first half of solid play defensively by failing to gain any consistency on offense in either half. The Bears brief moment of competitiveness–Ott’s 2-yard touchdown run at the outset of the fourth quarter–failed to resonate when two Bears tripped over each other on a failed, two-point conversion attempt that would have trimmed their deficit to 14-11.

“We got nothing going in the run game,” coach Justin Wilcox admitted. “Pass protection wasn’t where it needed to be. We’re all gonna share in that, but we didn’t expect to be as poor as we were in those areas today, especially coming off of last week.”

The Bears have lost nine of their last 10 road games dating back to 2020.

Cal scored 49 points in racing past Arizona at home last week, but the host Cougars kept Cal from converting 11 third down opportunities resulting in nine Cal punts. Once seven Cal plays that loss yardage and four sacks of quarterback Jake Plummer were factored in Cal’s offense numbers shrank dramatically.

Ott, the freshman who gained 274 yards rushing against Arizona, was productive again, but nowhere near spectacular. On 23 touches, run and pass, Ott gained 110 yards and had double-digit gainers on the ground and through the air. Jeremiah Hunter (109 yards receiving) and J. Michael Sturdivant (six catches, 71 yards) were factors as well. But the trio’s numbers didn’t amount to much on the scoreboard.

“A couple of big plays in the air, and that was nice to see, but we gotta score more than that, everybody knows that,” Wilcox said.

FCS-transfer quarterback Cameron Ward threw for 343 yards and two scores to lead WSU despite throwing two interceptions. Ward connected with Robert Ferrel for a beautifully-timed and placed TD pass to open the third quarter that increased WSU’s lead to 14-3. In the fourth quarter Ward hit Renard Bell for a 37-yard score and a 21-9 lead.

Ward also extended plays with his feet, and that was more influential than the turnovers as the Cougars converted six, third down opportunities and two more on fourth down.

“We had three or four chances for some negative plays on them, but we just couldn’t get him on the ground,” Wilcox said of the mobile Ward.

Beyond the four sacks, Jack Plummer was harassed throughout by the Washington State pass rush, and he suffered a knee injury late in the game. No report was released regarding the severity of the injury with the Bears now having two weeks to prepare for their next game at Colorado.

Plummer finished 22 of 33 for 273 yards.

“We obviously don’t want him to get hit,” offensive lineman Matthew Cindrich said. “We definitely have to look ourselves in the mirror and say what can we do to not let that happen anymore.”

Cal upends UC Davis 34-13; Golden Bears master Aggies on both sides of the ball

Cal Bears starting quarterback Jack Plummer fires a pass past the UC Aggies defense at Memorial Stadium in first half action on Sat Sep 3, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Morris Phillips and Michael Duca

BERKELEY–Quarterback Jack Plummer found receivers three times for touchdowns which led the Cal Bears (1-0) to a convincing 34-13 win over the visiting UC Davis Aggies at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley on Saturday afternoon on the opening day of the college football season for Cal.

Plummer threw for 268 yards, three touchdowns and 268 yards. The Bears got behind the eight ball early in the first quarter when the Aggies scored a first quarter touchdown for a 7-0 lead. The Bears came back to take a ten point lead at the half making it 17-7.

Bears head coach Justin Wilcox said the team was a little nervous getting out of the gate on opening day like this but Wilcox said that the team talked things over and they got whatever was wrong out of their system by having that explosive 17 point second quarter.

Plummer from then on was hitting his wide outs starting with Jeremiah Hunter for a three yard touchdown, an eight yard pass to Jaydn Ott in second quarter action and in fourth quarter action Plummer found Marvin Anderson for a 14 yard touchdown.

Plummer as it turned out had a great offensive day 23 for 35 for 268 yards, Plummer said that the team got into a bit of a rhythm and realized once they found that opening on offense they were confident about putting the Aggies on their heels.

Craig Woodson for Cal picked off Aggies quarterback Miles Hastings pass for a return touchdown during the opening drive for 39 yards in second half action for a 24-7 lead and the Golden Bears were in the drivers seat pretty much most of the way.

Aggies head coach Dan Hawkins said while the team was not perfect it was playing excellent football saying the team battled hard for much of the game and that the Aggies had a good practice camp coming into the season and that it’s tough road on the opening of the season. Hawkins said to flush this game and move on.

The Bears host UNLV next Sat Sep 18 for a 1:00pm PDT kick off at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley.

Morris Phillips and Michael Duca cover Cal Bears football at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Cal Bears/Pac 12 Tournament podcast with Morris Phillips: What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas; Cal eliminated by WSU in first game of tournament

California’s Lars Thiemann (21) tries to get around the Washington State Cougars defense at the T Mobile Center in Las Vegas in the first game of the Pac 12 Tournament on Wed Mar 9, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the Cal Bears/Pac 12 Tournament podcast with Morris:

#1 It’s been a long season Morris and its come down to this a first game loss of the Pac 12 Tournament to the Washington State Cougars (19-13) for the Cal Bears (12-20) a seven point 66-59 loss for the Bears.

#2 We know you’ve said it all season with this loss did it just come down to a lack of talent or the Cougars just had enough offense to make this work on Wednesday night.

#3 How disappointing does this have to be for Cal head coach Mark Fox having finished the season eight games below .500 and being eliminated in the first game of the Pac 12 Tournament.

#4 Once again the ball was going to Jordan Shepherd who led Cal with 19 points Cal also outscored the Cougars in the second half 39-34 but time just ran out for the Bears.

#5 For coach Fox talk about some of the things that he needs to work on, put together to get this team ready for 2022-23 and who do you see coming back for next season?

Morris Phillips filled in for Michael Duca who did the Cal Bears basketball podcasts Fridays during the 2021-22 season with Morris at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Cal holds Cardinal to season-low point total, winning 53-39

Jordan Shepherd led the Cal Bears with 21 points against the Stanford Cardinal at Haas Pavilion Sat Feb 26, 2022 (image from Cal Bears Athletics)

By Daniel Dullum
Saturday, February 26, 2022

California earned a split on the season series between the Bay Area rivals, winning 53-39 over visiting Stanford Saturday in Pac-12 men’s basketball at Haas Pavilion

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Stanford (15-13 overall, 8-10 Pac-12) has lost three straight games, and six of its last eight. The 38 points was the Cardinal’s lowest point total of the season; Stanford scored 48 points in a Nov. 20 loss to Baylor and 43 in a Jan. 29 loss to UCLA.

Spencer Jones was the Cardinal’s top scorer with 10 points, followed by Jaiden Delaire with seven points and Harrison Ingram with six. Maxime Raynaud, Brandon Angel and Max Murrell each grabbed five of Stanford’s 34 rebounds, six fewer than Cal (12-17 overall, 5-13 Pac-12).

Jordan Shepard paced the Bears with 21 points, as Stanford held Cal to 18 points in the second half, and the Bears’ 53 points was their third-lowest total of the season.

Stanford didn’t help itself by missing 16 of its first 17 field goal attempts to start the game, eventually trailing by 23 at halftime. On the night, the Cardinal hit 12 of 51 field goal attempts for 24 percent, including 4 of 18 on 3-pointers.

The Cardinal were held to 14 points in the paint, five second-chance points and two points off turnovers.

The Cardinal wrap up their regular season on the road, visiting No. 2-ranked Arizona Thursday in Tucson, and heading to Tempe to face Arizona State next Saturday.

Cal Bears basketball podcast with Michael Duca: Fox says team just wore down in second half in loss to Stanford Tuesday

The Cal Bears guard Jordan Shepherd led Cal with 15 points on Tue Feb 1, 2022 against the Stanford Cardinal at Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto (photo by the Cal Bears)

On the Cal Bears podcast with Michael:

#1 The compressed schedule that has the Cal Bears (9-13) playing five times in 10 days, along with Tuesday’s physical play clearly impacted them in a second half that was controlled by the hosts.

#2 For the Stanford Cardinal (13-7) Jaden Delaire and freshman Harrison Ingram led Stanford with 12 points a piece. Spencer Jones and Michael O’Connell each had nine points, and fifth starter James Keefe with 8 points and 11 rebounds.

#3 The Bears Andre Kelly was out of the line up with a leg injury he got when he played against USC on Saturday and Lars Thiemann was put to good use with the most minutes 32 of his career and had with 11 points, six rebounds in 32 minutes.

#4 “I do think that we wore down a little bit in the second half,” coach Mark Fox said. “Certainly we missed Andre on the offensive end, but defensively we gave ourselves a chance.”

#5 Michael, the (12-8) Washington Huskies are coming to Cal on Thursday night the last time the two teams met at UW in Seattle on Jan 12 the Huskies took a nine point win over the Bears 64-55. In that game Jordan Shepherd was the only player who managed double figures with 12 in the loss.

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

Stanford Cardinal game wrap: Cardinal return to win column with 57-50 victory over Cal

Stanford Cardinal bench is excited with the results against the Cal Bears at Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto on Tue Feb 1, 2022 (photo by Stanford Cardinal Athletics)

By Daniel Dullum
Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Stanford returned to the win column in Pac-12 men’s basketball Tuesday at Maples Pavilion with a 57-50 rivalry win over California.

Jaiden Delaire and Harrison Ingram paced the Cardinal’s balanced attack with 12 points each, and Spencer Jones and Michael O’Connell had nine points apiece, as Stanford held the Golden Bears to their lowest offensive output in the series since February of 2000. O’Connell also had three assists.

James Keefe pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds as the Cardinal (13-7 overall, 6-4 Pac-12) outrebounded Cal 35-28. The Bears (9-13, 2-9) were forced into nine turnovers.

While both teams struggled offensively, Stanford made shots when they needed to. An Ingram jump shot with 34 seconds remaining in the first half put the Cardinal ahead for good. In the second half, Stanford enjoyed a 6-0 run, capped by Brandon Angel’s 3-pointer with 11:23 remaining in the second half, giving the Cardinal 35-29 lead.

Cal responded with its own 6-2 run, but got no closer than 37-35.

The Cardinal made 21 of 50 field goal attempts (42 percent) while making only 3 of 15 3-point attempts. Stanford held Cal to 35 percent from the floor.

Stanford hosts Washington State on Thursday and Washington on Saturday.

No. 7 UCLA snaps Cardinal two-game winning streak, winning 66-43

UCLA guard Jules Bernard, center, struggles to keep possession of the ball while defended by Stanford forward Spencer Jones, left, and guard Isa Silva at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles on Sat Jan 29, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Daniel Dullum
Saturday, January 29, 2022

UCLA went into Saturday’s Pac-12 men’s basketball game against Stanford shorthanded, but their personnel situation was hardly noticeable.

The No. 7-ranked Bruins shut down the visiting Cardinal 66-43 at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, gaining sole possession of first place in the conference.

Jules Bernard led UCLA with 16 points as the Bruins (16-2 overall, 8-1 Pac-12) won their sixth straight game. Jake Kyman scored a season-high 15 points in 27 minutes, helping a Bruins offense that was missing leading scorer Johnny Juzang, who sat out his second straight game due to COVID-19 protocols. Tyler Campbell contributed ten points and nine assists.

Also missing for UCLA: Jaime Jacquez Jr. and Jaylen Clark. Jacquez aggravated a right ankle injury just seven minutes in, and Clark sat out his third straight game due to concussion protocol.

Stanford (12-7, 5-4) had its problems on offense as the Cardinal had their two-game winning streak snapped. The Cardinal hit 13 of 48 field goal attempts, including 3 of 20 behind the arc. The Bruins defense forced 22 turnovers.

The Bruins, meanwhile, had their own offensive struggles, hitting 22 of 59 from the field while missing 25 threes.

Isa Silva led the Cardinal scoring with eight points off the bench, and Harrison Ingram, Stanford’s leading scorer, was held to five points while committing four turnovers.

Stanford returns home to host California on Tuesday night, opening a four-game home stand.

Cal Bears basketball podcast with Morris Phillips: Bears in the Southland on Thursday to face tough nemesis UCLA; Cal looking to end 5 game skid

Arizona Wildcats guard Bennedict Mathurin (0) Arizona’s leading scorer with guard Kerr Kriisa (25) share a handshake at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley defeating the Cal Bears on Sun Jan 23, 2022 (photo from the Arizona Wildcats)

On the Cal basketball podcast:

#1 Morris from wire to wire the Arizona Wildcats (16-1) were just having their way with the basketball and the Cal Bears (9-10) for a 96-71 win. On offense Benedict Mathurin led the Wildcats in scoring. Mathurin like most of his teammate was getting some nice chances today.

#2 On the Cal defense frustrating getting them to stop the Wildcats inside game hence the kind of success led by Mathurin getting his way on many of his shots.

#3 Morris during the game you mentioned Jordan Shepherd had a tough time getting out of the gate he eventually led Cal in scoring but for most of the game was the only player in double figures.

#4 Morris, talk a little bit about the Cal offense try as hard as they may guys like Andre Kelly and Joel Brown were in single digits for most of the game and Arizona knew about guys like these to shut their game down.

#5 Cal head coach Mark Fox got a pair of technicals and ejected from the game talk about the ejection and how much that impacted Cal’s game.

#6 It’s back to the drawing board for Cal as it’s onto the Southland and the UCLA Bruins (13-2) on Thu Jan 27th at Pauley Pavilion. The last time Cal faced the Bruins in Berkeley on Jan 8th the Bruins were the clear winners 60-52. After getting a dose of the Wildcats on Sunday can Cal come back and make a game of it on Thursday night?

Join Morris Phillips for the Cal Bears basketball podcasts at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Cal Bears basketball podcast with Morris Phillips: After four straight loses Cal faces one of the Pac 12’s toughest teams in Arizona Sunday

California forward Lars Thiemann (21) and Washington State forward Mouhamed Gueye (35) go for the ball in Sat Jan 15, 2022 contest at Pullman (AP News photo)

On the Cal Bears podcast with Morris:

#1 Morris after winning five in a row the Cal Bears (9-9) has now lost four in a row what’s been the difference in the change?

#2 How tough has it got to be for the Bears after losing the two games to USC (14-2) and UCLA (11-2) and then losing twice again to Washington and Washington State Cal head coach Mark Fox works hard to prepare this team.

#3 Looking at Cal’s last game in Pullman 65-57 against the Washington State Cougars (10-7) on Saturday night the Bears had the lead after the half but couldn’t hold it were the Bears just pressing too much in second half?

#4 We know you mentioned it in your recap that Cal guard Joel Brown who just got out of Covid 19 protocols after a seven day quarantine got to Pullman from Berkeley on a flight and played just a minute. After being away that amount of time from playing did Brown come into the game pretty rusty?

#5 Cal now will host one of the toughest teams in the Pac 12 the Arizona Wildcats (14-1) at Haas Pavilion on Sun Jan 23rd for a noon tip. The Wildcats just manhandled their last opponents the Utah Utes (8-9) in Tucson 82-64. How do you see the Bears approach to fending off the Wildcats this Sunday?

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