Michael Duca on Cal football

by Michael Duca
BERKELEY–I had a chance to work with Cal Bears radio play by play man Joe Starkey at the Rose Bowl when the Bears played against UCLA last Sat Oct 12th. I had a chance to show him around my childhood press box except I didn’t recognize much of the press box today. It’s named after a living person it’s always dangerous to name a building after a living person because their not yet done with establishing their reputation.
Joe and I had delightful time discussing how Cal has been thoroughly dismantled in the first half of the season as they get ready to go into the game with Oregon State this Saturday with a record of 1-5 and their only win came at home back on September 7th against Portland State. They’ve been dismantled in the first half and their trying to figure out what they might try to do to try to respond to UCLA in the second half.
These guys that do the Cal Bears radio network are pros nobody has ever done a more shameless call in the history of college football than Joe Starkey when he called the famous lateral plays that led the Bears to a famous comeback over Stanford and Joe was yelling “the band is on the field” over and over when the Bears scored for a touchdown. The call was so well known and it’s pretty amazing to know an icon.
Starkey has done a lot in his time and he even passed down the line to his son who is a highly respected statistician the two or three best people in the country at doing talent stats providing statistical information to broadcasters on the air while their doing their work and it’s a job I do occasionally. It’s not easy to learn someone else’s rhythm and timing and figure out what they anticipate what they want to know before they know it so you could have it ready.
Team roughing it out and getting ready for Oregon State: It seems to me that Cal played better against Oregon than against Oregon State in the last decade and a half but that could be faulty on that part. Oregon State will be forever locked in my mind as the team that came out of nowhere to deny Cal the number one spot in the rankings by scoring three touchdowns on them late in the game.
This Cal team is in transition, they had issues with their defense before the season began it was very young and very inexperienced and now they are still very young and very inexperienced and very injured. Five starters are out of the line up for various amounts of time all the way up to forever. It’s very difficult they can move the ball very well although they had issues last week against UCLA.
On the other hand you can see elements of what they are capable of doing from time to time, right now they haven’t solved their number one tailback, the don’t have the running game, they count on managing the control block and as a net result what their doing is running what seems like 1000 plays a game but it’s really about 100 but it feels like 1000. Your putting the ball in the air 40-50 times a game and your leaving yourself to the possibility of having bad things happening and more scores will go lopsided and not in Cal’s favor.
Michael Duca covers Cal Bears football for Sportstalk Radio