October 23rd – at Berkeley          California 26, Colorado 3

California scored on its first five possessions of the game, never looking back as the Bears routed Colorado, 26-3. Quarterback Chase Garbers hit on 22-of-29 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns, also leading the Bears in rushing with ten carries for 96 yards. Colorado was held to 104 yards of total offense … 69 yards passing and 35 yards rushing. Brendon Lewis was 9-for-17 passing for 69 yards and an interception, while Jarek Broussard led the CU rushing “attack” with 28 yards on 11 carries.

“That wasn’t the type of game I was expecting at all,” head coach Karl Dorrell said. “I think we struggled in the first half on both sides of the ball. We had a tough time stopping them and then offensively, we couldn’t get any continuity of really bringing some drives together. We got three points on one drive and that’s really about it — and that was off a kickoff return. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t play to our capabilities today.”

Game Story … The Buffs opened play with two gains of over ten yards, with a 14-yard run by quarterback Brendon Lewis and an 11-yard completion from Lewis to Jarek Broussard. The drive stalled, though, at midfield, with a punt on fourth-and-one at the CU 48-yard line.

Cal, which had scored eight touchdowns on their first two drives of the game on scripted possessions (12 total possessions), quickly moved down the field, with the big play being a 38-yard run by quarterback Chase Garbers on a third-and-six to the CU 32-yard line. There, however, the CU defense held, with Cal taking a 3-0 lead on a 49-yard field goal by Dario Longhetto. Still, the Bear field goal represented the first time in the 2021 season in which a CU opponent had scored on its first possession of the game.

It was an ominous sign.

The Buffs again pushed the ball to midfield on their second drive, highlighted by a 14-yard run by Jarek Broussard. Faced with a fourth-and-one near midfield one again, this time head coach Karl Dorrell chose to go for the conversion. Broussard, however, was stopped for no gain, giving the ball back to the Bears.

Cal quickly took advantage, needing only three plays to cover 50 yards. The touchdown came on a 24-yard pass from Chase Garbers to tight end Keiieki, making it a 10-0 game with 6:05 still to play in the third quarter.

With CU’s first two first quarter drives covering 23 and 25 yards, the Buffs’ third drive of the game – naturally – covered 24 yards. A 21-yard completion from Lewis to Broussard put the ball into Cal territory, but a pair of sacks of Lewis ended the threat with Josh Watts’ third punt of the quarter.

The Bears next strung together a methodical 14-play drive, chewing up over seven minutes of game clock. Cal overcame a first-and-20 to start the drive, before converting on a third-and-five and a fourth-and-four to keep the drive alive. CU’s defense finally stiffened in the red zone, with Cal settling for a 30-yard Longhetto field goal.

The Buffs finally got a spark on the ensuing kickoff, with Brenden Rice returning the kick 67 yards to the Cal 33-yard line. The Buffs were bailed out of a three-and-out by a defensive holding call on incomplete pass on third-and-eight, but weren’t able to take advantage. The subsequent three plays gained six yards, with freshman kicker Cole Becker getting the Buffs on the board with a 30-yard field goal, making it a 13-3 game with 6:41 to play before halftime.

If the Bears were concerned by the CU score, they didn’t show it. It took only six plays for the Bears to cover 66 yards to score for their fourth consecutive possession. Quarterback Chase Garbers hit a wide open Gavin Reinwald for 31-yard touchdown. Just like that, it was a 20-3 game.

The Buff offense went all of 11 yards on its next opportunity, punting the ball away with just under a minute remaining in the first half.

Could the Buff defense, which was giving up less than 20 point per game in the first half of the season, keep Cal from making it five-for-five in scoring opportunties?

Of course not.

With only one timeout to work with, the Cal offense nonetheless covered 50 yards in seven plays, with Dario Longhetto hitting from 51 yards out as time expired.

Halftime score: California 23, Colorado 3

The stats at the break consistent with the score. The Buff defense, which had shut out Arizona the week before, gave up 297 yards and five scores on five drives. The Buff offense, which had shown some signs of life against the Wildcats, was held to 91 total yards.

The CU defense finally got its first stop of the game on the first drive of the third quarter, forcing Cal’s first punt of the game. A 13-yard completion from Brendon Lewis to tight end Brady Russell pushed the CU offensive total for the game over 100 yards, but the Buffs went no further, punting the ball right back to the Bears.

Cal failed to score for its second consecutive drive, but not before driving into Colorado territory. Aided by a holding penalty, the Buffs were able to force the Bears’ second punt of the game. The Buff offense responded by … going three-and-out.

After the Buff defense forced another Bear punt – this time thanks to an offensive pass interference penalty – the CU offense took the field at its own 33-yard line to start the fourth quarter. Seven seconds later, Cal had the ball back, with Brendon Lewis throwing an interception, giving the ball back to the Bears.

The teams then traded three-and-outs as the fourth quarter clock slowly – too slowly for the Buff Nation – ticked down, with CU’s three plays being highlighted by two sacks of Brendon Lewis, forcing a Buff punt on fourth-and-25.

Tired of giving the ball back to the Buffs, the Cal offense put an exclamation point on the rout. Going 57 yards in 11 plays (with only one pass), the Bears pushed the ball into the CU red zone before settling for Dario Longhetto’s fourth field goal of the game, giving Cal a 26-3 lead with a 33-yard field goal with just under five minutes to play.

Freshman quarterback Drew Carter came in for garbage time … and the Buffs went three-and-out, with a pair of runs by Deion Smith and an incomplete pass from Carter giving CU another empty possession.

Final score: California 26, Colorado 3

With the fourth embarrassing loss in five weeks, head coach Karl Dorrell was asked if he felt he was losing his team. “No, I don’t because they see what we’re doing”, Dorrell said. “I’m always truthful to them. I could see if I was deceitful and lying and didn’t trust their coach but I don’t think we have that type of relationship. We just have young players and a mixture of returning players that are trying to find a way. Part of it is they have to take ownership on their side just like the coaches do. We’re very transparent with each other and hopefully we can learn from this experience that we’re dealing with right now.”

After opening the game with three drives which at least took the offense to midfield, the Buffs were completely shut down the remainder of the game. In CU’s final eight possessions of the game, the Buffs managed … 29 yards.

“The first half, we couldn’t quite figure them out in what they were doing against us and our defense and then we couldn’t get quite much continuity going on the offensive side to sustain some drives and make some plays”, Dorrell said. “We’ve got a lot of work (to do). I get it…We have to play better and it was unfortunate that we didn’t do that today.”

Game Notes … 

— Cal increased its overall lead in the series to 7-4, with a 5-0 record in games played in Berkeley;

— CU’s record in games played in the state of California fell to 4-26-1 (Holiday bowl win over Washington; a win over UCLA; and two wins against Stanford);

— Ditch the black helmets … CU fell to 0-8 when wearing black helmets, white jerseys and black pants, and are 3-21 when donning the black headgear;

— Nate Landman became just the sixth player in CU history with his 400th career tackle. Landman finished the game with 409, tied with Ted Johnson for fifth place on the all-time list (Barry Remington is CU’s all-time leader, with 493). Landman also improved on his all-time unassisted tackle tally, with 483, second only to Jordon Dizon, with 493;

— Brenden Rice’s 67-yard kickoff return was the longest by a Buff since Marques Mosley returned one 100 yards for a touchdown against Utah on Nov. 23, 2012;

— Punter Josh Watts added to his run of consecutive games with over 47 yards per punt. The Cal game was his sixth straight, matching John Torp’s run of six in a row in 2004. Watts’ season average for 42 punts: 48.71 (Watts came into the Cal game first in the Pac-12 and sixth in the nation);

— At wide receiver, Chase Penry made his first career start, subbing for Dimitri Stanley who was injured in pregame; Trevor Woods started on defense in place of Mekhi Blackmon.

—–

39 Replies to “California 26, Colorado 3”

  1. Me thinks the most glaring thing this season has been the o-line. Can’t believe these guys are bad players individually. Painfully obvious the lack of fundamentals, let alone cohesion have rendered this group often out of position, unaware of gap responsibilities, or technique in pass protection. Defenses are able to apply pressure with base 4 man fronts. 5 guys ought to be able to block 4…but can’t. Brady Russell being required as a blocker (6 unable to block 4), leaves one less offensive weapon. By virtue of these advantages, defenses can always have extra players in coverage. Inconsistency, or complete lack of a running game also signifies fundamental flaws up front…heck, Broussard was gashing last year…small guy doesn’t need much of a hole. This overall breakdown has clearly begun to wear down the defense. They seem to be on the field most of the time. Nearly 40 minutes in this game alone, hence the defensive breakdowns as well.

    I don’t know Mitch Rodrigue. He’s probably a good guy. However, it has become painfully obvious
    the o-line requires better coaching from all angles, and a coaching change is needed there.
    As far as Chev is concerned, it may be time for new blood there as well, however, firing an OC at this time of season would create other problems, like whom to hire mid season? Or just let Karl do it for the rest of the year? Idk, at this point it may be best to make any significant changes after the season. Nevertheless…what a mess.

  2. Same ‘ol …..Same ‘ol…….$ _ _ _

    Same ‘Chev too……. I coulda predicted a ton of his calls. OK…. 2nd and 17… Sure….a dive right into the middle of the “D” line where 5 defenders were waiting. I think all 5 of them got an assisted tackle.
    Why is there always a defender in the face of our receivers ?

    Why are their receivers always open for a reception ?…either that or they have “position” on our DB’s….?????

    This whole $h _ _ y Mess yells “Coaching.” …….. Our players don’t even know basic techniques on how to block. How to run. Where to run. Broussard is about the only one.

    Our “D” has a few good players…. Landman, Wells, Gonzales……but they can’t cover the whole damned field.

    One should ask, “If you dislike what you’re watching so much, why do you watch?” Good Question. Now, I’m talking to myself.

    See ‘ya later fans.

  3. It is almost incomprehensible that the Buffs managed only 104 yards total vs Cal. They made the 2021 Cal Golden Bears look like the ‘85 Chicago Bears for an afternoon.

    While I’m hoping this represents rock bottom, with Oregon up next I fear it does not.

  4. I just freed up a lot of wasted time following, and then watching the horror show we have all seen. I was disgusted by the smiling buffs near the end of the game. If I was a talented player (there are a few, think Rice etc) I’d be in the transfer portal ASAP. The rest would have a tough time getting picked up by a P5 program. The weakness and confusion shown by the whole staff is depressing. Notice how you don’t hear anything from Turley? He is still wondering what kind of shirts how he got himself into.

  5. Ye ol technology deal. Nice one can sit on concrete benches at the softball field and watch good competitive games, and watch a football game, on and off, on the ipad, then watch the game in full cause you recorded it. Very nice.

    Lots of comments about the stats. I love stats.
    Only one stat counts.
    Points.
    Buffs aren’t scoring points…………. A1 teams
    A&M 7
    Gophers 0
    ASU 13
    USC 14
    AZ 20 (really 34 but only 20n scored by the offense)
    Cal 3
    But
    Buffs are 3rd in the conference in defensive scoring
    Buffs are losing
    cause
    Buffs aren’t scoring points.
    Just shocking one can see the the same
    “Chev-sh*t” week after week.
    Ralphie’s “Buffalo Sh*t” probably smells much sweeter.

    Buffs O could only manage 3 points and a hundred yards against the 12th ranked defense in the Pac.

    But to blame it on the D is pretty weak.
    Complain about 3rd downs given up sounds like itching cause of crabs.
    Cal 3rd down conversion 6 for 15
    Buff D adjusted and shut down cal in 2nd half
    Buff O adjusted and got 15 yards in the third quarter.

    To look anywhere but at the Chev-O as the problem is being blinded by reality.

    Go Buffs.

    Note: Technology is great eh?
    Note 2: The team has lost faith in the chev-turd offense. And therefore maybe in HCKD, but I doubt it…Timing of the decision to let Chev go is critical maybe maybe not. Chev has dug his hole. Period. HCKD will be just fine and I am glad he is here. (Getting rid of some fan favorite coaches is tough. His will be done.

  6. Outcoached. Outplayed. Offense and Defense regressed again vs. improving. Defensive players consistently giving up extra yards and on 3rd downs. Offensive line can’t run block nor pass protect. When was the last time CU ran a screen pass? Draw? Quick pitch to get the ball outside? Time for changes in coaches and players. Tired of hearing Dorrell excuses.

  7. Really! This is his response…

    “The first half, we couldn’t quite figure them out in what they were doing against us and our defense and then we couldn’t get quite much continuity going on the offensive side to sustain some drives and make some plays”,

    If I was this bad at my job…I wouldn’t have a job. And I get paid significantly less than KD.

  8. Be it Chev or KD. Hint from somebody who has never coached football: they are going to try to blitz like crazy and sack your QB every time. You have a young QB that can’t see the blitz or execute RPO. You probably want to try those plays designed for quick throws. You know, the ones you tried in the scripted first two offense possessions? But later abandoned for the long slow 10-step drop let the pass routes develop plays? I just wanted to mention it because it seems like you would get this simple fact at this point in the season. It would be just a subtle change. Might help.

    1. Ugh. Such a frustrating team and situation. I think this is the first time I’ve replied to my own post, because I can’t help it.
      The defense was pretty much beat down. Do ya think, just maybe, of having a QB spy for the defense plan? You know, after all week everyone talking about Garbers being sneaky and good on the run? Nope. But at the end they held the Bears to only 26 points. So, hard to get too upset about the defensive result because many offenses would be able to outscore that.
      It is just mind boggling on offense how the coaches are locked in on a certain approach and seemingly unable to adapt or change mid-season season to the reality of their player strengths and weaknesses and what defenses are doing. It might not win more games, but it can’t possibly make things worse.

      1. Even then. Defense held them scoreless in the third and most of the fourth quarters. Adjustments on defense were effective.

        Offense… Less so

  9. When they showed the CU players smiling and laughing on the sidelines at the end of the game, I’m thinking WTF. You just got your ass handed to you! Not a good sign!

    1. George,

      It’s pretty much a mess. They know they can’t score. The scheme and the OC are clueless. You see it every week. Is BLew struggling ? Yup but it wouldn’t matter if it was Shrout or anyone else. The offensive players, like me, have lost faith in this frigging OC and his non-scheme. Fact

      so sad

      1. You may have been watching softball, but the cal offense, the vaunted cal offense, converted nearly every third down in the first half. Several third or fourth and long (6+ yards).

        Chev may or may not be a turd in the punch bowl, but it seems he is not alone.

        Go Buffs

          1. Weren’t both of them possible turds doing the same jobs last year? What else is different? May be more turds in the punch bowl than we realize. Or, the roster is worse than we realize. I am not convinced it is the latter. But either way, it ain’t great.

            Go Buffs

  10. This is a team with a coach that has coached receivers for the last 10 years and thrilled to get 2 million with a buyout. He’s thrilled to be in a no lose situation and living
    in Boulder. It may be time to take a hard look at RG. Something is very wrong in Boulder

  11. Been a loyal Buff fan/alumni for over 40 years. I think I’m done. Hopeless! I absolutely loved Gary Barnett. We’re just not good enough for the Pac12. Basement dwellers for the foreseeable future, no doubt. My son is at U of Utah, so at least I get to enjoy a solid program.

  12. This coaching staff is out classed. Who would want to play for theses clowns. No emotion from any Buff. Change qb beginning 4th for experience. Why is the secondary tackling high to allow 1st downs over and over? I will coach the Buffs for 1/2 price, 1/4 price or free… Can’t get worse.. 1991 grad ..

    1. Absolute trash!

      Fire the o-coordinator and high school o-line coach. The team isn’t even competitive due to an inept offense.

  13. Before the AZ game, i wondered if we would see the same movie. Perhaps because last weekend was family weekend, the movie was improved. This week, the same movie returned, just in time fo Halloween horror flicks. And it’s no treat. I don’t know what to say other than it’s Embree era bad and Fairbanks era bad.

  14. The men’s and women’s cross country team started out the year ranked around 10. They have worked hard and moved up to 4th and 3rd in the nation. They deserve our support. The ski team lost a legendary coach, and replaced him with another legend. Future secured . The men’s basketball team continues to put a great product on the court. Too bad CU shut down their football program 15 years ago.

  15. You have to hand it to Dorrell. He continues to stay with deer in the headlights Lewis at QB. What stubbornness . Lets see, no more winnable games this year. None next year. Looks like we have 1 more year of a historically bad football team. Then we try to start over…..We do have Colgate in 2028. So we have that going for us.

  16. 104 total yards against the worst rated defense in the PAC 12.
    25 total yards in the 2nd half. Rick George needs to be fired if Karl Dorrell is not fired. This team is awful, this coaching staff is awful. This is so bad. They finally let Drew Carter in and run 2 straight times ( once on 2nd and 17). What a F’ing joke this coaching staff is.

    1. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and grief. These are the five stages of grief we’ve endured with the CU football program ever since Gary Barnett turned his key in and left the building more than 15 years ago. Some got to the fifth stage sooner than others. Some are still mired in one or another of the intermediate stages.

      I reached Acceptance, stage 5, in the first quarter of today’s game. On a fourth and 1.5 yards to go with the ball near midfield, CU went for the 1st down marker with a basic run off tackle by a running back weighing less than 200 lbs. he ran straight into the strength of the waiting Cal defense and lost a half a yard. Rather than a scrum lasting more than 5-7 seconds with offensive linemen pushing him forward, he ran, he was stopped, he went down, the play was quickly over, and the CU “offense” politely scampered off the field and onto the sideline.

      It was at that point that I had my revelation; why should I care more then them? A wave of anguish was lifted from my soul, peace had re-entered my Saturday, I was able to smile, and I turned to CNN for some happy talk. It was just a few minutes later that I turned off the TV, gathered my wife and my Keyes, and went.for a pleasant ride to see what life is like without being distracted by the heartbreak of Colorado University football, by not being frustrated by linemen who can’t block or tackle, by quarterbacks who can’t recognize opportunities to throw, by receivers who stay stuck on their defenders, by coaches who can’t teach, plan, inspire, or motivate.

      It was a great day.

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