Ole Miss loses late night battle in California against the Golden Bears.
Key to the Game
Cal Defensive Staff
This win for Cal was the definition of a team effort. No one on the defense for the Golden Bears stood out, but midway throught the 2nd quarter you could tell they had caught on. “They’re running the same plays over and over, we can stop these guys”. Players were telling each other that on the home sideline, and they believed it. Then they followed through with it. The key to this game goes to the defensive staff, because they stuffed one of the most talented offenses in the country.
GAME RECAP AND ANALYSIS
So, on to the recap. This game was hard to watch. Ole Miss fans have grown used to these types of games. Games you think we should win, games that we are more talented in, games that we match up better in. Yet, the Rebels stroll onto the field, look like they are all hungover, and lose games they shouldn’t. That’s what happened last night. Ole Miss lost to an inferior Pac-12 team that they should have beat.
Positives, lets look for some positives. The team got to see California? They got a little vacation since there is no way they can go bowling this year, I am sure that was a nice change of scenery. No but seriously, there just weren’t many positives to take away. The defense did look better. They tackled better, the covered better, they played the run better. They held Cal to 163 yards rushing, and let no one player break 100 yards on the ground. That’s a positive. Cal isn’t necessarily known to tote the rock, but they did put up decent rushing numbers the two weeks prior to playing Ole Miss. You have to look at that as a slight positive. Does this mean this defense can contain the likes of Alabama, or Auburn, or even Vanderbilt? I doubt it. The offense is going to have to tote this team, but Saturday night did glimmer a ray of hope onto the defensive side of the ball.
The negatives. I am not quite sure my computer is charged enough to tell you about all of the negatives in this game. Penalties. I have never seen so many yellow flags thrown in my entire life. Both teams played absolutely careless, and honestly still got away with more than their fair share of uncalled penalties. The Rebels had 16 penalites that set them back 113 yards on the night. That’s a ridiculous number. That’s on the players. Concentration was nowhere to be found. I don’t think this loss was all on the players though. The offense was nonexistent after the 2nd quarter. The Cal defense adjusted, and Phil Longo did not, at all. I get AJ Brown going down hurts, but this is supposed to be the most talented wide receiver corp in the SEC. It didn’t look like Longo had any type of answer after the Cal defense started bringing the pressure. Sean Rawlings going down was also a big hit. You could tell Javon Patterson was a bit rusty when it came to snapping the ball, and I am sure that effected Shea Patterson’s groove.
That’s all I want to say about this game. Just know, we lost, the offense was nonexistent, and the defense looked a shade better. This weekend could very well have been a fluke considering the COI meeting and a 930 pm kickoff, but, as most Ole Miss fans feel, it probably isn’t. Its time to take a step back as an Ole Miss fan, and go ahead and prepare yourself for a long, long, season. Trade the red and blue glasses for a Jack and Coke in 2 weeks, and you should enjoy the game much more.