Grading Cal's loss to Oregon:

Cal

  • Result: Lost to Oregon 59-17

  • Grade: D

  • Comment: The worst loss of the Jeff Tedford era in what might have been the final home game of the Jeff Tedford era. (That's a topic for another discussion.)

    With nothing to play for save pride, the Bears showed some grit -- hence the "D" (I'm in a generous mood).

    In fact, they displayed more grit Saturday than they did in many of the games that mattered, which doesn't speak we of their leadership, chemistry, etc.

    In the end ... and the end could roughly be described as the middle of the third quarter ... Cal simply didn't have enough of everything to contend with the Ducks.

  • Given the circumstances, I was reasonably impressed with quarterback Allan Bridgford, who made a few mistakes but kept his poise and delivered the ball downfield on several occasions.

    And yes, there was a point in which I wondered if the Bears should have been playing Bridgford for the past two seasons, instead of hitching their success to Zach Maynard -- even if it meant upsetting Keenan Allen.

    But that's a tough conclusion to draw from one game. There are plenty of criticisms to level against Tedford and his staff (Brendan Bigelow: where are you?). I'm not sure playing the wrong QB is one of them.

  • Might have been the offensive line's best game. Certainly, it was the most physical -- and it came without Matt Summers-Gavin.

    The result was an effective running game 236 yards that helped take the pressure off Bridgford (and give Stanford some ideas for attacking the Ducks on Saturday).

  • The Bears sold out to contain Kenjon Barner, which isn't a bad strategy. But it left them vulnerable in the secondary and Marcus Mariota made them pay with 377 yards and six touchdowns.

    Really, there are no good options against the Ducks. There aren't even any decent options.

  • Cal on third down: 2 of 12.

    That lowers the overall (10 games) conversion rate to a whopping 34.5 percent, which is 101st nationally.

  • Next up: at Oregon State

  • The matchup: Problematic.

    Oregon State is fairly similar to Stanford in its physical play on the lines, stout defense, commitment to the running game and playmakers in the passing game (with Stanford, it's the tight ends; with OSU, it's the receivers).

    I haven't been overly impressed with quarterback Cody Vaz; had he been incrementally better, OSU would have beaten the Cardinal.

    But Vaz is more than capable of leading the Beavers up and down the field against a Cal defense that's both battered and often not as physical as it needs to be.

  • OSU's defense is very good and will pose all sorts of challenges for Bridgford (or Zach Maynard).

    The Beavers are good enough up front to contain Cal's ground game without leaving themselves vulnerable in the secondary.

  • Mostly, I'm interested in Cal's emotional state: How much fight do the Bears have left?

    Given the injuries, it's probably overstating things to call this a referendum on the players' support for Tedford and his staff.

    At the same time, if the Bears roll over, it wouldn't bode well.