By Connor Buestad
I understand where Bay Area sports fans are coming from. I really do.
Hell, take a look around, there’s been a lot of losing going on in these parts, for a lot longer than we could have ever expected. Especially over the last couple of years, my three East Bay teams, the A’s, Warriors, and Raiders have all been fairly depressing to watch/follow. The same cannot be said for the Cal football team, but they have managed to be a downer in a different kind of way: routinely filling the bubble of expectations to the hilt, only to have it burst by midseason.
Luckily, the 2010 season seems to be bucking this ugly trend, if for no other reason that this year’s version of the Bears came without a preseason ranking and all of the hopes and dreams that come with national recognition.
Even so, talk to an Old Blue on this Monday morning and I’ll bet said Blue will be cautiously optimistic about what the Bears have put together over their first two “tests” of the season. Chances are, you’ll get something like this, “Welp, hold your horses there son, we still have a LONG way to go, let me tell you.”
Fine, I understand UC Davis and Colorado are not exactly the ’93-’94 Charlie Ward Florida State Seminoles, but when you outscore your first two opponents 104-10, I’m going to take the liberty to get a little bit excited about the 10 games that lie ahead on Cal’s schedule.
Saturday’s tilt versus soon-to-be PAC 12 member Colorado turned into a laugher on both sides of the ball, leading to an eventual final score of 52-7. The late arriving crowd at sun-splashed Memorial Stadium was treated to a defensive clinic put on by the Bears, highlighted by six sacks, three INT’s, and two touchdowns. Poor Buffs QB Tyler Hansen looked lost all day.
On the offensive side of the ball, Cal’s single caller Kevin Riley quietly threw for four touchdowns on 15-27 passing for 197 yards. By all accounts, it wasn’t his best performance, but if he keeps lighting up the scoreboard with 52’s, no one will be complaining.
With Cal’s two home onslaughts over Davis and Colorado now in the books, all attention turns toward “The Biggest Little City” and the University of Nevada Wolfpack. It will be a short week for both squads as the contest will take place on Friday night on ESPN2 (7pm). This is fitting, when you consider the game will be played in a “Friday Night Lights” type stadium (Mackay Stadium holds just a shade less than 30,000). The Big House it is not.
If the Bears are looking for a test on their trip up to Nevada, they are likely to find one in Wolfpack QB Colin Kaepernick. The 6’6” red-shirt Senior is the real deal by all accounts, equipped with a plus arm, eye-opening speed and overall impressive athleticism.
Friday night, under the lights, on the Deuce…can you say appointment television?