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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cal's Jahvid Best's for Heisman! Five td's v. Minnesota

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Jahvid Best
, Cal's star running back, placed himself at the top of the season's Heisman Trophy conversation with a 26-carry, 131 yard, five touchdown performance. Cal beat Minnesota in a tough game, 35-21, and is now 3 and 0.

Best, who set a school record with the final touchdown in the fourth quarter, scored his first three in the first half. He seemed to slow down in the third quarter, picking up only four yards. I'm not sure if he was slightly injured and the ESPN announcers didn't say anything about his condition, but it seemed as if he was a step slower in the last two quarters.

Cal needs to install three-step passes

While Best was making Cal Football history, Kevin Riley put in a solid but not great performance with 16 for 25 and 252 yards; I would have preferred 22 of 28 for 300 yards, but I don't blame him for this. It's the offensive play design and game plan I question.

What bothers me as I watch the Golden Bears' offense is the almost total lack of a three-step passing attack. Offensive Coordinator Andy Ludwig needs to take a page from 2009 Notre Dame passing attack and install a five-wide-receiver formation, three-step passing play series to counter some of the blitzes from the defense's outside linebackers that Cal gets from time to time.

(In the "five-wide" formation I envision for Cal, Jahvid Best would be in the weak side slot position.)

Right now, Riley's asked to take deeper drops and read the coverage, then receiver progression, on almost every drop back pass. It's only in the play-action passes that Riley is able to make the immediate throw.

Cal needs a three-step system to beat USC

Installing just four new plays from the system I advocate would help Cal beat USC October 3rd. Cal must force USC's defense to chase the ball all over the field, from sideline to sideline in an effort to simply exhaust and frustrate the Trojans. A good three-step passing game is the perfect tool to accomplish that objective.


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