The Final Nail in the Coffin!

The California Golden Bears slaughtered the pathetic Michigan State Spartans, 46-22, last Saturday. Even though the score was lopsided the Bear faithful were on the edge of their seats until mid-way through the 4th quarter -when the final nail was slammed into the Michigan State Spartan's coffin.

After all - what other college football team would have it's fans, not to mention it's broadcasters, in suspense with a 39-14 lead and 10 minutes left in the game? "We have a chance - we're not playing Washington" was the comment from HO'TFAA member T Hough as Cal fans across the nation waited for a chance to relax and relish the victory. The Golden Bears final touchdown gave Cal a 46-14 lead with 6:52 left, and soon after the Bears were 3-0 on the young season.

The victory marked Cal's first win over a top-15 team, on the road, against the Big Ten, in a day game, in an even-number year, in over 28 years. MSU actually was close to Cal in most key statistics except two - turnovers and score.

The Bears played a brand of no-mistake, opportunistic football rarely, if ever, seen by Cal fans. 5 turnovers were the key, including two takeaways when MSU was in the red zone. Cal is now 2nd in the nation in takeaway ratio - with a ratio of +10.

Cal made it's first appearance in the AP poll this week, debuting at #23, after a victory that was almost certainly the greatest for the Golden Bears this Millennium. The undefeated Bears are like a thoroughbred that has won it's first 3 races (a maiden race, a mid-level claiming race and an optional allowance race.) No-one knows how good this horse might actually be: Will it be a Grade I Stakes winner or a $50,000 claiming nag? This week's game against Air Force will give us another clue, as will the game between last week's opponent and Notre Dame.

The "Nails in the Spartan Coffin", as recorded by HO'TFAA


Joe Starkey, after a big kickoff return with the Bears leading 9-0 and the game still very much in doubt:

"Cal football is back!"

Coach Tedford, on the victory and the upcoming game against Air Force:

"I don't think we need to be surprised or giddy about winning."

"Last week, I felt like it was a close game the whole way until LaShaun Ward went on that long pass play. [Ed. note - The Final Nail in the Coffin]It was tight all the way through, but I felt that our team responded well in the second half when they came out with two touchdowns right away. We didn't fold, we responded well with a couple drives, and the defense responded well. The score might not have indicated it, but we always felt like it was a really tight game. Air Force is going to be our toughest game so far. The option creates so many problems. You just can't simulate the speed in practice. It's so unorthodox, and it puts a lot of pressure on the defense. The other problem that it creates is that it uses the clock."

HO'TFAA Member Vic Rethy, when asked about the game, had this to say:

"Great. Just friggin' great. The turnovers, the big fumble recovery at the end of the 1st half, the big plays, the 52-yd. field goal, the running game when we needed it...they did it all man! This is a Rose Bowl team! GO BEARS!"

Tim Hough, also watching the game, was more subdued:

"Michigan State is clearly over-rated. Even so - it's time to bask! "