Reality Pierces the Dream

The dream of an unofficial National Championship came to an end on Saturday as the California Golden Bears lost their first game of the season 23-21, to Air Force. This was a game most HO'TFAA members expected the Golden Bears to win. But Air Force has proven to be a far better team than most people expected, and definitely gave the favored Bears the toughest game of the season.

It was, however, a good game. Cal led most of the way, but Air Force took an 8 point lead with just under two minutes to go. Kyle Boller was able to lead the Bears on a 70-yd. drive and scored the first Cal touchdown of the afternoon with 31 seconds to go - cutting the Air Force lead to 2 points. All that remained to send the game to overtime was the 2 point conversion, which unfortunately was batted away on the fingertips of a diving Air Force Defender. The attempted onside kick failed, and Cal had it's first loss of the season.

The Bears were in trouble starting last Sunday, when the stunning upset of Michigan State hit the national papers. A national ranking, too many articles about the "suprising Cal Bears", even more articles about the new coach and the miracles he was working, and finally an award of "College Football team of the Week" by the Football Writers Association of America all conspired to assure the Golden Bears of a letdown. Now that the Bears have fallen out of the national spotlight, hopefully they can start conference play as underdogs and maybe even have a winning season.

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

" I thought our defense played very well. You're never going to stop that offense. I thought they (Cal's defense) contained it very well and gave us a chance to win."
"Early on, I think we had to get used to some of the things they (Airforce) were doing. I thought they did a nice job on defense. I'll take the blame for a lot of that. I probably didn't call a very good game. I need to be able to put our kids in a better position to be successful...We probably should have gone in with some different types of running schemes. Anytime something like this happens, there have to be answers and it's not just with the players. I'll take this one on my shoulders as far as that is concerned."

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

"Great. Just friggin' great. The last-second touchdown, the 5 field goals, the closeness of the attempted two-point conversion...they did it all man! This is a Rose Bowl team! GO BEARS!"

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

"Too many dropped passes and too many big runs by Harridge. They played very hard, but they just didn't play well. Hopefully they'll do better against WSU."