The Bear Facts

Welcome to the sanctuary of a lifelong Golden Bears' fanatic. I am also an Alumnus of the University of California in Berkeley, so my perspective is both as a fan and a former student. Go Bears!

The Golden Bears Have a Grizzly Bear/Teddy Bear Complex

posted Nov 7, 2010, 12:43 PM by Isaac Lopez   [ updated Nov 7, 2010, 2:26 PM ]

The California Golden Bears are undefeated at Strawberry Canyon/California Memorial Stadium; however, on the road it is quite a different story, the Golden Bears got their first victory yesterday against the Washington State Cougars. The Bears have a talented team, but they seem to lack the killer instinct that is needed in Division I college football.

Kevin Reilly is out for the season with an injured knee, he is a fifth-year senior and barring a medical exemption from the NCAA his college career is likely finished. Riley had potential, he displayed it his freshman and sophomore years. He really didn't develop himself to his full potential, his decision-making has been questionable at best and he never really seemed to take the pressure on the big stage of a contending Division I program in stride. Bears' fans are quick to point out that the reason the Bears have been doing so poorly in the last years has been because the quarterback. I would argue that it is actually the lack of a receiving core prior to the arrival of Allen, Jones, and Ross Cal had to rely mostly on their running backs Lynch, Best and Vereen. The Bears' success has always been predicated on a balanced offense and a stout defense. For the last few years one or more of these foundational facets have been missing from California.


It has yet to be seen which Cal quarterback rises from the ashes of the quarterback competition. Adding a quality quarterback to an already great receiving core, great running backs, and the spectacular defense; will be key to the Bears' success. Hopefully with the creation of California's new high-performance facilities in the Bears can attract top-tier blue-chip talent, but for now we will just have to sit and wait. Go Bears!



UCLA's Pistol Misfired When They Tried to Execute the Bears

posted Oct 14, 2010, 10:57 AM by Isaac Lopez   [ updated Oct 14, 2010, 10:59 AM ]

UCLA's pistol offense was ineffective against a stout Bears' defense last Saturday. The Bears mauled any strategy UCLA was trying to execute on offense. California's defense looked flawless, the offense however still needs some work.


I really liked the way Kevin Reilly executed the offense, instead of trying to make things happen, he had faith in his offense and took advantage of the flaws in UCLA's defensive scheme. The Bears' rushing attack was able to make their presence known, in turn, that opened up California's passing attack.


It seems that the Bears do well when they establish the run early, although Kevin Reilly can improve his decision making, I think the real problem lies with the Bears' offensive line, they are easily able to open running lanes for the backs, but struggle with pass protection, they don't give Kevin Reilly any time to make the right read to the open receiver. Consequently Riley rushes his throws and renders the passing game ineffective.


This week the Bears face the USC Trojans, historically this game has been very important to both teams' postseason chances. This year this game has a slightly different spin, with USC serving a two-year postseason ban, I expect the Trojans to play with a chip on their shoulder. The Bears must be careful and realize that no matter what their status is with the NCAA, USC will not roll over and just hand the Bears a victory. If for nothing else USC plays with pride and with two consecutive losses in the closing seconds of games, you can bet that USC will be playing angry. The Bears must prepare extensively for this game because this game will make or break their chances of going to the Rose Bowl this year.



Will UCLA Hold a Pistol to the Bears' Head?

posted Oct 3, 2010, 2:03 PM by Isaac Lopez   [ updated Oct 3, 2010, 6:14 PM ]

     Next week the Bears face the Bruins also known as the baby Bears, in Berkeley. The Bears will get a repeat dose of the pistol offense which they could not defend against Nevada, granted there was no film to counteract the offensive scheme prior to the Nevada game. The Bears have seen what the pistol offense is, and hopefully should be able to adapt to scheme against the Bruins.


     As evident by their performance last week, the Bears' defense must continue playing spectacularly on the defensive side of the ball for the Bears to have any chance of stopping UCLA's pistol offense. With a few tweaks to the defense we should be fine. The offense however, is a different story. Kevin Reilly must find a way to incorporate the passing game to an already functioning rushing offense. He must make the UCLA defense respect California's passing game intern; this will open running lanes for the running backs.


     The Nevada Wolf pack gave the Bears a healthy dose of the pistol offense, so the Bears as a team should know what to expect. It appears that this game will be one where the defense will springboard the offense; if the defense can hold the Bruins high-powered pistol offense, and the Bears can be efficient on offense, when given the opportunity. I highly doubt the Bruins' porous defense will be able to stop the Bears.



A Football Game is 60 Minutes Long Not 59

posted Sep 30, 2010, 12:37 PM by Isaac Lopez   [ updated Sep 30, 2010, 12:38 PM ]

The Bears controlled last Saturday's football game for 59 minutes with a tenacious defense and a will to win, too bad the offense didn't feel the same way, the Bears lost the game 10-9. Cal's kicker missed two easy field goals that would've sealed the victory for the Bears, Arizona scored in the final minute of the game which ruined a nearly perfect defensive effort by the Bears.


An absent offense got the Bears in trouble. I question Kevin Reilly's decision-making during the game. it seems that he lacks the touch needed to deliver the balls into the receiver's hands. He tends to overthrow balls to wide-open receivers. We all know that he has a cannon for an arm but sometimes one needs a precision instrument rather than a cannon.


Over the last few years the Bears' strength has been the running game but how does one go about helping the running backs, when the team can not keep the opposing defense on their toes, by competing a few passes to our dynamic receivers such as Allen and Jones, it forces the defense to respect the passing game and ultimately opening the running lanes for our running backs.


Kevin Reilly is a senior, he has been starting since his sophomore year, one would think he would know how to deliver a ball with some touch, granted, the line that protects Kevin Reilly is not the same big dominant line that we've had in past years. Coach Tedford and the coaching staff need to find a way to negate these problems and give Kevin Reilly time to throw while at the same time Kevin Reilly needs to find a way to put more touch on the ball thereby increasing his accuracy.


This week the Bears have a bye, and next week we face UCLA who upset number seven-ranked Texas soundly. The competition in the Pacific 10 conference should be an interesting one. I still believe that if the Bears correct their shortcomings they will have a legitimate opportunity to capture the Pacific 10 title.






Wolfpack Ambushes Bears 54-31

posted Sep 18, 2010, 11:40 AM by Isaac Lopez   [ updated Sep 19, 2010, 2:22 PM ]

After a 2-0 start things were looking right for the California Golden Bears, until yesterday, the Bears were surprised by the Nevada Wolf Pack 54-31. This was a game where the Bears were expected to win, unfortunately the Bears, more specifically Kevin Riley were unable to run the offense efficiently. Riley was unable to get the ball to Keenan Allen throughout most of the game, couple that with Riley's three interceptions and one begins to realize how the Bears lost this game.


Nevada beat an incomplete Bears' defense, which was without linebacker Mike Mohammed who was out with a sprained toe. I am taking nothing away from the Wolfpack who played a passionate game. The Bears simply seem to play uninspired football whenever they play on national television. I'm reminded of the Oregon State game that the Bears played two years ago, which position the Bears to become the number one team in the country if they beat the Beavers; Kevin Riley's mental mistakes at the end of the game cost us the number one ranking.


Where do the Bears go from here? In my opinion, they definitely have the ingredients to be a championship caliber team; however, their uncanny ability to collapse on national television cheats them out of the ranking that they deserve. For now only people in the Bay Area, Cal Alumni, and Bears' fans know how good this team can be. It's only the third game of the season. I believe the Bears still have an opportunity to recover, but it is really up to them to play to their potential.



The Bears Have Buffalo for Lunch

posted Sep 4, 2010, 10:04 PM by Isaac Lopez   [ updated Sep 12, 2010, 11:44 AM ]

The California Golden Bears mauled the Colorado Buffaloes 52-7 in a non-conference game. The Buffaloes got a preview of what the future holds when they join the Pac-10 in 2012. I can't help but wonder if Colorado joining the Pac-10 is the right move for them. Can they really deal with teams like the Bears, the USC Trojans, and the Oregon Ducks? This is not the Big 12, it is the Pac-10. In my opinion we are as good if not better than the SEC, as of yesterday USC was ranked number eight in the country the Oregon Ducks are ranked number seven, and much to my chagrin the Stanford Cardinal were number 25, and if the Bears continue playing the way they are, they will soon join these teams in the Top 25.


The Bears could very well win the conference, as I don't see any team going undefeated in the Pac-10. The Bears, the Ducks, the Trojans, and the Cardinal have a legitimate chance of winning the Pac-10. USC's probation will make things interesting, assuming USC wins the conference I wonder who would go to the Rose Bowl? USC is serving a two year postseason ban for NCAA violations.


While Bears' fans, the Pac-10 has a bright future whether they expand or not, I am a bit cautious whether they are putting quantity before quality, it doesn't make sense to expand if teams like Colorado can't compete on a level that is expected in the Pac-10 conference. Unlike Colorado I don't see Utah having that problem; I guess we'll just have to see.



Keenan Allen, a Freshman Phenom Brings National Attention to The University of California

posted Aug 11, 2010, 9:33 PM by Isaac Lopez   [ updated Sep 4, 2010, 10:11 PM ]

     The 2010 college football season begins, as does The Bear Facts, a blog about the University of California's sports. My perspective is both of a lifelong fan and a graduate of the University of California. One of the great things about Cal is the tradition of not only the school but also its athletic program. Cal has not always had the most prestigious sports programs the university is mostly known for its academic prestige as evident by its recent world ranking as the second most academically prestigious University in the world. Adding to the academic prestige is a rising athletic program.


      It is an honor to be able to say that the school can hold its own in both realms, for us alumni it is exciting to be able to go back to campus and watch a competitive football game or basketball game when one knows that a victory is a very real possibility. I am a little jealous that I wasn't able to attend today's home opener against the University of California, at Davis.  Keenan Allen, a freshman wide receiver who originally was set to attend the University of Alabama reneged on his commitment and decided to attend California instead. His half brother who transferred to Cal from the University of Buffalo must sit out a year in accordance with NCAA rules. Allen told his brother that he would be willing to attend any school that his brother decided to transfer to, lucky for us that school ended up being Cal. After listening to today's game on the radio, I must say that I am glad that the true freshman phenom landed in our collective lap.


     Allen caught four receptions for 120 yards including a 48 yard touchdown pass. Last year it was hard for Cal to produce anything offensively since they did not have a marquee receiver. The last receiver of that caliber to grace the University of California was DeSean Jackson who now is a marquee receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League. Cal is slowly becoming known for producing NFL caliber talent. Hopefully Allen’s talent will bring television exposure to Cal on a national level, in turn, attracting talented players to the institution, and develop a program into a national powerhouse.


     The University of California will not only be known for its dominance in academics but also in athletics.  I invite you to join me on this promising journey that both University alumni as well as Bears’ fans are about to embark on. Go Bears!


1-7 of 7