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Tyson Alualu and the Shaky Cat Blues

Cal had a chance to regroup. Tyson Alualu a chance to catch his breath. Surely some of the fire that punctuated his first quarter performance would return. The navy blue needed a reversal, something to even their fortunes and push them to victory. Could this PAC-10 power really be worse than the Mountain West Utes? Turns out, yeah. Probably quite a bit worse.

1. 1st and 10 at UTAH 39 Jordan Wynn pass complete to David Reed for 2 yards to the Utah 41.

Alualu starts standing but flexes into left defensive end. He gets a good jump off the snap, effortlessly slices inside but does not impact a screen pass to the left.

2. 2nd and 8 at UTAH 41Jordan Wynn pass complete to Jereme Brooks for 7 yards to the Utah 48.

LDE. This time it's less effortless as allowed, but Alu recognizes he's not being blocked, stops, surveys and sees Wynn toss it out to Brooks on a wide receiver screen. Alu breaks up field and chases down Brooks, but only after he's tackled.

3. 3rd and 1 at UTAH 48 Eddie Wide rush for 10 yards to the Cal 42 for a 1ST down.

Shaky Smithson subs in for Wynn to create Utah's Shaky-Cat formation. Alu is aligned at right defensive end and powers the pile right. Wide rushes right behind his back for ten and the first.

4. 1st and 10 at CAL 42 UTAH penalty 5 yard illegal formation accepted.

Smithson is still out there and Utah attempts to run a complex Shaky Cat, double play action bomb. It works, but the play is called back because Utah left tackle Zane Beadles is aligned too deep, putting five in the backfield. The announcers fumble over this explanation, perhaps bemused by the moving bodies. Tyson is again at LDE and again, after a run of consecutive plays, motoring around and contributing snap to whistle, gassed. He shows little fight and is lost in the pile. It's possible, though I conjecture unlikely, that he believed the play dead.

5. 1st and 15 at CAL 47 Shaky Smithson rush for a loss of 1 yard to the Cal 48.

RDE. His jump is suffering prolonged play and it's only adequate. He gets decent push, pursues left but does not otherwise factor.

6. 2nd and 16 at CAL 48 Jordan Wynn pass complete to Eddie Wide for 5 yards to the Cal 43.

LDE. Tyson shows little push and now even his moves have been holstered. I expected more in a crucial drive following halftime.

7. 3rd and 11 at CAL 43 Jordan Wynn pass incomplete.

LOLB. Here we go. California blitzes five, sending its three down linemen and both outside linebackers. Alu shows good balance on the edge rush, puts his left arm into Tony Bergstrom's body and rides him around the edge and after Wynn. Wynn is forced to scramble wide left and throw the ball away. It's a good show of agility and power, two things that Alualu possess, but it also demonstrates his marginal closing burst. His sacks will come head-on or erupting from a scrum. That is, he's a confirmed defensive tackle.