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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Cal Clobbers Oregon 45-24

And I was there. The score does not indicate how much of a blow-out this was. Oregon's first score came on a fake field goal attempt and that was their second run of that play in the game! The officiating was terrible. The score should have been over 50 points. This Cal team's got the image of a national champion. Look out for Cal.

Rockin', rollin' in prime time
Cal Bears crush Oregon in front of national television audience


Article Last Updated:10/08/2006 06:21:03 AM PDT

BERKELEY — Cal found the best way to incite a sold-out crowd of 72,516 on Saturday night at rocking and rolling Memorial Stadium.
Crush the opponent.
The No.16 Golden Bears (5-1, 3-0 Pac-10) proved they are a prime contender for the Pac-10 championship with a 45-24 victory over No.11Oregon (4-1, 2-1).
Both teams were considered to be offensive machines coming into the nationally televised game. Only the Bears lived up to that billing.
"Anytime a West Coast team gets to be on national television (ABC), it's big," Cal coach Jeff Tedford said. "Hopefully, I won't get asked about Tennessee every week now. That really wasn't us out there (in a season-opening loss to the Volunteers). But our kids never lost focus or confidence."
Cal scored more than 40 points for the fifth consecutive game — the first time it accomplished the feat in the history of the program.
As has been the case since the Bears' opening-season lossto Tennessee, quarterback Nate Longshore was efficient. He threw for 189 yards and three touchdowns.
"I just have been guiding it," Longshore said of his offense. "I get to pretend I'm in charge."
Longshore had plenty of help. Bears wide receiver DeSean Jackson continued to be a scoring machine as he added two more touchdowns to raise his Pac-10-leading total to 10 for the season. Jackson caught a 36-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.

And Cal managed to ring up 45 points without tailback Marshawn Lynch available in the second half. Lynch sprained his ankle on a 24-yard run in the second quarter and was done for the night.
Backup tailback Justin Forsett took over, rushing for 163 yards on 27 carries.
While Cal's offense couldn't be stopped, its defense had its best effort of the season against an Oregon squad that led the conference in scoring and total offense.
Defensive coordinator Bob Gregory put together an aggressive, attacking game-plan that had the Ducks back on their heels most of the night.
"Our guys played fast and hard," Gregory said. "That's all it was."
Oregon running back Jonathan Stewart, the conference's leading rusher coming into the game, finished with 25 rushing yards. San Leandro native Dennis Dixon threw for 263 yards, but most of it was in a too-little, too-late fashion. His three interceptions were more telling.
Cal led 28-10 at halftime and 38-17 after three quarters. Oregon was left to make the game respectable in the fourth quarter.
Tedford had made a plea to his fans to turn Memorial Stadium into a hostile environment. They responded.
"I want to thank the fans for creating a 12th man," Tedford said. "It was an unbelievable atmosphere. It was a great day for the players and the university."
Cal charged up the throng early with a huge play on Oregon's opening offensive play. With Bears defensive end Nu'u Tafisi bearing down on him, Dixon threw a dying-duck pass to the flat that was intercepted by rover Brandon Hampton.
Hampton returned the ball 8 yards to the Ducks' 7. Four plays later, Cal got on the board when tight end Craig Stevens slipped off the line to catch a 2-yard touchdown pass from Longshore.
"It was just a routine interception," Hampton said. "I was where I was supposed to be. Dixon got frazzled, and he didn't see me."
Oregon answered with an 11-yard, 67-yard drive that resulted in a 22-yard field goal by Paul Martinez. It had to be a somewhat hollow feeling for the Ducks, who had a first-and-goal at the Cal 3.
Hampton chased Dixon out of bounds for a 2-yard loss on first-and-goal, and tackle Brandon Mebane stuffed Stewart at the line of scrimmage on second down. After an incompletion, Martinez hit the field goal, and Cal led 7-3.
The Bears struck again before the quarter ended as Longshore connected with Jackson on a 36-yard touchdown pass. Jackson put a fake on cornerback Jairus Byrd that left Byrd in a crumpled mess and ran on to take Longhore's lob all alone in the end zone.
Cal immediately had another chance to ring up a touchdown when Desmond Bishop intercepted a Dixon pass that was tipped by tight end Dante Rosario. Bishop made a diving catch at the Ducks' 38-yard line.
The Bears moved to the Ducks' 5-yard line, but Longshore threw into the teeth of the defense. The ball was tipped and intercepted by Byrd.
It didn't take long for Cal to get another opportunity. On Oregon's next series, Stewart fumbled on third down, and Cal defensive end Abu Ma'afala dove on the ball at the Ducks' 26.
This time, Cal made Oregon pay. Lynch broke free for a 24-yard gain to the Ducks' 2. Two plays later, Longshore sneaked over from a yard out for a 21-3 lead.
Unfortunately for the Bears, Lynch wrenched his back on his 24-yard gain. He stiff-armed Oregon's Patrick Chung the last 5 yards of the carry, and he was twisting when he hit the ground. He went to the locker room before the half was over for treatment.
Even without Lynch, Cal wasn't done scoring in the first half. Jackson scored his second touchdown of the game on a 65-yard punt return.
Accepting the ball at the 35-yard line, Jackson cruised laterally to his left as he tried to pick up a wall. When he saw nothing was open, he quickly changed direction back to where he originally caught the ball. Oregon's players simply couldn't keep up. Jackson caught a couple of blocks, hit a seam and was gone. Cal led 28-3.
Although it looked as if the game could get out of hand, Oregon grabbed a bit of momentum with a touchdown just before halftime. An 11-play drive was kept alive on a 25-yard pass completion to Dante Rosario on a fake field goal attempt. Holder, and backup quarterback, Brady Leaf took the snap and found Rosario running free down the sideline.
Stewart's TD dive cut Cal's lead to 28-10, but the Bears grabbed back the momentum on the first possession of the second half.


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