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Bears “romp” on the Wildcats

Posted by Eric | September 23, 2007 at 3:41 pm | In Games |

ESPN may list Cal’s win on its headlines as a “romp” but those watching the game may have seen an uglier picture. While the 45-27 win was solid, the offense was not always clicking (especially in the passing game), and the defense allowed some big plays. Most concerning of all was the Bears’ 14 penalties for a whopping 121 yards. The officiating was horrible as usual, but that is no excuse for the highest amount of penalties/yards in Coach Jeff Tedford’s tenure at Cal.

Cal needs to get things smoothed out before facing Oregon on Saturday, but this win over Arizona serves as a good conference-opening tuneup before the big boys. Most of all, the team needs to get disciplined and avoid the penalties to keep their momentum going.

Here are some highlight clips from Versus: Justin Forsett’s first TD, Lavelle Hawkins‘ TD reception, an Arizona TD, and Forsett’s second TD. The Versus TV coverage was bad, including a bizarre video outage and then a totally unacceptable twenty-something minute commercial break. They need to get their act together before the Big Game in a couple of months.

As always, here are the media rounds for the game.

SF Chronicle: “Cal payback: razing Arizona”

Safety Thomas DeCoud used the haunting memories to fuel his fire, and tailback Justin Forsett played through a hobbled ankle and a quadriceps contusion, because the bitter taste of a year ago was renewed in his craw. DeCoud set the tone in Saturday’s 45-27 payback in Strawberry Canyon, and when Arizona made a late threat, Forsett slammed the door shut. …

Arizona, however, mounted a comeback as the Bears’ offense stalled with Forsett on the sideline. … “They were about to give us our first L of the season, and I wasn’t about to let that happen,” said Forsett, who totaled 117 yards and two scores on 23 carries. “I decided to get in there and be a spark.” …

While No. 6 Cal (4-0 overall, 1-0 Pac-10) has gotten rid of the Tennessee and Arizona ghosts from a year ago, it still hasn’t played a complete game. The Bears let Tennessee cut their 17-point lead to 7, saw Colorado State turn a 20-point thumping into a 6-point thriller and outscored Louisiana Tech only 14-6 in the second half of last week’s 42-12 win.

“We can’t take any quarters off,” Forsett said. “We’re one step away from playing a complete game, but we’ve got to put all of the pieces together.”

AP: “No. 6 Cal Settles Score, Beats Arizona”

Three weeks after the Bears avenged last year’s season-opening loss to Tennessee, they flattened the Wildcats by taking a 25-point lead in the first 13 minutes.

“Last year’s game was in the motivational tape we watched today,” coach Jeff Tedford said. “Our guys were very motivated to play this game after last year’s game.”

The Bears were sloppy after their fast start, committing 14 penalties for 121 yards, but Forsett did more than enough to secure Cal’s 10th straight win at Memorial Stadium.

Contra Costa Times: “Banged-up back seals Cal victory”

It didn’t appear there would be any nervous moments after the Bears (4-0) scored on three consecutive possessions in the first quarter and defensive end Tyson Alualu returned a fumble recovery 4 yards for another touchdown.

But Cal’s offense stalled a bit in the second half, and the Wildcats’ spread offense began to wear down the Bears’ defense. Quarterback Willie Tuitama, who was 42 of 61 for 309 yards, led Arizona on a couple of sustained scoring drives to make the game competitive again. The 61 attempts were an Arizona record.

Arizona Daily Star: “UA loses 45-27 to Cal”

Arizona learned one of football’s simplest lessons in Saturday’s 45-27 loss to California: Don’t let a good team get ahead of you early.

The sixth-ranked Golden Bears scored 28 points in the first quarter and withstood a late Arizona push to win in the team’s Pac-10 opener at Memorial Stadium. The Wildcats (1-3 overall, 0-1 Pac-10) outscored the Golden Bears in the second half, but could get no closer than 11 points.

After Jason Bondzio’s 32-yard field goal pulled the UA to within 38-27 with 13 minutes remaining, Cal drove 74 yards to put the game away.

Arizona Republic: “Miscues cost Cats”

Arizona receiver Mike Thomas caught a short pass, broke a couple of tackles and ran down the middle of the field for a 65-yard touchdown on the first play of the second half Saturday against No. 6 California.

The Wildcats were going to get back into the game, right? Nope.

A personal foul flag on the play negated the touchdown. Three plays later, the Wildcats fumbled it away.

And that was the kind of day, and year, it has been for Arizona, which lost to the Golden Bears 45-27 in Memorial Stadium in front of 56,021.

Contra Costa Times: “Receiver Longshore isn’t really an option”

Cal committed 14 penalties - the most in Tedford’s six seasons in Berkeley - for 121 yards, including a handful of personal fouls. The Bears were flagged for two personal fouls - roughing the passer, against defensive end Cameron Jordan, and a late hit by safety Robert Peele - to extend an Arizona drive in the fourth quarter with Cal protecting its 45-27 lead.

“There were a couple things that were poor judgment,” Tedford said. “Guys were trying to make plays. A couple of those calls where ticky-tack down the stretch. I was getting ready to tell (Jordan) good job because he pulled off the quarterback and just touched him with his hands. He didn’t go into him with his head or anything like that. I didn’t agree with that call.”

ESPN: “Top 25 Overview”

It was over when… Cal found three different ways to score four touchdowns in the first quarter. The Bears ran two in, threw another and returned a fumble for a score. Gameball goes to… Justin Forsett. The Bears’ senior running back carried the ball 23 times for 117 yards and two touchdowns, including the final score of the game. Stat of the game… 20. Cal thwarted Arizona’s rushing attempts — holding the Cats to 20 yards on 20 carries. Arizona also turned the ball over four times.

2 Comments »

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  1. thx for the heads-up

    why was the Arizona TD a highlight?

    1. Comment by jontsai — September 23, 2007 @ 10:33 pm #

  2. [...] Cal Football Fan: Here are some highlight clips from Versus: Justin Forsett’s first TD, Lavelle Hawkins’ TD reception, an Arizona TD, and Forsett’s second TD. The Versus TV coverage was bad, including a bizarre video outage and then a totally unacceptable twenty-something minute commercial break. They need to get their act together before the Big Game in a couple of months. [...]

    2. Pingback by The Bears Are Roaring (Blog Reactions to Arizona) at Bears Necessity — September 24, 2007 @ 4:25 pm #

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