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It may have been too close for comfort, but the No. 10 Cal football team still managed to eek out a 34-28 victory over Colorado State at Hughes Stadium in Fort Collins, Colo.
Despite losing star tight end Kory Sperry early on in the first quarter to a season-ending knee injury, the Rams were able to keep it dangerously close for most of the game, including a late-game scare. With the Bears (2-0) comfortably up 34-14 in the fourth quarter, defensive back Darian Hagan bit on a fake, leaving receiver Damon Morton open for a 67-yard touchdown reception. Colorado State (0-2) then lined up for an onside kick which was recovered by the Rams on the Cal 48-yard line. Three plays later, running back Kyle Bell, who finished the game with 102 yards and two touchdowns, scored on a three-yard rush to bring the score to 34-28. But with 2:47 left in the game, the Bears were able to regain possession and run out the clock.
The Cal defense may have been sluggish at times, but it forced three game-changing turnovers that helped the Bears escape with a win. With Colorado State on third-and-goal at the Cal two-yard line and the score tied at seven apiece, defensive lineman Derrick Hill provided the big stop by intercepting quarterback Caleb Hanie’s pass. Later on, with 1:09 left in the third quarter and the Bears up 20-14, linebacker Anthony Felder sacked Hanie, whose fumble was recovered by defensive lineman Tad Smith. In the fourth quarter, with the score unchanged and the ball on Colorado State’s 43-yard line, it was linebacker Justin Moye’s turn to make the play for Cal. Moye intercepted Hanie’s pass and returned it 28 yards to the Rams’ 27-yard line, setting up the stage for a James Montgomery touchdown that put the Bears up 27-14. The Colorado State deficit was quickly extended when, on Cal’s next drive, freshman running back Jahvid Best ran 64 yards downfield into the end zone to bring the score to 34-14. The Bears’ plethora of offensive weapons did just enough to pull the team out with a victory.
After Bell’s first-quarter touchdown to put Colorado State up 7-0, DeSean Jackson quickly evened the score by rushing 73 yards into the end zone. The Heisman contender finished the game with 141 all-purpose yards. Later in the first quarter, tailback Justin Forsett, who racked up 59 yards on 13 carries before sitting out the fourth quarter due to a stinger, took the handoff from quarterback Nate Longshore and rushed one yard into the end zone to put his team up 14-7. Longshore finished the contest with 146 yards, completing 19-of-29 passes.