On the same day that last season's leading receiver went down with a foot injury, another receiver stated his case for a greater role in the Cal football team's offense. Senior Nyan Boateng fractured his foot in the Bears' win over Minnesota on Saturday and was scheduled to undergo surgery Monday afternoon. Boateng, who caught a team-high 29 passes for 439 yards in 2008, will be sidelined for four to five weeks, coach Jeff Tedford said. With Boateng out, Jeremy Ross entered the game as Cal's third receiver and capitalized on his window of opportunity, playing a crucial role in the touchdown drive that gave the Bears a 28-21 lead midway through the fourth quarter. He had a pivotal 31-yard reception on third-and-16-quarterback Kevin Riley later said that Cal knew it was going to win after that play-then hauled in another catch for 35 yards to set up Jahvid Best's two-yard scoring run.
"Jeremy Ross showed up big," Bears offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig said. "That was the spark we needed in the fourth quarter." Ross finished with three receptions for 73 yards. Before Saturday, the junior had one catch on the season. He caught 17 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns in 2008 and started five games at receiver. But the emergence of sophomore Marvin Jones and senior Verran Tucker as go-to players during fall camp bumped Ross down on the depth chart.