Saturday, September 12, 2009

SF Chronicle: Slow start, but decisive finish

Rusty Simmons

Cal did what it was supposed to do Saturday, and a little bit more.  The Bears posted a resounding 59-7 victory over Championship Subdivision opponent Eastern Washington, showing an efficient offense and a defense that was able to adjust on the fly in front of 58,083 fans on a cloud-covered day at Memorial Stadium.  Maybe as important, Cal made it out of the game healthy and continued to develop its depth for what the team hopes will be an eventual run at the Pac-10 crown.

No. 10 Cal has won nine consecutive home games and 31 of its last 35 in Berkeley, and it sits in a good position with consecutive road games against Minnesota and Oregon looming. The Bears could jump a couple spots in the polls with No. 5 Oklahoma State losing to Houston and the loser of Saturday night's USC-Ohio State game offering another chance to leap frog.  "We feel like we've done a lot of great things," Jahvid Best said. "We've got some things to clean up, but we're happy with where we are right now."  A week after getting only 10 carries against Maryland, Best ran 17 times for 144 yards and caught a touchdown pass in a little more than a half's worth of action.

He just missed two highlight reel plays. In the first quarter, Best burst outside left for a 30-yard run that could have been a 75-yard touchdown if he hadn't accidentally stepped on the sideline. On his last carry of the game, he fielded an apparent lateral from Kevin Riley and zigzagged for 15 yards.

Shane Vereen ran 12 times for 45 yards and three touchdowns in relief of Best, and Covaughn DeBoskie-Johnson (92 rushing yards) and Isi Sofele each had their first career rushing touchdowns during mop-up duty.

Link to rest of article.

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