Saturday's game against UCLA wasn't three minutes old when the Cal football team distanced itself from a nightmarish start to Pac-10 play. It had finally found the end zone. "It was good to have a touchdown," Bears quarterback Kevin Riley said. "It's been a while." But it wasn't a momentous occasion for Cal simply because the team managed a six-point score for the first time since Sept. 19 against Minnesota.
Indeed, Shane Vereen's 42-yard touchdown run on his team's opening drive was crucial because of the way the Bears scored. They went big, and they sustained their lust for long yardage throughout a 45-26 victory over the Bruins at the Rose Bowl. How else would Cal have scored five offensive touchdowns with only one opportunity in the red zone? How else would tailback Jahvid Best have salvaged a game in which he was locked up by the UCLA defense on nearly all of his touches?