Monday, October 23, 2006

San Francisco Chronicle: Cal's narrow win could have wide effects

Bears showed resilience in OT victory over Huskies

Jake Curtis

Having to go overtime at home to beat a heavy underdog that was without its starting quarterback would seem like a step backward for Cal -- but there might be merit in winning a close game.  So we begin our four R's with the Resiliency the Bears demonstrated on Saturday against Washington.

As successful as Jeff Tedford has been in transforming Cal from a local embarrassment to a national power, the Bears are 8-10 under Tedford in games decided by seven points or fewer. And in five of those close wins, Cal let the bulk of big leads evaporate in the fourth quarter before prevailing.  Saturday's 31-24 victory over Washington interrupted that trend. Not only did Cal take the lead late in regulation, but it gathered itself to win in overtime after a remarkably lucky play by the Huskies had tied it.  More significant, perhaps, is that Saturday was only the second time a Tedford-coached Cal team won a game in which it trailed with less than 10 minutes left.  The Bears were behind 17-16 when they got the ball at their 18-yard line with 6:50 remaining. Marshawn Lynch did most of the heavy lifting in that scoring drive, but Nate Longshore, who started the game 2-for-9, completed two third-down passes to keep the drive alive.  Cal was one of five ranked teams (joining Texas, Notre Dame, Texas A&M and Tennessee) that won Saturday after trailing with less than 10 minutes left, and teams usually need one or two of those to reach a BCS game.

Read the entire article here.

No comments: