Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Contra Costa Times: Lynch mum on future after win


By Jay Heater

SAN DIEGO - Although Cal tailback Marshawn Lynch yelled ``One more year'' to fans chanting his name after the Bears' 45-10 Holiday Bowl victory over Texas A&M on Thursday, he wouldn't say whether he will return for his senior year.  Lynch, who rushed for 111 yards and two touchdowns, earned his second consecutive MVP honor in a bowl, adding the Holiday Bowl award to the Las Vegas Bowl trophy he earned last season. This time, he had to share the award with Cal quarterback Nate Longshore, who was 19 of 24 passing for 235 yards and a touchdown. While Lynch, who has six bowl game touchdowns during his career, and Longshore were honored on offense, Bears linebacker Desmond Bishop picked up the defensive MVP award.  Bishop had a game-high 12 tackles and set the tone with several crunching hits. ``We heard everyone say that Texas football is more physical,'' Bishop said. ``I think we showed that is all talk. We were feeling them out on that first drive when they scored, and after that, we just executed.''

• Bears junior tailback Justin Forsett, who went to high school in Arlington, Texas, but wasn't recruited by any Texas university, rushed for all of his game-high 124 yards in the second half. With Cal's offensive line dominating, Forsett zipped through big holes and was too quick to catch on fresh legs.  Texas A&M Coach Dennis Franchione said earlier in the week that he thought he missed one in Forsett, who is just 5-foot-8. ``It's good to hear that,'' Forsett said. ``But if it wasn't for those coaches not offering me a scholarship, I wouldn't be at Cal. It's a blessing.''  Forsett was asked if he thought Lynch would enter the NFL draft, making him the starting tailback next season. ``You will have to talk to Marshawn about that,'' he said.

Cal's passing attack, which had sagged toward the end of the season, was in great form as Lavelle Hawkins, Robert Jordan and DeSean Jackson combined for 12 catches for 174 yards. ``When the coaches let us play, we can beat anybody,'' Jordan said. ``You get us the ball, and we are going to make something happen. ``Let us run it, then gun it, and we will have some fun.'' Jackson agreed. ``I like when they get the ball in my hands, because I will make plays,'' he said. ``I am glad that everyone has stuck with it. I've been waiting a long time for our offense to play like this.'' Hawkins scored the only touchdown of the three, on a 4-yard pass in the third quarter. ``We came together tonight,'' Hawkins said. ``We have such a bright future. We are getting a lot of guys back.''

• Longshore finished with 3,021 yards passing, making him the second Cal player to throw for more than 3,000 yards. Pat Barnes passed for 3,499 yards in 1996.

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