Sunday, October 21, 2007

San Jose Mercury: Cal notebook: Jackson wants to open up offense

PASADENA - DeSean Jackson bounced back from one of his worst games of the season to have one of his best Saturday, but there was still an empty feeling when he went back to the sideline after Alterraun Verner's interception return for a touchdown that sealed UCLA's 30-21 victory.  Jackson caught nine passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns, but he could only watch when Verner stepped in front of him to pick off a pass from Nate Longshore and return it 76 yards to the end zone.  "When they got that interception and scored, I was sitting over there in the worst mood ever," Jackson said. "We just weren't able to do what we need to do to win."  Jackson caught four passes for just 5 yards in last weekend's loss to Oregon State. But playing in front of family and friends from his hometown in nearby Long Beach on Saturday, he hauled in a 39-yard scoring pass from Longshore in the second quarter, then gave the Bears a 21-20 lead with a 2-yard touchdown catch late in the third quarter. "He had a good day, but not good enough because we didn't win," Cal Coach Jeff Tedford said.  Cal struggled to establish its run game, and Jackson said he wished the Bears would have thrown more on first and second downs.

"I can't ever go to the coaches and say that, but I honestly feel like we should open the ball up more and pass on first and second down and not just wait until third down," Jackson said. "If we open  things up, it's better for us, but we weren't able to do that."

• Tedford defended his decision to use some of the clock late in the second quarter with the Bears in UCLA territory. Cal started a drive at the Bruins' 39-yard line with 1:10 left but didn't display much urgency trying to move down the field. The Bears settled for a 44-yard field-goal attempt, which Jordan Kay missed.  "We did not want to leave a lot of time left on the clock, so we were trying to utilize clock there," Tedford said. "There was still plenty of time to run five or six plays."

• UCLA linebacker Christian Taylor was taken to a hospital after suffering seizure-type symptoms on the sideline late in the game. A CT scan on his neck and head were negative and he was moving around, according to a UCLA spokesman.

• Cal receiver Robert Jordan missed the game because of a shoulder injury. Tedford had said earlier in the week that Jordan would play.



Anonymous said...

Jackson should just shut up. A few spectacular plays doesn't add up to a great season. Strap on the cleats, tighten the chinstrap, and carry this team on your back... not with your mouth.

Anonymous said...

Cal would be 3-4 without Jackson.