BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) -- The least imposing game on California's
schedule turned out just about right for coach Jeff Tedford.
His Golden Bears played well enough for a comfortable win, yet
showed enough flaws to provide plenty of fodder for next week's
Marshawn Lynch ran for 112 yards and a touchdown on just six
carries, and No. 21 Cal tuned up for its Pac-10 schedule with a
42-16 victory over Portland State on Saturday.
Nate Longshore passed for 225 yards and two scores in the first
half for the Bears (2-1), who substituted liberally after rolling
to a 32-point lead midway through the second quarter. DeSean
Jackson caught five passes for 103 yards and a score as the Bears
gained even more confidence in themselves after a rocky start to
the season -- but still saw much to improve.
"We did well, but we all know we can play better in the Pac-10
next week," said cornerback Daymeion Hughes, who returned an
interception 30 yards for a score. "Coach Tedford is going to make
sure we're ready, because we've still got some improvements to
Cal's defense knocked two of the Division I-AA Vikings'
quarterbacks out of the game with injuries on crushing hits in the
first quarter. The schools played a scoreless second half while Cal
tinkered with its offense and used nearly every player in uniform.
Cameron Morrah also caught a TD pass for the Bears, while Lynch,
Justin Forsett and Marcus O'Keith all rushed for scores as they
racked up 375 total yards by halftime. Their 42 points were the
fourth-most in a half in school history.
After opening the season with a big loss at Tennessee and a big
home win over Minnesota, Cal soon will find out whether its No. 9
preseason ranking was justified. Arizona State visits Memorial
Stadium next weekend, with Oregon coming in two weeks later.
"Our chemistry is where it's supposed to be right now,"
Jackson said. "We feel good going into Pac-10 play. The league is
a lot improved this season, and this game helped us get ready."
Not everything went well: Cal allowed two quick touchdowns
shortly before halftime, and the Bears committed nine penalties for
103 yards and made three turnovers. Cal also lost starting right
tackle Scott Smith to a sprained knee, which will be evaluated
"It's something we're definitely going to address this week,"
Tedford said. "We had way too many penalties and turnovers, and
we're not going to tolerate it. There were poor decisions by a
couple of guys."
Receiver Tremayne Kirkland caught a TD pass and threw another
for Portland State (2-1), which beat New Mexico in its season
opener. With a defensive line featuring four Division I-A
transfers, the Vikings seemed to be a tougher matchup than the
usual I-AA foe -- but Cal's starters were too much.
"They're as good as advertised on offense, because I think
we're good on defense, and they totally dismantled us," Portland
State coach Tim Walsh said. "I don't think we played really well,
but a lot of that probably had to do with them."
Portland State quarterback Sawyer Smith and freshman backup
Tygue Howland both left the field with injuries in the first
quarter, forcing Rob Freeman into the game. Howland sprained his
knee and Smith bruised his hip, but Freeman went 12-for-17 for 119
The Bears did little wrong offensively after Longshore's first
pass, which was intercepted by Micheal Dorsey to set up Eric
Azorr's 24-yard field goal just 4½ minutes in. O'Keith returned the
ensuing kickoff to midfield, and Cal went ahead for good on
third-string tight end Morrah's 3-yard TD catch.
Lynch made his most impressive run early in the second quarter,
escaping a midfield pile and dodging two more tacklers before
rumbling 71 yards into the end zone. The run was the longest of
Lynch's career, besting a 70-yard TD run at Washington two years
Cal inserted several backup defenders midway through the second
quarter, but Kirkland threw a 42-yard trick pass to Brendan
Ferrigno, the son of Cal receivers coach Dan Ferrigno. Kirkland
beat Hughes for a 4-yard TD catch 1:19 before halftime, but
Jackson's 27-yard TD catch capped a 55-second scoring drive moments
"Cal is just fast at every position," Brendan Ferrigno said.
"A couple of teams (in the Big Sky Conference) might have a couple
of fast guys, but they are just fast all over."
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Marshawn Lynch's 71-yard TD run gave Cal a 28-3 lead early in the second quarter.
Gameball goes to... Lynch. The Cal RB ran for 112 yards and one touchdown on just six carries.
Stat of the game... 375: Cal racked up 375 total yards in the first half.