Big Time Players Making Big Plays

The one thing California had to avoid was taking rebuilding Washington State for granted. The Bears wanted to start this game fast, and quickly remind the Cougars that they are not on the same level as Cal. After the first two minutes of the game, the Bears got off to a fast start with a 14-0 lead that the Cougars could not recover from.

Every team has a player or two that they identify as the person they want to constantly feed the ball to because good things will happen. It is a luxury for a football team to have multiple players that constantly produce big plays. After two games, the same players keep producing for the Bears.

On Cal's first possession, Jahvid Best took an inside handoff 80 yards for a touchdown. Then to start the third quarter Best broke another long run for 86 yards for another touchdown. Head Coach Jeff Tedford is known for using two players at the running back position and this season Shane Vereen has shown the ability to come in the game and keep the production up at that position.

Vereen ran for a 39-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Cal's opponents in the future will not be able to relax when Vereen enters the game, because he is a threat running and catching the football.

Big plays did not just happen on the offensive side of the ball. Corner Syd'Quan Thompson has been playing with a lot of confidence the last two games. Thompson has been matched up with the best receivers on the Spartan and Cougar rosters. In the first half, against Washington State Thompson came up with two interceptions. The Bears' linebackers also had their moments. Anthony Felder came up with a sack and Zack Follett returned a blocked field goal 65 yards for a touchdown.

If the defense continues to come up with turnovers, they will make life easy for the offense. With the players that Cal has on the offensive side of the ball giving them a short field to work with will put the defense in a bad situation. The Cougar defense found this out after Cal ended up with 66 points.

Quarterback Kevin Riley for the second week in a row made some very good plays. Before Riley could blink, the Bears already had 14 points on the board. He connected with receiver Sean Young on a 14-yard touchdown pass. In the second quarter, Riley scored on a 27-yard touchdown run. The Bears got a big lead early and as a result, he only attempted 14 passes. In limited work, Riley was able to make his presence felt.

At the conclusion of this game, Best finished with 200 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Shane Vereen had nine carries for 81 yards and one touchdown. Future opponents must be able to contain both Cal running backs and be aware of Felder, Follett and Thompson on the defensive side of the ball. If these players continue to perform at this level the Bears should continue to win football games.

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