Bears Blowout EWU, 59-7

BEKRELEY, CA – It started slow but Eastern Washington could do nothing to stop the inevitable. A 24-7 lackluster first half lead became a 59-7 route, as Cal rolled up nearly 500 yards of total offense on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium. Jahvid Best rushed for 144 yards on 17 carries with one touchdown. Shane Vereen added three scores on the ground…


BOXSCORE

Under a dismal looking bay area sky, the Cal Bears took care of business against the visiting Eastern Washington Eagles. The Bears sluggish start found them tied 7-7 going into the second quarter. They then started a string of 52 unanswered points on their way to an easy victory.

Heisman hopeful Jahvid Best provided all of Cal's early offense rushing for 100 yards in the first half, 83 of them in the first quarter alone.

"We started off a little slow, but then we got to what we do," said Best. "Things started opening up for us. We felt like we've done a lot of great things, but we still have some things to clean up. We're happy where we're at right now."

EWU had success moving the ball early, spreading out Cal's defense using three and four wide receiver sets. Eagle tight end Nathan Overbay and slot receiver Tony Davis found it smooth sailing in the middle of the field catching 13 passes for 119 yards between them in just the first quarter.

However, key penalties and turnovers prevented the visiting Eagles from putting more points on the board.

Two plays early in the second quarter spelled the beginning of the end of any suspense on who would win this contest.

With Eastern Washington driving and facing a 3rd-and-1 on the Bears 36-yard line, Cal linebacker Michael Mohamed sacked Eagle quarterback Matt Nichols and forced a fumble that was returned by Mychal Kendricks to the five-yard line.

On the Eagles next possession, Eastern Washington's head coach Beau Baldwin made a risky call by choosing to go for a 4th-and-1 on their own 38-yard line. Needless to say they failed to convert.

"The fumble is huge, I take the blame for that, we were trying to take a shot at something and it wasn't there as quickly as we thought," said Baldwin.

"We were coming in there going for it on fourth down. I wanted the team to know we weren't coming here to punt the football and take a paycheck. We were here to lay it on the line."

Cal scored a few plays later on a 22-yard touchdown pass to Jahvid Best on a perfectly executed fake wide receiver screen play.

Most of the Golden Bears starters were pulled from the game and resting comfortably before the fourth quarter began, but the onslaught continued.

Game Notes

  • Cal's next home game is Oct. 3 against the USC Trojans.

  • With a couple loses today in the Top 10 (Oklahoma State and Ohio State) look for the Bears to move up a spot or two in the national rankings.

  • Late in the fourth quarter, the EWU kicker shanked a 40-yard field goal try, the ball didn't even reach the back of the end zone. The Cal student section, who sound ready for basketball season as well, promptly began chanting, "air ball...air ball."

  • The Bears seem to have trouble defending the spread offense, at least early in the game. They will need to tighten that up before they face stiffer competition.

  • The Bears take on the Golden Gophers of Minnesota in an EPSN nationally televised game next Saturday. "We have to improve. Every loss we had last year was on the road, so we definitely have to improve on that," said Kevin Riley. "It takes more concentration and you have to be involved more in the game plan. You just have to do your job and don't worry about anything else."


    BOXSCORE

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