Tough Defense Leads Cal Past UCLA 35-7
BERKELEY (CBS/AP) – Shane Vereen rushed for 151 yards and two touchdowns, Marvin Jones scored on a 48-yard reverse and Cal’s defense limited UCLA to 144 yards of offense in the Golden Bears’ 35-7 victory Saturday.
Kevin Riley ran for a score and threw a short TD pass to Keenan Allen for the Bears (3-2, 1-1 Pac-10), who rolled to a 28-0 halftime lead in their first game back from a bye after two straight losses.
Cal smothered UCLA’s struggling offense from the opening drive, holding the Bruins to 58 yards in the first half while snapping UCLA’s three-game winning streak.
Kevin Prince passed for 99 yards and a score for the Bruins (3-3, 1-2), who haven’t won in six trips to Strawberry Canyon since 1998. UCLA’s rushing offense, ranked 10th in the nation with 262.4 yards per game heading to Berkeley, managed just 26 yards against the Bears.
Although Riley was just 9 of 16 for 83 yards, coach Jeff Tedford’s offense methodically chewed up yardage and time of possession, capping a 304-yard rushing performance on Jones’ run through traffic with 9 minutes to play.
Isi Sofele rushed for a career-best 80 yards for the Bears, whose defense had much more success against UCLA’s version of the Pistol than it did last month against the same offense at Nevada, which dropped 52 points and 497 yards on Cal.
Johnathan Franklin rushed for just 54 yards and committed a key fumble for UCLA, which turned in another confounding performance. The Bruins beat Houston, Texas and Washington State in their past three games, suggesting they might be coming together in coach Rick Neuheisel’s third season.
Although it wasn’t as ugly as UCLA’s 35-0 home loss to Stanford last month, the Bruins never found rhythm in their usually solid running game. Prince went 13 for 31 after missing last week’s game with an injury, throwing a TD pass to Christian Ramirez but missing plenty of open receivers.
Cal was in control from the opening possession, making a 70-yard drive capped by Vereen’s TD run. The Bears then capitalized on Franklin’s fumble for a short drive and another score for Vereen just over 9 minutes in.
Even without injured receptions leader Nelson Rosario, the Bruins attempted to get some production from a passing game that has been largely incompetent this season, ranking 118th out of 120 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision through five weeks. Prince went 6 for 12 in the first half, but managed just 33 yards for a UCLA offense that only had four first downs in the half.
Allen, the Bears’ touted freshman playmaker, caught a short TD pass and Riley scored on a 1-yard keeper to put Cal up 28-0 shortly before halftime. The Bears outgained the Bruins 246-58 in the first half, holding UCLA to four first downs.
Prince’s 6-yard scoring pass to Ramirez on the opening drive of the second half was just UCLA’s third TD throw of the season.
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