2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 2 - California at Colorado
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Sept. 10 California 36 … at Colorado 33 OT
CFN Analysis: COMING
(AP) BOULDER, Colo. -- Keenan Allen hauled in a 5-yard TD pass in overtime from his half-brother, Zach Maynard, lifting California to a thrilling 36-33 win over Colorado on Saturday despite a record-setting offensive day by the Buffaloes.
Maynard lofted a pass into the corner for Allen, who easily beat Colorado defensive back Parker Orms to set off a wild celebration by the Bears (2-0) near the goal line.
The catch by Allen came moments after Will Oliver connected on a 22-yard field goal in overtime for Colorado, his fourth of the game. Oliver also nailed a 32-yarder with 30 seconds remaining to extend the game for the Buffaloes (0-2).
Paul Richardson caught 11 passes for a school-record 284 yards to help Colorado rally from a 10-point deficit in the second half. The speedy wideout grabbed two TD passes from Tyler Hansen, who finished with a team-record 474 yards passing.
The game won't count in the Pac-12 Conference standings because it was scheduled as part of a home-and-home series before the Buffs bolted from the Big 12. But it may have just given the Buffs an early preview of what may be in store during league play.
Cal, making its first trip to Folsom Field since 1982, was outgained 582-370.
Big tight end Anthony Miller caught two of Maynard's four TD passes, and C.J. Anderson scored on a 19-yard scamper in the fourth quarter.
The victory was Jeff Tedford's 74th as Cal coach, tying him with Andy Smith (1916-25) for most in school history.
But it wouldn't come easy.
The Bears faced a first-and-30 at the 35 in overtime, but Maynard completed a pass to Allen near the goal line. Two plays later, the tandem hooked up again for the game winner.
Richardson's performance easily eclipsed the Colorado record of 222 yards set by Walter Stanley in 1981 and matched by Rae Carruth in 1996.
It could've been even more, but Richardson was overthrown on several occasions after breaking free of coverage.
Richardson's biggest catch came late in the third quarter, when he took a pass from Hansen, shed a tackler and raced 66 yards for a TD to pull the Buffaloes to within 23-20. He added a 78-yard score to give the Buffs a 27-23 lead.
Once Anderson's score gave the Bears the lead back with 9:55 remaining, Cal cornerback Steve Williams found a way to bottle up Richardson, knocking down two crucial passes late in the contest.
Hansen became the first quarterback to throw for more than 400 yards against the Bears since Alex Brink of Washington State had 421 yards on Oct. 22, 2005.
The Buffaloes opened the second half with a long scoring drive, culminating with tight end Ryan Deehan's 37-yard TD catch on a coverage breakdown by the Bears.
To keep the drive going, Colorado converted a fourth-and-1 at its own 29 on Hansen's QB sneak.
Oliver staked Colorado to a 3-0 lead after connecting on a 27-yard field goal in the first quarter. In five previous meetings, the team that scored first never relinquished the lead. But that trend was quickly halted Saturday.
Cal jumped right back in front when Maynard marched the Bears down the field and hit fullback Nico Dumont for a 2-yard score. Giorgio Tavecchio's extra point was blocked.
Just before halftime, Miller hauled in a one-handed grab in the end zone to help the Bears to a 16-6 lead.
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California (1-0) at Colorado (0-1) Sept. 10, 3:30
Here’s The Deal … When is a conference game not a conference game? Despite the fact that Cal and Colorado now reside in the Pac-12, Saturday’s game at Folsom Field won’t count toward the league standings since it was a previously scheduled meeting. The Bears began a pivotal year for head coach Jeff Tedford with a quality win, handling upset-minded Fresno State, 36-21. Cal’s trip to Boulder is particularly important to this squad because the 2010 edition struggled so mightily away from home, losing four of its five games.
The Buffaloes stumbled in the debut of head coach Jon Embree, getting doubled up by Hawaii, 34-17. The new staff is facing a lengthy rebuilding process that’ll force the locals to remain patient. Upsetting the Bears, whether or not it impacts the Pac-12 pecking order, would provide the new regime with an early signature win to build upon.
Why Cal Might Win: Coordinator Clancy Pendergast’s 3-4 defense continues to be the backbone of the program. By putting his best athletes on the field, the coach has crafted a unit that covers a lot of ground and limits big plays. The Bears were terrific a week ago, holding Fresno State to 218 yards and just 2-of-14 on third down conversions. Colorado doesn’t figure to be much more successful. The Buffs, which allowed seven sacks to Hawaii last Saturday, will struggle to disrupt the forward progress of Pendergast’s D. Cal had six sacks of its own in Week 1, and will liberally unleash linebackers Mychal Kendricks and D.J. Holt. Colorado needs a big game from RB Rodney Stewart, who’ll run into a wall instead.
Why Colorado Might Win: Cal’s problems are very real and a genuine concern for Tedford and his staff. The Buffs will feed off the energy of the home crowd in an attempt to narrow the divide in talent. Colorado has a solid front seven of its own on defense that it’ll employ to stall the Bears offense. The foundation of the group consists of DE Will Pericak, DT Conrad Obi, LB Jon Major and hybrid Josh Hartigan. They’ll be a formidable quartet for a Cal backfield that’s still adapting to Zach Maynard and Isi Sofele at quarterback and running back, respectively.
What To Watch Out For: Maynard, the Buffalo transfer, can make things happen with his feet, rushing for 52 yards on six carries in his Cal debut. He’d be wise to do whatever is necessary to get the ball in the hands of receivers Marvin Jones and Keenan Allen as often as possible as well. The pass-catchers each had more than 100 yards receiving last week, befuddling the Fresno State secondary. If Maynard sets the tone through the air early on, Sofele will benefit with wider running lanes.
What Will Happen: The Cal offense will sputter at times. The Cal D will pick up the slack. Stewart aside, the Buffaloes don’t yet have the horses to perforate a defense that hits hard and rarely misses tackles in the open field. The Bears will shut down QB Tyler Hansen and excel on third downs. While the Cal offense isn’t a finished product either, the combination of Sofele’s running and the playmaking ability of Allen and Jones will provide just enough pop to get out of Boulder with an important victory.
CFN Prediction: California 28 … Colorado 20
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California -6 O/U: 49
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