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at California 63 … Presbyterian 12
Posted Sep 15, 2011

Week 3 CFN Fearless Prediction & Game Story - Presbyterian at California

2011 Predictions & Game Story 

Week 3 - Presbyterian at Cal

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Sept. 17 at California 63 … Presbyterian 12
CFN Analysis: COMING

(AP) SAN FRANCISCO -- Zach Maynard threw for 215 yards and three touchdowns, and California made Jeff Tedford the program's winningest coach with a 63-12 romp over Presbyterian on Saturday in the first home game at AT&T Park.

Isi Sofele ran for a career-high 105 yards and two touchdowns and Brendan Bigelow returned a kick 88 yards for a score to give Tedford his 75th victory. He passed Andy Smith, who had held the record since 1925.

Maynard finished 15 for 25 passing and only played one half for the Golden Bears (3-0) in the first of five games this season at the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants' cozy waterfront ballpark. Cal's longtime home, Memorial Stadium, is undergoing a $321 million renovation.

Justin Bethel had all the highlights for the Blue Hose (1-2). He blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown and intercepted a pass by Maynard for a score.

The Bears settled into their temporary digs just fine.

The water cannons in right field -- normally reserved for Giants home runs -- shot into the air every time Cal scored. Large bleachers erected along the far sideline piled in fans and the goal posts squeezed against the padded walls just below the stands.

A somewhat serene crowd that came across San Francisco Bay colored the park in blue and gold and spread banners over some of the Giants' decor. While the Bears will face tougher opponents at home in the Pac-12 Conference, the Blue Hose certainly weren't one of them.

They overwhelmed and overmatched Presbyterian from the start.

After three penalties stalled the opening drive, Cal wasted little time on its next possession. C.J. Anderson rushed for a 9-yard touchdown through the infield dirt to cap a three-play, 50-yard drive that gave the Bears a 7-0 lead.

Sean Cattouse followed with an interception on a gift-wrapped pass by Presbyterian's Ryan Singer that landed in his chest. Two plays later, Sofele powered his way into the end zone from a yard out to put Cal ahead 14-0.

Cattouse leaped up to snag his second interception -- the sixth of his career and the most among Cal's active players -- near the Bears sideline early in the second quarter. Three players later, Marvin Jones sprinted across the field on a crossing pattern and slipped past two defenders for a 51-yard touchdown that extended Cal's lead to 28-0.

Presbyterian made a few memories to take back home.

Bethel ran through the line untouched, blocked a punt and picked up the ball, running 15 yards for the Blue Hose's first score. Presbyterian players erupted on the sideline, spilling onto the field in celebration after trimming the Bears' lead to 28-6. They missed the extra point.

Bethel gave them more to cheer about when he intercepted a pass by Maynard and returned it 29 yards down the sideline for a touchdown. After a missed two-point conversation, Cal led 35-12.

Things were never that close again.

The Bears quickly drove 55 yards on five plays highlighted by Keenan Allen's 21-yard touchdown catch from Maynard just before the break. Bigelow returned the opening kickoff in the second half for an 88-yard touchdown that put the Bears ahead 49-12, and the rout was on.

The matchup between the two schools was hardly one that Cal fans were excited about.

The Bears had trouble finding an opponent because they had to wait for the Giants to release their 2011 schedule and then the Pac-12 to announce the conference schedule -- not to mention the initial time spent trying to determine an alternate venue to Memorial Stadium this year. The Blue Hose were guaranteed at least $400,000 from the host school for making the nearly 2,700-mile journey, by far the longest in school history.

Presbyterian plays in the Big South Conference in the Football Championship Subdivision, formerly known as Division I-AA, moving up from Division II just five years ago. The tiny school from Clinton, S.C., has an enrollment of about 1,200 students.

Presbyterian (1-1) at Cal (2-0) Sept. 17, 5:30

Here’s The Deal … Cal has successfully navigated a tricky start to the non-conference schedule that included Fresno State and Colorado. Its reward? A visit from an FCS program and a chance to make the most of the kind of scrimmage that many other Pac-12 programs have already enjoyed. Just because the Bears are hitting the pause button doesn’t mean that Saturday won’t be an important contest. They’ll need to locate a rhythm and a little more consistency on both sides of the ball before setting off on a defining two-game road swing at Washington and Oregon.

Presbyterian will be making one of the longest trips of any school this fall, traveling to San Francisco from Clinton, S.C. The Blue Hose of the Big South Conference has split its first two games, defeating Div. II North Greenville a week after falling to Wofford. It was knotted in the fourth quarter with the Terriers, the same squad that almost picked off Clemson in Week 2.

Why Presbyterian Might Win: Without much of a passing attack to rely upon, the Blue Hose will continue to lean on its might-mite out of the backfield, Lance Byrd. The junior has been the sparkplug so far, rushing for 220 yards and two scores on 40 carries. While the defense has been soft against the run, the pressure it’s been creating figures to be a nuisance for the Cal offense. Presbyterian houses a bunch of athletic defenders, like LB L.J. Perry, DE Derren Evans and NG Brian Davis, who’ve made it a habit of busting into the other team’s backfield.

Why Cal Might Win: Against a pair of decent foes, the Bears scored 36 points in each game, the first indication that head coach Jeff Tedford’s play-calling has been effective. Cal will have too many weapons for an overmatched Presbyterian defense, peppering it with Isi Sofele on the ground and receivers Keenan Allen, Marvin Jones and Anthony Miller through the air. Nimble QB Zach Maynard has adapted well in his first season of action since transferring from Buffalo, tossing four touchdown passes in the overtime win against the Buffs. After playing poorly in that 36-33 thriller, the defense will have a chip on its shoulder, even against an inferior visitor.

What To Watch Out For: How many fans will show up Saturday evening? As its regular stadium undergoes a renovation this fall, Cal will be using for the first time AT&T Park, the home of baseball’s San Francisco Giants. Now, it’s a gorgeous stadium, with a breathtaking view, but it’s also across the bay and almost a half-hour drive from the Berkeley campus. The Bears enjoyed its home-field advantage in 2010, but unique circumstances will make similar prosperity a bit harder to achieve in 2011.

What Will Happen: A visit from a Big South program could not come at a better time for Cal. The Bears just endured a couple of emotional and physical games, so getting off the ride for a week will be a welcome development. As expected, the Bears will coast to an easy win, reaching 3-0 for the second time in the last three seasons. Of greater importance, a blowout victory will allow the defense to regain its swagger, and the reserves to accumulate a handful of well-meaning reps they can call upon at some point later in the campaign.

CFN Prediction: Cal 52 … Presbyterian 7
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