2011 Holiday Bowl - Texas 21, Cal 10

Posted Dec 28, 2011

2011-2012 Bowls - CFN's Preview & Prediction for the 2011 Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl

2011 B.E. Holiday

Texas 21 ... California 10

- 2011-2012 CFN Bowl Central

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National Rankings
37th Total Offense 44th
26th Total Defense 15th
47th Scoring Offense 53rd
52nd Scoring Defense 42nd
48th Rushing Offense 19th
36th Run Defense 11th
39th Passing Offense 85th
42nd Passing Defense 46th
32nd Turnover Margin 90th
Position Rankings
relative to each other
5 Highest - 1 Lowest
C   T
3.5 Quarterbacks 2
4 RBs 4
4 Receivers 3
3.5 O Line 3
4 D Line 3.5
4.5 Linebackers 4.5
4 Secondary 4.5
4 Spec Teams 4
4 Coaching 4.5
Texas 21 … California 10
- CFN Thoughts on the Game

Texas: The Longhorns held Cal to seven rushing yards and generated six sacks. … Davis Ash completed 14-of-23 passes for 142 yards and a score. Case McCoy didn't play. … Malcolm Brown ran 13 times for 35 yards. … Jaxon Shipley caught four passes for 14 yards, and completed a four-yard pass for a score. … WR Marquise Goodwin caught three passes for 49 yards and a score and ran twice for 33 yards. … LB Emmanuel Acho made eight tackles with a broken up pass and a tackle for loss. … DE Jackson Jeffcoat made two sacks with 2.5 tackles for loss.

California: The Bears turned it over five times. … QB Zach Maynard completed 19-of-33 passes for 188 yards and a pick. … Isi Sofele ran 20 times for 52 yards and a score. … Keenan Allen made nine catches for 82 yards. … LB Mychal Kendricks made ten tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. … DE Trevor Guyton made five tackles with a sack and two tackles for loss. …

(AP) SAN DIEGO -- The next time Texas coach Mack Brown sees Joey Harrington, the memory shouldn't be quite so painful.

David Ash added his name to the list of quarterbacks who've caught a touchdown pass in the Holiday Bowl and he also threw for one score to lead Texas to a 21-10 victory against California on Wednesday night.

Ash caught a 4-yard pass from wide receiver Jaxon Shipley in the second quarter to join BYU's Steve Young, Texas A&M's Bucky Richardson and Oregon's Harrington as quarterbacks who've caught touchdown passes in the Holiday Bowl.

The Longhorns had the ball first-and-goal when Ash handed off to running back Malcolm Brown who then handed off to Shipley as if the Longhorns were going to run a reverse. Ash slipped into the end zone and caught Shipley's pass to give Texas a 7-3 lead. Shipley has thrown three touchdown passes this season, all while lining up at wide receiver.

Brown joked on Tuesday how much it still bugged him that Harrington caught a TD pass in the Ducks' 35-30 win against Texas in the 2000 Holiday Bowl. The Oregon offensive coordinator then was Jeff Tedford, who has been Cal's coach since 2002. Harrington now works for the Longhorn Network.

Brown credited the play to co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin, who previously had coached and played at Boise State.

"Bryan Harsin grew up in that Boise system and that's the stuff Jeff did with Oregon back in the early 2000s," Brown said. "And it's one of the reasons why I hired Bryan. He believes in running the football, he believes in being physical, but he's got toys in the pocket that he's going to take advantage of things when he can."

"If you're not moving the ball, he's got some imagination in the offense to make a play," Brown said.

That play helped salvage a little bit of the Holiday Bowl's reputation for high-scoring, wide-open games.

"We knew they were going to throw something like that out there," Cal defensive end Trevor Guyton said. "It was only a matter of time before they did it. They got us. No excuses."

Ash had another impressive play in the third quarter when he threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Goodwin, who made a nice over-the-shoulder catch in full stride. That gave the Longhorns a 14-10 lead.

The Longhorns (8-5) were even more impressive on defense, getting five takeaways and sacking Cal's Zach Maynard six times, both season highs.

The Golden Bears (7-6) are winless in five games against the Longhorns, dating to 1959.

Texas put it away on Cody Johnson's 4-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter, which was set up when Maynard was sacked and fumbled, which was recovered by Chris Whaley at the Cal 44. Goodwin ran for 37 yards and Johnson had a 3-yard gain before his touchdown run.

Cal briefly took the lead at 10-7 after Isi Sofele's 6-yard run to cap the opening drive of the second half.

Ash's long TD pass to Goodwin came four plays into the next Texas drive.

"We had our chances and gave the ball away," Tedford said.

Cal fumbled six times, losing four. The other turnover was an interception by Quandre Diggs, the younger brother of former Texas star cornerback and current San Diego Chargers starter Quentin Jammer.

"They did a good job of stripping it. They got it out today," Tedford said. "They got their hands on the ball, their hats on the ball and stripped it. There's really no explanation for something we've worked on."

Maynard was under pressure the whole game.

"We kept getting caught in second-and-long, third-and-long," the QB said. "It's hard to build a decent pass game and run game. ... It's hard to overcome those turnovers. It's hard to build momentum."

California (7-5) vs. Texas (7-5) Dec. 28, 8:00, ESPN

Here's The Deal … The parallel quests of Cal's Jeff Tedford and Texas' Mack Brown to avoid the pink slip a year from now begins in San Diego.

The situations are different. They always are. What's at stake, though, is rather similar. Tedford and Brown have come under intense scrutiny following back-to-back poor seasons, amping up the importance of the Holiday Bowl for both embattled head coaches. The winner can exhale temporarily, while the loser digs himself into an even deeper professional ditch.

Since losing to Alabama in the 2009 National Championship Game, Texas has split its last 24 games, the school's worst two-year run since the late 1990's. The University has also been a lightning rod for criticism among Big 12 members, prompting Texas A&M and Missouri to seek greener pastures in the SEC. These are indeed rough times in Austin, but it's still Texas, where the tradition is rich, the facilities are first-rate and the recruiting base is second to none. The school will be fine, but the coach still needs a reversal of fortune if he plans on being a part of the revival.

The Longhorns are a young team, especially on offense, where the leading passer, rusher and receiver are all calves. It was also a transition year on the sidelines, with Brown bringing aboard Bryan Harsin and Manny Diaz to coordinate his offense and defense, respectively. Still, a rebuilding year in Austin should be 9-3, not 7-5. And there's never going to be an acceptable excuse for those double-digit losses to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Mizzou and Baylor. Come kickoff, there will still be three more days left on the 2011 calendar. For the ‘Horns, 2012 has already begun, and the program needs to get off to a fast start, because spring drills will be here before you know it.

Tedford rescued Cal a decade ago, but he's hit a wall, and backers are getting justifiably antsy. The coach has clearly raised the level of his team's play, but the growth in Berkeley has ceased. The Bears have devolved into a middling Pac-12 squad, matching Texas' 12-12 mark over the past two seasons, and were last ranked in the final AP Top 25 poll five years ago. You can do a lot worse than Tedford. However, there's a growing sentiment around Strawberry Canyon that the team can also do better.

This past regular season was a typical one for Cal. Start fast against soft competition, struggle on the road and mix in an impressive win or two along the way. We've all seen the script, the same one that's been employed over the past five or six years. The Bears harbor plenty of talent. Just check various NFL rosters for proof. Consistency, though, continues to elude them, as does the more than half-century-long quest to play in the Rose Bowl. Cal finished the regular season strong by whipping Utah, Wazzu, Oregon State and Arizona State over the final six games. Now, it's aiming to keep the momentum going at the expense of a name-brand opponent from the Big 12.

Players to Watch: The Longhorns' backfield is flush with young talent … and intrigue. The staff will audition sophomore Case McCoy and true freshman David Ash for the starting quarterback job, though both are expected to play in the game. The pair split snaps during the season, with neither showing much consistency in the passing game. The ground game, on the other hand, was beset with injuries, which stifled its overall production. While Fozzy Whitaker was lost for the year to a knee injury, good news comes from the anticipated returns of rookies Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron. Brown, the former five-star recruit had rushed for a team-high 707 yards and five scores before suffering a turf toe. Bergeron is a 235-pound battering, who'd churned out 327 yards in consecutive games with Kansas and Texas Tech before tweaking his hamstring, and getting just nine carries over the final four games.

The second biggest concern of the Texas staff, after the health of the backs, is the Cal linebackers. As this group goes, so goes the Bears' 3-4 defense. Coordinator Clancy Pendergast houses the requisite talent, both young and experienced, to be a real roadblock for the Longhorns' running game. The front man is senior Mychal Kendricks, a playmaker who was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. He'll be joined by fellow senior D.J. Holt on the inside, and future linchpins David Wilkerson and Chris McCain on the outside. This will be a good test for the two freshmen, who are going to assume significantly bigger roles in 2012.

Cal's improvement toward the end of the regular season can be traced directly to the play of QB Zach Maynard, who made his debut after transferring from Buffalo. Shaky and inconsistent through the air in September and October, he performed in November as if the game had finally begun to slow down. Over the final four games, three Bears wins, he accounted for seven touchdowns and just a single pick. The nimble lefty has access to a terrific corps of pass-catchers, including his brother Keenan Allen, veteran WR Marvin Jones and TE Anthony Miller. Allen is one of the most underrated receivers in America, and a future playmaker at the next level.

Which Texas D shows up, the one that leads the Big 12 in most statistical categories or the one that got burned by Baylor for six touchdowns at the beginning of the month? How loaded are the ‘Horns on this side of the ball? Only two starters failed to receive all-star recognition at season's end. It's a fast and physical group that boasts a future star—or two—at every level. Sophomore DE Jackson Jeffcoat is a beast of a pass rusher. Sophomore Jordan Hicks will be the leader of the linebackers in 2012. And the corners, rookie Quandre Diggs and sophomore Carrington Byndom, have lockdown potential. Add in a slew of gifted upperclassmen, like DE Alex Okafor, LB Emmanuel Acho and S Kenny Vaccaro, and UT has no business struggling on defense in two straight games.

Cal will win if … Maynard plays in San Diego the way he played in November.

The Bears need consistency from behind center, or else the Texas defense will abuse them. Maynard is not going to throw for 300 yards or three touchdowns versus this opponent. It just won't happen. He can, however, spread the ball around efficiently to his backs and receivers. Plus, an effective and efficient passing game will make life markedly easier for RB Isi Sofele. The latest in a long line of 1,000-yard rushers in Berkeley, the junior has rushed for more than 100 yards in half of his last 10 games. If Maynard is skittish through the air, it's going to enable Texas to press up its aggressive linebackers and safeties in order to completely shut down No. 20 on running plays.

Texas will win if … the rushing attack can recapture the form it had in the middle of the season.

There was a time in October when the ‘Horns were churning out yards between the tackles like one of the military academies, rising to No. 11 nationally following the Texas Tech blowout on Nov. 5. And then the injuries to key players began to mount. After almost a month away from the game, Texas is cautiously optimistic that it'll be as healthy as it's been since the beginning of the season. Brown and Bergeron, running behind a physical line, will need to absorb some of the pressure off McCoy and Ash if the offense is going to shed its stagnancy. If one or both of the rookie backs can shed some rust quickly, and pick up a head of steam, the reverberation will be felt on both sides of the ball.

What Will Happen: Now that the dust has settled and the haze of the regular season has passed, Texas is poised to flex its muscles at Qualcomm Stadium.

The Longhorns are loaded with talent, but so much of it is inexperienced and banged up, which is why the time off will be especially beneficial. Those 15 practices, coupled with the extra time in the training room, will help make the ‘Horns appear rejuvenated. Defense and the running game will be the keys for the boys in burnt Orange. With too much time for Diaz to prepare, Texas will halt the progress of Maynard, confusing him with speed and different looks. The young backs, with a little more bounce in their steps, will spearhead a running attack that controls the tempo of the game, and heaps more than 200 yards on the Cal defense.

CFN Prediction: Texas 28 … Cal 20
- Click For Latest Line From ATS: Texas -3.5   O/U: 48 
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Did Texas peak with the Texas A&M win? It sure looked that way against Baylor. Very quietly, Cal has been great in bowls under Jeff Tedford winning four of the last five.
By Richard Cirminiello 
Forget the venue. This is a huge game for Texas, which needs to use December to get all of its youngsters heading in the right direction prior to 2012.

By Matt Zemek
Mack Brown can't politick his way out of this one; he can't just appeal to voters the way he did when Texas fought past Cal in the polls to claim the 2005 Rose Bowl at-large berth. Fortunately for Mack, Cal doesn't have the quarterback it did in the 2004 season.   

By: Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee  
After the 2009 title game appearance, the last two seasons have been a big disappointment in Austin. Case McCoy has come on of late, so expect him and the Longhorns to try and establish some momentum going into the offseason.

By Russ Mitchell
Still no Houston sighting...you think the Cougars are bitter about Va Tech getting into...forget it. 7-5 Texas, sixth place in a 10 team Big 12, and fresh off an absolute butt whipping by Baylor, plays 7-5 Cal. Both teams are sub .500 in conference. Katy bar the door...

By Terry Johnson
How will Isi Sofele fare against a Longhorn defense that pedestrian 3.3 yards per carry?

By Phil Harrison
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN
Of course the big story in this one is if the Mack Brown rumors are true or not. On the field, it's two teams that have fallen off a bit. A win could act as a catapult to getting back.
Best Bowl Moments
Best Golden Bear Bowl Moment: You've got to venture all the way back to 1938 and the days of Vic Bottari to find a truly meaningful Cal bowl victory. The "Thunder Team", as it was dubbed, shut out Alabama 13-0 in the Rose Bowl, en route to the Bears' second and last national championship. Cal finished its season in Pasadena eight times from 1921-1959, but hasn't been back since.

Best Longhorn Bowl Moment: With all due respect to its recent thrilling comeback wins over USC and Michigan in the Rose Bowl, nothing defines the Texas bowl experience more than the Cotton Bowl, home to almost half of the program's bowl destinations. Arguably the most rewarding of those trips to Dallas was in 1970, when the ‘Horns came from behind twice in the fourth quarter to beat a Notre Dame team that was ending a 44-year self-imposed bowl-moratorium. The win, No. 500 in school history, cemented UT's second national title.

Holiday Bowl History
2010 Washington 19, Nebraska 7
2009 Nebraska 33, Arizona 0
2008 Oregon 42, Oklahoma St 31
2007 Texas 52, Arizona State 34
2006 California 45, Texas A&M 10
2005 Oklahoma 17, Oregon 14
2004 Texas Tech 45, California 31
2003 Washington State 28, Texas 20
2002 Kansas St 34, Arizona State 27
2001 Texas 47, Washington 43
2000 Oregon 35, Texas 30
1999 Kansas State 24, Washington 20
1998 Arizona 23, Nebraska 20
1997 Colorado St. 35, Missouri 24
1996 Colorado 33, Washington 21
1995 Kansas St. 54, Colorado St. 21
1994 Michigan 24, Colorado St. 14
1993 Ohio State 28, BYU 21
1992 Hawaii 27, Illinois 17
1991 BYU 13, Iowa 13
1990 Texas A&M 65, BYU 14
1989 Penn State 50, BYU 39
1988 Oklahoma St 62, Wyoming 14
1987 Iowa 20, Wyoming 19
1986 Iowa 39, San Diego State 38
1985 Arkansas 18, Arizona State 17
1984 BYU 24, Michigan 17
1983 BYU 21, Missouri 17
1982 Ohio State 47, BYU 17
1981 BYU 38, Washington State 36
1980 BYU 46, SMU 45
1979 Indiana 38, BYU 37
1978 Navy 23, BYU 16

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