|Jackson electrifying again as Cal beats Colorado State 34-28|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 08 September 2007 11:32|
The junior wide receiver scored on a 73-yard reverse Saturday as the 10th-ranked California Golden Bears held off scrappy Colorado State 34-28.
Jackson, who opened the season with an electrifying 77-yard punt return TD against Tennessee, again flashed his Heisman Trophy credentials when he circled left, deked cornerback Joey Rucks at midfield and raced all alone down the Rams' sideline for Cal's first touchdown.
Jackson, who had 143 all-purpose yards on only six touches against Tennessee, collected 141 all-purpose yards against the Rams, gaining 78 yards on two carries, 39 yards on five receptions and 24 on two punt returns.
The Golden Bears (2-0) needed all of them and more to fend off the Rams, who scored two touchdowns 53 seconds apart to turn a 34-14 deficit into a 34-28 nail-biter with 2:54 remaining.
Instead of another onside kick, however, Jason Smith pooched the ball all the way to the Rams' bench on the fly, giving the Bears the ball at their 35, and California got a key first down to run out the clock and dodge an upset bid by the Rams, who have lost nine in a row.
The Golden Bears put Rams quarterback Caleb Hanie under duress almost the entire second half and forced him into three turnovers, including Justin Moye's interception early in the fourth quarter that set up James Montgomery's 2-yard TD run to make it 27-14.
Two plays after Hanie was hurried into a fourth-down incompletion, Jahvid Best scored on a 64-yard run to make it 34-14. Best had two carries for 73 yards.
Hanie finally broke free from the pressure and tossed a 66-yard touchdown pass to Damon Morton with 3:47 remaining.
Rams linebacker Curtis Cornelson collared the onside kick and George Hill's 44-yard grab set up Kyle Bell's 3-yard run with 2:54 left.
Jordan Kay kicked field goals of 47 and 41 yards, the first of which gave Cal a 17-14 halftime lead.
That score came after the Rams drove 71 yards in 13 plays to tie it at 14, a drive that was particularly impressive because Bell was on the sideline getting a breather and tight end Kory Sperry was sidelined with a serious knee injury.
Sperry hopped off the field after a twisting tackle by Marcus Ezeff.
Just as Cal coach Jeff Tedford had preached all week, the Rams (0-2), who upset Cal 23-21 in Berkeley four years ago in their only previous meeting, proved a formidable foe.
The Rams went ahead 7-0 on Bell's 8-yard rumble that capped an impressive 74-yard drive, but it took the Golden Bears just 12 seconds to tie it on Jackson's career-long 73-yard reverse that quieted the crowd at Hughes Stadium for the very chance to see such a thing.
Colorado Sate unveiled its own speedster on its next snap, sending Morton on a reverse that gained 44 yards to the Bears 21.
The Rams drove down to the 2 and Hanie had Sperry wide open in the back of the end zone - they hooked up three times for TDs against Colorado a week earlier - but linebacker Zak Follett pressured Hanie into lofting the ball into defensive lineman Derrick Hill's arms at the 3.
The Rams then saw firsthand how Jackson can hurt opponents without even touching the ball.
Jimmie Kaylor was backed up deep and punting into the wind to Jackson when he shanked the ball out of bounds at the Rams 47.
Justin Forsett's 1-yard TD run capped the short drive and gave Cal a 14-7 lead.