Bears Run Wild, Bottle Up UCLA's Pistol in 35-7 Rout






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The Bruins' defense eventually settled down at Memorial Stadium.

Their offense, however, never got into a rhythm, as the Cal football team stymied UCLA's ground attack in a 35-7 victory.

Instead, the Bears were the ones running amok at Memorial Stadium.

Tailback Shane Vereen racked up two scores and 103 of his 151 yards in the first half, helping the Bears (3-2, 1-1 in the Pac-10) jump out to a 28-0 halftime lead.

Vereen consistently bounced off would-be tacklers, on his way to reaching the century mark for the third consecutive contest.

"We felt like we were going to challenge them downhill," Cal head coach Jeff Tedford said. "Some of the teams that (UCLA) had been successful against are spread teams. Houston is a spread team; Texas is a spread team. Stanford played them well running down hill against them. We felt we were going to test them ... and make it a physical football game."

Sophomore Isi Sofele, who often took direct Wildcat snaps, complemented Vereen with 80 more rushing yards.

In all, the team rolled up 304 yards on the ground.

Meanwhile, a Bruin team that had piled up 701 rushing yards over the past two contests netted a season-low 26 against Cal.

"We definitely needed to learn from our last experience (with the pistol against Nevada)," Tedford said. "It is like triple option football, you have to cancel every aspect of it. I liked (the team's defensive) effort today; they rallied to the ball and gang tackled."

Cal's defenders certainly looked like quick studies -- rarely getting caught off guard or losing sight of the ball. Yet it was just as clear that UCLA's offense was a shadow of the Wolf Pack's dynamic attack.

Bruin quarterback Kevin Prince was a far cry from Nevada's Colin Kaepernick, who burned had burned Cal from seemingly every direction in Reno. Prince was rarely a threat to run, keeping the ball just three times for nine yards.

And it wasn't long before the Bruins' ground game would be taken out of the game completely.

With the Bears leading 7-0 in the first quarter, safety Chris Conte stripped UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin at the Bruin 17 yard line. Fellow safety Josh Hill recovered the ball, and Vereen scored around the left corner three plays later. The following period, Cal reeled off a 13-play, 87-yard scoring drive that featured 10 runs. Keenan Allen's 10-yard touchdown catch put the Bears up, 21-0.

Facing a large early deficit, UCLA turned increasingly to Prince's arm -- with mostly dismal results. Prince was forced to attempt a season-high 31 passes, completing just 13 of them for 99 yards.

Though he got his team on the scoreboard out of halftime with a touchdown pass to Christian Ramirez, Prince was picked off once -- and sacked twice -- by cornerback Darian Hagan.

In all, the Bears dropped Prince to the turf five times.

"Our common theme was 'Ballhawk.com,'" defensive end Cameron Jordan said. "We're confident in what we can do and we definitely believe in the scheme. We fully unleashed all we had today."

While the defense and running game paved the way to victory, Cal's passing attack sputtered for the second straight game.

Even with his touchdown to Allen, Riley finished with fewer passing yards (83) than the struggling Prince. Though that meager output was due in part to the Bears' running focus -- Riley only threw 16 passes -- Cal also gave up four sacks and committed seven penalties.

Full recap to come. Visit BLOGS.DAILYCAL.ORG/FOOTBALL for more quotes, stats, and analysis

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Ed Yevelev covers football. Contact him at [email protected]



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