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No. 12 California Dominates Maryland, 52-13
"We wanted them to know what Cal football was all about," said Cal running back Jahvid Best who rushed for 137 yards on 10 carries. "So we wanted to jump on them early. And hopefully they would quit. They didn't necessarily quit, but we kept on them and kept the scoring coming."
Maryland had hoped its defense, billed as more aggressive and unorthodox, would slow Best, whose vomiting on the field during last season's loss became a YouTube hit. But Best took his second carry in Saturday's game 73 yards for a touchdown, zigzagging away from Maryland cornerback Nolan Carroll. The run, Best's ninth of his career for at least 60 yards, marked yet another Internet highlight clip for the strong Heisman Trophy hopeful.
"He has got electric speed," Cal Coach Jeff Tedford said.
Carroll said some Maryland players were "getting on each other a little bit because it was not how we wanted to start off the game and the season. It's on us."
One of the few bright spots was Friedgen's decision to start freshman place kicker Nick Ferrara, who made two field goals -- 26 and 42 yards -- in the first half. One of Maryland's few offensive weapons was an 18-year-old playing in his first college game.
The contest unraveled quickly for Maryland. After Best's 73-yard run, California's D.J. Campbell jarred the ball loose from Smith on the ensuing kickoff, putting the Golden Bears back into prime scoring position. Two plays later, Best scored his second touchdown of the game on a two-yard run.
The Golden Bears harassed Turner throughout the half. On third and six from the California 40, California linebacker Devin Bishop appeared to get a hand on the ball, knocking it loose from Turner. Defensive end Cameron Jordan recovered, giving the Golden Bears another opportunity to widen their lead.
If California had a significant question mark, it was its passing game. Maryland's defensive players vowed to contest every pass and confuse quarterback Kevin Riley with a variety of blitzes. Riley completed just 1 of 5 passes in the first quarter, but he found his rhythm in the second quarter when he hooked up with wide receiver Verran Tucker for a 39-yard completion.
On Cal's next possession, Maryland defensive linemen Jared Harrell nearly had his arms around Riley but failed to wrap him up. Riley regained his balance and completed a pass over the middle to tight end Skylar Curran for a three-yard touchdown pass that made the score 24-6 with 3 minutes 42 seconds left in the second quarter. Then, with only 25 seconds remaining in the half, Riley stepped up in the pocket and fired downfield to wide receiver Nyan Boateng, who did not have a defender within five yards of him, for a 39-yard touchdown reception.
Friedgen said one of the problems was that some experienced defensive players did not blitz when they were supposed to, leaving defensive backs in difficult man-to-man matchups with wide receivers for too long. That is just one issue Maryland will address next week.
"I believe in what we're doing defensively," Friedgen said. "We got whipped up front.
"I've got to encourage them to get better," Friedgen said. "I am going to be there as long as they are going to give me the effort. I don't know what else to do. These were the cards we were dealt."