(Saturday, September 5th)
Final Score: (12) California 52, Maryland 13
Berkeley, CA (Sports Network) - Kevin Riley threw for four touchdowns, and Jahvid Best rushed for 137 yards and a pair of scores, as 12th-ranked California blew out Maryland, 52-13, in the season opener for both teams.
Riley connected on 17-of-26 passes for 298 yards for the Golden Bears (1-0), who made the game a rout early, grabbing a 31-6 halftime lead. They rolled up 542 yards of total offense.
Chris Turner finished 17-of-30 passing for 167 yards for the Terrapins (0-1), who beat the Golden Bears, 35-27, last September.
"It was very important for us. Last year, we went down there and we didn't feel that we really played Cal football," said Best."Coming out here this year, we wanted them to know what Cal football was all about, 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."
Best rumbled 73 yards for a touchdown early in the first quarter, and Torrey Smith fumbled away the ensuing kickoff return. That gave Cal the ball at the 22, and two players later Best was in the end zone again, this time with a two-yard run.
Nick Ferrara's 26-yard field goal had the Terrapins within 14-3 moving to the second quarter, and his 42-yarder early in the second pulled the visitors within eight points.
Vince D'Amato's 31-yard field goal with 9:18 remaining in the half extended the lead to 17-6, and another turnover had Cal in business again. Tyson Alualu sacked Turner and forced a fumble. That gave the Golden Bears the ball at midfield, and Riley completed the short march with a three-yard scoring toss to Skylar Curran.
Nyan Boateng caught a 39-yard TD pass with 25 seconds left in the half, and the Golden Bears continued to surge in the third. Shane Vereen ran 11 yards for a score, and Riley found Marvin Jones with a 42-yard TD pass.
Da'Rel Scott scored on a 39-yard run for Maryland in the third before Riley's 15-yard connection to Vereen in the opening minute of the fourth capped the scoring.
"Honestly, Cal has one of best defensive fronts we'll see all year, so it was a good test for our O-line," said Turner. "We're not trying to make excuses, but we have to make corrections. It was probably good for our O-line to go up against that and see what they'll be facing all year in a worst case scenario."
California hosts Eastern Washington next Saturday, while the Terrapins are home vs. James Madison...Covaughn DeBoskie-Johnson had nine rushes for 54 yards for the Golden Bears, while Vereen had 10 carries for 48 yards.
09/06 02:48:17 ET