(Saturday, September 12th)
Final Score: (10) California 59, Eastern Washington 7
Berkeley, CA (Sports Network) - Running back Shane Vereen ran for three touchdowns and Jahvid Best carried the ball 17 times for 144 yards and accounted for two scores as the 10th-ranked California Golden Bears defeated the Eastern Washington Eagles, 59-7, at Memorial Stadium.
In the first meeting ever between these two teams, California (2-0) took the resounding win after quarterback Kevin Riley completed 13 of 20 passes for 148 yards and one touchdown. Covaughn DeBoskie-Johnson recorded 11 carries for 92 yards and a touchdown.
"We started off a little slow, but then we got to what we do," Best said. "Things started opening up for us. We felt like we've done a lot of great things, but we still have some things to clean up. We're happy where we're at right now."
Eastern Washington (1-1) quarterback Matt Nichols threw for 195 yards and a touchdown while completing 23-of-31 attempts. Eagles receiver Tony Davis had eight catches for 71 yards and Nathan Overbay finished with seven receptions and 62 yards.
"A lot of people know that the game was not a big blowout like the score showed at the end," Nichols said. "We wanted to come out and give them a scare in the first half and show them that we were here to play. I think that if one or two plays had gone our way and if we had gone into halftime with a little bit closer score it would have been nice. In games like these you have to have big plays go your way and that didn't happen for us today."
Cal opened the scoring in the first quarter when Riley's one-yard sneak for a touchdown closed a 35-yard drive with 11:02 remaining.
Eastern Washington answered with an 83-yard drive that concluded with a four- yard touchdown pass from Nichols to Grant Williams with 6:30 left in the first quarter. It was the Eagles' only score of the contest.
The first quarter ended in a 7-7 tie.
In the second quarter, Cal went on a 75-yard drive ending with Vereen's one- yard touchdown run. Less than four minutes later the Bears' Vince D'Amato hit a 19-yard field goal with 8:42 remaining in the half to put Cal ahead 17-7.
Riley hit Best with a 22-yard scoring pass to put the hosts ahead 24-7 with 5:57 left in the second quarter, and Cal took that lead into halftime.
Best's one-yard touchdown run at the 12:16 mark of the third quarter gave Cal a 31-7 lead, and Vereen's two-yard scoring run at 7:45 expanded the Bears' advantage to 38-7.
Vereen began the fourth quarter scoring with a two-yard TD run with 13:50 to play, while Isi Sofele and DeBoskie-Johnson each ran for touchdowns later in the stanza to complete the scoring.
Cal has won 31 of its last 34 home games, and the Bears have their third straight 2-0 start under head coach Jeff Tedford. Riley has thrown for 446 yards this season and five touchdowns. Best has rushed for 281 yards in the first two games. Nichols has 481 yards through the air this season. Cal's point total of 111 this season is the most for the Bears since Cal scored 128 points in its first two games in 1991...The Bears will be in Minneapolis next week to take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers and Eastern Washington will host Northern Colorado.
09/12 22:24:57 ET