BERKELEY, Calif. -- Kevin Riley threw four touchdown passes and California gave Colorado a rude welcome to what will be its new conference with a 52-7 victory Saturday.
Shane Vereen caught one touchdown pass and ran for another score as the Golden Bears (2-0) broke out to a 31-0 halftime lead in Colorado's first game against a Pac-10 team since announcing plans in June to join the conference.
With the Buffaloes (1-1) still in the Big 12 for at least one more season, this was a nonconference game and was nearly as lopsided as Cal's season-opening 52-3 victory over lower-division UC Davis last week.
Colorado had negative total yards after nearly 20 minutes, threw three interceptions, lost two fumbles and committed nine penalties on the way to a 13th straight road loss.
Tyler Hansen was responsible for four of the turnovers, including an ill-advised left-handed pass that was intercepted by Mike Mohamed and returned 41 yards for a touchdown in the closing seconds of the first half.
The performance was particularly disappointing to the approximately 7,000 Colorado fans who came out for the Buffaloes' first game in California in eight years. One of the reasons to join the Pac-10 was to have more games in front of their alumni and all the potential recruits in talent-rich California.
Colorado officials are negotiating with the Big 12 over a buyout to determine whether they join the soon-to-be Pac-12 in 2011 or 2012. Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott said before the game he was pessimistic it would happen before 2012. If games like this are what await the Buffaloes, they might not be in any hurry to join their new conference.
Riley threw a 13-yard TD pass to Vereen to cap Cal's second drive and the blowout ensued. Jarred Price stripped Hansen on a sack and Mychal Kendricks recovered at the Colorado 31. Three plays later, Riley found Marvin Jones for a 4-yard score in the closing minute of the first quarter.
On the first play of the second quarter, Hansen threw up a floater after being hit and Bryant Nnabuife came up with the interception that set up Giorgio Tavecchio's 31-yard field goal that made it 17-0.
Vereen scored on a 3-yard run to cap the Bears' next drive and with 10:29 left in the opening half Cal led 24-0 and was outgaining Colorado 152 to minus-1.
Even on the rare times the Buffaloes were able to move the ball, they were unable to score. They got inside the Cal 5 on one drive in the second quarter before two penalties and a sack backed them up to the 24. Aric Goodman missed a 42-yard field goal.
Hansen's decision to throw the ball with his off-hand on a scramble proved to be a fitting end to the first half when Mohamed caught the ball and raced in for the score.
Hansen did get Colorado on the board with a 4-yard run on fourth-and-goal late in the third quarter, but the game had already been decided by then.
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