5:30 PM ET, September 17, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO -- Zach Maynard threw for 215 yards and three touchdowns, and California made Jeff Tedford the program's winningest coach with a 63-12 romp over Presbyterian on Saturday in the first home game at AT&T Park.
Isi Sofele ran for a career-high 105 yards and two touchdowns and Brendan Bigelow returned a kick 88 yards for a score to give Tedford his 75th victory. He passed Andy Smith, who had held the record since 1925.
Maynard finished 15 for 25 passing and only played one half for the Golden Bears (3-0) in the first of five games this season at the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants' cozy waterfront ballpark. Cal's longtime home, Memorial Stadium, is undergoing a $321 million renovation.
Justin Bethel had all the highlights for the Blue Hose (1-2). He blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown and intercepted a pass by Maynard for a score.
The Bears settled into their temporary digs just fine.
The water cannons in right field -- normally reserved for Giants home runs -- shot into the air every time Cal scored. Large bleachers erected along the far sideline piled in fans and the goal posts squeezed against the padded walls just below the stands.
A somewhat serene crowd that came across San Francisco Bay colored the park in blue and gold and spread banners over some of the Giants' decor. While the Bears will face tougher opponents at home in the Pac-12 Conference, the Blue Hose certainly weren't one of them.
They overwhelmed and overmatched Presbyterian from the start.
After three penalties stalled the opening drive, Cal wasted little time on its next possession. C.J. Anderson rushed for a 9-yard touchdown through the infield dirt to cap a three-play, 50-yard drive that gave the Bears a 7-0 lead.
Sean Cattouse followed with an interception on a gift-wrapped pass by Presbyterian's Ryan Singer that landed in his chest. Two plays later, Sofele powered his way into the end zone from a yard out to put Cal ahead 14-0.
Cattouse leaped up to snag his second interception -- the sixth of his career and the most among Cal's active players -- near the Bears sideline early in the second quarter. Three players later, Marvin Jones sprinted across the field on a crossing pattern and slipped past two defenders for a 51-yard touchdown that extended Cal's lead to 28-0.
Presbyterian made a few memories to take back home.
Bethel ran through the line untouched, blocked a punt and picked up the ball, running 15 yards for the Blue Hose's first score. Presbyterian players erupted on the sideline, spilling onto the field in celebration after trimming the Bears' lead to 28-6. They missed the extra point.
Bethel gave them more to cheer about when he intercepted a pass by Maynard and returned it 29 yards down the sideline for a touchdown. After a missed two-point conversation, Cal led 35-12.
Things were never that close again.
The Bears quickly drove 55 yards on five plays highlighted by Keenan Allen's 21-yard touchdown catch from Maynard just before the break. Bigelow returned the opening kickoff in the second half for an 88-yard touchdown that put the Bears ahead 49-12, and the rout was on.
The matchup between the two schools was hardly one that Cal fans were excited about.
The Bears had trouble finding an opponent because they had to wait for the Giants to release their 2011 schedule and then the Pac-12 to announce the conference schedule -- not to mention the initial time spent trying to determine an alternate venue to Memorial Stadium this year. The Blue Hose were guaranteed at least $400,000 from the host school for making the nearly 2,700-mile journey, by far the longest in school history.
Presbyterian plays in the Big South Conference in the Football Championship Subdivision, formerly known as Division I-AA, moving up from Division II just five years ago. The tiny school from Clinton, S.C., has an enrollment of about 1,200 students.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||1-12||5-13|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||3-5|
|TD||05:56||C.J. Anderson 9 Yd Run (Giorgio Tavecchio Kick)||0||7|
|TD||04:23||Isi Sofele 1 Yd Run (Giorgio Tavecchio Kick)||0||14|
|TD||13:24||Isi Sofele 3 Yd Run (Giorgio Tavecchio Kick)||0||21|
|TD||12:08||Marvin Jones 51 Yd Pass From Zach Maynard (Giorgio Tavecchio Kick)||0||28|
|TD||07:28||Justin Bethel 17 Yd Return Of Blocked Field Goal (Pat Failed)||6||28|
|TD||05:48||Spencer Hagan 16 Yd Pass From Zach Maynard (Giorgio Tavecchio Kick)||6||35|
|TD||03:03||Justin Bethel 29 Yd Interception Return (Two-Point Pass Conversion Failed)||12||35|
|TD||01:22||Keenan Allen 21 Yd Pass From Zach Maynard (Giorgio Tavecchio Kick)||12||42|
|TD||14:48||Brendan Bigelow 88 Yd Kickoff Return (Giorgio Tavecchio Kick)||12||49|
|TD||07:50||Covaughn DeBoskie-Johnson 6 Yd Run (Giorgio Tavecchio Kick)||12||56|
|TD||00:39||Dasarte Yarnway 7 Yd Run (Giorgio Tavecchio Kick)||12||63|