Big Game victory gives Cal a successful season

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

California beat Stanford at its own game -- running the ball -- and listened to what coach Jeff Tedford has been preaching all season.

The Bears surprisingly easy 37-16 win turned on those two things.

They ran the ball better than Stanford -- a huge 292 yards to 122 margin.

And they protected the football better -- a 4-to-1 advantage in turnovers.

Cal didn't ask much of quarterback Kevin Riley because it didn't need to, not when Jahvid Best exploded for 204 yards on 19 carries.

Stanford quarterback Tavita Pritchard, forced to pass, put up a big yardage total -- 306 yards -- but he also tossed three picks.

If California beats Washington on Dec. 6 as expected, the Bears would finish 8-4 overall and 6-3 in the Pac-10. That should be good enough to earn them a nice bowl berth in what qualified as a rebuilding year.