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California gets disappointment, not revenge

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Arizona's sophomore tight end Rob Gronkowski didn't play in the 2006 game when the Wildcats upset then-eighth-ranked California and knocked the Bears out of the Rose Bowl.

And he wasn't trying to be uncharitable toward the 25th-ranked Bears after Arizona again upset them Saturday, 42-27. It's just that he'd heard the talk this week coming from Berkeley of revenge and he couldn't help but let a smirk flicker across his face.

"That's what I heard," he said. "But we took it to them. Just because someone wants revenge on us doesn't mean we're going to let them have revenge."

Cal led 24-14 at halftime. In 2006, they led 17-3 in the third quarter. In 2006, the Bears lost because of untimely penalties, turnovers and a variety of odd plays. In 2008, they lost because they got whupped, a 28-3 Arizona advantage in the third quarter making the difference.

"When they hit on the touchdowns and we didn't answer, they gained all the momentum," Bears coach Jeff Tedford said.

In the first half, quarterback Nate Longshore completed 16-of-25 passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. In the second half, he was 2-of-12 for 46 yards with an interception that was returned 21 yards for a touchdown by Devin Ross before being yanked for Kevin Riley, who Longshore only displaced as the starter two weeks ago.

"I was surprised to go in," Riley said.

It certainly wasn't all Longshore's fault. The Cal defense forced the Wildcats to go three-and-out four consecutive times in the second quarter, but the Bears couldn't stop them in the third quarter.

Arizona gained 213 yards in the third. Cal had just 64.

"No, I didn't think we panicked," Tedford said.

Falling behind, it was hard for the Bears to use their best offensive weapon: Running back Jahvid Best. Best had 95 yards rushing on 12 carries at halftime, including a 67-yard touchdown run. He had just four carries for 12 yards in the second half.

"Arizona put together a really good game plan," linebacker Anthony Felder said. "We had some hard times adjusting."

So instead of getting revenge, Cal was left feeling blue with deja vu.