Cal fans storm field after win
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) -- Tyler Fredrickson's last two field goal
attempts had been blocked, so the California kicker had terse
instructions for the final try.
Get the ball to the middle of the field. Get a good snap. Stand
back for a celebration.
Fredrickson made a 38-yard field goal to end a third crazy
overtime as Cal upset No. 3 Southern California 34-31 Saturday,
ending the Trojans' 11-game winning streak with a victory that
stretched past dusk and decades of history.
Ryan Killeen, who tied it with a 33-yard field goal for the
Trojans with 16 seconds left in regulation, missed a 39-yarder
moments before Fredrickson's kick. Fredrickson, a former walk-on,
began yelling instructions at his teammates and coaches moments
before his final attempt.
"We moved the ball back about a yard," Fredrickson said.
"It's not the way you'd do things ideally, but they had blocked
two kicks. It got to the point where I was going to do anything
necessary to end this game. I never doubted that last kick."
The temporary lighting installed at Memorial Stadium for the
afternoon start was at full power when the game ended in near-dark.
Fredrickson ran to midfield and slid on his knees after the kick --
and he was soon engulfed by the Cal student section and thousands
more in the huge crowd, which stormed the field.
"I have two headsets on down there on the field, but I thought
the crowd was very loud," Cal coach Jeff Tedford said. "The
overtime was a roller coaster. It's just so great to see the look
in our kids' eyes. They never have a doubt. They play their tails
off for as long as it takes."
Cal (3-3) never trailed, but never held a comfortable lead in a
tense matchup of two old rivals. The Golden Bears were heavy
underdogs against USC's powerful lineup, but they reduced the
Trojans to a one-dimensional offensive team in Cal's first home
victory over a Top 5 team since upsetting No. 4 USC 28-14 in 1975.
Reggie Robertson relieved starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers in
the third quarter and passed for 217 yards and two scores, while
Adimchinobe Echemandu rushed for 147 yards.
After falling behind by 14 points in the first half, USC (3-1)
was saved twice by its special teams, which blocked field goals in
the fourth quarter and at the end of the first overtime -- but the
Trojans couldn't score on two of their three overtime possessions.
"It was very disappointing," USC coach Pete Carroll said.
"When you're on a streak, you get to thinking (losing) will never
happen to you, but it can. A lot of things happened in the first
half. Too many things got away from us."
After USC rallied from a 14-point second-half deficit, the teams
played three madcap extra periods featuring a fumble, a blocked
field goal and outstanding passing by both quarterbacks.
In both teams' Pac-10 opener, the Golden Bears posted the
biggest victory yet in Tedford's rebuilding project and snapped the
second-longest winning streak in the nation behind Ohio State's
Matt Leinart overcame a shaky start to go 21-of-39 for 277 yards
for the Trojans, but he was intercepted three times. Mike Williams
had six receptions for 96 yards, while Keary Colbert had eight
catches for 81 yards and an overtime TD for the Trojans, who
overcame a 14-point second-half deficit.
"I take the blame for some of it," Leinart said. "Our
offensive line blocked great. We just didn't execute at times, and
in the first half we lost focus a little bit."
The Trojans didn't endear themselves to Cal with their behavior
before the game or during it. According to many Cal players, USC
provided trash talk it couldn't back up.
"They always take us lightly," said receiver Jonathan
Makonnen, who had seven catches for 104 yards. "They really don't
respect us. They're a talented team, but they were kind of
lackadaisical out there."
"I'm not knocking Leinart or their running backs, but I didn't
see a whole lot of firepower from them," said Echemandu, the first
player to rush for 100 yards against USC in 16 games. "Mike
Williams is basically their whole offense."
Robertson, who lost his starting job to Rodgers earlier in the
month, was ineffective until the fourth quarter, when he led a
61-yard drive capped by Fredrickson's career-best 51-yard field
goal with 9:04 left.
Fredrickson's second straight 51-yard attempt was blocked by
Shaun Cody with 4:54 left. USC converted a fourth down while
driving to the Cal 15, where Killeen easily made the tying kick.
USC fumbled on its first overtime possession, but USC's Gregg
Guenther blocked Fredrickson's 29-yard field goal attempt. The
teams traded TD passes in the second OT.
The Trojans could only manage a field goal attempt on its third
possession, but Killeen's clean kick was wide left.
Rodgers' 3-yard TD keeper in the first quarter was the first
rushing score allowed by USC in 23 quarters. He picked apart the
Trojans' confused secondary in the first half, leading two scoring
Lofa Tatupu capped USC's second-half comeback by intercepting
Rodgers and scampering untouched for a 26-yard game-tying score in
the third quarter. Robertson took over on the Bears' next drive.
2022 Pac-12 Conference Standings