FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) -- DeSean Jackson is spectacular from
scrimmage and on special teams. If only he could play defensive
back, California might not have to worry so much.
The junior wide receiver scored on a 73-yard reverse and
10th-ranked Cal held off scrappy Colorado State 34-28 on Saturday.
Jackson, who opened the season with an electrifying 77-yard punt
return TD against Tennessee, again flashed his Heisman Trophy
credentials when he circled left, deked cornerback Joey Rucks at
midfield and raced all alone down the Rams' sideline for Cal's
"My coach said, 'I need something to spark our team,' and he
threw me in there, put a reverse in there," Jackson said with a
shrug. "The outside corners had that covered up, so I just stuck
my foot into the ground, hit it right up the middle and put the
move on a couple of DBs. And I did what I do best, which is get
into the end zone."
Jackson, who had 143 all-purpose yards on only six touches
against Tennessee, collected 141 all-purpose yards against the Rams
despite a throbbing thumb that resulted in a couple of drops. He
gained 78 yards on two carries, 39 yards on five receptions and 24
on two punt returns.
The Golden Bears (2-0) needed all of his talents and more to
fend off the Rams, who scored two touchdowns 53 seconds apart
against backups to turn a 34-14 deficit into a 34-28 nail-biter
with 2:54 remaining.
"It's a great lesson for us that the game's never over," Cal
coach Jeff Tedford said. "We put some backup guys in that let some
[receivers] get behind them. It's just a lesson that you have to
practice hard every day to be prepared because you never know when
your opportunity's going to come."
Instead of another onside kick, however, Jason Smith tried to
pooch the ball down the sideline but it sailed all the way to the
Rams' bench on the fly, giving the Golden Bears the ball at their
"I was trying to pooch it high in the air and get it down
field," Smith said. "I just took a bad angle."
Freshman running back James Montgomery picked up a key first
down and the relieved Golden Bears ran out the clock.
Rams quarterback Caleb Hanie turned the ball over three times,
including an interception by Justin Moye that set up Montgomery's
2-yard TD run to make it 27-14. Two plays after Hanie was hurried
into a fourth-down incompletion, Jahvid Best scored on a 64-yard
run to make it 34-14.
"We had a chance to do something special, but couldn't get it
done will all the mistakes," Hanie said.
With the student stands emptying, Hanie tossed a 66-yard
touchdown pass to Damon Morton over freshman cornerback Darian
Hagan with 3:47 remaining.
Then came another in a long line of mistakes that prevented the
Rams from repeating their upset of Cal four years ago.
"We probably should have kicked another onside," CSU coach
Sonny Lubick said. "But you're lucky to get one in a game, not to
mention two. But we should've done it again."
Jordan Kay kicked field goals of 47 and 41 yards, the first of
which gave Cal a 17-14 halftime lead.
That score came after the Rams drove 71 yards in 13 plays to tie
it at 14, a drive that was particularly impressive because Bell was
on the sideline getting a breather and tight end Kory Sperry was
sidelined with a season-ending ACL injury to his left knee.
Sperry hopped off the field after a twisting tackle by Ezeff
early in that drive.
The Rams (0-2) went ahead 7-0 on Bell's 8-yard rumble that
capped a 74-yard drive, but it took the Golden Bears just 12
seconds to tie it on Jackson's career-long 73-yard run.
Colorado State unveiled its own speedster on its next snap,
sending Morton on a reverse that gained 44 yards to the Bears 21.
The Rams drove down to the 2 and Hanie had Sperry wide open in
the back of the end zone but linebacker Zak Follett pressured
Hanie, who lofted the ball into defensive lineman Derrick Hill's
arms at the 3.
Jackson even hurt the Rams when he didn't touch the ball.
Jimmie Kaylor was backed up deep and punting into the wind to
Jackson when he shanked the ball out of bounds at the Rams 47,
leading to a short touchdown drive for Cal.
"When they try to punt it away from me, it messes up their
mind," Jackson said.
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