UCLA vs. Cal: Golden Bears 35, Bruins 7 (final)
Cal 35, UCLA (final)
Behind the running of Shane Vereen, the decision-making of quarterback Kevin Riley and a defense that fared much better the second time it faced the 'pistol' offense, the Golden Bears brought the Bruins' three-game winning streak to a thudding halt.
Vereen rushed for 151 yards and two touchdowns in 25 carries and had 51 yards receiving on three catches to lead California (3-2 overall, 1-1 in Pacific 10 Conference play). Riley completed nine of 16 passes for 83 yards and a touchdown while rushing for a score in guiding the Golden Bears to 387 total yards while converting on six of 13 third-down plays. Isi Sofele gained a career-best 80 yards to help Cal finish with 304 yards rushing.
The Golden Bears, who lost to Nevada and its pistol offense, 52-31, earlier this season, held UCLA (3-3, 1-2) to 144 total yards and only 58 in the first half. The Bruins were able to convert on only three of 15 third-down plays.
Kevin Prince, who was eventually replaced, completed 13 of 31 passes for 99 yards and a score for UCLA. Richard Brehaut didn't fare any better in late-game relief, as he completed two of six passes for 19 yards. Johnathan Franklin rushed for 54 yards in 13 carries.
Cal built a 28-0 lead by halftime, with Vereen capping first-quarter scoring drives with one- and four-yard runs. The second score was set up by a Franklin fumble inside the Bruins' 20-yard line.
In the second quarter, Riley completed a 10-yard pass to Keenan Allen for a score and capped another drive with a one-yard dive to bury the Bruins before halftime. After a scoreless third quarter, the rout was complete when Marvin Jones took a reverse handoff and went 48 yards for Cal's final score with 8 minutes 56 seconds left.
Cal 35, UCLA 7 (late in fourth quarter)
And that might have been a fitting end to the Bruins' afternoon. UCLA failed to convert on four plays inside the Golden Bears' 10-yard line to cut into their 28-point deficit.
Cal 35, UCLA 7 (midway through fourth quarter)
That appears to be that.
Any thoughts of a UCLA miracle comeback appear to have been dashed by California’s Marvin Jones, who took a reverse play 48 yards for a touchdown to give the Bears a 35-7 lead with 8 minutes 56 seconds left.
Cal 28, UCLA 7 (early third quarter)
The Bruins show some life.
A 46-yard kickoff return by Josh Smith sets up a short drive that ended in a six-yard touchdown pass from Kevin Prince to Christian Ramirez with 12 minutes 31 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Bruins were helped out by a pass interference penalty on California’s Darian Hagan on a third-and-12 play.
Cal 28, UCLA 0 (halftime)
It is the lynchpin game for UCLA, and the Bruins were thoroughly dominated in the first half, trailing California by four touchdowns at halftime.
The Bruins face third-ranked Oregon and ninth-ranked Arizona in their next two games, followed by an Oregon State team that has only lost to fourth-ranked Boise State and fifth-ranked Texas Christian.
Instead of getting a bounce victory, the Bruins were getting bounced in the first half.
Shane Vereen rushed for 103 yards and two in the first half, and also had two receptions for 47 yards. Isi Sofele had 53 yards rushing, as the Bears did pretty much whatever they wanted through the first half.
California had 246 total yards at the half. UCLA had 58.
The Bruins' best scoring chance ended up in complete reverse. Trailing, 14-0, with a first down at the California 14-yard line, tackle Mike Harries was called for holding. A bad handoff exchange between quarterback Kevin Prince and running back Derrick Coleman resulted in an 11-yard loss. Prince was then sacked for a loss of four.
The Bears couldn’t keep themselves from scoring even with similar mistakes.
California had a personal foul penalty, a holding penalty and a false start, totaling 30 yards in penalties. Still, Kevin Riley’s 10-yard touchdown pass to Marvin Jones capped an 86-yard drive for a 21-0 lead with six minutes left in the half.
Vereen had 17 yards rushing on the drive. He also took a quick screen for 16 yards on a third-and-three play.
UCLA also aided and abetted on a California touchdown.
The drive was aided by a personal foul penalty on UCLA’s Kevin Allen on a punt return. A 31-yard pass from Riley to Vereen put the Bears on the Bruins’ nine-yard line. On third and goal, the Bruins were not only offside, but cornerback Aaron Hester was called for pass interference in the end zone. Riley scored on a one-yard run with 1 minute 40 seconds left in the half.
A Johnathan Franklin fumble put the Bruins in a hole early. Franklin was stripped of the ball by California’s Chris Conte, with Josh Hill recovering at the UCLA 17-yard line.
Three plays later, Vereen stiff-armed Hester and sprinted into the end zone from five yards for a 14-0 lead.
California 28, UCLA 0 (late second quarter)
UCLA aides and abets on a California touchdown drive.
The drive was aided by a personal foul penalty on UCLA’s Kevin Allen on a punt return. A 31-yard pass from Kevin Riley to Shane Vereen put the Bears on the Bruins’ nine-yard line.
On third and goal, the Bruins were not only offside, but cornerback Aaron Hester was called for pass interference in the end zone. Riley scored on a one-yard run with 1 minute 40 seconds left in the half.
Cal 21, UCLA 0 (midway through second quarter)
California was doing a better job at stopping itself than the Bruin defense. The Bears had a personal foul penalty, a holding penalty and a false start, totaling 30 yards in penalties. Still, Kevin Riley’s 10-yard touchdown pass to Marvin Jones capped a 86-yard drive.
Shane Vereen had 17 yards rushing on the drive. He also took a quick screen for 16 yards on a third-and-three play.
Cal 14, UCLA 0 (late in first quarter)
A Johnathan Franklin fumble put the Bruins in a hole. Franklin was stripped of the ball by California’s Chris Conte, with Josh Hill recovering at the UCLA 17-yard line.
Three plays later, Shane Vereen stiff-armed UCLA cornerback Aaron Hester as he went around the left side of the line and sprinted into the end zone from five yards.
Cal 7, UCLA 0 (early first quarter)
California made it look easy.
The Bears drove 70 yards after the opening kickoff by dominating the line of scrimmage. Shane Vereen gained 35 yards, including a one-yard run for the touchdown. Isi Sofele had a 24-yard run on a second-and-11 play to push the drive forward.
Photo: California running back Shane Vereen gets into the end zone despite the defensive pursuit by UCLA's Patrick Dye, left, and Sean Westgate. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times