California Vs. Nevada: Early Mistakes Doom Bears Against Wolfpack

Many were expecting big things from the California Golden Bears in their return to Memorial Stadium on Saturday against the Nevada Wolf Pack, however, early mistakes and an inability to contain Nevada's offense sent the Bears to a season-opening loss, 31-24.

Right before kickoff, the Bears announced that quarterback Zach Maynard would not start the game — a punishment for skipping a tutoring session during the summer — and by the time Maynard returned, the Bears were struggling.

By the time Maynard entered the game last in the first quarter, Cal was behind 7-0 and looking decidedly stagnant on offense ... but even Maynard's entry into the game could not prevent the Bears from having to punt four times in the first quarter alone.

The Bears struggled as they played from behind most of the game, finally tying the score in the fourth quarter on a touchdown reception by Chris Harper. But Nevada answered back, and took the game, leaving the Bears with plenty of questions.

To be sure, the loss is a bitter pill to swallow for the Bears. With so much optimism coming into the season, they have to be stunned to have been outplayed on their home field. On defense, Cal had trouble mounting a consistent pass rush on Fajardo and seemed bewildered at times defending the pistol -- again.

What do we make of this one? Certainly nothing good at the moment. The best the Bears can do is put this one behind them and focus on getting better. Goodness knows there's plenty to get better at.

For more on the California Golden Bears, join the discussion over at California Golden Blogs. You can also check out everything we have to offer at SB Nation's college football hub.

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