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Cal Defense Plays Great, But Cal's Offense Can't Put Up Points To Hold Off Arizona

Sports Network | September 26, 2010

Tucson, AZ (Sports Network) – Juron Criner’s three-yard touchdown catch with 1:11 to play gave 14th-ranked Arizona a 10-9 win over California in Pac-10 action.

Nick Foles went 25-for-39 with 212 yards and an interception, but he engineered the winning drive for the Wildcats (4-0, 1-0 Pac-10), who were coming off a seven-point win over Iowa last Saturday. Nic Grigsby had 12 carries for 65 yards while Criner finished the game with five catches for 68 yards.

Kevin Riley went 13-for-26 with 116 yards and an interception for the Golden Bears (2-2, 0-1), who have dropped their past two games after opening the season with a pair of wins. Shane Vereen had 27 carries for 102 yards in the loss.

Arizona started the winning drive at its own 23 after Giorgio Tavecchio missed a 40-yard field goal with 2:37 to play.

Facing a 3rd-and-5, Arizona moved the chains when Grigsby took a handoff for nine yards. On the next play, Foles heaved the ball down the field and Criner came up with the ball on a leaping 51-yard catch for a first down at the California 12. Two plays later, Foles hit Criner in the end zone from three yards out for a 10-9 lead with 1:11 to play.

Riley completed his first two passes after Cal got the ball back, but on the third play the ball was tipped and Joseph Perkins came down with it as Arizona took the win.

Arizona was the only team to cross midfield in the first 15 minutes and got the ball down to the California 24, but a 15-yard personal foul pushed the team out of field goal range and was forced to punt.

With a drive that began at the start of the second quarter, the Golden Bears took the lead as Tavecchio’s 25-yard field goal gave the team a 3-0 lead less than two minutes in.

The Wildcats got the ball near midfield on their next touch, but had to punt the ball away and California started it next possession at its own 24.

A personal foul call followed three plays later by a 14-yard catch by Michael Calvin got the ball across midfield. Facing a 3rd-and-14 at the Arizona 34, Vereen fell short of the first down, but his 11-yard run was enough to get Tavecchio in field goal range and he booted a 40-yarder for a 6-0 lead with under 5 1/2 minutes to play in the half.

Arizona then put together an impressive drive and got deep into Cal territory. Facing a 1st-and-10 at the 13, Chris Conte picked off a tipped Foles pass in the end zone and the Golden Bears kept the lead heading into the break.

After an exchange of possessions to start the second half, Arizona finally got on the board. Thanks to a poor, 19-yard punt from Bryan Anger, the Wildcats started with the ball at the California 29. However, the team didn’t move the ball and had to use a 46-yard field goal from Alex Zendejas to make it a 6-3 game with 10:16 to play in the third.

Later in the frame, Cal got into scoring position with a seven-play, 39-yard drive that saw Tavecchio line up for a 33-yard field goal, but he hit it squarely off the left post to keep it a three-point game with 1:28 to play in the third.

Holding the ball to start the fourth quarter, the Bears increased their lead on a 23-yard field goal from Tavecchio to cap a nine-play, 61-yard drive with 11:02 to play for a 9-3 lead.

The Wildcats put together a decent drive on their next touch and got into scoring range as Zendejas lined up for a 48-yard field goal, but his line drive was well off the mark and California got the ball back with just under seven minutes to play.

California ate up almost 4 1/2 minutes and had a chance to ice the game when Tavecchio lined up for a 40-yard field goal, but it went wide right and Arizona took over at its own 23 with 2:37 to play.

California has next week off before taking on UCLA at home on October 9…Arizona also has next week off before hosting Oregon State…The all-time series between these teams it now tied at 14-14-2. California had taken the previous two while Arizona has won the last three at home…David Douglas had six catches for 61 yards for Arizona while Marvin Jones caught four balls for 41 yards for California.