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California Does It All in Rout of Arizona State

September 24, 2006|From the Associated Press

Daymeion Hughes read Rudy Carpenter's eyes, intercepted his pass and returned it 47 yards for a touchdown -- and he even stepped on the Arizona State quarterback on the way to the end zone.

California walked all over the Sun Devils in a 49-21 victory Saturday at Berkeley, and Hughes' pivotal interception capped a 42-point first half that showed the No. 21 Golden Bears have made significant strides in the last three weeks.

"That was the end of it, right there," Hughes said of his interception and romp past would-be tackler Carpenter. "When you get rolling like that, football is a fun game."

DeSean Jackson caught one of Nate Longshore's four touchdown passes and returned a punt 80 yards for a score against the 22nd-ranked Sun Devils (3-1, 0-1), who couldn't keep up with Cal's dizzying speed on both sides of the ball.

Lynch, Lavelle Hawkins and Justin Forsett also caught touchdown passes for the Bears (3-1, 1-0), who scored four in a 7 1/2 -minute span of the first half. Longshore passed for 270 yards and Marshawn Lynch ran for 124 in Cal's third straight impressive victory after a season-opening loss at Tennessee, when the Bears were ranked No. 9.

"In Coach [Jeff] Tedford's offense, anybody can come up and be the man at any time," said Jackson, who has seven touchdowns in four games. "You've just got to be ready to make a play. Everybody was ready today."

Hughes and Mickey Pimentel returned two of Cal's four interceptions for touchdowns, punctuating a terrible day for Carpenter. Ryan Torain's career-high 191 yards rushing and two scores weren't enough for the Sun Devils.

Hughes' fourth career touchdown return with 26 seconds left capped the Golden Bears' highest-scoring half in their Pac-10 history -- one week after they scored the same number of first-half points against Portland State. Cal has racked up 1,442 total yards and 133 points in its last three games.

By the final minutes, Arizona State's once-pressing defense was back on its heels in soft coverage. Even worse, Carpenter seemed to be confused by the Cal defense on every play.

"Our defensive line did a great job pressuring him, and he doesn't respond real well to pressure," said Hughes, who has five interceptions in three games. "We knew that, and we took advantage of it. He didn't look real confident in the pocket."

Carpenter, who beat out now-transferred Sam Keller for the starting job, completed 16 of 35 for 177 yards and two touchdowns, and had a key fumble in addition to his interceptions. Carpenter has thrown eight interceptions this season after throwing only two in 228 attempts last season.

Washington State 36, Stanford 10 -- Mike Graise returned an interception 33 yards for a touchdown, Jason Hill blocked a punt and caught a touchdown pass, and the Cougars (3-1, 1-0) defeated the Cardinal (0-4, 0-2) at Stanford.

Alex Brink threw two touchdown passes and ran for a third, and Mkristo Bruce had a school-record five sacks for Washington State, which won for the fourth straight time at Stanford.

It was another lopsided loss for the Cardinal, which matched its worst start since losing the first six games in 1983 on the way to a 1-10 mark.

Brink completed 21 of 33 passes for 228 yards. Dwight Tardy ran for 97 yards and DeMaundray Woolridge had 71.

Stanford's Trent Edwards completed 14 of 23 for 159 yards and was sacked seven times.

Oregon State 38, Idaho 0 -- Yvenson Bernard ran for 117 yards and a pair of touchdowns and the Beavers (2-1) handed their old coach Dennis Erickson and the Vandals (1-3) a loss at Corvallis, Ore.

Some in the crowd at Reser Stadium gave Erickson a standing ovation as he ran onto the field. There were also a smattering of boos.

But Oregon State struck early with Bernard's 19-yard touchdown run on the Beavers' first possession.

Matt Moore found Anthony Wheat-Brown with a 10-yard scoring pass to make it 14-0 before Alexis Serna made a 34-yard field goal. Bernard scored again midway through the third quarter on a seven-yard run.

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