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California rallies from slow start to win, 42-36

January 01, 2008|From the Associated Press

FORT WORTH — Stuck on the sideline for disciplinary reasons, DeSean Jackson and Robert Jordan could do nothing to help as California quickly fell behind by three touchdowns.

"They were champing at the bit to get in," Cal Coach Jeff Tedford said. "They were prancing around on the sideline. And so when they finally got let loose, they were ready to roll."

And they made an immediate impact.

Jackson made an acrobatic 40-yard catch for Cal's first touchdown right after entering the game, and Jordan had six catches for 148 yards and a score as the Bears rallied to beat Air Force, 42-36, in the Armed Forces Bowl on Monday.

Ranked No. 2 in the nation in October before losing six of seven games, the comeback gave California (7-6) its sixth consecutive winning season.

Jackson, Jordan and leading tackler Thomas DeCoud were held out of the starting lineup and didn't play the first quarter because of unspecified violations of team rules.

While the starting receivers looked on, Air Force (9-4) built a 21-0 lead after scoring twice during a two-minute span early in the second quarter with the help of a botched kickoff.

Jackson caught three passes on his first series, including the touchdown on which he turned and backpedaled a few steps in the end zone before diving to make the catch. He finished with five catches for 81 yards.

Jordan had an 18-yard score in the third quarter, then a 52-yard catch to set up the go-ahead, one-yard run by Justin Forsett with 1:33 left in the third quarter. That made it 28-27 and the Bears led the rest of the way.

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