For those wondering why Washington got the ball to begin the second half after receiving to begin the first half: The Huskies won the coin toss, elected to defer, and instead of taking the ball, the Bears chose to defend the East goal.
Once again, as has been the case in most of Cal’s losses, turnovers have been the story. After the first two possessions, the Bears’ defense actually looked pretty good. But Nate Longshore’s interception and Brandon Hampton’s fumbled punt gave the Huskies good field position, and they responded each time with touchdowns.
The good news for Cal fans is that the offense has been moving the ball. If they can limit the turnovers and the defense can continue to hold its own, it could be a good second half for the Bears.
Some halftime stats:
–Cal is outgaining Washington 268-236.
–Washington’s Louis Rankin has 171 yards rushing, and is averaging 10.1 yards per carry. 125 yards came on the first two possessions.
–Longshore is 14-for-17 for 147 yards and three touchdowns and one interception.
–Justin Forsett has 118 yards on 15 rushes.
–Cameron Morrah’s touchdown catch was his first of the season and second of his career. He had one catch all of last season, and it went for a score.
–James Montgomery’s touchdown catch was the first of his career. He has two touchdown runs on the season.
DeSean Jackson is lying on a table behind Cal’s bench and is being attended to by trainers. I’ll provide and update if and when I get one.
Not sure why, but DeSean Jackson wasn’t on the field during the past Cal scoring drive. He also wasn’t in on Cameron Morrah’s touchdown catch. He was on the field for the punt that preceded the last possession.
Obviously, the first two possessions weren’t the finest hour for Cal’s defense. The Bears were absolutely abused up front and made Louis Rankin look like a Heisman Trophy candidate. You may have noticed that at the start of Washington’s second possession, the Bears had an entire new defensive line. That didn’t seem to make much of a difference. Halfway through the drive, the starters were back on the field. But a nice job by the defense to force a three-and-out immediately after Cal’s first touchdown.
The replacement defensive line included Michael Costanzo at tackle. Off the top of my head, I am not sure if he had played all season.
–Matt Malele definitely is out. Cody Jones is starting in his place. Brandon Hampton is replacing Jahvid Best as one of Cal’s kick returners.
–Cal’s captains today are Craig Stevens, Thomas DeCoud, Anthony Felder and Justin Forsett. A nice touch for Felder, who is from Seattle and playing in front of family and friends today.
–There are a lot of empty seats here. It looks like the rain is keeping some folks away.
It looks like starting defensive tackle Matt Malele isn’t playing. Malele is on the field but not suited up. Malele missed practice earlier in the week, but coach Jeff Tedford said it was simply to rest his knee, which has been a chronic problem. Cody Jones likely will start in his place.
Washington quarterback Jake Locker is on the field warming up. He’s simply playing catch so it’s hard to determine how healthy he is. Personally, I don’t think it makes much sense for him to play. Locker is the future of Washington’s program, and it’s not like the Huskies are going anywhere this season. Plus, neck stingers are potentially serious injuries if a player returns to early from them. Washington coach Tyrone Willingham said he will make a decision at game time.
Cal linebacker Anthony Felder’s return home to Seattle obviously is a big deal. For the plane flight Friday and during walkthrough, he was decked out in a pinstripe lilac suit with matching purple shoes. The guess is that he simply likes purple, not Huskies colors.
…in the youth football game currently being played on the field. The showdown between the Woodinville Falcons and the Mercer Island Islanders is heating up, giving the handful of fans inside the stadium something to cheer about right now as they brave the rain and wait for kickoff.