FINAL: Nevada 31, Cal 24. No post-game joy among the Bears after the big Memorial Stadium re-opening.
“It’s great to be home,” Cal coach Jeff Tedford said, “but you want to come out and play better and win the football game and we didn’t get that done.
“I’m sorry we didn’t play better and (we) let the fans down.”
“I am surprised,” said Cal star receiver Keenan Allen. “Very disappointing.”
QB Zach Maynard, held out of the first three series after missing an academic appointment in June, finished 17 for 30 for 247 yards and two TDs, but also fumbled the ball away in the fourth quarter. Tedford called it “a very average game” for Maynard.
Freshman wideouts Chris Harper and Bryce Treggs each caught touchdowns in their college debuts, but Harper fumbled late and Treggs had a drop. “The mood is very quiet,” Treggs said. “We’re reflecting on the loss and how we have to respond so we dont feel this way next week.”
Defensively, once more, the Bears had no solution for the Nevada pistol attack. Tedford conceded the Bears couldn’t get off the field, as evidenced by Wolf Pack drives consuming 12, 14 and 16 plays.
“They have a fast scheme . . . they like to do a lot of confusions,” Cal linebacker Chris McCain said. “We just messed up in the game.”
Mostly, Tedford said, it was a sloppy performance on the wrong day.
“We didn’t play very well,” Tedford said. “Too many mistakes, communcation breakdowns, we didn’t take care of the football well enough, key penalties. We weren’t sharp.”
MSG UPDATE: Nothing to report on the status of tackle Matt Summers-Gavin, who limped off the field late in the game. Tedford said he wasn’t sure about the nature or severity of the injury. Should know more Sunday.
BAD HISTORY: Nevada had not beaten Cal in Berkeley since a 6-2 win in 1903 — one month before the Wright Bros. got off the ground for the first time. Fair to say the 2012 Bears are still grounded.
7:24 4th Q: Maynard’s 32-yard completion to Keenan Allen sets up 6-yard TD toss to freshman wideout Chris Harper. Cal ties it 24-all.
4:38 3rd Q: Bears trail just 21-17 after 40-yard FG by Vincenzo D’Amato.
5:31 3rd Q: Kameron Jackson recovers fumbled kickoff from Khalid Wooten at the Nevada 23.
5:39 3rd Q: Keenan Allen goes 39 yards for a TD on an end-around pitch from Isi Sofele and Bears are within 21-14.
6:20 3rd Q: Jefferson converts on 2-yard run, capping 79-yard, 12-play drive that gives Nevada a 21-7 lead. The Wolf Pack’s first win at Berkeley since before the Wright Bros. got off the ground now has wings.
HALFTIME STATS: Nevada has 206 yards, Cal 168. Wolf Pack has rushed 28 times for 129 yards, Cal 15 times for 33 yards. Fajardo has 88 yards rushing and is 12 for 15 for 77 passing yards. Maynard is 8 for 13 for 127 yards. Leininger has punted five times for a 39.0 average, with just one returned.
4:38 2nd Q: Freshman WR Bryce Treggs catches 37-yard TD pass from Zach Maynard for Cal’s first TD in new stadium. It’s 14-7 and the crowd is alive. The series was set up by a bit of luck — a wildly bad Nevada shotgun snap on 3rd and 4 from the Cal 19 forced the Wolf Pack to punt.
0:00 1st Q: QB Cody Fajardo goes 49 yards with a keeper around right end for a TD and Nevada leads 14-0 after the final play of the first quarter. Total yards: 170-43. Fjardo is 8 for 9 for 54 yards passing and has 8 rushes for 81 yards.
4:34 1st Q: Nevada scores 1st TD in new stadium. Stefphon Jefferson goes in from the 2-yard line, capping an 16-play, 80-yard drive in which QB Cody Fajardo ran 4 times for 30 yards and was 6 for 6 passing for 34 yards. Bears don’t seem to have a handle on stopping the pistol to this point.
BOOMING: Freshman Cole Leininger’s first put — 46 yards with no return.
KICKOFF: Brandon Bigelow takes the opening kickoff at the 3 and returns it to the 33.
GAME CAPTAINS: Running back C.J. Anderson, center Brian Schwenke, defensive end Aaron Tipoti and safety Josh Hill are the Bears’ game captains. Wonder if Maynard might have been in the mix under different circumstances.
NEWS FLASH: Quarterback Zach Maynard will NOT start after missing a tutoring assignment early this summer. He is expected to play. The assumption is junior Allan Bridgford will get the call.
WELCOME: The renovated Memorial Stadium is filling up. The Cal marching band is on the field. Drum major Kevin Kraft did not drop the baton. All is right in the world for Old Blues. Stay tuned here and we will keep you updated on all the firsts at the new facility.