I know, I know, so I'm a few days removed from the end of the game but give me a break. The Bears certainly gave me a little bit of a scare last Saturday. I turned on the TV bright and early at 9AM, hoping that the Bears were a little more awake than I. I was pleasantly surprised when Jahvid Best led the Bears to an early 14-0 lead and I figured we'd just roll through the Golden Gophers from there. Well, then Eric Decker decided to become the biggest pain in my ass this season. Decker found holes all over the field in Cal's zone defense and made our competent secondary look like a bunch of fools. I have seen Syd'Quan Thompson overwhelmed in only one other game, and that was his first start as a true freshman at Tennessee. He and Darrian Hagan were getting rolled by Decker, albeit in zone coverage, but seriously, this guy seemed to be open on every play. This all could have been avoided if safety Sean Cattouse's leveling hit took Decker out of the game, but that guy is tough as nails.
As I digress, the Bears were up 14-0 early and then the Golden Gophers scored on a Decker TD to bring it to 14-7, after that the Cal offense stalled a bit until Jahvid's 3rd TD to put us up 21-7. At this point I'm thinking we'd weathered the storm, but then Minnesota scored right at the end of the half to bring it to 21-14 and they got the ball to start the 3rd.
The 3rd quarter was when I almost had a heart attack. Jahvid Best, who was KILLING the Gophers, was on the sideline most of the quarter while we were notched in a 21-21 tie on the road. Why? You tell me, because I can't understand it. Shane Vereen is a very good running back, but let's get one thing straight: he's not Jahvid Best. That being said, I think its clear that Jeff Tedford sees those two as equals and almost has a carry share chart that he's watching, like a pitch count (for the season Best has 53 carries, Vereen 30). Yes, it is important to keep Best healthy and fresh for the long season, but when we're tied during the 3rd quarter on the road during an undefeated season, that's the time to put THE guy back into the game.
The playing time of Best aside, the Bears' air attack looked to be stagnant again until Kevin Riley finally started hitting some receiver. Sacramento native Jeremy Ross stepped up once Nyan Boateng went out with a broken foot, but the catch of the game goes to TE Anthony Miller. He made a miraculous one-handed grab that surely would have been picked off had he not gotten a paw on it during a crucial drive. That catch led to a Best TD run, his 4th of the day, and the Bears took the lead for good at 28-21. The defense, which had been on the field the entire second half, got a crucial INT to stifle the Gopher response, and then Best added to his career day with his 5th and final TD to give the Bears the 35-21 victory.
BEASTMODE game ball goes to the front-runner in the Heisman Trophy race, RB Jahvid Best. Seriously, is there anything this guy can't do? He rushed for 130 yards and 5 TD's, all while sitting out the 3rd quarter. He was Cal's offense in this game. If we can ride Best to the Rose Bowl I'm going to make Drake's "You da you da best" my theme song forever!