No. 4 Cal Upset By Texas Tech In Holiday Bowl, 45-31
Dec. 30, 2004
|2004 Pacific Life Holiday Bowl
Navy 45, Cal 31
By BERNIE WILSON
AP Sports Writer
SAN DIEGO - Maybe Mack Brown isn't such a villain, after all.
If No. 4 California was angry and frustrated after being snubbed by the BCSand denied a Rose Bowl berth, it had to have been flat out humiliated after No.23 Texas Tech pulled a 45-31 upset in the Holiday Bowl on Thursday night.
The Golden Bears (10-2), who were 11-point favorites, simply had no answeragainst the Red Raiders (8-4) and their efficient spread offense, which usesfour wide receivers most of the time.
Tech senior Sonny Cumbie threw for a career-high 520 yards and threetouchdowns, including a 60-yarder to Joel Filani, and safety Vincent Meeks setup a score with a 48-yard interception return.
Cumbie was 39-of-60 and broke the Holiday Bowl attempts record of 59 set byBYU's Ty Detmer in 1989. He was short of Detmer's Holiday Bowl record of 576yards, also set in 1989.
Cal had been in position to go to the Rose Bowl for the first time in 46seasons, but was leapfrogged in the final Bowl Championship Series standings byBrown's Texas Longhorns, who ended up in Pasadena to face Michigan on Saturday.
The day the BCS pairings were released, Cal quarterback Aaron Rodgers saidBrown 'was a little classless' for begging for poll votes to help hisLonghorns, and that the system was 'faulty.'
The Longhorns, by the way, beat Texas Tech 51-21 at Lubbock on Oct. 23.
Texas Tech fans mocked Cal with chants of 'Overrated!' in the closingminutes.
Cal's J.J. Arrington became just the third running back in Pac-10 history torush for 2,000 yards in a season. The senior from Nashville, N.C., carried 25times for 173 yards, for 2,018 yards.
Southern Cal's Marcus Allen had 2,427 yards in 1981 and Charles White had2,050 in 1979. Both won the Heisman Trophy.
Arrington scored on a 2-yard run in the first quarter, his 15th rushing TDof the season, a school record. He had been tied with Lindsey Chapman andRussell White.
The Golden Bears were undisciplined on defense - they had two personal foulson one Tech drive - and Rodgers looked confused at times. California waswithout career receptions leader Geoff McArthur, who broke his left leg in thefourth quarter of a 26-16 win at Southern Mississippi on Dec. 4.
Texas Tech (8-4) had four scoring drives that took less than two minuteseach. Trailing 14-7 after the first quarter, the Red Raiders scored 24 straightpoints and had a commanding 31-14 lead by early in the third quarter.
Cumbie threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Jarrett Hicks for a 17-14 lead with8:57 left before halftime. The short drive was set up by Meeks' interceptionreturn.
Tech piled it on with Taurean Henderson's 2-yard run late in the secondquarter and Cumbie's 60-yard scoring pass to Filani on the opening drive of thesecond half for a 17-point lead. Filani caught the ball at the Cal 40 and racedpast cornerback Daymeion Hughes into the end zone.
Hicks also had a 9-yard TD catch in the first quarter.
Rodgers threw an 11-yard TD pass to Garrett Cross and scored on a 1-yardsneak, both in the fourth quarter. Rodgers was 24-of-42 for 246 yards, with oneinterception.
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