Bears Blast Aggies To Win Holiday Bowl

Dec. 28, 2006

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Unlike two years ago, the California Golden Bears played like they wanted to be in the Holiday Bowl.

Marshawn Lynch ran for 111 yards and two touchdowns, and the No. 20 Golden Bears' defense played impressively in a 45-10 win over No. 21 Texas A&M on Thursday night. Nate Longshore threw for a touchdown and ran for another, and Lynch's backup, Justin Forsett, ran for 124 yards and one score.

Cal (10-3) put an emphatic final touch to its second 10-win season in three years. The Golden Bears had lost to Arizona and Southern California in disheartening fashion before beating rival Stanford and then the Aggies (9-4).

In 2004, Cal was in position to end its long Rose Bowl drought but was leapfrogged in the final Bowl Championship Series standings by Texas. Although the fourth-ranked Golden Bears claimed not to be bothered by the snub, they couldn't even hang with No. 23 Texas Tech in the Holiday Bowl and were humiliated 45-31.

This trip to San Diego turned out a lot better.

Lynch, the Pac-10 offensive player of the year, scored on a 2-yard run in the second quarter to give Cal a 14-7 lead. While Longshore lined up at wide receiver, Lynch was in the shotgun formation, took the snap and bulled into the end zone.

Lynch scored on a 1-yard run in the third, leaping over the line and fumbling as he came down in the end zone. The Aggies recovered and referee John O'Neill signaled first down for Texas A&M, then said the play was being reviewed. Replay official Jim Augustyn ruled that Lynch had possession when he broke the plane of the end zone, making it 21-10 Cal.

Longshore was 19-of-24 passing for 235 yards.

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