Thursday, December 29, 2011
Instant analysis: Texas 21, California 10
By Ted Miller
California wanted revenge for 2004 when Texas coach Mack Brown politicked the Longhorns past the Bears and into the Rose Bowl. But all it got was a sloppy performance in a decisive 21-10 loss in the Holiday Bowl.
How the game was won: Both defenses mostly dominated, but Cal lost the turnover battle 5-0. It's impossible to win when you are minus-five in turnovers.
Turning point: Cal took a 10-7 lead on the opening possession of the third quarter, but Texas immediately answered when David Ash connected with Marquise Goodwin for a 47-yard touchdown pass. On two of its next three possessions, the Bears fumbled on the Longhorns' 44-yard line. The second fumble set up another Texas TD, and the Bears offense isn't the sort that can make a comeback from a 21-10 hole. Not against a very good Texas defense.
Stat of the game: 109 to 7. That was Texas' advantage in rushing yards.
Player of the game: The Texas defense. It held Cal to a season-low 195 total yards. The Bears entered the game averaging 419 yards per game.
Unsung hero of the game: Goodwin caught a 47-yard TD pass to give Texas a 14-10 lead, and his 37-yard run set up the Longhorns' third touchdown.
What Texas learned, what Cal learned: Texas learned that Ash has potential, and that a young Longhorns team that has a lot coming back in 2012 could see a bounce-back year for the program after consecutive down seasons. Cal, which also has a lot coming back next fall, learned that losing the turnover battle 5-zip is bad, bad, bad.