Big Ten: Nyan Boateng


Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg


MINNEAPOLIS -- After finding all the answers on the field, California quarterback Kevin Riley struggled to find the words to describe what had just taken place.

Cal proved Saturday it can win a road game, something the Golden Bears had done just five times in their last 16 trips away from Strawberry Canyon. The Bears won a nonconference road game several time zones away, which they failed to do in embarrassing fashion last year at Maryland.

Perhaps more importantly, Cal won the hard way, breaking a fourth-quarter deadlock against Minnesota to prevail, 35-21.
Bruce Kluckhohn/US Presswire
Running back Jahvid Best's five touchdowns made a big statement on the road for Cal.

If only the Bears quarterback could pinpoint the reason ...

"Offensively, we're just more comfortable with each other," Riley said. "We have a tremendous amount of, uh, I don't know, I lost a word. I'm just lost. Go ahead, Jahvid. I can't think of the word."

Fittingly, running back Jahvid Best was there for the save.

"It's about belief," Best said.

"That's it," a smiling Riley said. "There ya go."

Cal is starting to believe it can do special things this season, and Saturday's victory only reinforced the sentiment. The Bears have been here before under head coach Jeff Tedford. Ranked in the top 10. On the cusp of a real breakthrough. They've had the talent, the game-changers on both sides of the ball, but for one reason or another, it hasn't worked out.

Whether it's expectations, me-first stars, chemistry issues or lack of execution between the lines, Cal hasn't taken the step from very good to great.

The Bears might finally be ready.

"I like this team," Tedford said. "I like this team's chemistry, I like this team's leadership, I like their work ethic, I like their togetherness.

"It's a special group that way."

(Read full post)


Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg


MINNEAPOLIS -- California senior wide receiver Nyan Boateng suffered a fractured foot in the first half of Saturday's 35-21 victory against Minnesota.

Boateng, a transfer from Florida who entered Saturday with three catches and one touchdown, had two receptions for 30 yards before the injury. He didn't play in the second half.

Cal head coach Jeff Tedford said he didn't know whether Boateng's injury will require surgery.

Junior Jeremy Ross filled in for Boateng and made two huge catches for 66 yards on Cal's go-ahead scoring drive midway through the fourth quarter.

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