Special teams thriving, QBs struggling

November, 15, 2008
11/15/08
4:32
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Neither quarterback is in sync, but who cares when you have all these special-teams fireworks?

California's Jahvid Best went 51 yards on the opening kick, setting up the Bears for a 7-0 lead. Best didn't score because kicker Justin Kahut was able to wrestle him down, albeit by using Best's facemask.

Oregon State's James Rodgers then went to the house -- 86 yards untouched -- with the ensuing kickoff. Cal kicker Giorgio Tavecchio waved at him as he went by. It was the first kickoff returned for a touchdown this season in the Pac-10.

So, it was immediately established which team had the best tackling kicker.

Then Oregon State's Sammie Stroughter took a Cal punt 56 yards to the Bears' 2-yard line, setting up a two-yard plunge for a 14-7 lead.

All of this is exciting to watch, but the quarterback issue probably will end up being more critical.

Cal only produced one first down on its other three possessions of the half; Kevin Riley is 3-of-8 passing.

Meanwhile, Oregon State's Lyle Moevao tossed a badly underthrown interception, suggesting his shoulder might still be bothering him.

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