Instant analysis: Texas 21, California 10

December, 29, 2011
12/29/11
12:07
AM ET
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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.

Ted Miller | email

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