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Saturday, October 23, 2010
Cal blows out Sun Devils

By Ted Miller

California fans got what they wanted: a backup quarterback getting a chance to play.

But the only the reason starter Kevin Riley was on the bench -- and Brock Mansion was playing -- was because Riley and his teammates delivered a 50-17 beat down to Arizona State and they were able to relax on the bench.

The Sun Devils led 3-0 and then the Bears scored 40 unanswered points. The Sun Devils didn't put up much of a fight and looked a lot like the Bears did last week during a feckless effort at USC.

Cal is now 4-0 at home. Three road losses leave then at 4-3. They are 2-2 in the Pac-10.

The Sun Devils fall to 3-4 overall and 1-3 in the Pac-10. They need to win four of their final five games to become bowl eligible due to playing two FCS teams.

Riley completed 19-of-29 for 225 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. His favorite target was receiver Marvin Jones, who had 111 yards receiving and a touchdown on just four receptions. Shane Vereen gained 106 yards rushing and scored two touchdowns.

But the bigger story might have been the defense, which got picked apart at USC. The Bears held the Sun Devils to just 233 total yards.

ASU quarterback Steven Threet was pulled in the second half for Samson Szakacsy but the offense didn't score a touchdown with either. One came on a blocked punt, the other on a fumble return by Clint Floyd.

As impressive as the win was, it's hard to buy in with the Bears just yet. The good news is three of their final five games are at home -- and one road game is at Washington State -- but let's see how they handle themselves at Oregon State next weekend.

Arizona State finally goes home after three consecutive road games. It hosts Washington State on Saturday. But that one should make Sun Devils fans nervous. The Cougs are much improved.