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Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Top performances of 2012: Zach Maynard

By Kevin Gemmell

We're looking at some of the top individual performances in the Pac-12 in 2012.

Up next: The Zach Attack (The player, not the band from "Saved by the Bell").

Who and against whom: In one of the few highlights of the year for Cal, quarterback Zach Maynard blew up against No. 25 UCLA -- showing accuracy and poise in leading the Bears to a 43-17 blowout/upset win.

The numbers: Maynard completed 25 of 30 throws (83 percent), he tossed four touchdowns and threw for 295 yards. He also ran for a touchdown, making it a five-score day.

A closer look: It had been a pretty crummy season so far for the Bears (and the crumminess would eventually continue after a modest two-game win streak in the middle of the season). Losers of four of its first five, Cal's only win had come against FCS Southern Utah. So with No. 25 UCLA coming to town -- the Bruins conversely had won four of their first five -- there weren't many predicting an upset ...

Except Ted Miller, who from time to time likes to remind me of this:
Ted Miller: There is every reason to believe UCLA will win this game, based on the play of both teams so far. Call this one a hunch. California 31, UCLA 28.

Golf clap, Mr. Miller.

Maynard was throwing darts, connecting twice for touchdowns with Keenan Allen and once to Brendan Bigelow and C.J. Anderson. The Bears took a 10-7 lead in the second quarter on Maynard's touchdown to Anderson and the Bears never looked back. The defense took advantage of a sloppy Bruins offense and forced four interceptions (three from Kameron Jackson, which could merit its own top performances post). Maynard's 1-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth was the icing. (Anderson's 68-yard touchdown run with 1:32 left was the cherry). While both teams ended up on different ends of the spectrum, the Bears and Maynard were able to put it all together and give soon-to-be-departed coach Jeff Tedford his final victory over a Top 25 team.