BERKELEY, California -- California may have some quarterback issues this season. However, the Golden Bears know what they have in Marshawn Lynch. A sophomore star in the making, Lynch ran 24 times for a career-high 147 yards and a touchdown as the 19th-ranked Bears pulled away from Division I-AA Sacramento State, 41-3.
True freshman DeSean Jackson caught a pass for a touchdown and also ran back a punt for a score for Cal (1-0), which had to replace former quarterback Aaron Rodgers, a first-round draft pick by the Green Bay Packers. Redshirt freshman Nate Longshore got the start and completed 8-of-11 passes for 131 yards, a touchdown and an interception. But he broke his leg with two minutes left in the first half and his replacement, junior college transfer Joe Ayoob, failed to complete any of his 10 pass attempts.
The Bears received the opening kickoff and promptly marched down the field. Longshore opened the scoring with a 31-yard TD toss to Jackson, the MVP of the high school Army All-American game earlier this year. But Cal, which went 10-2 in 2004, sputtered on offense until the third quarter, when a 39-yard punt return by Tim Mixon set up a two-yard TD run by Lynch that opened a 17-3 cushion with 9:36 left in the period.
The Bears' lead was 20-3 when third-string quarterback Steve Levy connected on a 46-yard touchdown pass to Noah Smith. Cal blew open the contest in the fourth quarter on a three-yard TD run by Chris Manderino and a 49-yard punt return for a score by Jackson.
Chris Hurd went 9-of-17 for 82 yards and Brad Tredway 7-of-20 for 39 yards for the Hornets, who went 3-8 last season.