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Longshore leads California blitz of Arizona State

Sep 23, 2006 - 11:09 PM BERKELEY, California (Ticker) -- Nate Longshore's first two passes fell incomplete. Seemingly every other early attempt found the end zone.

Longshore threw four first-half touchdowns as 21st-ranked California stormed past No. 22 Arizona State, 49-21, in the Pac-10 Conference opener for both teams.

Daymeion Hughes and Mickey Pimentel each returned an interception for a touchdown and DeSean Jackson had a TD catch and returned a punt for a score for the Golden Bears (3-1, 1-0 Pac-10), who have won four straight in the series.

Cal trailed, 7-0, before Longshore threw a short pass to Justin Forsett out of the backfield that the backup running back took nine yards for a score with 2:51 to play in the first quarter.

Rudy Carpenter fumbled after getting sacked by Zack Follett, and fellow linebacker Desmond Bishop recovered at the Arizona State 31. On the next play, Longshore found Lavelle Hawkins in the front left corner of the end zone to give Cal the lead.

After the Sun Devils went three-and-out, Jackson returned a punt 80 yards for a score for a 21-7 cushion with 13:15 left in the second quarter. Following another defensive stand, Longshore connected with Jackson on a 52-yard pass before tossing a 23-yard TD toss to starting running back Marshawn Lynch.

Seemingly rattled by the scoring blitz, Carpenter was intercepted by Hughes and Longshore hit Jackson for an eight-yard score four plays later for a 35-7 advantage with 6:18 to go in the half.

"We got a chance to showcase all of our playmakers," Longshore said. "With the athletes that we have on this team, we're able to make those kind of plays. That second quarter was pretty amazing to watch."

Pimentel scored on a 20-yard interception return with 8:03 to play to cap the scoring but dove into the end zone, incurring the wrath of coach Jeff Tedford, who grabbed him by the facemask on the sidelines.

Tedford certainly was more pleased with the performance of Longshore, who completed 18-of-26 passes for 270 yards and an interception. Lynch ran 17 times for 124 yards for the Bears, who have won three straight here after a season-opening loss at Tennessee.

"It was nice to come home, play in a comfortable environment and find ourselves," Longshore said. "That first week was pretty tough, so it was nice to come home and play well in front of the home crowd. We're all the better for it."

Carpenter went just 16-of-36 for 177 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions for the Sun Devils (3-1, 0-1), who have not defeated the Bears since a 30-10 triumph in Tempe in 2000. He also was sacked five times.

"We talked to the team about when you're on the road against a good team with a loud crowd, whenever that onslaught comes, you've got to be able to answer it, and we just couldn't answer it," Sun Devils coach Dirk Koetter said. "What Cal did to us today is exactly what happened to them at Tennessee, it's exactly the same thing. That's the difficulty of playing on the road - not just playing on the road, but playing against a good football team."

Hughes had two of his team's four interceptions and has five picks in the last three games.

"We tried to work on our pass defense all week," Hughes said. "We didn't want to give up any big plays. We had a good underneath zone, which is where those interceptions came from. We just tried to take away any deep balls."

"Daymeion Hughes continues to be a guy who is very difficult to throw the ball on and has a great nose for the ball," Hughes said. "Daymeion is a student of the game. He really studies and knows what's going on."

Carpenter gave Arizona State an early 7-0 lead with a nine-yard pass to tailback Ryan Torain, who also ran 24 times for 191 yards and a score.

"Keegan Herring, our normal starting tailback, hurt his hamstring last Sunday afternoon in practice and was never 100 percent this week, so we knew going in that Ryan Torain was going to get the majority of the carries," Koetter said. "And he certainly responded - really ran the ball hard, broke tackles, second effort."






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