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Lynch leads California to sixth straight win

Oct 15, 2006 - 12:30 AM PULLMAN, Washington (Ticker) - California coach Jeff Tedford should not have worried about Marshawn Lynch after the running back went down with an ankle injury a week ago.

Lynch rushed for 152 yards and two touchdowns to lead California to a 21-3 Pac-10 Conference victory over Washington State, snapping a 10-game skid in Pullman since a win in 1979.

Lynch gained only 50 yards on seven carries before spraining his ankle in last week's 45-24 win over then-No. 11 Oregon. Against the Cougars, he carried 25 times for his fifth 100-yard rushing performance in his last six games.

"I'd heard that we hadn't won here in 20-odd years," Lynch said. "It just feels good to come up here and get the victory."

The 5-11, 217-pound junior, who came into the game leading the conference with 100.8 rushing yards per game, produced his first touchdown on a two-yard run that opened the scoring 6:01 into the contest. His second TD, an eight-yard run, capped the scoring with 3:27 to play in the first half and gave him nine touchdowns this season.

Nate Longshore completed 17-of-31 passes for 176 yards and two interceptions for California (6-1, 4-0 Pac-10), which has won six straight after a season-opening loss to Tennessee.

"It's great to get a win here," Cal coach Jeff Tedford said. "But you know, we weren't here that whole time. So, like I told the team, we had an opportunity today to erase a lot of past history and put our mark on Cal football."

Longshore scored on a one-yard plunge of his own to give Cal a 14-0 lead with 3:22 left in the first quarter. It was the second straight week the signal-caller had a rushing touchdown after none in all of his prior games.

"I think it was a very big win for us," Longshore said. "I don't think we've won here since before 1980, so it was huge for us to come in here and get a win after the big win we had last week."

Alex Brink went 19-of-35 for 227 yards and one interception and was sacked twice for Washington State (4-3, 2-2). Backup Gary Rogers was 2-of-6 for 35 yards and also was picked off once.

Washington State appeared to score a touchdown late in the third quarter on a four-yard pass from Brink to Dwight Tardy, but a review called the play dead at the 1. Brink's attempt to sneak in on 4th-and-goal was stopped for no gain.

The missed scoring opportunities grated on the Cougars.

"It's frustrating, because everybody can see how close we are to getting it into the end zone," Brink said. "It's not a confidence issue. It's an execution issue."

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