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Longshore, Forsett propel Cal past Tennessee

Sep 2, 2007 - 5:41 AM BERKELEY, California (Ticker) -- Revenge is sweet - just ask California.

After being embarrassed in their season opener last year, Nate Longshore had three total touchdowns and Justin Forsett rushed for 156 yards and a score to lift No. 12 Cal to a 45-31 victory over 15th-ranked Tennessee on Saturday night.

Last year, Tennessee (0-1) scored the first 35 points en route to a 35-18 triumph over Cal. The Golden Bears made sure that would not happen again this time.

"It was a big win, no question about it," Cal coach Jeff Tedford said. "We've been carrying this with us for a year. Our guys played very, very well. They were ready emotionally and physically. I'm just real proud of them."

"It was really about coming out and starting 2007 better than we started last year," Cal defensive back Syd'Quan Thompson said. "This year we wanted to come out and do things a little different."

Longshore passed for 241 yards and two touchdowns, which helped break the game open in the second half, as Cal took a 38-21 lead early in the second half.

"We have good team speed from special teams to our backs to our tight ends," Tedford said. "We have excellent speed. It's nice to have playmakers. Everyone got involved in the game. When that can happen, we're pretty hard to catch. We're pretty fortunate."

After Tennessee closed the gap, Forsett capped a five-play, 71-yard drive with a 13-yard rushing score to give the Golden Bears a 45-31 lead with 9:10 remaining.

Cal (1-0) struck just 1:51 into the game when Worrell Williams returned Tennessee quarterback Erik Ainge's fumble 48 yards for a touchdown to take an early 7-0 advantage.

The Volunteers responded almost immediately, as Ainge found running back Arian Foster on a screen pass and he avoid four tackles to scamper in, tying the game at 7-7.

Longshore scrambled into the end zone from two yards out as the Golden Bears took a 14-7 lead.

After Montario Hardesty's 1-yard score drew Tennessee even, DeSean Jackson gave Cal a 21-14 edge with an electric 77-yard punt return.

"The guy is electrifying, as we saw today," Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer said of Jackson. "We did a good job on him last year, but today he got away from us."

Ainge found Chris Brown for a 2-yard touchdown connection in the second quarter to once again tie the game, 21-21.

Ainge played well despite playing with a broken pinky, completing 32-of-47 passes for 271 yards and three touchdowns.

"We came in knowing that we were going to have to score some points," Ainge said. "Our defense did a great job down the stretch of getting us the ball back. We just weren't able to capitalize when we were finally given the chance."

Foster rushed for 89 yards and Chris Brown added two touchdown catches for the Volunteers, who lost their season opener for the first time since 1994.