for this game

Jackson, Cal edge Oregon in Pac-10 thriller

Sep 30, 2007 - 1:34 AM EUGENE, Oregon (Ticker) -- DeSean Jackson saved his best for the big stage.

Jackson hauled in a pair of touchdown catches Saturday and Justin Forsett ran for two scores - including the go-ahead TD in the fourth quarter - as sixth-ranked California held on for a wild 31-24 victory over No. 11 Oregon in a Pac-10 Conference showdown.

One of the nation's top wide receivers and a candidate for the Heisman Trophy, Jackson entered the contest with just 17 catches and no receiving touchdowns over his first four games this season.

But the speedy junior delivered in the Golden Bears' biggest game of the season so far, posting career highs of 11 receptions and 161 yards.

"This was the game where I needed to do that," Jackson said. "I stepped up and made big plays."

"I don't know if I can put into words how proud I am of these guys," Cal coach Jeff Tedford said. "I'm just so proud of them and I think today was an all-around great team effort, and we came up with some big plays."

Forsett also enjoyed an outstanding performance for California (5-0, 2-0 Pac-10), rushing for 101 yards on 23 carries. The 5-8 senior scored his second TD of the game with 3:11 remaining to give the Golden Bears a 31-24 advantage.

Oregon star quarterback Dennis Dixon was intercepted by defensive tackle Tyson Alualu on the following possession, but the Ducks (4-1, 1-1) forced a punt on the ensuing defensive series to give themselves a chance.

Starting from his own 25-yard line, Dixon orchestrated a heroic last-ditch drive and guided the Ducks to the Cal 5 with 22 seconds to play. On 1st-and-goal, Dixon dropped back and found Cameron Colvin in the left flat.

After turning upfield, Colvin reached the 1-yard line before losing his grip on the ball and fumbling it out of Cal's end zone - resulting in a touchback and essentially ending the game with 11 seconds left.

"I thought it was across (the goal line)," Colvin said. "I was looking at the refs for the touchdown, but that's how it goes."

"You can't do that," Oregon coach Mike Bellotti said. "You have to hang on to the football and break the plane."

Golden Bears quarterback Nathan Longshore completed 28-of-43 passes for 285 yards. The junior suffered an injury to his right ankle midway through the fourth quarter and left the game for a series before returning for Cal's last scoring drive.

Dixon went 31-of-44 for 306 yards and a score. But the multi-talented senior was held in check on the ground, gaining just 17 yards on eight carries.

Cal forged a 17-17 tie just 40 seconds into the fourth quarter on Forsett's first TD of the contest, a 1-yard plunge which was set up by Jackson's 31-yard catch three plays earlier.

After forcing a three-and-out, the Golden Bears took their first lead of the contest with 11:52 remaining when Longshore hooked up with Jackson for a 31-yard score to make it 24-17.

"(The Ducks) play a lot of one-on-one coverage," Jackson said. "They got some safeties over the top sometimes and they roll down and do different things.

"But coach Tedford and the offensive coordinator (Jim Michalczik) did a good job putting everything together for me to make plays."

Oregon lost a fumble on the ensuing kickoff return but forced Cal to punt. The Ducks responded with a 10-play, 91-yard drive capped by Dixon's one-yard score which tied the game at 24-24 with 7:06 left.

The Ducks forced a punt on their next defensive possession, but Dixon was intercepted at the Oregon 21-yard line by linebacker Anthony Felder on the first play of the following series.

Three plays later, Forsett scored his second TD of the game to give Cal a 31-24 advantage.

"California is a good football team, but they took advantage of some things we gave them," Bellotti said. "We didn't keep the ball enough in the second half."