Sept. 13, 2008
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- An early kick-off found No. 23 Cal in an early hole Saturday against Maryland. The Golden Bears managed only six points in the first half, and despite three fourth-quarter touchdowns failed to rally.
The Terrapins led 21-3 early in the second quarter, 21-6 at halftime and 28-6 after three quarters. The victory elevated the stature of the Atlantic Coast Conference, which has struggled against non-league competition this season.
"It was tough," Bears tight end Tad Smith said. "The offense wasn't firing in the first three quarters and the defense was playing a little sluggish."
Coming off a 66-3 rout of Washington State, California took its first journey to the East Coast since 2001.
Golden Bears quarterback Kevin Riley went 33-for-58 for 423 yards and three touchdowns.
Riley's 10-yard touchdown pass to Cameron Morrah with 6:55 left made it 28-13, but the Terrapins recovered the ensuing onside kick and needed only two plays to reach the end zone. Two late TDs by the California narrowed the gap.
Following the third touchdown, Cal went for an onside kick that Maryland knocked out of bounds. The Terps then took three knees to run out the clock, salvaging their first-half advantage.
"That was important," Maryland quarterback Chris Turner said of the Terrapins' early lead. "They were on the road, it was an early game, they were adjusting to the time and all that. To be able to get off to an early lead was pretty good."