No. 13 Cal Runs Over New Mexico State, 41-13
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  09/23/2005

Sept. 23, 2005

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LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - It was far from Cal's best effort this season - but good enough to give the Golden Bears their best start in nine years.

Justin Forsett ran for a career-high 235 yards, and Joe Ayoob rushed for three touchdowns and threw for another score to help No. 13 California beat New Mexico State 41-13 on Friday night.

Cal, 4-0 for the first time since 1996, scored on its first two possessions and was never in trouble, but the four-touchdown underdog Aggies (0-4) kept it interesting in the first half.

New Mexico State freshman Chris Williams' 94-yard kickoff return and Conor Foley's 28-yard field goal pulled the Aggies to 20-10 late in the second quarter.

Those mistakes mattered little to Cal. With Forsett leading the way, the Bears racked up 311 yards rushing and 595 total yards.

Impressive stats, but it wasn't the tuneup coach Jeff Tedford wanted as his team returns to Pac-10 play next week against Arizona.

"We're going to play in conference games that are going to be close, and those type of things will come back and haunt you," Tedford said. "Special teams had a letdown tonight and we didn't play to our potential."

A pair of second-half touchdowns by Ayoob from 5 and 8 yards broke it open. But like his coach, he said the Bears have some work.

"A 'C' effort at best," Ayoob said. "We didn't play well at all. We had some good stats and Justin ran the ball amazingly, but we're a lot better than we showed."

The Aggies made it tough on Cal kicker Tom Schneider. They blocked Schneider's first PAT attempt and Schneider missed a 40-yard field goal try just before halftime after first-year New Mexico State coach Hal Mumme called three straight timeouts to try to ice him.

The Aggies also blocked Schneider's 28-yard attempt in the third quarter. The ball was blocked by Tim McManigal and returned to near midfield by linebacker Jimmy Cottrell.

That set up a 32-yard field goal by Foley on the last play of the third quarter to trim Cal's lead to 27-13. Foley could have kept the Aggies closer in the first half but missed from 42 and 38 yards.

Ayoob scored on runs of 1, 5 and 8 yards and threw a 41-yard TD pass to DeSean Jackson.

Forsett scored from a yard out to finish Cal's opening drive that included a 54-yard pass from Ayoob to Chris Manderino to NMSU's 13.

Forsett, who rushed for 187 yards last week in Cal's win over Illinois, had 153 yards against the Aggies by halftime and his total was the fourth best ever for a Cal running back.

Ayoob's scoring pass to Jackson came on Cal's second possession and was the second play of a drive that took just 36 seconds.

Ayoob, who took over when Nate Longshore broke his left leg in the season opener against Sacramento State, was 17-of-26 for 284 yards. Jackson caught nine passes for 130 yards.

"I feel a lot more comfortable with each game," Ayoob said. "Things seem to get easier and more natural for me."

New Mexico State's Justine Buries ran for 107 yards on 20 carries to become the first back in nine games to break 100 yards against the Golden Bears.

Mumme, who refused to allow any of his players to talk to the media, felt the Aggies missed too many opportunities.

"We didn't make plays when we had the chance," he said. "We had open receivers and didn't hit them and we had receivers dropping the ball."

New Mexico State quarterback Joey Vincent was 18-for-39 for 164 yards in his first start of the season.