Reggie Robertson threw two touchdown passes and James Bethea returned a blocked punt for a score as California beat Southern Mississippi, 34-2, Saturday in the Golden Bears’ home opener.
Adimchinobe Echemandu rushed for a career-high 127 yards -- including a 60-yard touchdown run -- and tight ends Brandon Hall and Garrett Cross each caught scoring passes as Cal (1-1) shut out Southern Miss over the last 55 minutes of the schools’ first-ever meeting.
The Bears got another impressive nonconference victory under Coach Jeff Tedford with hard-hitting defense and fine special-teams play. Cal blocked two punts, and Mike McGrath’s interception in the last minute of the first half set up a score.
Robertson completed nine of 14 passes for 142 yards, improving his hold on the starting job. J.J. Arrington rushed for 114 yards as Cal had 417 total yards against the Golden Eagles’ vaunted defense.
Micky D’Angelo passed for 163 yards for Southern Mississippi, which lost its opener for the fifth time in Coach Jeff Bower’s 13 seasons. The Eagles had their lowest-scoring outing since Tulane shut them out in 1995.
Cal’s special teams had a big game. Andy Briner blocked Luke Johnson’s punt midway through the second quarter, and Bethea returned it untouched for a touchdown.
From Associated Press