DeSean Jackson is back. The California receiver got off to a slow start this season, but he emerged with 11 catches for 161 yards ...
EUGENE, Ore. — DeSean Jackson is back.
The California receiver got off to a slow start this season, but he emerged with 11 catches for 161 yards — both career bests — and two scores in sixth-ranked Cal’s 31-24 victory over No. 11 Oregon Saturday.
“This game was the one where I needed to do that, and I stepped up and made big plays,” said Jackson.
Justin Forsett ran for 101 yards and another two scores, and Nate Longshore completed 28 of 43 passes for 285 yards and two scores for the Golden Bears (5-0, 2-0 Pac-10).
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California snapped a seven-game losing streak at Autzen Stadium — it hadn’t won there since 1987 — and needed a close call to go its way to hang on to the victory.
With 22 seconds to go, Oregon’s Dennis Dixon hit receiver Cameron Colvin, who fumbled trying to reach the ball into the end zone when he was hit by Marcus Ezeff. The loose ball went through the end zone and was ruled a touchback and possession for Cal. The play was reviewed, the call stood, and time ran out for Oregon (4-1, 1-1).
“That had huge significance right there, so they had to get it right,” Cal coach Jeff Tedford said.
Colvin said he was only trying to score.
“I think he hit my elbow, but I’m not really sure how it came out,” Colvin said.
Oregon’s Dennis Dixon, who was the only Pac-10 quarterback who had not thrown an interception, threw two late in the game. He finished 31 of 44 for 306 yards and a TD.
It was billed in advance as a high-scoring, offense-driven game, but both teams had trouble getting into the end zone through the first three quarters.
With the score tied at 10 in the third, Dixon hit Colvin with a 32-yard TD pass. Cal tied it again early in the fourth with Forsett’s 1-yard scoring run, then pulled ahead with Longshore’s 31-yard touchdown pass to Jackson.
Dixon ran a keeper in for a yard to tie it again at 24 with 7:06 left.
The Golden Bears got a scare late in the game when Longshore was hit by linebacker Kwame Agyeman and briefly left the game.
Dixon was picked off by Anthony Felder and Forsett went on to put the Bears ahead again on a 1-yard touchdown run with just more than three minutes to go.
Jonathan Stewart, the Timberline of Lacey graduate who was leading the Pac-10 in rushing, had 21 carries for 121 yards for the Ducks.
Last season Cal defeated Oregon 45-24 in Berkeley. The loss was pivotal for the Ducks, who at the time were 4-0 and ranked 11th. Oregon went on to lose five of its next eight games for a 7-6 finish. Cal, at the time ranked 16th, went on to win five of the next seven and wrap up the season 10-3 as the co-conference champions with USC.
“It’s not a vindictive win by any means,” Tedford said. “It’s just a great win for our program.”