Huskies Insider Blog

Wrapping up Saturday's 31-23 win over Cal

Here's my game story about the Husky defense that continued to bend but not break in a big win

After being marched on for 85 yards in the game’s waning minutes, the Huskies somehow managed to pull off a desperation goal-line stand, stopping Cal four consecutive times to improve to 3-1 on the season and 1-0 in Pacific-12 Conference play, much to the delight of 60,437 fans at Husky Stadium.

How did they do it?

“You gotta rise up,” said senior linebacker Cort Dennison. “There is no secret. You have to put your big-boy pads on and bring it. When you’re backed against a wall like that, you have to start swinging. You need to throw the punches first and hit them. We played on their side of the line of scrimmage.” Columnist John McGrath also wrote about a defense that still gave up way too many yards and too many points early, but got stops when it needed to.

Then again, while a runaway might’ve been easier on the heart and softer on the stomach, it wouldn’t have provided the last-minute sequence that nourished the soul of a defense groping to gain an identity.

“Big plays had to be made,” said Dennison, “and big players stood up. This is one of those wins you look back on the rest of your life. It’s what makes college football so fun. You can look back when you’re 40 or 50 years old, and say, ‘wow, we did it.’”

They did it against all odds: in four plays, over two yards of turf, they saved a victory and found a pulse.

Wow.More links and photos after the jump

Big thanks to Todd Milles, who was also up at Husky Stadium.

Here's Todd's story on Jamaal Kearse, who was forced into action after John Timu's injury

On first down, the Bears called for a quick-hit pass to tight end Anthony Miller, which Jamaal Kearse snuffed out beautifully.

“Jamaal … is out there in the heat of the battle, and he made a fantastic play on the tight end on the goal line on kind of a trick play,” UW defensive coordinator Nick Holt said.

On the next play, Cal went to Sofele on a left-side run. Jamaal Kearse met him head on, and dropped him for a 1-yard gain.

“I was trying to play the way I do in practice … and eliminate all the jitters,” Jamaal Kearse said.

Two plays later, with the Huskies’ game-saving stand complete, Jamaal Kearse walked off a victor – and his older brother, Jermaine, was waiting to celebrate.

“He was saying I was balling it out there today,” Jamaal Kearse said. “Just normal big-brother stuff.”And Todd also had the notebook which lead with Austin Seferin-Jenkins' solid first half

One of the biggest reasons why Gig Harbor’s Austin Seferian-Jenkins chose to join the Huskies over other schools was that Sarkisian promised the teenager he would be a frequent target in the passing game.

“Coach Sark doesn’t lie,” Seferian-Jenkins said.

And after his pair of 20-yard scoring receptions Saturday in the Huskies’ 31-23 victory over California, the true freshman already has three touchdowns in four games – all of them coming in the red zone.From Bay Area ...

Here's John Crumpacker's game story from the SF Chronicle

Paired with Colorado's thorough shredding of Cal's pass defense two weeks earlier, coordinator Clancy Pendergast's unit would appear to be in trouble.

"Absolutely, we need to get better," head coach Jeff Tedford said. "We need to be better on pass defense."

Pendergast, however, didn't sound like he was in worry mode after the game, even though his defense surrendered 409 yards and 6 yards per play. Neither did his players.

"There are a couple of big plays we gave up ... where the quarterback threw off the scramble," Pendergast said. "We have to stay in coverage when he does that. ... They converted some third downs. He made some good throws. They won their one-on-one matchups."From the Bay Area News group ... Here's Jonathan Okanes' game story

Defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast and some of the Bears' key defensive players insisted no major changes need to be made, whether it be schematically or with personnel. But Cal coach Jeff Tedford allowed some re-evaluation might have to take place.

"Very concerned," Tedford said. "You have to give them a lot of credit, but we have to play better. We'll go back and look at it and grade it and see what the issues are. We'll make appropriate decisions from there."After carving up UW's secondary most of the day, half-brothers Zach Maynard and Keenan Allen couldn't hook up at the end.