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Cal blows chance against Ohio State

The California Golden Bears had a chance.

They had a chance in the fourth quarter to knock off the Ohio State Buckeyes.

They had a chance to go into one of the toughest stadiums in the country and come out with a win.

Anyone that thought they would be in that situation is lying.

An interception thrown by Zach Maynard with under 1:30 left in the game ended those chances.

They may not have been in that position if kicker Vincenzo D’Amato hadn’t missed three field goals (40, 42 and 42 yards). The last miss would have put the Bears up with 4:20 left. Instead, Ohio State took over and scored the eventual winning touchdown on the third play of the subsequent drive.

The call by Jeff Tedford that led up to D’Amato’s last miss will be one that will be scrutinized for a while. On 4th-and-1 from the Buckeye 25, Tedford decided to let the clock run down before calling a timeout. It seemed obvious that he was calling the timeout to give himself extra time to decide what play to run. But instead, D’Amato trotted out and his kick missed by an Ohio mile.

Tedford iced his own kicker. He let D’Amato think about the kick. It was a terrible decision.

Despite all that, there were some bright spots. The biggest was a breakout performance by sophomore running back Brendan Bigelow.

Entering today’s game, Bigelow had just two carries in the first two games. He didn’t get many more than that in today’s game, but he made the most of his four carries, rushing for 160 yards, including two long highlight-reel touchdowns on 81 and 59 yards.

Bigelow’s emergence gives the Bears one more weapon to take pressure off Maynard. Keenan Allen caught nine passes for 80 yards, Isi Sofele carried the ball 21 times for 86 yards and C.J. Anderson had 76 all-purpose yards.

The Bears looked a lot better today in comparison to the last two weeks. They outplayed Ohio State in every statistical category on their home turf, but they still have a lot of room for improvement. Tedford’s first order of business? Find a field goal kicker.

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