Sat, Dec 24, 2005 - Page 20 News List

No gamble for California in Las Vegas

NON-BCS BOWLS By the time that the Cougars were able to adjust to the Golden Bears' high-octane offense, California had already built up an insurmountable lead

AP , LAS VEGAS, SAN DIEGO AND LAFAYETTE, LOUISIANA

California quarterback Steve Levy hands off to tailback Marshawn Lynch during the fourth quarter of California's 35-28 win over Brigham Young in the Las Vegas Bowl in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Thursday. Lynch finished with 194 yards rushing and three touchdowns and Levy passed for 228 yards and two touchdowns.

PHOTO: AP

Marshawn Lynch rushed for 194 yards and three touchdowns, and DeSean Jackson caught two scoring passes before California's defense held off Brigham Young 35-28 in the Las Vegas Bowl on Thursday.

Steve Levy passed for 228 yards in his second career start for the California Golden Bears (8-4), who showed off a wealth of talent that's all coming back in 2006.

They needed every bit of it to hold off BYU's fourth-quarter comeback in a high-octane game featuring 915 total yards.

Cal took a 21-point lead into the final quarter but BYU quarterback John Beck responded with scoring passes to Jonny Harline and Todd Watkins, whose 9-yard grab with 5:35 left cut Cal's lead to seven points.

In the Bears' second bowl victory in three postseason trips under coach Jeff Tedford, Jackson capped his impressive first season with six catches for 130 yards, while Lynch had career-best scoring runs of 3, 23 and 35 yards along with a handful of jaw-dropping second-effort rushes.

Beck set Las Vegas Bowl records in BYU's spread offense, going 35-for-53 for 352 yards and three TDs.

In their first bowl game in four years, the Cougars (6-6) mounted three scoring drives longer than 90 yards and moved the ball consistently.

Nathan Meikle caught 12 passes for 93 yards for BYU, which hasn't won a bowl game since 1996. But the season was a success for the once-proud Cougars, who got back to the postseason for first-year coach Bronco Mendenhall.

Navy 51, Colorado St. 30

On the same field where Barry Sanders ran wild 17 years earlier, speedy little Reggie Campbell of Navy claimed his share of bowl lore.

Campbell tied the NCAA bowl record with five touchdowns Thursday night and had 290 all-purpose yards, leading the Midshipmen over Colorado State in the Poinsettia Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium.

The 5-foot-6 sophomore slotback had touchdown catches of 55 and 34 yards, and scoring runs of 22, 2 and 21 yards.

Sanders scored five touchdowns and ran for 222 yards in the 1988 Holiday Bowl, leading Oklahoma State to a 62-14 win over Wyoming at Jack Murphy Stadium. The other players with five TDs in a bowl were Michigan's Neil Snow against Stanford in the 1902 Rose Bowl and San Jose State's Sheldon Canley against Central Michigan in the 1990 California Bowl.

Campbell was spectacular practically every time he touched the ball for Navy (8-4), which was playing in a third straight bowl game for the first time in academy history.

He ran 16 times for 116 yards, caught two passes for 89 yards and returned four kickoffs for 85 yards. Navy, the nation's top-ranked rushing team with an average of 305.2 yards, ran for 467 yards and had 611 yards in total offense.

Southern Mississippi 31, Arkansas St. 19

Shawn Nelson caught a pair of second-half touchdowns and Cody Hull added 161 yards rushing to lead Southern Mississippi over Arkansas State 31-19 on Tuesday in the first of 28 bowl games.

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