The 2008 California Golden Bears football team was coached by Jeff Tedford in his seventh year in Strawberry Canyon. They would finish the season 9-4 and would win their bowl game, along with reclaiming the Axe from Stanford after losing it last year.
Kevin Riley was named the starter for the Golden Bears before the game. In a closely contested matchup on opening day, Cal took the lead early on a blocked punt for a touchdown and stayed ahead for the majority of the game. Shane Vereen would run for an 81 yard clinching score late to cap off the scoring.
at Washington StateEdit
Jahvid Best scored on the first play from scrimmage. The Bears would be up 21-0 in the opening minutes and never looked back.
The Bears would come in flourished after the victory, but fell behind early against the Maryland Terrapins. The humidity and early start time (kickoff was around ) were attributable factors to the slow start by Cal, who trailed by as many as 22 points and only closed the margin in the final minutes.
Jahvid Best would injure his elbow in a relatively easy victory for the Golden Bears.
Nate Longshore had a solid if unremarkable game for the Bears, who stayed ahead by double digits for the majority of the game thanks mainly to solid defense.
After taking a 24-14 lead into halftime, the Bears gave up an offensive explosion of 28 points by the Wildcats in the third quarter.
A close game for three quarters, the Bears broke it open with a sequence of gadget plays and thanks to turnovers by the Bruins.
In a soaking rain in Strawberry Canyon, the Bears would lose Kevin Riley in the first half to injury. However, they would take advantage of several key Duck mistakes (a punt sailing over the head of the punter into the end zone for a safety)
In a showdown to keep Cal's Rose Bowl hopes alive, the game boiled down to a defensive standstill. The Trojans clung to a 7 point lead for most of the second and third quarters before scoring the clinching touchdown in the final minutes.
at Oregon StateEdit
The Bears could not stop the Rogers brothers.
Cal reclaimed the Axe behind a remarkable 200 yard, 4 touchdown performance by Jahvid Best.
Jahvid Best accumulated over 300 yards by the middle of the third quarter as the Golden Bears ran away from a winless Washington team.
2008 Emerald BowlEdit
also see 2008 Emerald Bowl
Another outstanding performance by Best set the pace for Cal, as big defensive plays also helped the Bears eek out a bowl victory in AT&T Park in San Francisco against the Hurricanes.