The 2008 Emerald Bowl took place on December 27, 2008 in AT&T Park in San Francisco, with the California Golden Bears defeating the Miami Hurricanes, 24-17. Jahvid Best would earn Offensive MVP honors, and Zack Follett would gain Defensive MVP honors. It was the eighth most watched game in the 2008 Bowl season.
Nate Longshore was named the starter for Cal's final game over Kevin Riley, in the final edition of the Golden Bears 2008 quarterback shuffle. Freshman Jacory Harris was starting in place of the suspended Robert Marve, who was ineligible for missing a class requirement.
The first quarter had the Bears quickly jumping out to a 14-0 lead, as Longshore found Verran Tucker on a simple 74 yard streak pattern to the outside. This led to the opening score on a Jahvid Best touchdown run and a 7-0 lead. On the next drive, Best would juke and jive his way into the end zone on a 42 yard carry, putting Cal up by two touchdowns.
After trading three and outs, Harris completed a strike to bring the Hurricanes into Cal territory for the first time.
The Hurricanes would strike back in the second quarter as Harris found Laron Byrd for a 9 yard touchdown to bring Miami within 7. Neither side would gain much traction in the rest of the quarter as both offenses bogged down. This did not slow down the progress of Best, who would rush for 106 yards on 10 carries in the first half.
Both Miami and Cal would accumulate long scoring possessions. The Hurricanes would again drive down the field thanks to Harris's passing and Chambers's rushing and would tie the game on a short pass from Harris to Collier. Cal would come right back down the field on a 13 play, 86 yard drive which featured two more long runs by Best, but Longshore would trip up at the goal line on 3rd and goal and the Bears would have to settle for a field goal to give Cal a narrow lead going into the third quarter.
Miami would again drive down the field to try and wrestle the lead away from Cal, but the Hurricanes drive would stall at the nine yard line and a touchdown pass from Harris to Byrd was broken up by Syd'Quan Thompson. They would settle for a short field goal to tie the game at 17.
The Bears tried to put the game in Best's hands to win it, but he would get shaken up after coming down hard on his injured elbow. Shane Vereen would come in and help rush the Bears deep into Miami territory. However the drive stalled and Tavecchio would miss
But on Miami's subsequent drive Zach Follett would sack and force Harris to fumble the ball; Cameron Jordan would scoop up the loose ball at the Miami 1 yard line. This set up a Longshore rollout to find rarely-used tight end Anthony Miller at the back of the end zone to give Cal the go-ahead score.
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