Cougs to play UC Berkeley


    By Michael Barzee

    California here they come.

    After almost two weeks of waiting, the Cougars found out on Sunday who their bowl opponent is going to be ? California.

    ?I am happy it is against a quality Pac-10 team to serve as a measure of exactly where we need to go from here,? BYU head football coach Bronco Mendenhall said.

    Mendenhall wasn?t the only Cougar excited about playing a quality opponent like California.

    ?It is who I wanted to play,? BYU linebacker Cameron Jensen said. ?I am glad we got them and things worked out the way they did.?

    After the Bowl Championship Series Selection Committee snubbed Pac-10 team Oregon of a BCS bowl, California was invited to the Las Vegas Bowl. Had Oregon received an invitation to a BCS bowl, BYU would be looking at playing Nevada.

    California is heading into the Las Vegas Bowl on a five-game winning streak. Part of their winning success has been a pounding rushing attack that features two running backs, Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett. Lynch has compiled 1,052 yards rushing and seven touchdowns, while Forsett has 962 yards and six touchdowns.

    ?I hope they run at us because that is what I love to stop. Jensen said. ?Stop the run,?

    The Cougar defense has had better success stopping the run this season than the pass. BYU rush defense is ranked No. 46 in the country while the pass defense is ranked a dismal No. 105. In the Cougars? last game, however, the BYU defense allowed Utah to rush for 251 yards.

    Luckily, the Cougars have an inside scope on the Bears. In his last game as Texas Tech?s offensive line coach, current BYU offensive coordinator Robert Anae coached the Red Raiders to a 45-31 victory over California in the 2004 Holiday Bowl.

    ?I remember watching that game last year and I was really excited that we would be running that offense next year,? BYU receiver Todd Watkins said. ?To get the same match-up as Texas Tech had last year is good for us.?

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