Miami Fumbles, Cal Celebrates Miller Time
by Mike Mitchell
December 27, 2008
California LB Zach Follet forced a fumble by Miami QB Jacory Harris with 3:28 left and Nate Longshore's pass to Anthony Miller two plays later gave the Bears a 24-17 Emerald Bowl win. LB Charles Johnson recovered the fumble at the 9-yard line and returned it to Miami's 2 to set up the winning score. The touchdown for Miller was the freshman's first career catch.
The Bears took a 14-0 lead ion a pair of Jahvid Best touchdowns. Best ran for 186 yards but the first score came on a 1-yard run after Longshore had teamed up with Verran Tucker for a 72-yard play to the Miami 2. The Cal defense then held the 'Canes for a 3-and-out on its ensuing possession, and Best scored on a 42-yard run on the first play from scrimmage.
Miami trimmed the deficit to 14-7 early in the 2nd quarter on Harris' 9-yard pass to Laron Byrd, and knotted the score in the 3rd on Harris' 6-yard pass to Theron Collier.
Harris was making only his second start of the season when Robert Marve was suspended for "a violation of team rules". Marve was also suspended for the season opener.
California went ahead 17-14 on Giorgio Tavecchio's 23-yard field goal after a long drive reached the Miami 1-yard line before stalling at the 6. Miami tied it back up at 17-apiece on Matt Bosher's 22-yard field goal at the end of a 6-minute drive that stalled at the Cal 5.
The loss saddles Miami with a 3-game winning streak going into next season, and a two-year record of 12-13 under head coach Randy Shannon. It was only the third bowl loss for the "Canes in their last 11 appearances.
California finished the season 9-4 and is 5-1 in bowl games under Jeff Tedford.