December 29, 2006

2006 Holiday Bowl post-game report

The Holiday Bowl was truly a holiday this time around for Cal. After an impressive 45-10 victory over a talented, but young Texas A&M squad, Cal proved that they had both the offensive balance and defensive intensity to back up their Pac-10 co-Championship.

The game was billed as a potential shootout between the very physical Aggies, who ran the triple-option, spread formation offense, and the more "finesse" Golden Bears, who had a miserable showing in the 2004 Holiday Bowl. California head coach Jeff Tedford, who ran his record to 3-1 in career Bowl games, made it perfectly clear after the game how he felt about 2004, and the Bears "non-physical" label.

"There were a lot of things surrounding the Holiday Bowl last time," Coach Tedford said. "Obviously this was a different experience. Last time we were here, we felt slighted by a computer ranking. This year we were where we deserved to play."

"We wanted to prove our brand of football, and I think we showed ourselves well," Coach Tedford added. "I think we played pretty physical football in the Pac-10."

Aggies head coach Dennis Franchione agreed.

"Cal played a great game," Franchione said. "We were not up to the task. They controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball."

While Cal's offense certainly will receive plenty of attention, it was the Bears defense that stole the spotlight. After giving up a touchdown on Texas A&M's first drive, Cal's underrated defense completely shut-down the Aggies nationally ranked (No. 7) ground attack.

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