Sports

College Football: No. 1 slips away

BERKELEY -- The California fans started chanting "We're No. 1! We're No. 1!" as soon as word of LSU's triple-overtime loss at Kentucky reached Memorial Stadium.

The only problem was that the Golden Bears played nothing like a No. 1 team and blew their chance to move into the top spot in the polls for the first time in 56 years.

Turnovers, defensive breakdowns and one memorable mistake on the game's final play doomed Cal in its 31-28 loss to Oregon State on Saturday.

Poised to move up to No. 1 after top-ranked LSU's loss earlier in the day, the Bears (5-1, 2-1 Pac-10) were unable to deliver and dropped from second to 10th in the latest poll.

Now hopes turn from an undefeated season and a national championship to ending a Rose Bowl drought that dates back to the 1959 season.

"It hurts," said backup quarterback Kevin Riley, whose failure to throw the ball away on the last play cost Cal a chance at overtime.

"I'm hurting and the team is hurting right now, but we can still win the rest of our games. In this college football season, you don't know what the hell is going to happen."

Cal became the 10th team ranked in the Top 10 this season to lose to an unranked team, joining the likes of Southern California to Stanford and Michigan to Appalachian State.

Coupled with LSU's 43-37 loss, it marked the first time in 11 years that the top two teams lost on the same day.

"We take this as a lesson," linebacker Worrell Williams said.

"We were saying that teams get knocked off every week. The top two teams got knocked off. We're going to take this lesson and get back into the film room and get back to work. It was key little plays that we weren't able to convert."

The biggest play was the last. After Riley drove Cal from its 5 to the Oregon State 12 in the final 1:27, the Bears looked poised to send the game into overtime or even possibly win it.

With 14 seconds left and no timeouts, coach Jeff Tedford chose to take a shot one at the end zone instead of kicking the potential game-tying field goal.

"Maybe you win the game," Tedford said. "A lot of times you second guess yourself, but I don't second guess this one. We just didn't make the play."

Riley dropped back, and with no receivers open, he decided to run for it instead of throwing the ball away. He was tackled at the 10 and there was no time to spike the ball or get the field goal unit on the field, providing a crushing ending to his first start.

"We didn't lose the game because of that play," Tedford said.

"There were a lot of plays."

Western Athletic Conference

BOISE ST. 69, NEVADA 67 (4OT), at Boise, Idaho -- Ian Johnson scored from a yard out in the fourth overtime and Taylor Tharp lofted a short pass to Jeremy Avery on the 2-point conversion to help Boise State beat Nevada.

Nevada matched the touchdown in the fourth extra period on Luke Lippincott's 8-yard run up the middle, but Boise State's Tim Brady ended the game by sacking Pitman graduate Colin Kaepernick on the 2-point conversion attempt.

It was a wild game from the start, with the teams combining for 1,266 yards of total offense as the Broncos (5-1, 2-0 Western Athletic) beat the Wolfpack (2-4, 0-2) for the eighth straight time.

Kaepernick, a redshirt freshman making his first start, ran for 177 yards and two scores and passed for another 243 yards and three TDs.

The Broncos forced overtime on Kyle Brotzman's 27-yard field goal as time expired.

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