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Maynard helps Cal upset No. 25 UCLA

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Maynard helps Cal upset No. 25 UCLA

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) California quarterback Zach Maynard made a bad read on his first pass attempt when he tried to squeeze a pass into double coverage and it ended in an interception.

He spent the rest of the night making UCLA's defense pay for his mistake.

Maynard matched his career high with four touchdown passes and added a fifth on the ground and California took advantage of six turnovers to stun No. 25 UCLA 43-17 on Saturday night.

``We had a huge week of practice this week and everybody was focused in,'' said Maynard, who completed 25 of 30 passes for 295 yards. ``We prepared ourselves ... and we had a lot of fire behind our backs. It was a great outcome.''

Coming off one of the worst games of his career, Maynard repeatedly picked himself up off the turf at Memorial Stadium after getting drilled by the Bruins defense to help the Golden Bears (2-4, 1-2 Pac-12) end their three-game losing streak.

By beating UCLA (4-2, 1-2) at home for the seventh straight time, Cal might have also decreased some of the pressure on coach Jeff Tedford.

``It was much needed, no doubt about it,'' Tedford said. ``It's been a tough few weeks. That's definitely going to give us a boost. But even though this is very satisfying and gratifying for our team, we know we still have a lot of work to do.''

The outlook is a lot more promising for the Bears following the upset win over their conference rivals.

Maynard, who completed only 9 of 28 passes in last week's loss to Arizona State, was almost flawless against UCLA. He completed 13 consecutive throws during one stretch in the second half.

The Bears' senior quarterback also scored on a 1-yard keeper in the fourth quarter following a 42-yard interception return by safety Mike Lowe.

All of this after his first pass of the night ended in the arms of UCLA safety Andrew Abbott.

``I just had to shake it off,'' Maynard said. ``I thought Keenan (Allen) was going to come out a little bit faster out of his break, but he was double covered. I should have just thrown it out of bounds. Made a bad play worse.''

Little else went wrong for the Bears.

Richard Rodgers caught seven passes for 129 yards while Allen caught a pair of touchdowns and finished with eight receptions to move into third place on Cal's career list.

C.J. Anderson added 151 yards rushing, 68 on a touchdown run in the fourth quarter to extend Cal's lead to 26 points.

Johnathan Franklin ran for 103 yards for UCLA, which lost for the second time in three games and is likely to fall out of the rankings again.

In addition to the six turnovers, the Bruins also committed 12 penalties on their mistake-filled night.

``We did a lot of things to hurt ourselves,'' Bruins coach Jim Mora said. ``You know when you go on the road in a hostile environment and you turn the ball over six times, it's going to be tough to win. We got beaten by a good team ... and we got beat solidly.''

As sharp as the offense was, it was Cal's defense that made the difference.

UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley threw four interceptions, three by Bears cornerback Kameron Jackson. The Bruins, who had only one turnover in their previous two games, also fumbled twice.

Hundley, the redshirt freshman who has looked strong running UCLA's spread offense, never found his rhythm. He had a season-high 31 completions and passed for 253 yards and two touchdowns, but couldn't prevent the Bruins from remaining winless at Memorial Stadium since 1998.

``There was a lot of pressure but I can do better with my reads,'' Hundley said. ``They just executed real well. The penalties hurt. With this kind of offense, it kills your tempo.''

The ending was in sharp contrast to the opening drive for UCLA.

The Bruins got creative when Hundley threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Cassius Marsh, a defensive end who lined up on the left side of the offensive line then ran a short out pattern. It's a formation UCLA has used previously this season, but the first time Marsh, a 275-pound senior, has scored.

Cal responded with a 26-yard field goal by Vicenzo D'Amato then took the lead on Maynard's 9-yard touchdown pass to Anderson midway through the second quarter. Maynard got the drive started with a 42-yard completion to tight end Rodgers then capped it with the throw to Anderson, who beat safety Tevin McDonald on an slant pattern.

That came after Hundley was charged with a fumble after his short pass in the left flat to Jordan James was ruled a lateral and recovered by Cal's Nick Forbes.

After UCLA kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn missed a 46-yard field goal attempt, the Bruins forced a punt but Kenny Orjioke ran into return man Steven Manfro as Manfro was calling for a fair catch. The ball hit Orjioke in the back and Cal pounced on it.

Five plays later, Maynard connected with Allen for an 8-yard touchdown on an inside slant play similar to the one run by Anderson.

The Bruins committed their third turnover of the first half when Hundley threw an interception in the end zone after the intended receiver stopped his route well short of the goal line.

Maynard threw touchdowns on Cal's first two drives in the second half to push the lead to 29-14.

UCLA pulled within 29-17 on Fairbairn's 30-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter, but Cal's defense came up with two more interceptions to secure the win.

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Orioles' past and future intersect during jam-packed day at Camden Yards

Orioles' past and future intersect during jam-packed day at Camden Yards

If you were looking for a moment in Tuesday’s game that exemplified the proverbial passing of the torch in Baltimore, it came early.

In the top of the third inning, past Oriole superstar Manny Machado crushed his 100th career Camden Yards home run. It was especially fitting that the ball traveled far enough (455 feet, to be exact) to land in the *visitor* bullpen.

In the middle of the fourth inning, future Oriole superstar (fingers crossed) Adley Rutschman was introduced to a sea of adoring fans wearing orange and black, a sight the former Oregon State Beaver is all too familiar with.

It was hard to tell which player received the louder ovation. The fact that both players, neither of whom was playing for the Orioles Tuesday night, elicited such receptions highlights the crossroads this franchise finds itself at.

Manager Brandon Hyde spoke to this effect pregame.

“Obviously when the game starts I’m going to try to win the game and go with the guys we have,” Hyde told reporters. “I’m also looking at the big picture. I think everybody is really aware of where we are organizationally. It’s the start of the process we laid out months ago. Anytime we get extremely talented guys in our organization, it’s bright, and it feels good, and there’s excitement. And I totally understand it and I feel that too.”

Fans could be forgiven for forgetting there was even a game to be played Tuesday evening, with the excitement surrounding Rutschman’s introduction and the long-building buzz for Machado’s return coinciding on the same day. That can be true of the state of the franchise overall right now.

It’s easy to talk about top draft picks and high-level prospects in the minors, but there are games going on every night for the big league club as well. But with another historic season taking place on the field, it’s much more appealing to look elsewhere.

Adley Rutschman provides a level of hope fans can’t get from the Major League roster, and Hyde recognizes that.

“We’re just looking to get talent, guys that can be impact players,” Hyde explained. “You don’t want to label a guy or put too much pressure on someone, but obviously he’s done a lot of really good things at the amateur level and we’re really excited to have him in our organization. So there’s a lot of excitement.”

The Orioles manager came to Baltimore from a Chicago Cubs franchise known for developing high-end talent.

“I was the farm director when we drafted Bryant, obviously saw Almora and Baez and all those guys,” Hyde answered when asked how Rutschman compares. “He’s along those lines of being a real mature kid, looking forward to go play, you can tell he’s really excited and we’re obviously looking forward to getting him going and watching him play.”

Of course, it’s not just former Cubs prospects who have provided a template for success Rutschman can follow. Somebody a little closer to home just so happened to be sitting in the third base dugout Tuesday night.

“Just soak it all in, enjoy it all," Manny Machado told the media to laughter when asked what advice he would give Rutschman. "You know I wasn’t a number one overall pick, so it’s different. I mean just enjoy yourself. It’s an opportunity that he worked for his entire life to get to that situation, he finally got drafted by a ballclub...the only advice I can give is to continue to have fun, just enjoy yourself every moment of the way and just keep working as hard as you possibly can to reach your goals. Just because you got picked, one of those goals is scratched off, but there’s so many more to be accomplished. Just keep working as hard as you can to be the best person you can be, the best ballplayer you can be, and everything else will just take care of itself.”

It’s a mature response from a matured player, one who not too long ago found himself in the same position as Rutschman: top prospect for a franchise desperate to field a winner.

Trying to build that winner is GM Mike Elias, who emphasized just how critical bringing in a player like Rutschman is.

“This was the biggest decision this organization is going to make this year, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the outcome,” Elias said Tuesday. “We’re looking for building blocks and found a big piece of that with Adley.”

It’s going to be a few years until Rutschman is able to truly take over the mantle of face of the Orioles. As Hyde reminded the media, “it’s still so far away.”

For now, Rutschman will have to settle for face of the rebuild, a position Machado was all-too-familiar with. 

But even an elongated timeline couldn’t keep Tuesday from feeling like a milestone in the history of the franchise, at the intersection of it’s past, present and future. It was a figurative passing of the torch, if not a literal one.

It is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all. Fans at the park felt that as they welcomed back Manny Machado with open arms.

And if their warm reception for Adley Rutschman is any indication, they are more than ready to love again.

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Not everyone thinks the Redskins need to invest more at wide receiver

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Not everyone thinks the Redskins need to invest more at wide receiver

While the rumors about the Redskins potentially trading for Marvin Jones from over the weekend were total nonsense, a reason they resonated so much with fans is because many believe Washington needs major help at wide receiver.

But during a segment of Monday's Redskins 100 show, analyst Trevor Matich assessed the position group and actually thinks that, as a whole, the team should be relatively pleased with the talent it has outside.

"I like it better than I have in recent years, especially if Paul Richardson stays healthy," Matich said.

His "especially" qualifier is a common one, and that's because Richardson is the most established wideout currently on the roster — and he still has just 1,564 career receiving yards to his name. However, a healthy Richardson (which the 'Skins never really saw in his first year, considering he got injured early in training camp and was never the same) provides Jay Gruden the field stretcher he loves to have.

Richardson isn't the only player Matich is anxious to see, though.

"Terry McLaurin, their draft choice from Ohio State, is legitimately a 4.3 guy," he said. "He gets deep down the field and catches the ball in space."

One of the biggest issues for the 2018 Redskins was a lack of speed at every single spot. In Richardson and McLaurin, the Burgundy and Gold now have a pair of pass catchers who can fly past corners, do damage 30-plus yards down the sideline and open things up for other targets as well.

Overall, in reacting to the Jones storyline, Matich really doesn't see a huge need for the organization to make any additions to that collection of pieces. 

"I think that when you take a look at all the other guys, Trey Quinn in the slot, things like that, this receiving corps is fine," he said. "It's not desperate. They don't need to invest resources to bring extra people in."

Now, is "fine" and "not desperate" the level the front office and coaches want their receivers to be? Of course not. But Matich's stance is intriguing, because he's content with who'll be lining up there while plenty of others absolutely don't see it that way and feel a trade would be prudent.

If you're in that second group, recent history indicates this is the dead zone for NFL deals. So try not to waste your time refreshing Twitter over and over and over.

Perhaps Washington gets to Richmond and, after a few weeks of practices and a couple of exhibition contests, realizes their depth chart could use another name. Or maybe an injury happens and forces their hand. But according to Matich, as of now, the offense can function with the parts it has in place.

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