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Holiday Bowl 2004
March to victory derailed by Red Raiders

Cal players march to bus
Coach Tedford high-fives fansWith game day dawning sunny and full of promise, Cal players and Coach Jeff Tedford (right) took what was billed as the March to Victory, soaking up the adulation of thousands of fans as they left their San Diego hotel for the Holiday Bowl game Thursday. (Steve McConnell photos)

Confident Cal fans crowded aboard a San Diego trolley that was already carrying a load of nervous-looking Texas Tech supporters to Qualcomm Stadium. fans crowd trolley

Cal players march to bus
Coach Tedford high-fives fansIn the far reaches of the stadium parking lot, a sea of blue and gold fans noshed on tailgate fare. Among those at the Cal tailgate party for a drink and a quick chat with Bear backers was UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau (left).

Coach Tedford and his team burst into the stadium at the beginning of the game, their entry signalled by the California Victory Cannon. Golden Bears burst into the stadium

Cal students cheer on the Bears Fans in the packed Cal student section were lively and loud in their support of the Golden Bears.

Sign reads: Cal Home of free speech and great footballFans sign their praise for Aaron Rodgers and JJ Arrington
Signs praising Cal's team, its star players, and even its tradition of outspoken debate were a common sight in the stands, which appeared to be dominated by Berkeley partisans.

Cal quarterback Aaron Rodgers sets up to pass But while Cal's quarterback found the love of his fans, he didn't do quite so well finding the hands of his receivers, being thoroughly outgunned by Red Raider quarterback Sonny Cumbie's 40-for-60 performance.

At halftime — with the Bears down 24-14 — a marching band and fireworks spectacular filled the field and the sky with sound and light. Halftime fireworks show

Oski celebrates a Cal score There was still occasion for Oski and the rest of the Bear fans to celebrate, but Cal's 17 second-half points couldn't keep up with Texas Tech's relentless offense.

Cal players march to bus
Coach Tedford high-fives fansWith too few chances to cheer for Cal, Rally Committee members resorted to trying to rattle Texas Tech on the Red Raiders' too-frequent kickoffs. But even that wasn't enough, and in the waning minutes, Cal players cast a glum look at the scoreboard.

Oski wipes away a tear As the Bears' hopes for a bowl victory faded to black, Oski appeared to wipe away a tear.

Despite the defeat, there were smiles and mutual congratulations on the field after the game. Texas Tech players crowded around J.J. Arrington for a chance to have a word with the Cal star, whose 173 yards rushing broke the 2,000-yard mark for the season. Players congratulate each other

Tedford accepts post-game best wishes
Nor were things glum for Cal fans, despite their disappointment. Hundreds still thronged to the team hotel lobby for a postgame party, while Coach Tedford accepted best wishes from friends and fans at a late-night reception.
Cal fans in hotel lobby after the game

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