Updated: Saturday, September 11, 2004 8:50 AM EDT
NCAA FOOTBALL PREVIEW
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New Mexico St (0-1) at No. 13 California (1-0)
NEW MEXICO ST. AGGIES
New Mexico St. Aggies
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CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS
California Golden Bears
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BERKELEY, California (Ticker) -- No. 13 California had better take a long look around Memorial Stadium when its host New Mexico State in its home opener Saturday, because the Golden Bears won't see the facility for a while.

The Bears opened the season with a 56-14 road rout of Air Force last week and hit the road for their next three games, including an October 9 date with co-national champions USC. Cal's next home game is not until October 16, when it hosts UCLA.

Against the Falcons, the Bears racked up 573 yards and the defense clamped down in the second half, surrendering only 56 yards and five first downs.

Junior Aaron Rodgers had a strong start, completing 11-of-16 passes for 208 yards and a touchdown. Senior running back J.J. Arrington rushed 16 times for 181 yards and three TDs.

Life for the Aggies doesn't get any easier as they visit Berkeley after receiving a 63-13 beating at Arkansas. The Razorbacks jumped out to a 35-0 lead and never looked back.

New Mexico State struggled on both sides of the ball, allowing 548 yards while gaining only 216, including just 55 rushing on 29 attempts. Buck Pierce was the lone bright spot for the Aggies, completing 17-of-23 passes for 161 yards and two TDs.

The Aggies will have to come up with some defense and protect the ball if they hope to spring the upset, and Pierce should be able to at least hold up his end of the bargain. He has a streak of 39 passes without throwing an interception and has thrown only seven picks in 337 career attempts.

Saturday's game marks just the second meeting between the schools. Cal won the first, 34-13, here on September 7, 2002.


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