The Cal Bears dropped another one at home to the Washington State Cougars. The Bears turned the ball over five times in route to a 44-22 drubbing at the hands of the lowly Wazzu Cougars. The Bears turned the ball over five times for the second straight week, as ball security was a major issue. Jared Goff set a Cal single game record with 504 yards passing, but he was outdone by the Cougars’ signal caller Connor Halliday, who finished with 521 passing yards. Halliday and the Cougars rolled up 570 yards of total offense against the Bears’ beleaguered defense.
The Bears got off to another bad start, as they spotted the Cougars to a 14 point advantage in the first quarter. Cal received the open kick and drove down the field on their way to what would be an opening score, but Daniel Lasco fumbled inside the Washington State 10 yard line, which the Cougars recovered. The Cougars would capitalize on the mistake and put the Bears in an early 7-0 hole. The Cougars would add a second touchdown on their very next drive, as they went 85 yards on 11 plays. It was the same story as last week for the Bears, as poor offense and defense put them in an early hole.
The Bears would bounce back with a strong second quarter. The Bears would score 12 straight points to start off the second. Cal would fumble in the redzone again, as Bredan Bigelow would fumble the ball away with the Bears on the Cougars’ one yard line. The Bears would get some point out of it, as they would force a safety on the very next play. They would then get the ball back on the free kick and would drive down the field to set up a 35 yard field goal by Vincenzo D’Amato. Cal would get the ball back again following a Connor Halliday interception and would score their first touchdown on an 89 yard bomb from Jared Goff to Chris Haper. The teams would trade scores before halftime with Washington State adding another touchdown and the Bears adding a field goal to make it 21-15 at the break.
The defenses looked like they had adjusted at half with both teams trading punts on the opening two possessions. The Cougars would push their lead out to 13 points with 10 yard rushing touchdown. The Cougs would add another on 72 yard score from Halliday to Vince Mayle to push their lead to 20 points. Cal would pull it back to within two scores on their very next possession, as Goff would complete another huge completion. Goff would find James Grisom for a 53 yard score for his second touchdown pass of the day.
The Bears would just fall apart in the fourth quarter, as they could never mount a real comeback. They would get four possessions on offense, which would turn into a punt, two turnover on downs, and an interception on their final drive. The Cougars on the other hand would add nine more points with three field goal drives, as they would able to chew up huge chunks of clock to close out the game. The Cougars cruised to this victory easy in the second half, as they take it 44-22.
The Bears blueprint for failure was in full effect again, as they turned the ball over on offense and then could not stop the opposing offense at all on defense. Goff went 33 for 59 for 504 yards and two touchdowns and one interception. His favorite target was Harper, who had 13 receptions for 216 yards and a touchdown. The passing game was the lone bright spot, as the run game again failed to get anything going with just 79 yards on 2.7 per carry. The other big number is five turnovers, which include, two interceptions and three fumbles. That was Cal’s second straight game with five turnovers.
The defense was porous again, as they surrendered 570 yards of total offense. Halliday had a huge day, as he picked apart the Bears’ horrendous secondary. Halliday had 521 passing yards and three touchdowns. He had two receivers with over 100 yards receiving. Cal only forced a single turnover with a Halliday interception.
Cal’s season seems to be slipping away, as they needed this win to stay in the hunt for an outside shot at a bowl game. Next week does not get any easier with the Bears going to the Rose Bowl to take on the very impressive UCLA Bruins.