“We’re not anxious about that now”. There’s always the possibility Washington drops the ball, as he did on the next play.
“We hung in there”. Like Petersen said this week, “We definitely need to run the ball better than we have”. But the run game stalled in the fourth quarter, allowing UT to rally from 21 points down in a 45-44 Cal win. “Washington just beat us down”, Cal linebacker Michael Barton said.
There was plenty of bad stuff. It was the first touchdown pass surrendered by the Huskies this season. In his career, Goff has thrown for 8,379 yards, 62 touchdowns, and just 19 interceptions. But UW (2-2, 0-1) pulled back to within six after a field goal of its own. The offense struggled to stay on the field, and quarterback Jake Browning looked very much like a true freshman at several points. It was the ninth interception of the season by the Bears, who began the day tied for the national lead in that category. But after a bye, the next game is a Thursday night affair at the Los Angeles Coliseum and coach Steve Sarkisian, the coach who hired all the older players and then abandoned them.
“If the ball hits my hands, I’ve got to catch it, regardless”, Washington said. “To our guys’ credit, they’ve done that”. Though Goff two seasons ago passed for more yards and touchdowns in the first three games of his career than Browning has with the Huskies, Browning has a significant advantage in completion percentage and overall rating. Think Danny Shelton – Qualls (only a sophomore) was a monster up front for the Huskies.
So he tucked the ball under his arm and charged hard into a pile of bodies, then got the first down with a second-effort surge. They rose to No. 2 in the rankings after four games and were poised to move into the top spot for the first time ever before an end-of-game meltdown in a 31-28 home loss to Oregon State. Dwayne Washington and Jaydon Mickens have combined for 316 receiving yards and two touchdowns while Joshua Perkins has eight receptions. But he also lost the fumble to Jones and was stopped three straight times from the 1-yard line midway through the second quarter.
The Bears are undefeated through four games for the first time since 2007, when they opened the year with five consecutive victories.
“It feels really good”, said cornerback Darius White, who had an interception and a fumble recover.
Cal is 3-0, off to its best start since 2011, and is 10th among unranked teams receiving votes in the Amway Coaches Poll.
The game did not start as excitingly as it concluded.
But Cal senior defensive end Kyle Kragen had a monster game, with 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble in the first half alone.
Dykes said the experience Goff earned in such a high-pressure situation is part of the reason he’s become so effective and highly regarded as a quarterback.
Anderson bailed out the offense by delivering field goals of 32 and 41 yards in the half.
A balanced Cal passing attack will face a stiff test at Washington. The Bears took advantage of three UW turnovers to assemble a precarious lead after a unusual first half.
But the defense had its moments, including a goal-line stand in the second quarter that denied a fourth-and-one run, followed by the surrender of only a field goal after a short-field possession gifted by a UW turnover. With Danny Shelton, Hau’oli Kikaha, Shaq Thompson and many others, the plan was to push Goff off of the launching platform and make him uncomfortable. It took only seven plays for the Bears to turn that into points, and Goff threaded a pass to Bryce Treggs for a 28-yard score that made the score 20-7 at intermission.