It wasn’t always pretty for the California Golden Bears (2-4, 1-2), a team that committed 11 penalties for 100 yards and 3 turnovers on Saturday night. Nevertheless, it was the UCLA Bruins that turned out to be the sloppier squad, and the Bears were able to cash in with a 43-17 victory in front of Cal’s homecoming crowd.
Bruins quarterback Brett Hundley was 31-for-47 for 253 yards and two touchdowns, but it was his five turnovers that really hurt UCLA. His first was a fumble early in the second quarter that Cal turned into a 67-yard touchdown drive. Next, in the waning seconds of the first half, Hundley threw an interception deep in Cal territory that prevented the Bruins from scoring. With just over 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter Hundley threw another pick, and this one was deep inside Bruin territory. Cal moved the ball with ease and Zach Maynard capped off the drive with a keeper for six.
Maynard rebounds nicely
Cal seemed to have everything go their way on offense and a big reason for that was Zach Maynard. The oft-criticized quarterback finished 25-for-30 for 295 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Tight end Richard Rodgers, who has been hobbled for much of the season with a foot injury, was one of Maynard’s favorite targets, catching seven passes for 129 yards. Then it was wide receiver Keenan Allen, who continued to bolster his NFL draft stock, this time by grabbing eight catches for 79 yards and two touchdowns.
Maynard completed 83% of his passes on Saturday, a welcomed statistic considering he completed only 32.1% of his throws last week and was previously 57.5% on the season.
Big play Bigelow
Coach Jeff Tedford said that he would get Brendan Bigelow more involved, and this time he meant it — the Bears opened up the game with three straight runs to Bigelow. He didn’t see many handoffs after that, being eclipsed by CJ Anderson and Isi Sofele, but his biggest play of the game was a 32-yard catch and run for a score in the third quarter. Spread out as a wide receiver, he caught the quick strike and used his speed to turn the bubble screen into a score. Bigelow just seems to have a nose for the end zone; in fact, he’s scoring one touchdown for every six touches this season.
— With the win, Cal has defeated their first FBS team of the season. It was perhaps their most promising effort too – UCLA, No. 25 in the nation coming into the game, was the first Pac-12 opponent they’ve beaten. But they aren’t out of the woods just yet. In order to salvage their season, Cal must take on Washington State and Utah on the road, face Washington at home and battle three ranked opponents in Stanford, Oregon and Oregon State.
— Brett Hundley was sacked five times by the Bears, including two from defensive end Chris McCain. McCain (6-6, 225 lbs) was fantastic in this game, and he looked a lot like Aldon Smith, both in build and ability.
— Although Maynard was only sacked three times, Cal’s season total has reached 28, tying the number of sacks they allowed all last season.
— Cal cornerback Marc Anthony left the game after aggravating his bruised knee. Sophomore cornerback Kameron Jackson stepped in for Marc Anthony and had quite a game, accounting for three of Hundley’s four interceptions.
— This is the seventh straight time that Cal has beaten UCLA in Memorial Stadium.