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Cal Football's Explosive Plays Not Enough Against the TCU Horned Frogs
Golden Bears defense give up more than 500 yards to the TCU Horned Frogs
Chase Garbers threw for 309 yards and two touchdowns and added 55 yards rushing, but the California redshirt senior’s best efforts were not enough to upset TCU on Saturday.
With the result, head coach Gary Patterson maintained his perfect record against Pac-12 Conference teams, as the Texas Christian Horned Frogs (2-0) beat back the California Golden Bears (0-2), 34-32, in Fort Worth, Texas.
California, 11-point underdogs before kick-off, kept the match-up close and exceeded Las Vegas oddsmakers’ expectations with several explosive plays.
Garbers found redshirt senior Kekoa Crawford down the middle of the field for a gain of 49 yards to the TCU 16-yard line on the fourth play of the game. While the Golden Bears’ first drive ended with a TCU stop on fourth down, the California quarterback continued attacking the TCU secondary.
On the next Golden Bears drive, after forcing TCU to punt from their 27-yard line, Garbers connected with senior wide receiver Trevon Clark on a 54-yard touchdown to score first, giving California a 6-0 lead.
Clark, who completed Saturday afternoon with only two receptions, also caught a pass from Garbers for 68 yards in the first quarter. The blockbuster reception set up a 7-yard touchdown the very next play, as Garbers connected with senior receiver Nikko Remigio to bring the scoreline in California's favor, 18-13.
“We took deep shots this week because we saw the [TCU] defense was vulnerable,” Garbers said in the post-game media conference. “TCU was more aggressive in their defense play call... We saw that on film. We wanted to exploit that.”
“We won the one-on-one battle on the outside,” Garbers concluded.
Unfortunately, California’s defense could not make the plays needed to win, often missing tackles that led to significant gains for the Horned Frogs.
The five-star running back Zach Evans ran for 183 yards on 22 carries, including a 51-yard score for the Horned Frogs before halftime.
“Yards after contact in the run game is something that we're going to have to improve on,” California Head Coach Justin Wilcox told reporters after the game.
TCU clinched the victory with a 45-yard touchdown reception from wide-out Quentin Johnston with 9:53 left in the fourth quarter. Johnston shook off a Cal defender at the 30 and another inside the 10-yard line to score.