Cal's Upset Bid Against No. 9 Oregon Fails in 17-24 Defeat
Golden Bears kept the game close against the top-10 Ducks
Quarterback Chase Garbers threw for 247 yards and two touchdowns but could not lead the California Golden Bears (1-5, 0-3 Pac-12) to victory over the No. 9 Oregon Ducks (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12), losing 17-24, Friday night.
But it was not for lack of trying, as the Golden Bears put up 402 yards of offense, the fourth time this season racking up more than 400 yards of offense.
With two seconds left in the game, Garbers decided to pass on fourth-and-two to set up a potential game-tying or game-winning play.
With the game on the line, the Newport Beach, Calif., native looked to the right-side of the field and found two of his favorite targets: wide receiver Kekoa Crawford on the goal line and tight end Trevon Clark at the back of the end zone.
Hurried by Oregon inside linebacker Noah Sewell in an all-out blitz, the California quarterback attempted a pass to Crawford, but the ball would fall incomplete in the endzone.
“It’s very frustrating, extremely frustrating, so there’s no other adjectives to use. It’s very frustrating,” California head coach Justin Wilcox said in the post-game press conference.
Despite being the underdog, California kept the contest close, even leading the top-10 team twice.
Garbers connected with tight end Gavin Reinwald with a four-yard pass to start the fourth quarter with a 17-10 lead, California's second lead of the night. The catch was Reinwald’s third career touchdown reception and Garbers’ 43rd. With the touchdown pass, Garbers tied Cal’s eight-place all-time record for passing touchdowns with Aaron Rodgers.
The Golden Bears earned its first lead of the game after scoring on its first possession.
After the California defense held the Oregon Ducks to a 49-yard field goal to start the game, Garbers found tight end Jake Tonges for a nine-yard touchdown pass.
Friday night’s defeat is California’s fourth loss by seven points or fewer this season.
“Obviously, it’s disappointing to lose. We’re right there each and every time, week in and week out. There’s just certain plays looking back obviously that you can do better,” Garbers told reporters after the game.
Garbers continued: “I think our team is very hungry. We’re eager to learn and move onto the next opportunity at bay, but we’re very eager to play our next opponent, learn from this tape, and move on.”
The Golden Bears will hope to earn its first win against a top-tier Football Bowl Subdivision team next Saturday, Oct. 23, against the Colorado Buffaloes (1-4, 0-2 Pac-12) in Berkeley, Calif.
Like California, the Buffaloes are also winless against Football Bowl Subdivision teams and in Pac-12 league play.