California's Secondary Shows Cracks in 42-30 Victory Against Sacramento State Football

Golden Bears outgained by the FCS' Hornets in the air

California wide receiver Nikko Remigio returned a kick-off for 99 yards and a touchdown against the Sacramento State Hornets. (Photo Courtesy: Cal Athletics via Al Sermeno of KLC fotos)

Chase Garbers threw for 288 yards, two touchdowns and one interception to lead the California Golden Bears (1-2) to a 42-30 victory over the Sacramento State Hornets (1-2) on Saturday.

As in their previous games this season, the Golden Bears had a hot start. Garbers completed the first quarter with a perfect 11-for-11 passing record.

Garbers found Jeremiah Hunter and Trevon Clark, who each scored a touchdown.

Hunter’s touchdown, a career-long 45-yard reception, was the sophomore wide receiver’s first in his career. He pulled in 78 yards and was targeted seven times by Garbers.

Despite being in the lower-division Football Championship Subdivision, the Hornets were able to keep up with California and its “Power Five” athletes.

“It’s hard winning in college football no matter who you’re playing,” California Head Coach Justin Wilcox said in the post-game media conference.

Sacramento State took advantage of California’s defense, which struggled to limit the Hornets’ gains after contact, all afternoon.

Sacramento State gained 467 yards to California’s 534 yards, including 370 yards thrown from junior quarterback Jake Dunniway.

Dunniway carved up the Golden Bears’ secondary, completing 25 of his 43 attempts and one touchdown apiece to his wide receiver Pierre Williams and tight end Marshel Martin. He gave up only one interception to California and zero sacks.

Williams led the Hornets with 121 receiving yards, including a big play of 35 yards in the fourth quarter, which cut California’s final advantage to 42-30.

After trailing the home team at halftime 6-21, Sacramento State outscored California 24-21 in the second half.

Senior wide receiver Nikko Remigio returned a kick-off 99 yards for a touchdown to begin the third quarter, but California seemed to gain no advantage in offensive momentum.

“I hold myself and everyone on the offensive side of the ball to a higher standard,” Remigio said in the post-game media conference.

With the favorable result, California avoided going winless in non-conference games for the first time in Wilcox's career as head coach of the Golden Bears. Before the 2021 season, Wilcox's Golden Bears was 9-0 in regular-season non-conference games.