California's Secondary Shows Cracks in 42-30 Victory Against Sacramento State Football
Golden Bears outgained by the FCS' Hornets in the air
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.
Dylan Morris, the Washington quarterback, is smacking his lips about now. I just read in the Dawg Poung, the Huskies blog, that Washington's receiver corps is returning to full strength after some early injuries. I knew that Washington was going to be better this week, but I am stunned they put that kind of hurt on Arkansas State to the tune of a 52-3 smackdown. Arkansas State dropped 50 on Memphis a week ago, and Memphis just beat previously undefeated Mississippi State today. The voodoo that Wilcox put on Washington the last two games relied on a potent defense. We just saw today that all traces of that magic are gone.
We really miss Alexander. Tre Watson is our DB coach. I was very leery about hiring him after reading his resume because he had only ONE YEAR OF ACTUAL COACHING EXPERIENCE (AT UNLV AS A DEFENSIVE BACK COACH) BEFORE COMING TO CAL. That's very little concerning considering Cal is a Power 5 football school. Before that he was a defensive graduate assistant ("coach" is not added to those three words) at Oregon for two seasons.
The best area of our team this season, at least for two games, is probably our running backs (though Garbers has performed well the last two games), who have performed admirably. Our coach there, Aristotle Thompson, was the running backs coach at Cal Poly for eleven years and had other responsibilities there, like assistant head coach while handling running back coaching duties for an additional three seasons, before he joined us in 2020.
Now that type of experience is what I would prefer a new Cal coach to have, especially if he is a good recruiter. I'd say being a very good football coach in teaching players how to play their position, like TDR, is more important to Cal's football fortunes than how well you are as a recruiter, but having both skills is obviously best.