Cal Football Outclassed by Washington State, Loses 6-21
Golden Bears scored only one touchdown in homecoming game
The California Golden Bears (1-4, 0-2 Pac-12) scored only one touchdown and lost its homecoming game against the Washington State Cougars (2-3, 1-2 Pac-12), 6-21, on Saturday.
California’s sole score came on the home team’s first possession. Senior running back Christopher Brooks beat two Cougar defenders for an 11-yard rushing touchdown.
Brooks’ trip to the endzone, his 15th career touchdown, came in response to a Washington State 22-yard touchdown pass brought in by Cougar wide receiver Calvin Jackson, Jr., on third down and 4.
Despite the back-to-back scoring on consecutive drives to start the game, California still trailed after the touchdown. The Golden Bears would go on to botch the snap on the point-after attempt, a continuing trend this season.
“It didn’t look good, really. We didn’t have any consistency throughout the game running the ball, blocking the pass rush, throwing it,” said California head coach Justin Wilcox in the post-game press conference.
“We didn’t really do much of anything all that well, and you know, that’s on me,” added Coach Wilcox. “My job is to prepare our team to be successful, and I failed.”
Indeed, California struggled all afternoon.
A bizarre play on Washington State’s second possession of the game may have been a preview of how the game would unfold for California.
On Washington State’s possession after Brooks’ touchdown, the California defense and special teams appeared to have made a big stop. The Golden Bears forced a three-and-out to push Nick Haberer to punt on fourth-and-6 from his 29-yard line.
California tight end Nick Alftin blocked the punt, but the ball was recovered by Washington State defensive end Ron Stone, Jr., on the Cougar 24-yard line. Instead of ending the drive for the Cougars, Stone, Jr., advanced the ball to the 36-yard line and earned the first down.
To add insult to injury to Cal fans, Washington State would score a touchdown on that drive. Jackson, Jr., brought in a five-yard touchdown with an athletic one-handed catch in the corner of the endzone.
The Cougar wide-out ended the day with 53 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns from six receptions.
The Golden Bears were outclassed by the Cougars defense, and the offense never found its rhythm.
For the first time this season, quarterback Chase Garbers did not throw a single touchdown.
The California redshirt senior finished the day with 152 passing yards, completing 14 out of 30 pass attempts, including one interception.
Garbers was also sacked by Washington State four times. It is part of the reason California only managed to earn 14 first downs compared to Washington State's 21.
The home team also went three for 15 on third down, including converting only one in seven third downs in the first half.
“There were some things we hadn't seen before,” Garbers told reporters after the game. “We’ve just got to play together as a whole.”
After a bye next week, California travels to Eugene, Ore., to face the Oregon Ducks (4-1, 1-1 Pac-12) on Friday, Oct. 15. The Ducks, ranked No. 3 this week, lost 24-31 to Stanford Saturday and is also idle next week.
California has lost the last six games at Autzen Stadium.