Independence Bowl 2023 Insta-Recap & Rate the Game: Cal blasted by Texas Tech 34-14
After a strong start, the California Golden Bears were ripped apart in Shreveport
This was a tough epilogue for the California Golden Bears in the 2023 season. After starting out strong to go up 14-7, the Bears were outclassed by the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the final three quarters, getting outscored 27-0.
The battle was mostly won in the trenches, where Texas Tech bottled up Jaydn Ott to 42 yards rushing and sacked Fernando Mendoza six times, as the Red Raiders racked up 13 tackles for loss. Cal did a decent job holding Tahj Brooks in check to 99 yards, but Behren Morton completed 14 of his first 18 passes for 182 yards and three touchdowns and that early precision made all the differences.
Cal would go three (or four)-and-out on five of its remaining possessions, and turn the football over (downs, fumble and interceptions) on five other possessions. Texas Tech scored on four of their seven possessions to turn a 14-7 deficit into a 31-14 lead, and essentially held steady the rest of the way. Mendoza committed several turnovers in the last few drives to seal the Texas Tech win.
Cal falls to 6-7 in their final year in the Pac-12. They will start the 2024 season in the ACC. There’s a lot to fix and a lot to figure out before that happens.