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Cal Football: Arizona In-Game Thread - Jaydn Ott Powers Bears to 49-31 Victory

Golden Bears and Wildcats renew wild rivalry in today's Pac-12 Conference opener.

Freshman Jaydn Ott rushed for 274 yards - the third-most in program history - and Cal won its Pac-12 opener, beating Arizona 49-31 in front of 37,216 fans at Memorial Stadium.

Ott ran 73 yards for a touchdown the first time he touched the ball Saturday afternoon and went 72 yards for a TD on last carry.

The Bears are 3-1 and 1-0 in Pac-12 play heading to Washington State next week.

-- Arizona wins the toss and defers. Cal will receive the opening kickoff.

14:17 1st Q: On second-and-8 from the 27, Jaydn Ott finds a hole through left and races 73 yards for a touchdown.. Key blocks by Brian Driscoll and freshman Sioape Vatikani, making his first career start. Cal 7, Arizona 0.

11:16 1st Q: Arizona strikes back with an 8-play, 75-yard drive capped by DJ Williams' 1-yard TD plunge. Quarterback Jayden de Laura, the WCU transfer, had completions of 17, 4, 7 and 25 yards on the drive. Cal 7, Arizona 7.

5:28 1st Q: Jaydn Ott started Cal's second possession with a 31-yard run and already has 106 rushing yards. But the Bears were forced to punt and Arizona responded with a 9-play, 92-yard scoring drive. Michael Wiley piled over from the 1 after the Cats ran off six first downs in nine plays. Arizona averaging 9.8 yards per play as the Bears are putting up little resistance. Arizona 14, Cal 7.

END OF 1ST QUARTER: Cal has the ball back and Ott has just run for 8 yards on first down. Cal will have second-and-2 from its own 28 when the second quarter begins. Ott has six carries for a career-best 127 yards. But Arizona has outgained Cal 213 yards to 125 and has a 12-3 edge in first downs. It's the most yards a Cal team coached by Justin Wilcox has allowed in the first quarter of any game. Jack Plummer off to a rough start: 2-for-5 for minus-2 yards. Jayden de Laura is 8-for-10 for 108 yards for the Wildcats. Arizona 14, Cal 7.

THIS JUST IN: At halftime, Cal's No.1-ranked water polo team is tied at 7-7 with No. 3 Stanford.

11:56 2nd Q: Cal ties it up on a 16-yard TD pass from Plummer to J.Michael Sturdivant, capping an 8-play, 80-yard drive  that also included a Plummer-to-Sturidvant completion of 36 yards. It appeared the drive ended at the Bears' 25-yard line when Plummer's screen pass to Mavin Anderson was tipped by defensive end Jalen Harris and intercepted by linebacker Jerry Roberts, who made a diving, one-handed grab. But an official review determined the ball hit the ground, and Cal kept possession. It was at that point, third-and-10 from the 33, that Plummer found Sturidvant for the 36-yard gain into Arizona territory. Cal 14, Arizona 14.

10:00 2nd Q: The Cats are pretty much doing what they want on offense. This time it was a 6-play, 75-yard drive, capped by de Laura's 24-yard TD pass to freshman Tetairoa McMillen, who leaped to take the ball from Cal cornerback Isaiah Young, who actually had good position. De Laura also had a 32-yard pass to Jacob Cowing on the drive. The Cats have 288 yards, averaging 9.9 yards per snap. Arizona 21, Cal 14.

3:40 2nd Q: Cal goes 82 yards in 13 plays and ties the game on a 3-yard run by DeCarlos Brooks. Plummer was 5-for-7 for 53 yards on the drive including a 15-yard completion to TE Elijah Mojarro for a first down at the 3. Cal 21, Arizona 21.

0:40 2nd Q: Arizona scores . . . but only a field goal this time. Ryan Puskas sacked de Laura on third down and the Wildcats settled for a 37-yard field goal by Tyler Loop. Arizona 24, Cal 21.

HALFTIME: Arizona 24, Cal 21. The Wildcats have stormed through the Cal defense for 329 yards at 8.7 yards per play. The Bears actually have had a very good offensive game so far, gaining 295 yards at 8.9 per clip. Ott has 12 carries for 164 yards - needs 36 yards to become Cal's first 200-yard rusher since Patrick Laird had 214 vs. Oregon State in 2017. De Laura is 14 of 21 for 235 yards, including 5 for 109 yards to Jacob Cowing. Plummer is 10 for 17 for 116 yards and a TD. Worth noting that none of the players mentioned in this item were on their teams a year ago. Arizona gets the second half kickoff.

FROM THE POOL: Cal's top-ranked men's water polo team suffered its first defeat of the the season, falling 12-11 to Stanford at the MPSF Invitational at Stanford. The Bears are now 10-1.

9:17 3rd Q: Plummer throws his second TD pass of the game, a 3-yarder to TE Keleki Latu on fourth-and-1, and Cal goes in front. Latu also had a 23-yard reception on the eight-play 87-yard drive, while TE Elijah Mojarro caught passes of 20 and 9 yards. Cal 28, Arizona 24.

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4:59 3rd Q: Ott just scored on an amazing play from the 18-yard line. He burst into the line and reached the 13 when he was met by a horde of Wildcats. With his back to the end zone, he kept moving the pile and then burst free for the touchdown. Ott has 16 carries for 197 rushing yards. The 5-play, 58-yard drive was aided by a clear pass interference penalty against Arizona's Christian Young, who knocked into Jeremiah Hunter in the end zone. Cal 35, Arizona 24.

2:46 3rd Q: On third-and-21 from the Cal 32, de Laura is hit from behind by Orin Patu and fumbled. Myles Jernigan recovered for the Bears at the 29. Cal 35, Arizona 24.

14:53 4th Q: Plummer shows off his arm with a 37-yard strike to Hunter in the end zone and Cal has stretched its lead. Cal 42, Arizona 24.

12:36 4th Q: Arizona just reminded the Memorial Stadium crowd that this game isn't over yet. The Wildcats went 75 yards in six plays, using just 2 minutes, 17 seconds. De Laura threw 14 yards to Cowing for the TD. De Laura has 353 passing yards, Cowing has six catches for 123 yards. Cal 42, Arizona 31.

4:56 4th Q: Ott bursts 72 yards for another touchdown -- his third of the game -- and the game is on ice. Cal 49, Arizona 31.


*** Some pre-game reading: 

-- Cal alum and ESPN broadcaster Roxy Bernstein reports that the Atlantic Coast Conference has issued a private apology to the Bears and an acknowledgment that the offside penalty against Cal last week vs. Notre Dame was a mistake.

-- Our comprehensive preview of today's game.

-- We count down the five craziest games in the Cal-Arizona series (not including last year's fiasco).

-- A meeting of the Plummer brothers is not what it might have been.

-- We direct 5 Questions about the Wildcats to Arizona Daily Star beat writer Michael Lev.

-- Who will win this week in the Pac-12? Check our brilliant game predictions.

-- Cal's Jamieson Sheahan punted 11 times a year ago against Arizona. That's nothing. Read about the NCAA-record 36 punts once made in a single game. 


Cover photo of Cal running back DeCarlos Brooks by Matt Cashore, USA Today

Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo