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Cal Football Game Thread: Bears' Two-Point Try Stopped in 34-32 Loss to TCU

Golden Bears start 0-2 vs. two nonconference for the first time since 2001.

Cal falls to 0-2 with its 34-32 loss at TCU on Saturday.

Here's how it unfolded: 


8:43 3rd Q: TCU sliced through Cal's defense on a 75-yard drive opening the half that was capped by Max Duggan's 18-yard strike down the middle to WR Quentin Johnston. The PAT puts the home  team ahead for the first time. Now we find out whether the Bears can play from behind in the heat. TCU 21, Cal 19.

5:14 3rd Q:After a 3-and-out by the Cal offense, TCU fails to cash in a great chance with Griffin Kell badly misses a 39-yard field goal. TCU 21, Cal 19.

END OF THIRD QUARTER: Cal has a third-and-3 from its own 27 when the fourth quarter begins. Hardly a productive third quarter for the Bears, who were scoreless and had just 46 yards of offense. TCU 21, Cal 19.


11:37 4th Q: Cal puts together its first effective drive (80 yards) of the second half, with Damien Moore running 12 yards hard through the middle of the line to score the go-ahead touchdown. Garbers converted a third down with a 16-yard completion to TE Jake Tonges (plus a roughing the passer penalty), then converted another with an 18-yard scramble to the TCU 17 on a third-and-13 play. Cal 26, TCU 21.

9:53 4th Q: The Horned Frogs responded in just four plays, with Duggan passing 45 yards to Quentin Johnston for the TD. TCU failed to convert a 2-point try. TCU 27, Cal 26.

5:47 4th Q: The Horned Frogs are now just running the ball right at the Cal defense and getting huge gains. Evans had runs of 8 and 15 yards and Duggan an 18-yarder before he scores on a 9-yard keeper. Cal's defense, which allows Nevada just 61 rushing yards, has given up 260 on the ground in this one, including 178 by Evans. TCU 34, Cal 26.

4:09 4th Q: The Bears pull within 2 points when Damien Moore dashes 12 yards up the middle for the TD. Garbers completed a 42-yard pass to Jeremiah Hunter one player earlier to set up the score. Cal then went for two point and Moore's knee hit the ground before the ball squirted loose as he approached the end zone. TCU 34, Cal 32.


TCU kicks off to open the game. A touchback and Cal will start at its own 25.

10:05 1st Q: Bears use a 49-yard completion to Kekoa Crawford to get into the TCU red zone, but the Horned Frogs stop Cal on fourth down at the 7.

6:44 1st Q: Cal takes over on offense at its own 32 after forcing a TCU punt. Cal 0 TCU 0.

5:01 1st Q: Garbers goes deep again, hitting Trevon Clark for a 54-yard TD. Third time already they have thrown deep and the result is two completions and a pass interference. A huge departure from last week. Bears botch the snap on the PAT and can't add the seventh point. Cal 6, TCU 0.

END OF FIRST QUARTER: Cal outgained the Horned Frogs 136 yards to 37 in the opening quarter. Garbers was 5-for-6 for 115 yards and a TD. TCU's Max Duggan was 3-for-8 for 24 yards. Cal doing a great job of pressing Duggan. JH Tevis involved with that and Cameron Goode has a 12-yard sack on TCU's most recent possession. Cal will begin the second quarter with a second-and-7 play from its own 8-yard line. Cal 6, TCU .


10:02 2nd Q: Safety Daniel Scott picks off Duggan on 3rd-and-16 from the TCU 5-yard line and returns it 9 yards for a touchdown. Jaeden Roberts with great pressure on Duggan on the previous play, prompting an intentional grounding penalty. The PAT is a mess. Cal gets called for delay of game before trying for two. Then after kicking the PAT, TCU is flagged for offsides, and Cal tries again for two points. Garbers throws incomplete and the Bears are 0-for-2 on PAT tries. Cal 12, TCU 0. 

6:01 2nd Q: TCU strikes back with a nine-play, 75-yard scoring drive. Max Duggan throws 30 yards to WR Blair Conwright for the TD. Duggan had a nine-yard scramble for a first down on a third-and-8 play to set up the score. Cal 12, TCU 7.

5:09 2nd Q: Well, that didn't take long . . . 52 seconds, to be exact. Garbers goes deep immediately, hitting wide-open Clark for 68 yards to the TCU 7-yard line. Then he throws the 7-yard TD pass to Nikko Remigio. This, a simple PAT kick and the Bears converted it. Garbers is 10-for-12 for 228 yards and 2 TDs. That's 51 more yards than he had all last week vs. Nevada. If this is the Bill Musgrave offense, Cal fans must be loving it. Cal 19, TCU 7.

0:11 2nd Q: Zach Evans races 51 yards for a touchdown and TCU closes the gap before halftime. But you have to wonder about Cal's third-and-2 play call from its own 28-yard line with less than a minute to play in the half. The Bears threw incomplete deep rather than running the ball, which would have kept the clock moving. After the Cal punt, TCU started at its own 35 and with 41 seconds left. The Horned Frogs needed just two plays to score. Cal 19, TCU 14.

HALFTIME SUMMARY: Cal has an edge of 257 yards and 204 yards despite a big second quarter by the Horned Frogs. Garbers is 11-for-14 for 235 yards with 2 TDs, 0 INTs. He is averaging 21.4 yards per completion. TCU's Duggan is 9-for-17 for 11 yards with a TD and an INT. Trevon Clark has 2 receptions for 122 yards and a TD for the Bears. Cal has just 22 rushing yards, compared 93 for TCU, which got 92 yards and 9 carries from Zach Evans. 

Safety Daniel Scott has 4 tackles and a pick-six for the Cal defense and OLB Cameron Goode, in his return home to Texas, has 2 of Cal's 3 sacks. OLB Kuony Deng, injured in the first quarter, returned to the sidelines on crutches. Cal 19, TCU 14.


Cal will have to play better on both sides of the line of scrimmage today to upend the host TCU Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Bears weren't happy with their effort on offense, defense or special teams in their 22-17 season-opening loss to Nevada last Saturday.

TCU wasn't the least bit challenged by FCS visitor Duquesne, posting a 45-3 victory in a same so one-sided the coaches agreed to shorten the third and fourth quarters from 15 to 12 minutes.

In the video at the top, senior defensive back Josh Drayden, returning home to play in his native Texas, talks about the Bears' 10-7 overtime loss to TCU in the 2018 Cheez-It Bowl.

"It was a long time ago, but it's still in our heads," Drayden said before talking about coach Gary Patterson's Horned Frogs.

Cal will try to avoid its first 0-2 start to the season against nonconference opponents since 2001, when the Bears lost their first 10 games under coach Tom Holmoe.

Besides the Horned Frogs, Cal will have to deal with temperatures expected to be in the mid-90s. Coach Justin Wilcox said the Bears began hydrating early in the week to prepare for conditions in Texas .

BEARS IN THE LONE STAR STATE: Amazingly, Cal has won the past six games it played within Texas borders, spanning more than a half-century:

-2015: d. Air Force 55-36 in the Armed Forces Bow at Fort Worth

- 2015: d. Texas 45-44 at Austin

- 2007: d. Air Force 42-36 in the Armed Forces Bowl at Fort Worth

- 1997: d. Houston 35-3 in the Astrodome

- 1993: d. Iowa 37-3 in the Alamo Bowl at San Antonio

- 1983: d. Texas A&M 19-17 at College Station

Cal hasn't lost in the state since 1970, when they feel 56-15 to Texas in Austin and two weeks later lost 28-0 to Rice in Houston. The tough scheduling paid off: the Bears went on to post victories over Washington, USC and Stanford that season.


*** Here's our game preview box

*** Quarterback Chase Garbers was pulled at halftime three years ago, but says he never took it personally

*** Coordinators Peter Sirmon and Bill Musgrave expect big steps forward this week.


Cover photo of Amon G. Carter Stadium courtesy of TCU Athletics 

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