Cal lost to TCU 34-32 Saturday afternoon in Fort Worth, Texas.
Three missed extra-point opportunities after touchdowns ruined Cal (0-2), which for the second straight week held an early two-touchdown lead before losing.
TCU improved to 2-0, with the big defensive play being a stop of Cal running back Damien Moore on Cal's two-point conversion attempt with 4:09 left in the fourth quarter
Cal held an early 12-0 lead, but a bad snap ruined the extra-point attempt after the first touchdown and the Bears failed to convert a two-point attempt after the second touchdown.
The Bears led 19-7 before a 51-yard touchdown run by TCU's Zach Evans with 11 seconds left in the second quarter cut the Bears' lead to 19-14 at halftime. TCU then drove 75 yards on 15 plays to score a touchdown at the start the third quarter, giving the Horned Frogs their first lead, at 21-19.
Cal regained the lead 26-21 on a 12-yard Damien Moore touchdown run with 11:37 left in the fourth quarter that completed an 80-yard drive.
TCU went back ahead on a 45-yard touchdown pass to Quentin Johnson, giving the Horned Frogs a 27-26 lead with 9:53 remaining, and a 9-yard Max Duggan run with 5:47 to go ended an 81-yard drive that made it 34-26.
Cal's got to within 34-32 on a scoring drive, with a 42-yard completion to Jeremiah Hunter being the big play in that 75-yard drive. But Damien Moore's run on the two-point try was stopped short.
Cal suffered a key player loss when starting outside linebacker Kuony Deng left the field in the first half with an apparent leg injury. He did not return, and his status for next week's game against Sacramento State is unclear.
TCU 34, CAL 32.
RECORDS: CAL (0-2), TCU (2-0)
PLAYER OF THE GAME: TCU running back Zach Evans. He had 183 rushing yards, including a key 51-yard touchdown run at the end of the first half.
TURNING POINT: With Cal leading 19-7, TCU got the ball at its own 35-yard line with 27 seconds left in the second quarter. The Horned Frogs scored a touchdown on two plays, the second being a 51-yard scoring run by Zach Evans that reduced the Cal lead to 19-14 with 11 seconds left in the half. TCU then scored on the opening possession of the second half to take the lead.
KEY PLAY I: With Cal leading 6-0, Bears safety Daniel Scott intercepted a Max Duggan pass at the TCU 9-yard line and returned it for a touchdown to make the score 12-0 with 10:02 left in the first half. Cal's attempt for a two-point conversion failed.
KEY PLAY II: TCU went ahead on a 45-yard touchdown pass to Quentin Johnson, giving the Horned Frogs a 27-26 lead with 9:53 left in the fourth quarter.
KEY PLAY III: A 33-yard run by Max Duggan was the big play in an 81-yard scoring drive that gave TCU at 34-26 lead with 5:47 remaining.
KEY PLAY IV: Damien Moore's run on a two-point try after a Cal touchdown was stopped just short, leaving Cal behind 34-32 with 4:09 left.
STAT OF THE GAME: Cal's Chase Garbers had four pass completions of more than 40 yards: Trevon Clark had catches of 54 and 68 yards, Kekoa Crawford had a 49-yard reception, and Jeremiah Hunter had a 42-yard catch. An inability to produce explosive plays has been the Bears' biggest offensive shortcoming the past four seasons.
QUARTERBACK STATS: .Cal's Chase Garbers was 16-of-27 for 309 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. .TCU's Max Duggan was 17-of-31 for 234 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He also had 71 yards rushing,
RUNNING BACK STATS: Damien Moore led Cal with 71 yards. Zach Evans led TCU with 183 yards.
RECEIVERS STATS: Trevon Clark had two catches for 122 yards for Cal. Quentin Johnson had five catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns for TCU.
PLAYER AVAILABILITY: Outside linebacker Kuony Deng suffered an apparent leg injury in the first half and left the field. He did not return. LB Trey Paster and WR J. Michael Studivant were not available because of injuries
WHAT IT MEANS: Cal, which started 0-3 last year, has lost its first two games in consecutive seasons for the first time since starting 0-2 in both 1994 and 1995.
CAL'S BOWL BAROMETER: Cal now has about a 30 percent chance of landing a bowl berth. Oddsmakers put the over/under on Cal's win total for the season at six.
NEXT GAME: Sacramento State (1-1) at Cal, Saturday, September 18. Kickoff: 1 p.m. TV: Pac-12 Networks. Sac State is an FCS school, and its head coach is former Cal quarterback Troy Taylor. The Hornets beat Dixie State 19-7 in their opener and lost to Northern Iowa 34-16 is their second game Saturday night. The Hornets won the Big Sky Conference title two years ago but did not play football in 2020-21.
Cover photo of Nikko Remigio is by Jerome Miron, USA TODAY Sports
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