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Cal Football Game Summary: Bears Lose to UCLA

Cal's bowl hopes end. Bears play one more regular-season game next week against USC

Cal lost to UCLA 42-14 in Pasadena Saturday night, ending the Bears' hopes of a bowl berth and a winning season.

Cal had won three of previous four games, the only loss in that span being a 10-3 defeat against Arizona, when 24 Golden Bears players, including 10 starters, were unavailable because of COVID issues.

But Cal (4-7, 3-5 Pac-12) did virtually nothing offensively in the second half Saturday and suffered a decisive loss.

Cal quarterback Chase Garbers had a tough day with two interceptions and no touchdown passes, and his younger brother, UCLA quarterback Ethan Garbers got some garbage-time snaps at the end of the game.

Here are the facts of the game: 

UCLA 42, CAL 14 

RECORDS: CAL (4-7, 3-5 Pac-12), UCLA (8-4, 6-3 Pac-12)

PLAYER OF THE GAME: A close call between UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson and running back Zach Charbonnet. But we give it to Thompson-Robinson, who was 19-for-28 for 163 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions, and also ran for 102 yards.  Charbonnet ran for 106 yards yards and caught six passes for 41 yards

TURNING POINT:  After Cal scored to take a 14-10 lead in the second quarter, UCLA went 64 yards in a 13-play drive that ate up 6:29 and produced a touchdown that gave the Bruins a 17-14 lead with 26 seconds left in the first half.  UCLA scored a touchdown on its first possession of the third quarter, and Cal's offense did little in the second half and failed to score after halftime.

KEY PLAY 1: UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson completed a 24-yard pass to tight end Greg Dulcich on a second-and-14 play that started from the UCLA 49-yard line. It set up a 41-yard Nicholas Barr-Mira field goal that gave the Bruins a 3-0 lead with 9:33 left in the first quarter.

KEY PLAY 2: Cal's Nikko Remigio returned a kickoff 58 yards to the UCLA 41-yard line. But Cal could not score off it, as a fourth-and-4 pass by Chase Garbers from the UCLA 35-yard line went incomplete.

KEY PLAY 3: On a first-down play from the UCLA 49-yard line, Cal's Chase Garbers threw a pass that was intercepted by Jay Shaw at the Cal 42-yard line and returned it 18 yards to the Cal 40-yard line with 3:15 left in the first quarter. The Bruins converted the turnover in a touchdown as indicated in Key Play 4.

KEY PLAY 4: .Dorian Thompson-Robinson scrambled for 22 yards on a third-and-14 play from the Cal 44-yard line. Six plays later, Dorian Thompson-Robinson threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Phillips, giving UCLA a 10-0 lead with 14:10 left in the second quarter.

Note: On the play before the touchdown, UCLA's Zach Charbonnet was stopped for a 1-yard loss and eventually fumbled the ball, which was recovered by Cal. However, Charbonnet's forward progress was ruled to have been stopped before he fumbled.

KEY PLAY 5: On a third-and-13 play from the Cal 22-yard line, Bears quarterback Chase Garbers completed a 26-yard pass to Nikko Remigio for a first down at the 48-yard line.  Eight plays later, Chris Brooks scored on a 14-yard run to cut UCLA's lead to 10-7 with 8:58 left in the second quarter.

KEY PLAY 6: UCLA's Kazmeir Allen fumbled a Cal kickoff at the Bruins' 6-yard line, and the ball was recovered by Cal's Cameron Goode at the UCLA 13-yard line. Cal turned it into a touchdown, thanks to Key Play 7.

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KEY PLAY 7: On third-and-10 from the UCLA 13-yard line, Chase Garbers completed a 12-yard pass to Kekoa Crawford for a first down at the 1-yard line. On the next play, Garbers ran 1 yard for a touchdown that put Cal ahead 14-10 with 7:00 left in the second quarter.

KEY PLAY 8: UCLA's Kazmeir Allen ran 8 yards for a touchdown to complete a 64-yard, 13-play drive that put UCLA in front 17-14 with 26 seconds left in the first half.

KEY PLAY 9: UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to tight end Greg Dulcich. A 20-yard run by Zach Charbonnet and a 15-yard pass interference penalty on Cal's Lu-Magia Hearns III were part of that scoring drive, which gave the Bruins a 24-14 lead with 11:19 left in the third quarter.

KEY PLAY 10: UCLA's Nicholas Barr-Mira booted a 46-yard field goal at the end of a 13-play drive to give the Bruins a 27-14 lead with 2:25 left in the third quarter.

KEY PLAY 11: Dorian Thompson-Robinson completed a 27-yard pass to Zach Carbonnet during a drive that eventually produced a touchdown and gave the Bruins a 35-14 lead with 13:10 left in the game.

STAT OF THE GAME:  UCLA had 282 rushing yards against a Cal defense that entered the game leading the Pac-12 in run defense, yielding 121.5 yards per game. Cal had 91 rushing yards.

STAT OF THE GAME 2: The 42 points scored by UCLA were the most points given up by Cal this season. The previous high was the 34 points TCU scored against Cal.

QUARTERBACK STATS: Cal's Chase Garbers was 16-for-31 for 125 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions, and rushed for 20 yards. He was sacked four times.  UCLA's Dorian Thompson-Robinson was 19-for-28 for 164 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions and rushed for 102 yards. He was not sacked.

INJURIES: Outside linebacker Kuony Deng and offensive tackle Will Craig were not available because of injuries.

WHAT IT MEANS: Cal will suffer its second straight losing season, since it can finish no better than 5-7. The Bears will finish with a losing conference record for the 12th consecutive season. Cal will end up alone in fourth place in the Pac-12 North if it beats USC, and the Bears will finish in a tie for fourth with Washington if they lose to USC. UCLA finished tied with Arizona State for second place in the Pac-12 South.

CAL'S BOWL BAROMETER: The Bears' bowl chances are now 0 percent. They cannot earn a bowl berth even if they beat USC next week.  

NEXT GAME: Cal plays USC in Berkeley, Saturday, Dec. 4, Kickoff: 8 p.m. Pacific time. TV: FS1. The Trojans are 4-7 overall and 3-5 in the Pac-12 after Saturday night's 35-31 loss to BYU. Cal did not play USC in the pandemic-impacted 2020 season. It was the first time since 1925 that Cal and USC did not play each other.

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Cover photo of Zach Charbonnet by Jayne Kamin-Oncea, USA TODAY Sports

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Follow Jake Curtis of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jakecurtis53Find Cal Sports Report on Facebook by searching: @si.calsportsreport or going to https://www.facebook.com/si.calsportsreport