Cal lost 35-0 at Utah after trailing 28-0 at halftime. The Bears had not been shut out since a 45-0 loss at No. 5 Nebraska in 1999. They hadn't been blanked in a conference game since a 61-0 loss to USC in 1994.
Cal had just 83 total yards and suffered its most one-sided loss ever to Utah.
Pre-game: Cal's issues tonight against only begin with the Bears' injury problems.
Yes, the offensive line has been beat up all season.
And yes, we expect true freshman Spencer Brasch -- Cal's third-string quarterback -- will get the call to start against one of the nation's toughest defenses.
Beyond all that, the Utes boast a significant home-field advantage against anyone. They have a 4-0 record at Rice-Eccles Stadium this season, have won eight in a row at home and 10 of their past 11.
They are cheered on by a consistently full house. Utah has sold out 61 consecutive games at home, including 57 standing-room-only crowds. Tonight is designated as a DARK MODE game, meaning fans are asked to dress in all black for the 8:16 p.m. (MT) kickoff.
A few pre-game notes for your digestion:
- Utah is a 21 1/2-point favorite against the Bears.
Cal leads the all-time series vs. Utah 6-5 and used a goal-line stand to beat the No. 18 Utes 28-23 when these teams most recently met in 2016.
- Cal has held 14 consecutive opponents under 25 points, but that streak will be tested tonight by a Utah team that averages 32.9 points.
- The Bears have failed to score 30 points in their past nine games - all seven this season and the final two a season ago. They will try to end that streak against a Utah defense allowing 11.7 points per game.
- Senior linebacker Evan Weaver leads the nation with 105 tackles and has 335 for his career. With one more he will match Ron Rivera, who had 336 from 1980-83. Rivera, now the coach of the Carolina Panthers, was a consensus All-American in 83.
8:35 1st Qtr: A pretty encouraging start for the Bears. They force Utah to punt after a three-and-out opening series. Then Spencer Brasch completes his first pass attempt, a quick 4-yarder to Trevon Clark. The Bears managed a pair of first downs, including a 4-yard keeper by Brasch. The Bears finally punted, and Branden Smith downed Steven Coutts' kick at the 1-yard line.
7:05 1st Qtr: The Bears forced Utah into a third-and-7 from the 4, but tight end Brant Kuithe pulls in Tyler Huntley's pass down the middle for a 21-yard gain to the 25 despite being blasted by Ashtyn Davis and Kuony Deng. Hard to believe he held onto that ball.
5:33 1st Qtr: Cal's worst nightmare . . . Utah gains 69 yards on a broken play. The snap came to Huntley before he was ready and he had to pick it up after one bounce. Huntley ket his composure and dumped a quick pass to RB Zack Moss, who raced 69 yards untouched to the Cal 6-yard line before being tackled by Jaylinn Hawkins.
4:50 1st Qtr: Utah scores on a 4-yard run by Moss, his school-record 32nd rushing touchdown. Utes go 99 yards in seven plays - 69 of them on the broken-play pass from Huntley to Moss to the Cal 6. Utah 7, Cal 0.
4:43 1st Qtr: Safety Ashtyn Davis lines up at WR and Brasch goes deep to him on first down. Utes double-team Davis and the pass is incomplete. Still, something different.
2:20 1st Qtr: Brasch got a first down with a 12-yard keeper on third-and-9, but the Bears wind up punting. After personal-foul for blindside block against Utah, the Utes begin at the 10-yard line.
END OF 1ST QTR: Utah 7, Cal 0. Utes have 131 yards, Cal just 44. Brasch is 2-for-7 for 11 yards and has 2 rushes for 16 yards. Huntley is 2-for-2 for 90 yards. Moss has 17 yards on 7 attempts and 1 reception for 69 yards.
12:48 2nd Qtr: Huntley uses a play-fake on third-and-1 to set up a deep throw to Bryan Thompson, who badly beats Cam Bynum and pulls in the 40-yard TD pass. This could go south quickly. Utah 14, Cal 0.
4:50 2nd Q: Utes march 72 yards, converting three third-down plays, and scored on a 1-yard by backup QB Jason Shelley. Utah has converted 6 of 7 third downs and has outgained Cal 275 yards to 46. First downs: 11-3. Utah 21, Cal 0.
3:38 2nd Q: Brasch stuffed on keeper on third-and-1 try from the 34. Cal punts for the fourth time. Utah starts at its own 24.
0:20 2nd Qtr: The Utes have run away with this game. Jason Shelley throws a 1-yard TD pass to Brant Kuithe, capping a 76-yard scoring drive. Cal tackling will be a topic of discussion in the locker room at halftime. Total yards now at 351-55. Ouch. Utah 28, Cal 0.
HALFTIME: Utah 28, Cal 0. If this margin stands -- and that's probably the optimistic view -- it would be Cal's most lopsided loss ever to the Utes. Worst of their five defeats to Utah was 49-27 in 2012, a 22-point margin. By the way, Evan Weaver has 15 tackles at halftime.
11:26 3rd Qtr: We were afraid things could get worse -- and they did. Brasch escaped throwing an interception when Utah was flagged for defensive holding. Brasch then got blasted by cornerback Josh Nurse on a blitz, fumbled and finally recovered . . . at his own 15-yard line after a 26-yard line. The Bears wound up punting and Utah will start at the 50-yard line.
9:26 3rd Qtr: This game has a lot of garbage time still. Utah just scored a touchdown on its fifth straight drive, with Zack Moss doing most of the damage. He had runs of 25 and 9 yards before going in on a 10-yard spinning dash up the middle. Utah is averaging 8..4 yards per snap. That's a lot. Utah 35, Cal 0.