Cal running back Damien Moore coughed up a fumble on a first-and-goal play from the 2-yard line in overtime and Washington recovered to clinch a 31-24 victory at Husky Stadium in the 100th meeting of the teams on Saturday night.
Sean McGrew scored on a 2-yard wildcat keeper to open the overtime and put Washington in front.
Cal, which returns home next Saturday to face Washington State, fell to 1-3 overall while losing in the Pac-12 opener. Washington (2-2, 1-0) won its second straight game and ended a two-game skid against the Bears.
Washington now leads the all-time series 55-41-4.
14:29 4Q: The Cal defense make another play with transfer Marqez Bimage forcing a fumble which the Bears recover at their own 39. Cal moves into UW territory, but back-to-back completions to Nikko Remigio and Damien Moore got for just 1 yard apiece, and Cal hands the ball over on downs. Washington starts at its own 41. Washington 24, Cal 17.
9:44 4Q: The Bears dodge a bullet at Chase Henry misses a 47-yard field goal that could have stretched the margin to 10 points. Washington 24, Cal 17.
6:23 4Q: Cal forces a punt from deep in UW territory, but Nikko Remigio is shaken up after a 10-yard return to the Bears' 38-yard line. Washington 24, Cal 17.
2:51 4Q: Garbers dashes 7 yards up the middle on a designed run for the TD. He had a 23-yard run earlier on the drive along with a 19-yard completion to Jeremiah Hunter on a third-and-7 play. Garbers has 69 rushing yards. Cal 24, Washington 24.
1:16 4Q: Cal starts at its own 20-yard line after forcing the Huskies to punt. Cal 24, Washington 24.
END OF FOURTH QUARTER: Dario Longhetto comes up just short on a 55-yard field goal attempt as time runs out, forcing overtime. Garbers completed three passes for 40 yards on a drive that began at the Cal 28 with 1:16 left. We go to overtime. Cal 24, Washington 24.
-- Washington scores when running back Sean McGrew goes in from the 2-yard line out of the wildcat formation. The PAT is good and Washington takes the lead. Washington 31, Cal 24.
-- Cal got a first-and-goal at the 2-yard line in its overtime possession after Damien Moore ran 8 yards on an option pitch from Garbers. Moore then tried powering into the middle of the line, where he was hit by Washington linebacker Jackson Sirmon - the son of Cal defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon - and fumbled the ball. Ryan Bowman recovered for the Huskies, ending the game. Washington 31, Cal 24.
POST-GAME INJURY REPORT: Cal coach Justin Moore said he had no immediate information on the status of several players injured during the game. They included WR/return specialist Nikko Remigio, TE Jake Tonges, NG Stanley McKenzie and Moore, who was slow to get up after taking a big hit on the final play of the game.
Washington has a lead of 54-41-4 in the series that began in 1904, but Cal has won the past two meetings, including by a 20-19 margin at Seattle in 2019, when a lightning delay of 2 hours, 39 minutes kept the teams on the field until 1:23 a.m.
Cal linebacker Cameron Goode, in the video at the top, recalls that crazy night.
PRE-GAME INJURY UPDATE: Cal reports that OLB Kouny Deng (lower body) and RB DeCarlos Brooks (lower body) will not play tonight due to injury. We already knew about Deng, but Brooks' status is news.
UW tight end Cade Otton (COVID-19 protocols) is out.
Coin toss: Cal wins it and defers. Bears kick off - a touchback. UW starts at its own 25.
12:06 1Q: Chase Garbers picked off by Kyler Gordon on third-and-9 play. Huskies start at the Cal 36. Cal 0, UW 0.
8:38 1Q: Huskies take advantage of the takeaway. Dylan Morris fires 19-yard TD pass to Taj Davis, who beats Collin Gamble on a slant pattern. UW converted fourth-and-2 play from the 28 when Morris hit TE Devin Culp for an 8-yard gain. Washington 7, Cal 0.
1:59 1Q: Cal responds with a 13-play, 67-yard drive, capped by Garbers' 1-yard play-action TD pass to wide-open TE Jake Tonges on fourth-and-goal. Four plays earlier the Bears converted a fourth-and-2 from the 32, with Garbers throwing 23 yards to Kekoa Crawford to the UW 9-yard line. Cal 7, UW 7.
END OF FIRST QUARTER: UW is slicing through the Cal defense, with Morris completing four straight passes to four different receivers, giving the Huskies a first down at the Cal 10 at the second quarter begins. Morris is 4-for-4 for 65 yards on this drive. Total yards in the quarter: 107-78 for the Huskies. First downs: 5 to 3. Cal 7, UW 7.
14:14 2Q: The Huskies retake the lead on the second play of the quarter as Morris fools freshman CB Lu-Magia Hearns III with play action and throws a 6-yard TD pass to WR Jalen McMillan. Morris is 5-for-5 for 71 yards on the 75-yard drive. Cal pass defense looks shaky. Again. Washington 14, Cal 7.
7:06 2Q: A wasted opportunity by the Bears. They get a first down at the UW 7 after a keeper by Garbers and a penalty. But Garbers is sacked on first down (minus-3), Damien Moore is slammed on second down (minus-2) and after Garbers scrambles to the 5, RG McKade Mettauer is flagged for a dead-ball unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, forcing a 37-yard FG attempt. But holder Jamieson Sheahan could not handle Slater Zellers' snap and the Bears get nothing. UW 14, Cal 7.
1:27 2Q: After the Bears' FG foul-up, the Huskies move 71 yards to pad their lead when Sean McGrew takes the direct snap and runs 5 yards into the end zone. Morris converted a fourth-and-1 QB sneak to keep the drive alive and a defensive holding penalty against the Bears gave Washington the first down that led to McGrew's TD run. Washington 21, Cal 7.
0:00 2Q: Cal with an impressive drive to cut the margin before halftime. Garbers handed the clock well, passing (52 yards) and running (14 yards) to get the Bears to the 12-yard line, where they used a timeout with 2 seconds left. This time, the Bears executed the snap, the hold and the kick, a 29-yarder by Dario Longhetto. Cal will get the ball first to start the second half. Washington 21, Cal 10.
HALFTIME STATS: Cal has 201 yards, UW has 183. First downs are 10 for UW, 9 for Cal. Garbers is 15-for-19 for 153 yards with 1 TD, 1 INT. Morris is 11-for-14 for 141 with 1 TD and 0 INT. Garbers is the game's leading rusher with 32 yards.
Two difference-makers in the first half: Cal has 1 turnover and a flubbed FG try; Washington has no turnovers. The Bears have hurt themselves with penalties, including 3 false starts, a defensive holding and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
13:30 3Q: The Bears go nowhere on their first possession of the second half and are forced to punt. UW takes over at its own 40. Washington 21, Cal 10.
7:34 3Q: The Huskies go 46 yards in 13 plays before Peyton Henry kicks a 32-yard field goal. Huskies O-line getting the job done. Washington 24, Cal 10.
5:09 3Q: Cal scores quickly, going 75 yards in five plays. Garbers threw to his outlet receiver, Damien Moore, who took it 26 yards down the left sideline for the score. His sixth TD of the season. Cal aided in a big way by a defensive holding penalty against the Huskies, which nullified an interception on a tipped pass. Washington 24, Cal 17.
2:57 3Q: Pressure on the QB! Ethan Saunders gets credit for Cal's first sack in two weeks. Morris fumbles but recovers his own and Washington must punt. Washington 24, Cal 17.
END OF THIRD QUARTER: Garbers' second interception of the game -- again by Kyler Gordon -- gives the ball back to Washington, which has now crossed into Cal territory. Total yards through three quarters: Cal 269, UW 256. Turnovers: Cal 2, Washington 0. Washington 24, Cal 17.
Some pregame reading:
— Jake Curtis’ interview with former Cal star Shane Vereen, who will serve as analyst for the Pac-12 Network tonight
— Pre-game thoughts from Cal coordinators Bill Musgrave and Peter Sirmon
Cover photo of Husky Stadium by Joe Nicholson, USA Today
Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo