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Cal Football: Washington State Game Thread - Bears Flounder Offensively in 21-6 Loss

Cal remains winless in Pac-12 play entering its bye week; Oregon looms on Oct. 15

Cal's hopes of securing its first Pac-12 Conference victory died under the pressure of Washington State's pass rush on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.

The Cougars (2-3, 1-2 Pac-12) entered the game allowing nearly 30 points per game. 

Cal got six and was shut out in the second half of a 21-6 defeat in front of an announced crowd of 40.286 (appeared much smaller).

The Bears remain winless against FBS opponents entering their bye week. Cal plays next at Oregon on Friday night, Oct. 15.

This was a huge step back offensively for the Bears, who had averaged nearly 29 points through the first four games. Quarterback Chase Garbers, who was second in the Pac-12 at 273 passing yards per game, was 14 for 30 for 152 yards. He was sacked four times and intercepted once.

WSU won at Berkeley for the first time since 2013.

We take you directly to the second half . . . 


8:47 3Q: The Cougars stop Cal on its opening drive of the third quarter and go 66 yards on nine plays to add to their 14-6 halftime lead. Deon McIntosh carved up the Bears with runs of 15 and 13 yards and de Laura dashed away from pressure for 15 yards and a first down to the 18. On second-and-goal from the 8, de Laura found D'Zhaun Stribling with a slant pass for the touchdown. WSU 21, Cal 6.

END OF THIRD QUARTER: Cal drove the ball to WSU 35 on the strength of four straight running plays that netted at least 10 yards apiece -- gains of 12 and 10 yards by Chris Street, an 11-yard keeper by Garbers and an 11-yard gain on a reverse by Nikko Remigio. But the drive stalled and Garbers threw incomplete on fourth-and-3 from the 28.

Third-quarter stats: WSU 296 yards, Cal 170. First downs 18-10, plays 60-43. Garbers is 7 for 17 for 65 yards. De Laura is 20 for 33 for 185 yards and 3 TDs. WSU 21, Cal 6.


COIN FLIP: Cal wins the coin toss and defers. The Bears will kick off and defend the south goal.


11:21 1Q: The Cougars go 75 yards in 8 plays, scoring on a 22-yard pass from Jayden de Laura to Calvin Jackson Jr., who was alone in the left flat and tight-roped the sideline to the end zone. The play was review because it appeared Jackson was close to stepping on the sideline at about the 3, but officials let the play stand. De Laura, never pressured, was 5 for 5 for 53 yards on the drive and Deon McIntosh had a 20-yard run. WSU 7, Cal 0.

7:44 1Q: Cal answers with a 75-yard scoring drive of its own, Key plays were Chase Garbers converting a fourth-and-1 with a 2-yard QB sneak, then throwing a perfect 44-yard completion to Kekoa Crawford to the 11-yard line. From there, Christopher Brooks powered up the middle, breaking at least a couple tackles, on his way to the end zone. But Cal botched the PAT - a slightly low snap by Slater Zellers that Jamieson Sheahan could not handle. WSU 7, Cal 6.

1:46 1Q: The Cougars continue to slash through Cal's defense, with virtually no pressure on de Laura. He throws a fade pass in the left corner of the end zone to Calvin Jackson Jr., who is initially ruled to have caught it out of bounds. A review shows he got one foot down while making a rather spectacular one-handed grab. WSU 14, Cal 6.

8:39 2Q: After freshman LB Nate Rutchena intercepts de Laura, Cal gives it back when Garbers is sacked, forcing a decision on fourth-and-14 from the 34. The Bears go for it but Garbers is pressured again and is picked off by cornerback Jaylen Watson. Cougars take over at their own 34. WSU 14, Cal 6.

6:20 2Q: Safety Daniel Scott with his third interception of the season, giving Cal the ball back at its own 18-yard line. WSU 14, Cal 6.

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HALFTIME: Cal's defense has finally begun to put some pressure on de Laura, and the result is a pair of second-quarter INTS, by Nate Rutchena and Daniel Scott. But the Bears still have found no remedy for the Cougars' pressure on Garbers. He is 5 for 12 for 59 yards with 1 INT and 2 sacks. 

Total yards: WSU 204, Cal 104. 

Total plays: WSU 43, Cal 28. 

First downs: WSU 12, Cal 5

WSU's de Laura is 15 for 25 for 155 yards with two TDs (both to Calvin Jackson Jr.) and 2 INTs. Christopher Brooks leads the Bears with 8 rushes for 40 yards. Damien Moore, who fumbled the ball away on the final play of overtime at Washington last week, did not get another carry today after fumbling on Cal's first snap (Jack Tonges recovered).

A generally grim first-half performance, which also included another placekicking snafu (resulting in a lost PAT point) and a blocked punt by Nick Alftin which WSU turned into a first down when Ron Stone Jr. scooped it up and ran 7 yards (helping to set up the Cougars' second TD).

For all their problems, the Bears trailed by just eight points and get the ball to start the third quarter. WSU 14, Cal 6.



In the wake of last week's 31-24 overtime defeat at Washington, Cal coach Justin Wilcox talks in the video above about the pain of losing.

WSU INJURY UPDATE: Starting QB Jayden de Laura (knee) has been warming up with the Cougars, but backup Jarrett Guarantano, who started at Utah last week, is not here. No word on the reason. Running back Max Borghi (cover photo) also has been warming up.

CAL INJURY UPDATE: As expected, nose guard Stanley McKenzie (undisclosed injury) will not play for the Bears today. Jaedon Roberts is expected to start in his place.

Here's some pre-game reading:

- Our comprehensive game preview

- Chase Garbers is playing the best football of his career, says coach Justin Wilcox

- Texas transfer Marqez Bimage initially had no plans to play football at Cal

- Our weekly Pac-12 game predictions, including our picks on Cal-WSU

- The Spokane Spokesman Review provides keys to the game in its 2-Minute Drill

Cover photo of Washington running back Max Borghi by James Snook

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