California Football Game Recap: Bears Lose to Washington State

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A week after scoring 49 points in a win over Arizona, Cal managed just nine points in a 28-9 loss to Washington State on Saturday in Pullman, Wash.

Jaydn Ott, who had 274 yards rushing last week, was limited to 69 yards on 16 carries, his longest rush being 18 yards.

Cal quarterback Jack Plummer injured his leg late in the game. He briefly returned to action, but Kai Millner finished the game for Cal.

WASHINGTON STATE 28, CAL 9

RECORDS: CAL (3-2, 1-1 Pac-12), WASHINGTON STATE (4-1, 1-1 Pac-12)

GAME PLAYER: Washington State quarterback Cameron Ward. Although he threw two interceptions to waste scoring opportunities, he threw three touchdowns and had 343 passing yards.

TURNING: With the help of a 47-yard completion from Cameron Ward, Washington State scored a touchdown on their first possession of the second half, giving the Cougars a 14-3 lead.

KEY GAME 1: Washington State’s Robert Ferrel returned a 34-yard punt at Cal’s 35-yard line. On the play, Cal was penalized 15 extra yards because Cal’s Elijah Mojarro continued playing after his helmet fell off, putting the ball to Cal 20. Four plays later, Jaylen Jenkins scored a touchdown on a run from 2 yards, putting the Cougars ahead. 7-0 with 1:18 to play in the second quarter.

KEY PLAY 2: On a third-and-five play from Cal’s 30-yard line, Jack Plummer completed a 33-yard pass to J. Michael Sturdivant, putting the ball on Washington State’s 37-yard line. Later in possession, Dario Longhetto threw a 42-yard field goal to cut Washington State’s lead to 7-3 with 9:10 left in the second quarter.

KEY GAME 3: Washington State had a first down at Cal’s 30-yard line when WSU quarterback Cameron Ward threw a long pass that was intercepted by Cal safety Daniel Scott in the end zone. That kept the score at 7-3 with 6:30 to go in the first half.

KEY PLAY 4: Washington State quarterback Cameron Ward completed a 47-yard pass to Renard Bell, putting the ball on Cal’s 17-yard line on WSU’s first second-half possession.

KEY PLAY 5: Two plays after that 47-yard completion, Cameron Ward completed a 17-yard touchdown pass to Robert Ferrel, giving the Cougars a 14-3 lead with 13:51 left in the third quarter.

KEY PLAY 6: Washington State faced a second-and-2 from Cal’s 21-yard line when Cameron Ward threw a pass that was intercepted by Cal safety Craig Woodson at Cal’s 2-yard line with 9: 38 to go in the third quarter.

KEY PLAY 7: On a third-and-15 play from Cal’s 19-yard line, Jack Plummer completed a 30-yard pass to Jeremiah Hunter, putting the ball on Cal’s 49-yard line for a first down.

KEY PLAY 8: On the next play in the same possession, Plummer completed a 49-yard pass to Jeremiah Hunter toward the Washington State 2-yard line, and Jaydn Ott scored on a 2-yard run on the next play. A two-point conversion attempt failed, leaving Washington State with a 14-9 lead with 13:28 left in the fourth quarter.

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KEY PLAY 9: On a third-and-4 play from the Cougars’ 31-yard line, Cameron Ward completed a 32-yard pass to De’Zhaun Stribling, placing the ball on Cal’s 37-yard line.

KEY GAME 10: On the next play on the same possession, Cameron Ward completed a 37-yard touchdown pass to Renard Bell, giving WSU a 21-9 lead with 12:00 left in the fourth quarter.

KEY PLAY 11: Cameron Ward threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Billy Rivière on fourth down to give Washington State a 28-9 lead with 6:19 remaining in the fourth quarter.

GAME STATISTICS: After rushing for 354 yards last week against Arizona, Cal only had 31 rushing yards against Washington State.

GAME STATS II: Washington State recorded seven tackles for loss, including four sacks.

INDIVIDUAL GAME STATS: Cal receiver Jeremiah Hunter had 109 receiving yards on six catches. WSU wide receiver Renard Bell had 115 receiving yards and one touchdown on eight catches.

DISTRICT STATISTICS: Cal’s Jack Plummer was 23 for 33 for 273 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions. Washington State’s Cameron Ward was 27 for 40 for 343 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.

WHAT THIS MEANS: Cal was hoping to go 2-0 in the Pac-12 for the first time since 2015. Instead, the Bears are in a group of teams at 1-1 with the toughest game of the schedule ahead.

CAL BOWL BAROMETER: Cal’s bowl chance is around 50%. Although the Bears are halfway through the six wins needed to be bowl eligible, it’s hard to come up with three more wins with the schedule remaining.

NEXT GAME: Cal (3-2, 1-1 Pac-12) at Colorado (0-5, 0-2 Pac-12), Saturday, Oct. 15. Kick off: TBA. TV: TBA (start time and TV coverage to be announced Monday, October 3). Colorado lost to Arizona 43-20 on Saturday night and gave up 38 or more points in each game. Cal and Colorado both have byes this week ahead of the game in two weeks in Boulder, Colorado.

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J. Michael Sturdivant cover photo by James Snook, USA TODAY Sports

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