Jaydn Ott rushed for 274 yards and three touchdowns, including a game-sealing 72-yard romp, as Cal dominated the second half and beat Arizona 49-31 in the Pac-12 opener for both teams in Berkeley, Calif., on Saturday.
Ott, who twice has been selected the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week, set career highs for carries (19) and rushing yardage. He kick-started his day with a 73-yard touchdown run on the second snap of the game.
Cal (3-1, 1-0 Pac-12) won its sixth consecutive home game. The Bears snapped a six-game losing streak to Arizona (2-2, 0-1).
Cal made three defensive stops and scored two touchdowns in the third quarter, including an 18-yard run from Ott, to take a 35-24 lead. The momentum continued, as Jack Plummer connected with Jeremiah Hunter on a 37-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the fourth quarter.
The Wildcats responded with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Jayden de Laura to Jacob Cowing to make it 42-31 with 12:36 to go.
The Bears thwarted the comeback bid when Daniel Scott picked off de Laura at the Cal 6 with about six minutes to go. Two plays later, Ott took a pitch and burst through the line and reached the end zone with 4:56 remaining.
Cal intercepted de Laura in the end zone on the next possession. The Arizona sophomore threw for a career-high 401 yards but was intercepted twice and also lost a fumble in the third quarter. Cowing caught seven passes for 133 yards. Dorian Singer hauled in eight receptions for 103 yards.
Plummer completed 18 of 28 passes for 245 yards, with three TDs and no interceptions.
Ott’s 73-yard touchdown run in the first minute ignited a back-and-forth first half that featured a combined 624 yards of offense.
Arizona went up 14-7, but the Bears tied the score at 14 and then 21 before the Wildcats answered late in the half. Tyler Loop’s 37-yard field goal with 40 seconds left allowed Arizona to go into halftime up 24-21.
–Field Level Media